My dog lies on top of me: why and what to do?

Your dog has gotten into the habit of lying on you and you do not understand very well the reason for such behavior and such proximity between you.

Let’s see in which cases a dog is brought to snuggle against (or even on) its master and how to react in these cases there.

My dog ​​lies down on me to calm down

Generally, when a dog initiates physical contact with its owner, it is because it trusts him. By doing so, he shows her a certain affection.

And sometimes the confidence is such that the dog needs physical contact to reassure himself, to calm down and to feel safe. The dog then considers his master as a referent and reassuring being thanks to whom he can feel comfortable and confident.

To give you an example, personally I notice this behavior very regularly with my 6 year old Border Collie who is a very sensitive dog and who can quickly panic when faced with unusual situations or noises for him. As soon as he hears or sees something he is not used to hearing / seeing ( fireworks, firecrackers, etc.) he snuggles against me as if his life depended on it.

Likewise, a dog who is anxious when his master is absent will be a dog very pot of glue with his master when he is present. But we will see later how to manage this kind of behavior which can become uncomfortable for your dog but also for you.

In addition, we will also observe a great affection and especially an important need for security if the dog insists every night to sleep with his master. When a dog sleeps, he is completely vulnerable, and he knows it. Sleeping with his master will then be a way for him to be completely safe.

As you will have understood, the more a dog seeks physical contact with his master, the more he seeks a certain security and therefore appeasement near him. This attitude is in my opinion very representative of a relationship of total trust between a master and his dog. However, this relationship can have its limits.

My dog ​​lies on top of me asking for attention

Indeed, a dog that is constantly in demand for contact is a dog that is then constantly in demand for attention. And if his requests always succeed, this can have consequences that are sometimes difficult to manage on a daily basis.

Let me explain: a dog to whom we systematically respond to requests for attention is a dog that will not be able to manage its frustration.

So when he doesn’t get what he wants, either because you don’t want physical contact, or because you’re not there, or because you’re just busy for another thing, your dog will not be able to manage emotionally this “refusal” and this impossibility of contact and will be able to make it known by adopting annoying behaviors representative of a bad management of frustration (barking, destruction, filthiness, etc. ).

Your dog can then cuddle up against / on you to demand your attention, and in general, having a dog lying on top of you always elicits a reaction, whatever it is. And whether you accept this contact or reject your dog, it is still a form of response to his request for attention.

My dog ​​lies on top of me: what to do?

 When your dog lies down on you, you have two options : either let it go because you know it will soothe your dog but also because you do not “undergo” this behavior (because the idea is not to undergo but rather to interact), or you do not want and do not accept this contact and in this case you must manage to put your dog at a distance.

To put a dog at a distance, it is the learning of “in your place / in the basket” which will be important to reinforce.

Then, in order not to undergo a behavior in general, it is your attitude on a daily basis that must be reviewed. Clearly, you must succeed in always being the initiator of the interactions that you have with your dog.

Concretely, if your dog comes to ask for attention (bringing his ball, barking in front of you, asking for a caress, etc.) ignore him (do not talk to him, do not look at him or touch him). Turn your back on it and wait for it to move on. Once done, call him and initiate an activity (caress, play session, etc.). The aim of this attitude is to be consistent on a daily basis and above all to gently teach your dog to manage his frustration.

And if your dog lies down on you to be appeased of a situation which makes him emotionally uncomfortable, I advise you to let go, without reinforcing this attitude. Stay sure of yourself and relatively neutral so as not to legitimize his possible fear either, but by still being present so that he feels more secure.