Cuddling with your fur baby is the best feeling in the world.
Sometimes, they even go the extra mile.
They’ll climb into your chest and sit there forever.
I guess you’re wondering why they do it.
Well, you’ve come to the right place!
Continue reading to find out:
- If your dog’s doing this out of protective instinct.
- 11 strange reasons why your dog sits on your chest.
- Whether it’s a habit you should stop them from doing or not.
- And many more…
Why does my dog sit on my chest?
Your dog sits on your chest because of affection, attention, comfort, or anxiety. They could also do this when they want to play, protect you, or they miss you. It could also be because they’re clingy, asking for something, resource guarding or, you’ve encouraged them to do it.
11 reasons why your dog sits on your chest
#1: Your dog is showing they love you
“I love you so much, I’m gonna lay here for a while.”
Do you know that dogs actually love physical contact? They especially enjoy getting it from their favorite human.
So when they go into your chest, they may simply want your affection.
It’s their own way of showing you they love you. And it makes them feel loved as well.
There are other ways dog show their affection. These are the following:
- Sleeping near you.
- Holding eye contact.
- Leaning against you.
- Guarding while you eat.
- Being excited to see you.
- Checking up where you are.
- Sharing with you their favorite toy.
Researchers say that when you interact with your pup, high levels of oxytocin are released in the blood.
“Oxytocin? What’s that?”
Dogs and humans release this hormone when touching, hugging, or during any positive social interaction.
That’s why it’s also called the “love hormone”. And this can benefit you in so many ways.
Engaging in physical contact with your pooch helps in:
- Relieving stress.
- Lessening anxiety.
- Lowering of heart rate.
- Combating depression.
- Reducing blood pressure.
- Improvement of physical health.
Plus, letting your dog sit on your chest is also a great way to build a strong bond with them.
#2: Your dog wants your attention
“Hey, hoooman! Remember me? Your best bud?”
After a long day at work, you lie on your couch to relax. Your dog excitedly brings you a toy but you ignore them.
And suddenly… Boop! Your pup places their butt on your chest.
Now think, are you giving your furry friend enough attention? If you don’t, they’ll do anything to get it.
So if they keep on sitting on your chest, they’re probably trying to get you to notice them.
It’s important to note that dogs are highly sociable creatures. And they’ll need attention from their humans every day.
If continuously ignored, it might lead to attention-seeking behavior.
When this happens, you’ll notice them excessively doing the following:
This may look annoying but understand that they don’t do it out of hate to you.
Sometimes, we tend to react negatively to these attention-seeking behaviors. For example, pushing them away once they sit on your chest.
This usually results in reinforcing the behavior rather than discouraging it.
Remember that any attention is rewarding to dogs. So even if you continue pushing them, they will still keep doing it.
“So, how can I prevent this behavior?”
Other than providing them with enough attention, here are tips you can apply:
- Establish a routine and be consistent.
- Make sure they get enough exercise (A tired dog is a happy dog).
- Don’t ignore your dog when they’re doing what you want them to.
- Don’t interact with them and leave the room when they start climbing on you.
#3: Your dog misses you
“Where have you been? I missed you!”
When you’ve been away from your parents or partner… What’s the first thing you do when you see them?
You hug them, right? It’s the same way with dogs when they excitedly jump at you.
And some may even sit on your chest to show how much they missed you.
Fun fact: Your dog can tell how long you’ve been gone and when you’re coming back by using scents.
Watch this heartwarming video of dogs seeing their owners after they’ve been apart:
You can actually determine if your dog misses you when you’re gone.
Here are the following signs:
- Waiting by the door.
- Sitting by the window.
- Following you around the house.
- Getting excited when they see you.
- Whining when you’re about to leave.
However, be aware as this may lead to separation anxiety.
Which I’ll discuss in detail below…
#4: Your dog doesn’t want you to leave
Another reason your pup sits on your chest is that they might be feeling anxious.
And they don’t want you to leave. Ever.
They put their weight on you in an attempt to stop you from leaving.
When they do this, they could be afraid of being alone.
Dogs who are often left at home by themselves are prone to developing separation anxiety.
To know if your pooch has separation anxiety, watch out for the following signs:
- Attempting to escape.
- Urinating in the house.
AKC mentioned that these signs are often the reason why owners get rid of their dogs.
When in fact, it could be treated by using a few simple approaches.
Consider doing the following:
- Ensuring they’re properly socialized.
- Providing physical and mental exercise.
- Counter-conditioning and desensitization.
- Staying calm whenever you leave and return home.
- Creating a positive association with being left alone.
I know it can be exhausting to see your dog in distress. But with patience and consistency, your pup will overcome it in no time.
Interesting fact: Researchers show that lack of exercise is the major cause of separation anxiety in dogs.
Check out also: 17 Reasons Why Your Dog Is So Clingy All Of Sudden + 7 Tips
#5: Your dog wants to play with you
“Mommy, it’s time to have fun!”
If you notice your pooch excitedly sitting on your chest. With their tails wagging and making eye contact.
They could be asking you to play with them.
Play is an important part of a dog’s overall well-being. It provides them with a lot of benefits.
It’s a way for them to relieve stress and boredom. It helps keep their mind sharp and focused.
It also keeps them physically healthy and improves their coordination.
So if your beloved pup asks you to play, don’t hesitate to have fun with them.
The most common thing they would do to invite someone to play is the “play bow”.
But they may also show other cues like the following:
- Leaning posture.
- Exposing their belly.
- Dropping a toy at your feet.
