Have you ever wondered what’s going on in your dog’s mind?
One moment, you’re sitting comfortably on the couch doing hooman stuff…
The next, your dog’s jumping and landing in your lap.
What makes your dog act this way?
Should you be worried about your canine’s mental and physical health?
Read on to learn:
- What you can do to manage this behavior.
- 11 real reasons why your dog jumps on you.
- 5 tips on how to stop your dog from suddenly jumping on you.
- And a lot more…
Why does my dog jump on me when I sit down?
Dogs will jump on you when you sit down because they need your attention. They may also jump on you to invite you to play. Or they just want to show some affection. If they sense something off in their surroundings, they seek comfort from you. Your dog may also be trying to tell you something.
11 reasons why your dog jumps on you when you sit down
#1: It’s their invitation for playtime
“Umm, hooman you’ve been sitting there for a while. Let’s get moving now.”
Dogs are naturally active, and they will jump at you for playtime. They have a lot of energy to spend. So they need fun activities to share with their hoomans.
How would you know that your dog is inviting you to play?
Look out for these signs:
If you wonder if this is normal behavior for dogs… Good news! It is. 🙂
#2: They couldn’t control their excitement
Does your dog jump at you bursting with excitement when you return home? Even if you left them alone for just a few minutes?
Do they seem like they won the lottery while looking at you sitting comfortably?
It’s because excitement is normal behavior among dogs.
For instance, an overly excited pooch is jumping up and down to get your attention.
Their excited behavior might instantly result in scratches or minor bruises on you. This is why you may want to lower down their excitement.
How do you know when your dog is over-excited? Here are the signs:
- Nonstop barking.
- Suddenly jumping on you.
- Spinning around in circles.
- Constantly running and jumping up and down.
What causes over-excitement? Here are a few reasons:
- Pent up energy.
- Being excited yourself.
- New people or environment.
- Arousing your dog with intense physical activities.
You might also like: Why Do Dogs Hump The Air? 9 Real Causes + What To Do
#3: Some dogs always have high-energy
You’re probably wondering where all of your dog’s liveliness is coming from. Even after you just finished playtime.
Your dog’s excitement is not always caused by the reasons mentioned above.
Well, dogs are naturally energetic. They would definitely be jumping on you for no clear reason. It’s because they tend to be so excited about everything.
This is common for most puppies because they are highly active in nature. And they go through different stages before adulthood just like their hoomans do!
10-16 weeks of age
At 10 to 16 weeks of age, you will notice that they’ll become very curious. They will test their boundaries to get to know their surroundings.
4-6 months of age
Puppies at 4-6 months of age will start to mingle with other dogs. They will engage in play-fights.
Your pup will also start to recognize fear. Even the least harmful ones like the sound of a car, moving objects, and a lot more that you did not expect.
6-12 months of age
Puppy energy bursts happen during their 6-12 months of age. As they grow bigger they can finally jump on you to release their puppy energy.
1-2 years of age
Once your puppy reaches 1-2 years of age their energy will start to tone down. Of course, they will still be playful but this can be managed with proper training.
Some dogs may outgrow this as they near age 1 or 2. But for large breed dogs, a few will remain overly energetic up to adulthood.
Dogs have different personalities based on their breed. These dogs naturally have no short supply of energy:
- Irish Setter.
- Russel Terrier.
- Border Collies.
- Siberian Husky.
- Golden Retriever.
- German Sheperd.
- Labrador Retriever.
- Miniature Pinscher.
- Australian Sheperd.
- Shetland Sheepdog.
- Jack Russell Terrier.
- English Springer Spaniel.
If your dog is on this list, then you know where all this energy is coming from. Their genes!
#4: You’re reinforcing the behavior of your dog
“You sit, I snuggle!”
Your dog will act based on how you treat them.
Here’s what I mean:
What do you do when your dog sits on you?
Do you find it cute?
If so, then you’re likely giving your pooch a lot of reinforcement. In the form of cuddles. Or petting. Patting them on the head, giving belly or ear scratches are just a few examples.
As sociable beings, dogs love attention. So when you provide it, they’ll be wanting more. And since they’re having a good time, they’ll associate jumping on you with a great experience.
Then, next time they get the chance, they’ll repeat the behavior. Who can blame them, right?
Check out this article: Why Does My Dog Sit On My Lap? 13 Real Reasons + 5 Tips
#5: Your dog is afraid
Does your dog suddenly jump at you with their ears flattened and their tail is tucked?
Your pooch probably feels threatened.
Most dogs are definitely scared of something. The common reasons are loud noises, strangers, or even other dogs.
Fearful dogs have different ways of reacting when they feel insecure. And one of these is jumping at you to look for comfort.
If your dog is insecure about their environment, it can also cause them to jump on you.
They get closer to you because they feel safer with the space they share with you.
