Dogs lay on their owners as a sign of connectedness to the people they love, much the same as the way humans cuddle. By laying on top of you, dogs signal that you are a part of their pack, and that you give them comfort and security.
Snuggling with your pup is one of the greatest feelings ever, and while it can foster a great connection with your dog, it can be hard to know what your dog is really thinking and feeling.
“Why does my dog lay on me?” If your dog habitually jumps up on top of you, you may be looking to understand why. Is it really a sign of pure affection, or is your dog trying to signal something else to you with this adorable habit?
We’ve delved into the top reasons your dog lays on top of you below. Read on to solve the mystery!
You’re Part of The Pack
Dogs are pack animals, and they conceive of their human friends in the same way as they do their canine pack-mates. In packs, dogs protect and look after each other as they sleep. Sleeping on top of you, or next to you, signals that they consider you a part of their pack and want to take care of you as one of their own.
While this behavior is adorable, it should be monitored closely to ensure the dog does not become overprotective and act out aggressively to people or other dogs that may approach you.
The cuddling could also be a resource guarding behavior, where your dog is trying to show its ownership of you, who he considers a precious resource. On this note, overprotectiveness and resource guarding should be trained out of dogs as soon as possible to avoid aggressive incidents.
Comfort and Closeness
Just as humans do, dogs snuggle up to you because you’re warm and they love you. If you’ve got a close relationship with your dog, chances are they simply adore you and want to be close with you.
For animals, being asleep is being in a very vulnerable state. Sleeping next to you or on top of you helps dogs feel protected and supported in the face of any danger that may come.
Just like with humans, some dogs are naturally more cuddly than others. It comes down to personality! If you think your dog is snuggling up to you for this reason, enjoy it. You’ve fostered a loving environment for your dog, and you deserve the affection!
A Show of Dominance
In the wild, dogs lay on top of one another to assert dominance, and sometimes dogs transfer this behavior to their homes, laying on top of their owners to establish themselves as the leader of the house. If your dog makes a point to habitually lay on top of you, this could be the case.
It’s important to nip this in the bud. Your dog should never feel like he’s in charge, or sets the rules in the house. Setting proper boundaries with your dog, house rules, and designating him a specific sleeping place will help. In these cases, consulting with a trusted dog trainer in your area is a great idea.
Dogs lay on their owners for a variety of reasons, including welcoming you into their “pack”, for comfort, or to show dominance.
Whatever the reason may be for your dog, it’s certainly lovely to have a warm, fluffy friend to snuggle up with. However cute your dog is, it’s important that you implement a proper training plan to prevent any bad behaviors from popping up.
If you’ve got any further questions about your dog laying on you, let us know in the comments below. Happy snuggling!