It’s been a long day.
You’re relaxing on your couch, scrolling through your phone.
Then suddenly your fur baby jumps up and…
…walks and stands over you!
You look at them, and they’re just still.
As if their dogmmander-in-chief told shouted, “Attention!”
It becomes too hot.
They might even be too heavy.
You let out a loud sigh and ask yourself, “What’s going on in your mind, baby?”
Read on to learn:
- 13 odd reasons for this behavior.
- Whether or not it is something you need to worry about.
- 5 tips you can do to help stop why your dog stands over you.
- And a lot more…
Why does my dog stand over me?
Your dog stands over you because they are being protective, need something from you, and are generally comfortable in that position. They could also be looking for attention and want you to go out and play with them. Another reason would be that you unwittingly trained them to do this.
13 reasons why your dog stands over you
#1: “Protect the hooman!”
It’s not a surprise to know that your dogs love you.
Especially if you are loving and caring towards them too.
Because of this, they want to protect you.
After all, as part of their natural instinct, they want to guard anyone that is part of their pack.
Pack mentality is common in dogs.
This is because they are kin to wolves who hunt, travel, and survive in the wild as a pack.
If they see you as a part of it, they naturally want to keep you safe. You are seen as someone important to them.
“Ohh. Aren’t they just trying to dominate me by pinning me down?”
Quite the opposite!
According to Dr. Debra Horwitz, the notion that wolves, a close relative of dogs, think that someone is dominant and there is a hierarchy in their pack is untrue.
There is no evidence supporting wolves and dogs wanting to rise in the hierarchy and constantly battling with the “leader”.
What’s more, wolves always look out for other members of the pack.
They let the younger members eat first. And they rarely pin other members (often interpreted as dominance behavior).
So you see, your dog isn’t trying to dominate you.
Sometimes, that’s all there is to it – they want to protect you because they love you.
Continue reading: These 13 Signs Show That Your Dog Is Protective Over You
#2: “I feeling anxious, hooman. Gib hugs pls. :(”
Kids getting injured while playing is pretty common.
They could be running or jumping down from a ramp and then suddenly…
You hear a screaming kid looking for their mom or dad.
It’s pretty normal for humans to look for company whenever they are scared, hurt, or feel anxious.
Dogs function the same way!
“They feel anxious, too?”
Yes, they do!
It is an unwanted feeling but is very common and normal in dogs.
Anxiety is something that dogs experience from time to time.
And there are a number of causes of anxiety in dogs.
It could be either of the following:
- Age-related anxiety.
- Fear-related anxiety.
- Separation anxiety disorders.
However, when a dog trusts you, they find your presence calming and helpful during these times.
They want to feel you are there like how you’ve always been.
A few comforting words and pets can help alleviate this feeling in your dogs.
#3: “Hey. HEY! It’s playtime!”
Jumping up and down?
Unruly and very energetic?
Yep, it could be that they’re trying to remind you of one of the most important activities you need to do.
Playtime with your pooch!
This is essential to your fur babies.
It helps them stay active and live healthier lives.
Playtimes may also affect your dog’s mental health positively.
These types of activities also help keep your dog away from the growing problem of obesity in their kind.
Research shows that around 22 to 40% of dogs around the world suffer from obesity.
While it’s funny and cute to look at a chonky dog who is an absolute unit, it is unhealthy for them.
Playtime is an indicator of the quality of the relationship between dogs and their hooman.
The playful characteristic of dogs is also their way to form an emotionally based relationship with you.
#4: “I love you and this is how I show it!”
Dogs can show affection in a number of ways.
Dogs have even been found to like kisses and it’s likely they love giving them to you, too!
I mean, c’mon, who among us dog parents haven’t received sloppy kisses from our pooch regularly?
Another way they do this is by being close to you.
And I mean physically close to you. You may notice them leaning on you when you’re sitting down together on the couch.
Jumping up on you and standing over you is also one way they make known of their affection towards you!
The next time you see your pooch in this position with a wagging tail and a wide toothy smile, tell them you love them, too!
You might also like: Why does my dog sit so close to me?