Note: Veterinarians advise you to never ignore your dog when they come to you for comfort. Let them snuggle with you, offer them toys, or simply talk to them in a calming manner until they feel safe again.
Read next: Why does my dog sit so close to me?
#6: Your dog is trying to alert you
“I will protect you at all cost hooman!”
Dogs are man’s best friend, they seek you for comfort but they are also willing to protect you at all cost.
They are known for their keen senses. So they are able to notice if there’s a change in their surroundings.
They may sense danger due to sight, sound, unfamiliar scent. Or the action of the stimulus. This will cause your dog to be defensive.
Your loyal pooch will suddenly jump on you. That’s how they’ll attempt to protect you from the danger.
Did you know that there are dogs who have saved people’s lives?
Here’s a story of a heroic dog:
A rescue dog spots owner’s ovarian cancer
Bob, a rescue dog, was constantly jumping on his owner and hitting his owner’s stomach.
Hazel MacDonnell didn’t realize what her dog is trying to do. Not until she realized her dog was trying to tell her something.
She made the decision to get checked. To her surprise, the doctors found out that she had ovarian cancer. The medical specialist was in awe that Hazel’s dog saved her life.
Hazel MacDonnell was so grateful to her dog. Bob is the reason why she’s still alive.
Like Hazel’s story, your dog could be trying to warn you of something. It could either be something related to your health. Or a potential danger in your environment.
Warning: If your dog is often protective of you, their behavior may develop into aggression towards other people and dogs. Early socialization and good control are advised to prevent territorial aggression among dogs.
#7: Your pooch knows how you feel
You just came home from a long tiring day. You sit on your couch and release a deep sigh.
Suddenly your dog jumps at you and licks your face. In an instant, your day gets brighter.
You could say your dog licked your worries away. But how did your dog know you needed it?
Fun fact: Dogs can sense how humans feel. According to research, your pooch can determine if you’re feeling down. Or if you’re in distress.
In fact, your dog can recognize these emotions through their keen sense of hearing. They can distinguish different kinds of emotions just by listening to you.
Your emotional connection with your dog affects how they act around you. Cheyenne’s inspiring story proves that dogs will always have your back.
Cheyenne, a hero dog, changed a veteran’s life by jumping up to her human when he was on the brink of ending his life.
Cheyenne curled up on his lap and licked his tears away. This dog knew when her human needed her the most.
So the next time your pooch jumps at you when you’re sitting, think about it. Maybe they’re trying to comfort you.
Don’t forget to check out: Why does my dog stand over me?
#8: They are trying to remind you of something
Have you been sitting for a while? Maybe you’ve lost track of time.
In this case, your dog is trying to remind you what part of the day it is.
It may be dinner time already. But you still haven’t filled their bowl. Or it could be time for a potty break. So they’re reminding you that it’s time to go outside.
Your pooch is simply following the routine that you usually do during the day. They will try to remind you by suddenly hopping at you if you forget.
Dogs are creatures of habit. That is why it is important for them to have a structured day. It gives them confidence and security because they know what to expect daily.
If your dog doesn’t follow a structured day, they tend to feel insecure and vulnerable. This may cause your dog to misbehave.
#9: Your pooch is curious
Your pooch has suddenly turned into the canine version of Sherlock Holmes.
They jump on you as if asking,
“Excuse me hooman, may I know what that is?”
Your dog is naturally curious. So expect them to check on something that draws their attention.
Dogs have excellent senses. So they can easily spot a change in the environment. When they do, they’ll investigate.
They will frequently jump at you if you’re occupied with something. It may be a sound from the video you’re watching online. The smell of the food you’re eating. Or an attractive object near you.
Even so, a very curious dog may develop behavioral issues.
How do you know if they are overly curious?
You may notice this with too much sniffing or licking.
Is this behavior bad for your dog?
The answer is no, but you should still do something about it.
You can teach your dog to leave something alone. Start with praising them if they listen to you once you say no. Or give them appropriate things to play with, like toys or puzzles.
#10: They need something
Have you ever hoped that your dog can talk? So you would know what they are trying to tell you?
Well, your pooch has other ways of communicating with you. Like jumping on your lap to get your attention.
Your dog may not speak, but they know exactly what they need. And your pooch knows how to ask for it.
As your pup grows older their personality develops too. So the longer they stay with you, the easier it would be for your dog to communicate with you. And you would know in an instant what they exactly need.
#11: They are trying to greet you
If your dog suddenly dives at you, then they would give you some snoots and boops…
They are actually greeting you!
Notice how dogs greet one another face-to-face and sniff each other? It’s actually their instinct!
Of course, humans are not an exception to this.
“Hooman, I can’t reach, so I jump okay?”
Humans are taller, so your pooch would need to jump on you to do some sniffs and boops.
It’s your dog’s adorable behavior to show that they see you as their companion.
Bonus reason: Your dog is showing you affection
“I am happy because hooman is home!”