There are certain dog breeds that enjoy playing than others.
So if your pup is one of these, prepare yourself with a lot of energy to play:
- Britanny Dog.
- Jack Russel Terrier.
- Australian Sheperd.
- Portuguese Water Dog.
- English Springer Spaniel.
- Golden and Labrador Retriever.
#6: Your dog is asking for something
Your pooch could sit on your chest for the simple reason that they’re asking for something.
Maybe you forgot their daily exercise. And they’re asking for a walk.
Or maybe they saw you hiding their treats. And they’re asking you to hand them the yummy snacks.
They might also be doing this because they’re hungry. And they’re requesting you to prepare a meal.
Whatever it is, climbing on your chest is their way to see if you would give in to their requests.
And I know you would. Because sometimes, we just can’t resist our lovely fur babies.
Note: If you always do what they ask when they sit on your chest, the more likely they’ll do it again.
You might also want to know: Why Does My Dog Get In My Face? 9 Reasons + 6 Tips
#7: You encourage them to sit there
“My hooman’s chest is my personal sitting area.”
If you’re allowing them to sit on your chest every time you lie down, they’ll learn that it’s okay to do it.
And if you give them attention when they do this, the more you’re encouraging them to do it again.
Dogs view attention as a reward. And this makes them think this is good behavior.
We’ve all been guilty of encouraging our dogs to learn unwanted behaviors.
Sometimes, we don’t even notice doing it.
But no worries, we can always train our pups to unlearn these behaviors.
AKC suggests doing the following:
- Being consistent.
- Rewarding positive behaviors.
- Letting them have enough exercise.
- Training them with basic obey commands.
#8: Your dog wants to keep you safe
“I sit on you to guard you.”
Dogs are such loveable creatures. They’re called a man’s best friend for a reason.
They’d do anything for us. And this includes protecting us with their lives.
And this could be the reason why your pooch sits on your chest.
Sitting there keeps them as close to you as possible. This makes it easier for them to keep you safe.
Did you know that there are dog breeds that are more protective than others?
Thes most protective dog breeds are the following:
- Belgian Malinois.
- Giant Schnauzer.
- German Sheperd.
- Doberman Pinscher.
- Rhodesian Ridgeback.
Be aware though and make sure they don’t become overly protective.
You’d notice this once they act like a jealous partner. Not letting others come near you and keep following you around.
An example of this is when your pooch growls when a person approaches you.
If you let the person leave rather than stop your dog. They learn to do it again.
This is another behavior we don’t realize we’re teaching them to do.
And the problem with this is if your dog becomes overprotective, it may lead to aggression.
The first thing you can do is make sure they’re well-socialized. You can also train them with the “gradual introduction method”.
This can be done with these 6 steps:
- Slowly moving towards a person or pet.
- Check if they show positive behavior while interacting
- If they do, reward them with praise or treat.
- If they show signs of agitation, keep them away.
- Once they’re away, command them to sit and make them calm
- Repeat the process until they’re successful.
Important: It’s best to seek the advice of a professional trainer once the behavior becomes aggressive.
#9: Your chest is a comfortable and warm spot
“My doggy bum likes the warmth of your chest.”
Sometimes, we don’t exactly know what dogs are thinking. And why they do the strange things they do.
There may be days you see them comfortably resting in your chest. As if never wanting to climb down.
And you’re just lying there wondering why.
Well, your pup could be doing this because they see your chest as a warm place to sit.
You might notice them doing this during the cold weather. They will find ways to regulate their temperature.
And if they find your body warm, they’ll climb it to keep themselves comfortable.
You can also help your dog keep warm by:
- Getting a dog winter coat.
- Providing them with extra beddings.
- Placing their sleeping area in a warm location in the house.
#10: Your dog likes being close to you
When your pooch sees you as their favorite person. They’ll want to be as close to you as possible.
And what other way to stay close than sitting on your chest?
When they boop their butt on your chest, they also leave a scent on you.
This scent is a message to other dogs to stay away from you. Because you already have the best bud in the world.
Interesting fact: Dogs have a pair of sacs in their rear end that releases pheromones. These are chemical messages that dogs use to communicate with each other.
Relax, there’s nothing wrong with your pooch wanting to be near you.
But if you notice them always following you around. Or always staying at places where you are.
Then you might want to check if your pup is becoming clingy.
Sometimes, an independent dog can suddenly display signs of clinginess. And here are the possible reasons why:
- Old age.
- Change in routine.
- Underlying health problems
PetMD mentions the following strategies to reduce this behavior:
- Increasing exercise.
- Stimulating their mind.
- Creating their own space.
Further reading: Why Does My Dog Sit Behind Me? 13 Weird Reasons + 5 Tips
#11: Your dog is resource guarding
Once your pup sees you as something valuable to them, they might become possessive of you.
This leads to them “resource guarding” your chest. And you as a whole.
“What’s resource guarding?”
This happens when your pup reacts to people or animals they see as a threat to their valuables.
An example of this is a dog growling when you come near their food.
Another is when they bare their teeth when you’re touching their toys.
And this could become a problem if they continue showing signs of aggression.
If they’re resource guarding you and someone comes near, they might turn to biting just to keep others away from you.
Caution: It’s important to do immediate action when you see any signs of resource guarding. Don’t let it escalate as it may put you and your dog in danger.
The first thing you should do is immediately seek the advice of a behavior consultant.
Other ways you can do to help your pup are the following:
- Letting them eat in peace.
- Managing their environment.
- Teaching them the “drop it” and “leave it” commands.