#5: “You like this, right? Then, imma stand here!”
Yep, sometimes dogs do something because they think you like it.
Much like any other behavior in dogs, it can be altered or be encouraged.
This goes both for acceptable and unwanted ones.
It may have been that you were unconsciously training your dogs to stand over you.
“Training them? Unconsciously? Uhhh… how?”
Dogs are intelligent beings.
On top of that, they also like to make you happy!
If you pet and give cuddles to your dogs whenever they stand over you, they could interpret the behavior as something you like.
This is how you might’ve trained them unwittingly.
Giving hugs, treats, or even greeting them with a happy “Hello!” could help encourage the behavior.
Although, I can’t blame you. They’re so lovable and cuddly we can’t stop ourselves from showering them with attention.
#6: “Hmmm… hooman, are you okay?”
*Sniff sniff* yeah, something might be off with you today. Will hugs help?”
Dogs learn about their surroundings through smell.
And as curious beings, it is common behavior for dogs to sniff you and try to check on you.
Dogs are also known to try and comfort their hooman when they feel they are in distress.
Research shows that canines can evaluate human emotions and they respond accordingly.
In the study, dogs were exposed to humans who were crying, and another group of dogs to humans who were humming.
Amazingly, dogs who heard crying came to the rescue faster than those who only heard humming.
This is why sometimes dogs go near you when they think you are sad or are in distress.
Your pooch then tries to evaluate how you feel.
It’s easier and simpler for them to study your mood if they are closer to you.
#7: “Uhm, hooman, I is hunger. :(“
Dogs operate on routines.
They can remember when it’s time for playing, rest, and meals.
Whenever they stand over you, they could be trying to get your attention.
It’s best to check what time it is and what activities you usually engage in during that period.
You might also wanna check the amount of food you’re feeding your pooch.
If they are constantly hungry, their meals might be inadequate.
The amount of food will depend on their weight, age, and activity level of your fur baby.
Most dog food packaging helps you out on this.
Check the label and you might find a dog feeding chart.
An example can be found here.
It is important to keep your fur baby healthy through their meals to avoid malnutrition.
“Oh no, how do I know if they are underfed and malnourished?”
Here are a few symptoms you might wanna be on the lookout for:
- Fur loss.
- Dull coat.
- Body odor.
- Bad breath.
- Bowed limbs.
- Skin disorders.
- Stunted growth.
- Increased allergies.
- Frequent infections.
- Excessive shedding.
- Weight loss or an inability to gain weight.
- Inconsistent or unusual bowel movements.
Quick tip: if you want to feed your dog a few times a day, just cut the suggested amount in half.
Then you can feed your dog twice a day without overfeeding them!
Reading tip: 7 Surprising Reasons Why Your Dog Chews On Blankets
#8: “Wherever you go, I go!”
Are you familiar with velcro?
Those sticky and loud materials you have on your shoes or bags?
They cling hard just like some dogs. And it’s no coincidence I mention it because these canines are called…
These dogs want to be beside their owners most of the time.
You’ll notice this when they always follow you wherever you walk.
Some people call them clingy but it’s just how they are.
It’s part of their DNA being bred to always be with their owners.
Examples of velcro dogs are lap dogs such as the following:
- Shih Tzu.
This type of dog breed is more likely to be dependent on humans.
Another would be working dogs such as:
- Alaskan Malamute.
- German Shepherd.
- Doberman Pinscher.
You might also want to check out: Top 10 Reasons Why Your Dog Sits So Close To You
#9: “Wake up human, it’s time for… uhh… just wake up!”
Nothing beats a good sleep.
You feel the coziness of your bed and the cold pillow under your head.
Then suddenly you feel something on you.
Warm, furry, and cute…
It’s your pooch!
“What are you doing here, baby?”
Sometimes, our furry babies stand over us to wake us up.
There are a number of reasons why your dog does this some them would be:
#10: “Uhmm… hooman, I need to pee”
Have you ever experienced being forced out of your cozy couch because your pooch has to go?
Dogs have to wake you up when they have to go to the bathroom.
Especially when you trained them to go to the bathroom with you.
