Many individuals adore their dogs and treat them as integral members of their families. The majority of dog owners like spending time with their pets and playing games with them. Dogs, too, prefer to sit or lay on top of their owners. This is a fairly frequent and generally accepted declaration of love. Do you have this query “Why does my dog lay on me” and what motivates your dog to sleep so close to you than your partner that he ends up laying on top of you?
7 Reasons why do your dog always lay on you
1. Understanding the Canine Pack Instincts
Dog’s ancestors(wolves) would have lived in groups. This is mainly for ensuring the survival of its members. But it’s not just that; it’s also to keep each other warm in the den, especially on chilly winter evenings.
As survival is not a major concern for your dog nowadays, they still look forward to the warmth and comfort of staying close to you.
Puppies sleep in dog piles from the time they are born, providing them with all the comfort and security they require to grow up healthy and stronger. Domesticated dogs have their siblings to lay against each other during their childhood.
As they grow and adopted by an owner then they like to lay on top of their owners to show them that they are a member of their family and pack and to offer them with comfort and security while also receiving it.
2. Addicted action because of you
Imagine, if you come home after a long period of work and your dog suddenly comes to you and lay on top of you then you might kiss him on his head or cuddle him closely. These kinds of feel good moments make him to repeat this action frequently to get more and more of your love.
3. Protective nature
When you observe how a pack of wolves acts, you will see that one of the major reasons for staying close is for security. This permits the wolves to guard one another. The same is applicable to your dog.
Normally, you form a strong relationship with your dog over time. They accept you as a member of their group. As a result, they feel it necessary to shield you from any kind of threats.
However, not all dogs are the same. Some are more guarded than others.
In certain situations, they will defend you out of jealousy. When you have a large number of dogs at home, one of them may protect you from the others.
For example, they could bark at a dog that approaches you or they do something to divert your focus away from your other canines.
4. Separation Anxiety
Pet owners find it tough to leave their dogs at home alone.
This is also challenging for the dog. Particularly those who suffer from separation anxiety. This is common in young puppies that have recently left their litter or a rescued dog who was abused in a prior household.
Separation anxiety occurs when the person to whom one is attached is not present. Dogs simply cannot function when their owners are not around.
- Excessive vocalization (whining, howling and barking)
Separation anxiety increases soon after the owner’s departure. When the owner returns, the dogs become too excited.
Is your dog lay on top of you when you’re trying to sleep? Perhaps he falls asleep on your lap shortly before you leave for work. This is a common sign of separation anxiety in your dog.
5. More affection towards the owners
Oxytocin is a hormone that makes both the owner and the dog happy. Touch, warmth, and stroking actions release oxytocin. Furthermore, eye contact causes the release of oxytocin.
That is what causes your heart to explode when you gaze into your dog’s eyes. It possesses anti-stress properties similar to Glucocorticoids (Stress Hormone).
Oxytocin promotes eye contact, improves facial memory, and alleviates sadness in dogs.
Your dog lay on you because he or she adores you. It’s one method for them to express their love for you, and your actions, such as kissing or caressing them, cause them to release oxytocin. He wants to be as near to you as possible and adore you.
However, it is also a method for your dog to get affection. If he’s sleeping on you, you can usually count on a few cuddles in return. You’re receiving a lot of attention, and so is your dog.
Are Certain Dog Breeds More Affectionate?
Some of the breeds mentioned below release oxytocin on higher level. Hence they are more affectionate with their owners.
- Golden Retriever
- English Bulldog
- Labrador Retriever
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- Bichon Frise
There are some common signs that show that your dog loves you so much,
- Your dog loves to sleep with you at night
- He licks your face
- Your canine wiggles his eyebrows at you
- He brings you his toys
- He yawns with you
6. Need Attention:
Dogs are very sociable creatures. On a daily basis, they desire attention and contact with their people. Unfortunately, owners might unintentionally encourage undesirable habits. This is typical in pups. Their existence is dependent on their mother’s care. However, as babies get older, their attention-seeking strategies might become irritating.
Here are some of the most typical things dogs do to get attention:
This may include dropping a ball at your feet to play a game with him, gazing at his leash while wagging his tail as a sign he wants to go for a walk or any of the other typical indications listed below.
- Climbing on top of you
Another reason for attention-seeking behaviors is boredom. This includes any of the below reasons,
- Lack of physical exercise
- Lack of mental stimulation
- Fearful and lack confidence
However, another way a dog wants his owner’s attention is by sitting on top of them, even lay on top of their head! If you give a chance, he will cheerfully hop up and lay on your lap.
Bigger dogs would be delighted to do the same. However, they must cope with sleeping on top of you by resting their head on your feet.
7. Dog sleeping positions
Usually, dogs sleep in either of the below positions:
- On the side
- Snuggle Up
- Sleep on The Back with Paws Up on The Air
- Sprawled Out On The Tummy
- Curled Up
Your dog’s favorite sleeping position might change if they face any injuries or distress.
This could also be one of the reasons why your dog sleeps on top of you apart from their usual sleeping position and location.
What to do to stop my dog laying on top of me?
AKC have explained about different studies made on sharing the bed with dogs at night. It’s up to the individual owners to take up a decision. If you feel it is annoying or unhealthy to share your bedtime with your dog, then below suggestions could help you in training your dog to stop doing this behavior.
1. Positive reinforcement training
One approach is to use positive reinforcement training to teach your dog to sleep somewhere else. This is when you urge it to act in a specific way by rewarding it when it exhibits evidence of doing so.
Train them to sleep on their own bed or using a crate instead on you. Below steps help to achieve this gently,
- Check that the bed is comfortable. They should have a great time resting on it.
- Place their container in a secluded area away from foot traffic. It should be somewhere peaceful where they can relax. However, they can also observe the family. A corner of your living area is ideal.
- Have your dog stand next to the crate. Give them a goodie as a reward.
- Give your dog a reward to encourage them to lay down on their bed.
- Continue training them until they understand that resting in their box earns them a reward.
2. Avoid encouraging the behavior
Dogs are intelligent animals. They will continue to accomplish something if they are rewarded for it.
Deter them the next time they try to lay on top of you. This educates your dog about limits.
Deterring your dog should be done carefully. You shouldn’t yell or push them hardly. Otherwise, they’ll feel that you’re rejecting them. And this might be confusing for them.
Allow them to stay near you where you want them to stay.
For example, by your feet. If they’re permitted on the sofa or bed, they can sleep right next to you.
3. Reduce its separation anxiety
As previously said, it might be acting this way due to separation anxiety. It might be beneficial to attempt to lessen its anxiety by giving it exercise, allowing it to pee, and feeding it before leaving so that it does not have to wait as long.
A dog sleeping on top of you isn’t always a terrible thing.
As a result, allowing your dog isn’t a bad idea. But only if it’s for the right reasons and on your terms.
Allow your dog if you find it to be comfortable. After all, this might lead to a stronger relationship between the two of you.
Credit: Photos by Freestocks and Stas svechnikov from Unsplash.