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Why Does My Dog Sit In Front Of Me? 7 Surprising Reasons

Why Does My Dog Sit In Front Of Me

You’re going to binge-watch your favorite show. 

But just as you press play, your dog decides on the best place ever to sit. It’s between you and the TV.

They glance at you, tongue loosely hanging. They seem very pleased with themselves.

You’re thinking, “Move, doggo!”

But what are they thinking?

Read on to find out:

  • 7 real reasons why your dog does this.
  • What intentions they’re trying to convey.
  • Whether it’s an issue that needs correction.
  • Other signs to help figure out what they want.
  • And so much more…

Why does my dog sit in front of me?

Your dog sits in front of you because they want to protect you. It can also be their way of asking for attention or affection. Or they’re observing you and awaiting your direction. They could also be trying to communicate with you. Or they’re just displaying their trust in you.

7 reasons why your dog sits in front of you

#1: Protection

Your dog is alert while sitting in front of you. This means they’re being protective of you.

“If you want to get to my hooman, you gotta go through me.”

It happens more commonly in unfamiliar places. It could be at the park or other areas with lots of strangers and/or other dogs.

But it could also happen in your own home. Someone they’ve never seen before drops in for a visit. Never mind that it’s your 80-year-old great-aunt. 

Guilty until proven innocent.

They’ll sit between you and this white-haired threat in a wheelchair. 

You might also be interested in: These 13 Signs Show That Your Dog Is Protective Over You

#2: Attention

You get your dog’s attention by calling their name, clapping your hands, or whistling. But they can’t do the same when trying to get your attention.

They could bark, whine, growl, or jump up at you. But perhaps you have a cultured pooch. They prefer a less fussy but highly effective approach.

And out of nowhere, they pop up in front of you and take a seat. 

“Were you looking for me? No? Here I am anyway!”

They’re hoping that since they’re already there, you might as well give them…

#3: Affection 

Dog Receives Affection When They Sit In Front Of You

You can give your dog attention without affection.

For instance, most owners have one-sided conversations with their dogs.

If they’re both in the same room, fur parents can go on and on as if there were another human around. 

Or they could fill the water bowl and stuff the treat dispenser. 

By doing these things, the owner acknowledges their dog’s presence. But trials conducted in a study indicate that dogs can determine the attentional states of their owners. 

They know this attention is divided. And what’s more, it isn’t affection. 

Sitting in front of you is your dog’s way of asking for something more specific.

“C’mon, Hooman. Less talking, more lovin’.”

It’s not enough that you know they’re there. It’s what you do that matters. 

Boop. Pat. Rub. You know the drill. Get to it.

Read more: Top 10 Reasons Why Dogs Are So Affectionate In The Morning

#4: Direction

Dog trainers stress the importance of having your pooch look to you for cues. It’s an essential part of training. Especially leash training.

Sitting in front of you could be a sign that you have a well-trained dog! 

They’re wondering what’s next on the agenda and waiting for your go signal. This could be more so at certain hours of the day. Like if you’re normally supposed to be doing something together.

Maybe you lost track of time. You’re late. That bowl should have been filled with kibble 5 minutes ago!

Or perhaps you follow a routine with your dog. Then something came up. You got the memo but your dog didn’t. And they’re waiting for you expectantly.

“Ready when you are, Dad!”

#5: Observation

Your dog is sitting in front of you because they’re observing you. Of course, we’d love to think of it in a more John Legend way.

“Hooman. What’s going on in that beautiful mind?”

Your dog knows you’re not going to woof the answer to them. So they try to search it out themselves.

Aside from the rest of our body language, research indicates that dogs monitor human faces. They pay special attention to the eyes to figure out a human’s interests and intentions. 

This “gaze following” is something dogs are exemplary at. Not even other primates can top them at it.

A study showed that when put through tasks they couldn’t solve, dogs looked to humans while socialized wolves did not. 

It was determined that wolves don’t possess the ability to look at a human face the way a dog does. 

This ability forms a significant part of the foundation for human-canine communication. 

#6: Communication

Dogs communicate in more ways than just barking. More than whining and growling too. We might not be fluent in their body language but AKC has a lot to say about it.

It’s not as straightforward as semaphore signaling with their tails. But there’s definitely an attempt at communication going on.

Something as simple as your dog sitting in front of you is a loaded message. It could take up several pages if decoded and printed. 

Okay, maybe I’m getting carried away. 

But communication is a hallmark of our relationships with our dogs. It’s one of the key factors that set a human-canine relationship above other interspecies friendships.

And seriously this time, your dog sitting in front of you does mean something.

We’ve already touched on it as a way of asking for attention and affection. But there’s more to it. Especially when coupled with other factors. You’ll learn about them if you stick around. 

#7: Trust

Your normally affectionate dog is sitting in front of you. But their back is turned to you. 

