9 Must Know Reasons Why Your Dog Always Lays On You


If you own a clingy dog, you may often ask yourself, “Why does my dog always lay on me?”. Some dog owners adore this behavior, while others would prefer that their dogs avoid laying on them constantly.

No matter your thoughts about this behavior, you surely have some questions about why your dog is always laying on top of you. Keep reading and we will answer questions about why dogs lay on you.

First, Watch These Adorable Dogs Looking To Lay On Their Owners, Or Be Pet By Them:

9 Reasons Why Dogs Lay On Their Owners

why dogs lay on you

While there may be several reasons as to why dogs may be seeking furry cuddles as they lay on top of you, there are some explanations that are more likely than others. Let’s take a look.


If you ask anyone, “Why does my dog lay on me?”, many dog owners will tell you that your dog simply wants attention. Attention-seeking behavior may lead to dogs laying on top of your lap. After all, what better way to get your attention than by perching on your lap?

If your dog is always laying on top of you, try to spend time with them for a few minutes and see if the behavior continues. Of course, positive attention could also reinforce the behavior.

If the attention-seeking behavior continues, try giving them attention when they’re on the ground instead of on your lap. This will show your dog that they don’t have to be on your lap to receive attention. 


You may own a breed of dog that is more likely to want to be on your lap compared to other dog breeds. There are several noted breeds of dogs that seem to love spending time on their owner’s laps.

Some examples include smaller breeds like Pomeranians, French Bulldogs, and Dachshunds. However, larger breeds like Golden Retrievers like cuddle time as well. If you own one of these breeds, you may not be surprised that they especially love spending time on their owner’s lap. 


If your dog seems to constantly be on your lap when your living space seems cold, they could be seeking warmth. Of course, this will not be an issue for breeds like German Shepherds, Huskies, or other breeds with thick fur.

However, for breeds like Chihuahuas, Greyhounds, and other breeds short-haired dog breeds, cold weather could certainly impact them. Therefore, these dogs love the warmth from the lap of their pet parents.

If your dog frequents your lap in cold weather, try to discern if your pooch is shivering. If your dog seems cold, consider turning up the temperature in your living space or providing blankets to your pooch as they warm themselves with your body temperature.

Your Dog May Have Separation Anxiety

Separation Anxiety is a common condition in many dogs throughout the world. One of the wonderful things about dogs is that they can develop strong bonds with their owners.

While these bonds are very special, they can have disadvantages. For instance, a dog that feels a strong bond with its owner may be especially likely to develop separation anxiety when its owner isn’t around. 

There are plenty of signs that may signify that your dog may have separation anxiety. For instance, your dog may begin to bark, whimper, or hyperventilate when you are preparing to leave your house.

Additionally, your dog may jump onto your lap when it believes that you will be leaving soon. When you leave your house without your dog, your pooch may bark incessantly. These are clear signs that your dog may have separation anxiety. 

When you are sitting around your house, your dog may want to sit on your lap. They may do this to try to prevent you from leaving. Though it is nice to comfort your dog when they’re sitting on your lap, it isn’t realistic that you are constantly with your dog.

It’s good for both you and your dog to be comfortable with alone time. As much as many owners would like to constantly be with their dogs, this is often not feasible. Therefore, owners and dogs should both strive to be comfortable with alone time. 

Dog crate training can help reduce separation anxiety in dogs. Crate training can be a difficult process, but owners who crate train their pooch will be glad that they did.


Another reason that you may find that your dog is always laying on top of you may have to do with their need for comfort. Different dogs may be fearful of different things. Some dogs are afraid of loud noises like thunderstorms or fireworks, while other dogs may be afraid of water or objects.

Whatever the case, a dog may sit on their owner’s lap if they are fearful about something and want to feel secure.


If your dog seems to seek you out after some sort of experience, it is likely afraid of something. If you believe that this is the case, try to provide comfort to your dog. Try to seek out a quiet place for you and your dog to sit until they calm down. You can comfort your dog by making eye contact and giving it a belly rub, scratches, or other physical contact. Prioritize calming them down and conveying that there is no real threat to fear.