It doesn’t necessarily mean that your pooch needs something when they jump at you.
Oftentimes, they simply want your attention. As they would like to show affection to their hoomans.
A secure and loving home nurtures your dog’s capacity to show affection. It’s their way of telling you that they trust you.
Your pooch wants to be near you because your presence makes them feel secure.
Who doesn’t love getting snuggly with their pooch, right? It’s a win-win for hoomans and the doggos.
How do you stop my dog from jumping on me when I sit down? 5 tips
#1: Establish a daily structure for your dog
A structured day is healthy for your dog. They know what to expect during the day. And they are looking forward to finally spend time with you.
That’s why I advise you to create a list of your dog’s favorite things to do. Then schedule these activities in your agenda.
Your pooch will definitely love this time of the day. As they can finally have your undivided time and attention.
Remember to focus all your attention on your dog during this time. Whatever activity you are doing together. Such as playing games, training, walking outdoors, or a cuddle session.
An example of a structured day should look like this:
|– 20-30 minute walk
– An active play session
– The first meal of the day
|Mid-day to Afternoon
– Naptime again or a chance to observe hooman while they work!
|Evening to Night
|– Light play session
– Dinner time
– A short walk for your dog to potty
What if you want to sleep for a bit longer during the weekends?
Or what if it’s a busy workday?
Consider that a very orderly routine might also affect your pooch negatively. Especially, if there is a sudden change.
If you can’t set a specific time for your dog’s activities, just remember to follow your dog’s daily structure.
#2: Control your reaction to their behavior
If your dog suddenly jumps on you when they are excited, you may be compelled to give them the attention they seek. After all, it’s hard saying no to those cute puppy eyes.
However, this reaction will encourage your dog to jump on your lap all of a sudden. Because they know that you will interact with them anyway.
If this is an undesired behavior, you should ignore them and not give them attention until they calm down. Ignoring your dog’s bad behavior can definitely stop them from repeating.
But how can you effectively ignore your dog to make them calm down?
Next time your dog jumps on you, do this:
- Do not say anything to them.
- Do not make eye contact with them.
- Remain silent and turn away from your dog.
- If they persist, exit the room and return after a couple of minutes.
- If your dog tries to jump on you again, leave but for a longer time.
It may feel heartbreaking to ignore your dog. But don’t give in. This will be effective in preventing the behavior.
#3: Teach them basic obedience skills
You can start training them basic obedience skills if your dog seems to understand that you dislike their jumpy behavior.
Train them when to come “up” only when invited:
- When you’re seated, say “up” while you tap on the seat as an invitation for your dog to come up to the couch.
- If they follow your command, reward them with treats and praise them.
- Repeat this until they understand the “up” command even without treats, always remember to praise them.
Teach them how to get “off” when they jump on you:
- Have some snacks near where you usually sit.
- When you observe that they’re going to jump on you, stand up.
- Toss the treats on the ground and say “off”. This should make your dog go down to eat them.
- If they do get off the seat, always praise them and give them a pat on the head.
- Repeat this until they understand the “off” command even without treats, always remember to praise them.
#4: Keep them busy
When your dog has nothing else to do, they will seek your attention to release their pent-up energy. This could develop into destructive behavior.
So it’s important to ensure that your dog gets plenty of activities to release their energy.
Destructive behavior often involves:
- Shaking any toy-like items.
- Destroying or chewing on things.
If your dog does this, you can try giving them a food-dispensing puzzle toy instead.
You can put your dog’s favorite treat inside the toy. It will keep them occupied for hours.
Puzzle toys are beneficial for your dogs. It is a stimulating activity that exercises their mind and body.
If you give your pup stimulating activities to keep them active, it keeps them busy so your pooch is less likely to chew on inappropriate items.
You can also let them sit by the window and set up a safe space for them to observe outdoors.
Schedule daily walks as their exercise, and take time to play with them.
Dogs also love new things. So you can swap their toys from time to time to make their toys interesting.
You should try swapping your dog’s toy once every week. You can also put them away after playtime.
And when you give them their toy back, it would be an exciting event for your pooch.
#5: Create a safe space for your dog
To manage their reaction of jumping on you when they are afraid, you can train them to stay in a crate instead.
Remember that this doesn’t intend to lock them in, your pooch should never feel punished for staying in a crate.
But how long will it take to crate train your dog?
Some dogs might love their crate right away. But there are dogs that might take months before they finally warm up being left in their crates.
You can start by leaving them for a few minutes. Then gradually increase their crate time until they get more comfortable.
To make the crate a safe and comforting space for your dog, you should get a crate that suits their size.
Place the crate near you so they can still feel your presence when they feel insecure.
Allow your dog to come voluntarily in the crate by putting their toys and kibbles inside. Don’t lock the doors right away, and let them settle in first.
And remember to stay patient and consistent.