This sends your thoughts racing through your mind. 

You’re beginning to question if it was worth it scolding them. “That was my favorite pair! If they had nibbled on another one, I wouldn’t have scolded them as much!” 

Or you’re wondering if they noticed you sliced the treats into smaller pieces. Oh, that despicable crime!

Relax. Your worries are unfounded. In fact, your dog’s back turned to you should be a cause for joy. 

This position sends a simple message. 

“I trust you, Mom.”

Our dogs’ love for us is not written in scientific stone. Yes, there are indicators that they might feel it. The releases of oxytocin. Their brains lighting up in fMRI scans. And their very obvious displays of affection. 

But some mean people scientists maintain that dogs don’t necessarily translate this chemical and physiological evidence the same way. They might not understand love as we do. 

“C’mon! They don’t wag their tail like that for just anyone!”

While the jury is out on their love for us, there’s one thing that can’t be rebuffed. 

Their trust in us.

When your dog’s back is turned to you, they’re in a vulnerable position. They’re letting their guard down. They do it in full confidence that you’re there. You’ve got their back.

Trust. It’s a beautiful thing.

And you know what? In my book, that also indicates love.

People also ask:

Why does my dog sit in front of me and stare at me?

Your dog sits in front of you and stares at you because they’re trying to read you. 

And perhaps also because they adore you.

Studies have looked at the influence of a “dog’s gaze” on oxytocin levels. 

You’ve probably heard of oxytocin. The “love hormone” or “cuddle hormone,” they call it. It plays a key role in social bonding. 

Researchers found that a long mutual gaze resulted in higher concentrations of urinary oxytocin. Both for owner and dog. 

They called it “a manifestation of attachment behavior” and likened it to the social attachment between mother and infant.

Touching, isn’t it?

Your dog just wants to share a gaze with you. 

And where’s the best seat? Why, right in front of you, of course!

Why does my dog sit in front of me on the toilet?

Your dog sits in front of you on the toilet because they want to protect you and reassure you. 

If they could, they’d even hold your hand. But it’s enough that they made it inside in the first place.

They won’t move an inch when you say “stay” during a walk and you need to tie your laces.

Or at a picnic and you need to get something from the car.

Or outside the convenience store when you need to pop in for a bag of chips.

But you say “stay” outside the bathroom door. And it’s suddenly incomprehensible. It has no meaning. It’s not even a word. It’s just some monosyllabic sound you’re making.

In that moment, they’re more likely to know the 31.4 trillion decimal places of Pi than the meaning of “stay.”

Come hell or high water, they’re going to watch you poop. Hey, you watch them too. Fair’s fair. 

But strange as it may sound, they really are returning the favor. 

When your dog poops, they feel vulnerable. It’s why they look at you while relieving themselves. They need reassurance.

While you’re perfectly content to browse your phone on the toilet, your dog doesn’t know that. 

All they understand is that you’re going to poop. You’re going to be vulnerable and defenseless. Or at least that’s what they think.

So like the loyal companion they are, they’re going to be there for you. And they’re going to let you know that by sitting in front of you.


While you’re on the toilet.

Further reading: Top 10 Reasons Why Dogs Follow You To The Bathroom

Why does my dog sit in front of me and whine/cry?

Your dog sits in front of you and whines or cries because they’re demanding your attention and help.

Let’s look at the current circumstances worldwide.

What I mean is the COVID-19 pandemic. It has ravaged the world. Dogs don’t understand what’s happening. But one delightful thing they do know, mom and/or dad is always home now!

Whether you’re working from home or just focused on something else, your dog will want your attention. And they’ll try to get it every now and then.

There are many ways they can achieve this. They could whine from the other side of the room. Or while walking near your seat. Or even while standing at your side.

But sitting in front of you and whining/crying is a clear statement.

“I’m not going anywhere until you help me, Dad!”

Your dog has reached a point of desperation and they’re putting their bum foot down.

Help them, Dad!

Why does my dog sit in front of me and bark?

Your dog sits in front of you and barks because they’re trying to tell you something. But exactly what they want to say depends on how they’re barking at you.

Barking is the dog’s primary means of communication. They can convey different signals by changing the pitch, frequency, and duration of the bark. 

But knowing what your dog is trying to say with a bark is sometimes not enough. Their body language can tell you more. 

You’d expect your dog to be active on all fours if there’s a stranger approaching your house. 

Or if they’re trying to get you to go see the neighbor’s cat that had the audacity to peep into your living room window. 

So why are they barking while sitting

Just as we talked about in the previous question, your dog sitting is a statement. They need something from you and they’re going to sit there until you give it to them.

But we mostly think of barking as a sign of playfulness or warning. We don’t always consider that a dog also barks when they are frightened or lonely.

So when your dog sits in front of you and barks, they’re not trying to get you to go anywhere. They just want some love and reassurance.