Dogs are absolutely cute and arguably the most loving pets one can have. They show their love in various ways, which sometimes becomes a lot to handle. One such way is by laying and sitting upon you.
If you are a dog owner, you must be thinking, why does my dog lay on me every time, and is it bad?
Well, dogs laying on you is their love language; they show their love by licking your cheeks, by shadow following us everywhere, and sometimes by being over-excited and barking, and many other things.
While there can be a lot of reasons why your dog might lay on you, some may point toward an overlying issue. The majority of reasons are just happy reasons and nothing to fret about.
In this article, you will learn about the reasons why your dog loves to lay on you every time and how to stop them if it’s happening too frequently or you do not like it because of their hair on your clothes or your dog’s smell.
Let’s begin the read with an understanding of why your dog lays on you.
Table of Content
Why does My Dog Lay on Me?
Cuddling is one of the best feelings, and it is even special with your furry friends. Dogs love cuddling, and it is a sign that they are very comfortable with you and have formed an emotional bond with you.
To understand why they do this, we must first know how and when cuddling and snuggling start in dogs.
When dogs are born and are little babies, and if they have more than one sibling with them, they start cuddling and snuggling to play. This behavior, over time, makes them feel safe and protected by one another.
As they grow old or when they are adopted, the behavior of cuddling and snuggling stays with them, and they do this with their owners to feel safe and make them feel protected as well.
It is also a sign that they see you as the pack’s leader, and it is the respect they are showing with the cuddling.
They will also occupy your personal space and will forget their weight, size, and everything else while laying on you.
If you do not have any issues with the smell of dogs when they lay on you or the hair that comes out of their furs, then their laying should not be of major concern.
5 Reasons that Dogs Lay on You
There can be various reasons why your dog lay on you, such as if they might want your attention, it is just a love act, or maybe something else.
There is always a reason behind your dog’s actions, and it is important to understand them in order to prevent any mental, physical, or health issues in dogs. Let’s know some common reasons why your dog likes to lay on you.
1. Warmth and Comfort
Your pooch is looking for some warmth and comfort, and you are the perfect place for them to resort. If your dog is very comfortable with you, you will see the cuddling and snuggling more often, especially in fall or winter.
Your body provides a stable temperature that warms their furs and skin. They feel cozy and comfortable laying on you. Small breed dogs or pups like to be attached to human bodies in rainy or chilly weather. Dogs with thin skin coats also like to be around your body every time.
2. Sense of Security
Laying on top of you provides your dogs with a sense of safety and belonging. This is usually in situations or places unfamiliar to your dogs, and they seek refuge in you.
They may come and lie down with you in search of protection from thunder, fireworks, or any such uncalming situation, as they see you as their leader. They may also come close to you and sit on top of you to provide you cover and comfort from any threat they might think you are in.
If someone is entering your house, or if there is a car backing around the corner of your house, your dog will provide protection by sticking their body next to you. Your dog sees you as the leader of the pack, and protecting its leader is its natural instinct.
3. To make you Feel Better
Dogs have a very good sense of emotions, moods, and actions. If they feel that you are sad, upset, crying, or even tense, then they come to lay on you to show that you are not alone and they are with you.
Dogs are very good judges of actions and behaviors, and the slightest change in your behavior can hint at them about your feelings and moods.
They sense your mood through the scent that your hormones release and also by the subtle change in your behavior and voice modulation. If you are crying or upset, you sound different to your dogs, and this is when they lay on you to provide you comfort and companionship.
4. They Want Attention
Dogs lay on you because it is their natural instinct, which they learn from the time they are born.
Dogs are sociable creatures and love to be around other members of the pack. As their owner, if you are not giving them attention and an ample amount of playing and bonding time, your dog may feel ignored. And this is when they snuggle and lay beside you, as it gives them a sense of belonging and attention.
If they lay on you even after spending too much time with them, check for any physical health issues; they may be communicating something or have anxiety.
If all is good, enjoy those cuddles and love; you are, after all, the lucky loved one.
5. Separation Anxiety
If you are long gone for a vacation or a work trip, it triggers separation anxiety in dogs, which is why they are hesitant to leave you alone and try to communicate not to leave them alone.
Separation anxiety can often be destructive, and your dog may chew on things like bedsheets, shoes, and furniture or bark a lot, lick their paws, and even cry.
Yes, it is heartbreaking, and they cope with this separation anxiety by following you like your shadow and sleeping on top of you. All the emotions of being separated from you gather and come out when they see you.
Your dog laying on you is because of fear that you will leave again if they are not looking.
How to Stop Your Dog from Laying on You?
As much as it brings joy to you when your dog cuddles, kisses, and lays down with you, there is some discomfort if your dog sleeps on or with you.
Generally, some breeds shed their hair throughout the year, and it can not be good if they leave their hair on your body, face, and everywhere anytime they lay on you. Some dogs smell differently, even if they are neat and clean. And when they lay upon you, the smell is not very likable.
If you are not very comfortable with your dog laying on you a lot, below are a few ways to stop your dog.
1. Do not Encourage the Behavior
The first and basic step to stop your dog from laying and snuggling on you is not to encourage the behavior and gently push them away whenever they try.
If they do a certain behavior, and you do not stop them, it encourages them to repeat this behavior in the near future because they think it is okay to do it. To stop this behavior, gently push them aside, get them down from your lap or legs, and guide them toward their bed.
Train them with commands like ‘No, ‘ ‘Stop,’ or ‘Go to your bed.’ When they try laying on you, do not shout but command them like a leader and point towards their bed or a different place to stop this behavior.
Remember, they are just like toddlers, which means they are very emotional and sensitive, so always try to be gentle and kind towards them because, ultimately, they are trying to be with you and love you.
2. Crate Train them
Another efficient way to keep your dog from laying and sleeping on you, especially at night, is to crate-train them.
Using good positive reinforcement techniques, you can make your dog sleep in its crate, which will benefit both of you to get a good, comfortable sleep because, as much as you can deny, we all know that sleeping with dogs can often be uncomfortable and hampers sleep. You will need a good, comfy bed that is full of cushions to make them stay in their bed or crate happily.
Make your dog’s bed in a place that is not very cold or hot. Also, the place should be around the area where your dog can see the family members all the time.
Make their bed a bit big so they can play and sleep in there without feeling the need to get out of bed to stretch their legs and have their downtime whenever they want.
Treat them when they listen to your command and go to their bed, crate, or stay there. Reward them with healthy treats like carrots to prevent obesity.
Try to make their bed or crate a positive place so that they want to stay there most of the time.
Yes, if it is on an occasional basis, it is nothing to worry about, but if this is happening too often and there is a possible risk to you by their behavior, then you need to stop this behavior.
There can be various reasons why your dog only sleeps on you and not anyone else from the family. The first one is that your dog is very protective of you and wants to protect you. Another reason can be jealousy; your partner or someone who is close to you is causing your dog to be jealous.
Yes, one of the main reasons your dog is laying on you is because they are anxious or suffering from separation anxiety. Staying close to you makes them feel safe and loved. Laying on you also helps them cope with separation anxiety and lessen the stress of you leaving again.
If your dog is laying on you all the time, you might be wondering why and whether it is a matter of concern. Do not worry; it is normal for dogs to lay and sit upon you. In this article, you will find five reasons why your dog loves to lay on you and ideas on how to stop them.
Dr. Lillian is a D.V.M. passionate about promoting awareness of dogs. She shares her expertise through her blogs on canineweekly.com and provides animal care services, including internal medicine, dermatology, and emergency care. Dr. Lillian is committed to contributing to animal welfare.