What Does It Mean When a Dog Likes Sitting on Top of You?

"You are the warmest spot in the house!"

"You are the warmest spot in the house!"

Your pooch snuggles up with you no matter what you are doing. Whether you are watching TV or lying in bed, she always has to be right there -- on top of you. She is probably just being friendly, although sometimes, she could be aiming to turn herself into the pack leader.

Showing Affection

During your peak season at work, you might not be spending quite as much time with your hound. Surely you notice this as soon as you walk in the door. Roxy jumps up and down and yaps away, telling you all about her day. The split second you sit down, she curls up on your lap or even on the back of the sofa next to your head, just to show you some love.

Spreading Scent

Roxy wants you to be hers and only hers. She covers you with her special perfume that you can’t smell, but every other dog in town can. Dogs share scents by pawing at you and rubbing you with their faces. This way when you head out to work, no other dog can claim you -- in her mind anyway.

Getting Warm

While you may be unaware, you are actually a perfect space heater for your canine companion. It could be a little chilly near Roxy’s crate so as soon as you let her out, she nestles up on top of your lap to warm up. You are the warmest spot in the house, and she even gets rewarded for her snuggling when you pat her on the head.

Being Dominant

When Roxy wanders over and claws her way up your legs begging to be picked up, she could be showing a bit of her dominant side, reports Cesar’s Way. Canines, by nature, have a pecking order in the pack. Clearly you should be the pack leader, since you provide food, shelter, care and guidance. But Roxy may try to overcome your leadership and test you once in a while. She will climb her way to the highest point she can -- up next to your head -- and sit right between the sofa cushion and your shoulder. Or while you are sleeping, she will lie on your stomach, making her feel like the leader of the pack.

Special Considerations

It might be cute right now, but Roxy’s subtle way of sitting on top of you could lead to problems down the line. She might test you further by growling at you, snapping, pulling on her leash during a walk or begging for food until you give it to her, notes the ASPCA. While it is OK to let your beloved pal curl up on you, it needs to be on your terms. She can only get on top of you when you allow it and she has to get off as soon as you ask her to. If she doesn’t play by your rules, she will lose the privilege of being able to get close to you.

 

About the Author

Melodie Anne Coffman specializes in overall wellness, with particular interests in women's health and personal defense. She holds a master's degree in food science and human nutrition and is a certified instructor through the NRA. Coffman is pursuing her personal trainer certification in 2015.

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