Your Dog Is Being Protective

A protective pooch may frequently try to sit on your lap. If your dog seems tense or observant when it’s on your lap, it may be feeling a protective instinct. Encountering another dog or person in your home may prompt your dog to display this behavior.

This could be your dog’s way of conveying the bond that they feel with you to other dogs. 


If your dog displays this behavior when there aren’t any other canine companions or people around, you may want to try to discourage your furry friend from being on your lap.

There’s no problem with your dog showing this behavior every now and then. However, it isn’t healthy for your dog’s protective instinct to constantly compel them to sit on your lap. 

Your Dog Wants You To Focus On Them Instead Of Other Pets

Dogs love attention, and anyone who owns multiple dogs knows that dog jealousy is a real phenomenon. If a dog wants you to pay attention to it instead of another dog, it may try to get your attention by begging, nudging you, or whining.

A jealous dog may also try to win your attention by jumping up onto your lap. It’s hard to ignore when a dog lays perched on your lap, especially when your dog is making eye contact with you.


Some dogs are content with another dog receiving more attention than they do, but other dogs can become jealous when their pet parent shows attention to another dog. Owners can solve this problem by engaging in activities that can involve all of their dogs.

For instance, owners can take their dogs on walks or play games with their dogs so no dog feels left out. Creating an environment where no dog is clearly favored can minimize jealous tendencies in dogs.

Your Dog Can Sense Your Stress Or Anxiety

Dogs are quite perceptive. These creatures have acute senses that can detect when their owners are feeling overwhelmed by some sort of sense. Though your sweet dog may not be professionally trained as a therapy dog, it may instinctually try to comfort you. 

If you find that your dog hops up on your lap when you are stressed or feel anxious, they could be trying to give you comfort. Owners that have a strong bond with their dog can frequently detect when their dog is not acting like itself.

Likewise, dogs that feel a strong connection to their owners can detect when their master is feeling a bit off. A dog sleeping on the lap of its owner can be very soothing.

If you’re lucky enough to have a dog that knows to comfort you when you’re stressed or anxious, consider yourself fortunate to have such a great furry friend. 

It May Be A Learned Behavior

If you have positively reinforced your dog’s behavior when it lays on your lap, that could be enough to prompt it to continue this behavior. Most dogs are more perceptive than people give them credit for, and they can readily develop new habits when they receive positive reinforcement from their owners. 

If you want to know why dogs lay on you, some owners need to evaluate their behavior. Owners that praise a dog for laying on their lap could provide all the incentive that a dog needs to continue their behavior.

Therefore, the reason that your dog may lay on top of your lap all of the time may simply be because you have rewarded them for such behavior. 

Do All Dogs Always Lay On Their Owners? 

dog laying in lap

If your dog lies on you constantly, you may start to wonder if all dogs exhibit this behavior. While you are certainly not alone in your experience, not every dog lays on its owner all of the time.

In fact, some owners do not know what it feels like to have a dog laying on their lap as it enjoys its dog sleep. Remember, every dog is different. Someone else’s experience with their dog will likely not correspond to your experience, so take the time to learn the habits and behaviors of your own dog.

Why Doesn’t My Dog Lay On Anyone Else’s Lap? 

what does a dog laying on you mean

You may notice that your dogs lie on the laps of people that they trust, while they don’t seem to lay on anyone else’s lap other than your own. As an owner, it can be a good feeling to know that your dog seems to enjoy sitting on your lap. However, you may wonder why your dog only sits on your lap. 

The likely reason as to why your dog only seems to sit on your lap is because they have a strong bond with you. Many dogs are naturally cautious around people that they don’t know very well. This means that your dog may only be comfortable enough to sit on your lap. 

Keep in mind that dogs are pack animals that don’t trust outsiders easily. This means that even domesticated dogs will be leery around people who aren’t their owners. Since dogs that sit on your lap likely consider you to be a pack member, these social animals will be content at they lay on their owners.

Your dog may want to only sit on your lap because it might want something from you. For instance, if your dog wants food or dog treats, it may not feel that it can get such an item from anyone else. 

Whatever the case, the bonding process between you and your dog was successful if you can’t stop your dog from laying on your lap.

How Can I Stop My Dog From Laying On My Lap?

why does a dog lie on your lap

Spending quality time with a dog lying on your lap can be a pleasant, comforting experience. Even so, some owners may get frustrated if their dog seems to perch on their lap at any chance that they get.

Therefore, some may want to try to discourage your dog from always sitting on your lap. You may just want to gently push your dog from your lap, but there are better strategies.

Many dogs sleep on their owner’s lap from an early age. If your dog sleeps on your lap, they are likely to view this behavior as acceptable if you allow it. This behavior is perfectly normal, but you may desire behavior modification in your dog down the road if your dog lays on your lap at any chance it gets.

Dogs lay on people that they trust, but will a dog lay on the lap of someone that it views as its master rather than one of its pack members? Yes, but a dog will be more likely to listen to your authority if it views you as its master.

Stopping your dog from sitting on your lap will depend on what compels your dog to lay on your lap. For example, an owner won’t deal with a scared dog the same way that they would deal with a jealous dog. 

No matter the strategy that an owner uses, owners will want to make sure that they show consistent behavior with their dogs. Owners who allow their dogs to sit on their lap one day and scold their dogs another day will confuse their furry friends. 

Therefore, owners will need to make sure they consistently give the same reaction to their dog when it sits on their lap. Avoiding mixed signals will help your dog to develop a habit and learn to avoid sitting on your lap if that’s what you want. 

Tactics For Making A Dog Less Clingy

 If you would like your dog to be less clingy and sit on your lap less frequently, consider these tips:

Give Your Pooch Enough Exercise

Dogs that always sit on your lap may be trying to get your attention to let you know that they want to exercise. Dogs that do not receive enough mental and physical stimulation during the day can quickly become bored. Bored dogs may sit on your lap to let you know that they want to play.

Try taking your dog on a long walk, playing fetch, or taking your dog to the dog park if you think that it needs more exercise. After your dog gets this exercise, monitor their behavior at home to see if they still want to sit on your lap. There is a good chance that your dog will fall asleep soon after returning home because of the exercise that they received. Smaller dogs are especially easy to wear with exercise.

Create A Safe Space For Your Dog

Your dog may want to sit on your lap because it doesn’t feel comfortable in the house. This can be an especially common behavior if you and your dog just moved into a new living space.

Owners can create a safe, personal space for their dog by putting a dog bed or crate in an isolated, quiet place in the house. This will provide your dog with an area to which they can retreat when it gets too loud or overstimulating for them. If your dog is comfortable with their safe space, it will go there rather than your lap.


There are more than a dozen explanations as to why your dog is seemingly always on your lap. Many owners experience this phenomenon, but it can be difficult to determine the exact reasons why your dog displays this behavior.

Many people don’t mind their dogs being on their laps, but it can be frustrating when it seems like your dog is constantly perched on you. Don’t feel guilty if you want your dog to be less clingy, as it is often in your dog’s best interest to be less clingy. If you want to know why your dog seems to spend so much time on your lap, study your dog’s behavior and monitor their activities before, during, and after sitting on your lap.

Pay particular attention to their mannerism when sitting on your lap. Note if your dog seems anxious, alert, relaxed, or excited.

Even if you can’t seem to figure out the exact reason that your dog lays on your lap, try to use some of the tactics mentioned in this article if you wish to stop your dog from constantly lying on your lap.

Though it can be frustrating to have your dog spend so much time on your lap, remember that not all dogs trust their owners enough to engage in this behavior. So, if your dog loves to sit on your lap, consider yourself fortunate to have such a strong bond with your pet.