Since part of their routine is having you nearby during bathroom times, it is natural they would call upon you when nature calls.
#11: “What’s that? Hooman, something just scared me…”
Loud noises, large insects moving around, shadows…
Anything can scare our furry babies.
Because they feel safe and secure when you’re around it is normal behavior that they’d go to you.
Help them calm down by providing positive stimuli.
Gentle petting can alleviate fear and distract them from what scared them.
Talking to them calmly and soothingly would also help them simmer down.
#12: “I want cuddles, please”
Who can ignore those soft puppy eyes when they look at you?
I know I can’t!
Dogs are very affectionate beings and love getting attention from their humans.
Research says that any positive interaction from you can give your dogs oxytocin.
This is why they love cuddling with you!
It releases a hormone that is related to positive emotional states.
Oxytocin is also highly involved in forming healthy relationships.
Whenever they jump up and stand over you, try hugging them.
They just might miss you and want to feel that you love them, too!
#13: “*Sigh* I. Am. Bored.”
Yep, they feel boredom, too!
They don’t have anything else to do?
Might as well stand over you.
This is especially true with active dogs such as working dog breeds.
Canines who are bred to work and have high energy levels will be bored out of their mind. If you don’t give them any tasks they can tackle that is.
When this happens, you can let them help out with daily house chores.
Make them feel like they are part of your daily tasks.
You can also teach them to pick up their toys after playing.
Simple games like fetch are a beneficial playtime activity you can give them.
It’s normal for active work dogs to feel bored when doing nothing.
After all, it’s in their DNA to not be a couch potato!
5 tips to stop your dog from standing over you
Not everyone is okay with their dog standing over them.
It could cause a distraction from work or anything important.
Some people might also have health issues that might worsen when pets stand over them and eventually sit on top of them.
Whatever your reason for changing this behavior, I’m here to help you out.
Here are a few things you can do:
#1: Don’t encourage the behavior
If your dog standing over you is a behavior you want gone, you should stop encouraging them to do so.
One reason why dogs do something is because they think their humans like it.
“But how am I making them think this way?”
Cuddles, hugs, pets, gentle and calming words – these are all reactions from you that they interpret as something positive.
Whenever they do something, and you react this way, it is easy for them to think, “Hey, my hooman pets me when I stand over them… I should do this more!”
Instead of accidentally training them to repeat this unwanted behavior, you can alter it.
Start by letting your fur baby know what you want.
In this case, gently let them know your body is not something they should stand over on.
Slowly bring them down if you can carry them.
If they are relatively heavy, you can use treats to lead them where you want them to.
Whenever they quickly follow your cues for them to go down, reward them with treats and pets.
#2: Provide them a specific sitting area
…And train them to sit there.
Look, if you do not want your pooch standing over you, you have to designate an area where they can stay.
It could be a small corner in the living room or in your bedroom.
You can also use dog beds and other relaxing spots that they can call their own.
Your fur baby is an intelligent being and can learn quickly if you properly train them.
“Wait. Aren’t dog seats expensive?”
There are expensive ones but you don’t have to buy them.
The things that matter in dog seats and beds are the following:
- Material used.
- The sturdiness of the cushion.
Having a water-repellent material in your doggie seat or bed is preferred.
They might accidentally pee or bring anything wet on their seats which is not desirable.
Sturdiness also comes into play.
If the cushion isn’t good, your dog’s experience sitting in it might be affected.
It could also cause discomfort to your dogs and would cause uneasiness.
Regarding its size, adequate space should be provided for your fur babies.
A good estimate would be to measure your dog from their nose to the base of their tail.
After taking the length, add 6”-12” (15 cm. to 30 cm.) to the length you measured.
That should be enough for your pooch to comfortably sit in.
#3: Always be mindful of their routines
If you don’t want to be constantly reminded of the activities that you need to do with your fur babies, be mindful of them!
It’s better to have alarms than have your pooch stand over you whenever they wanna do something that’s part of their routine.
Simple things like feeding time and playtime should already be inserted into your daily schedule.
Bathroom runs with you could also be lessened if you train them to go by themselves.
As mentioned, dogs are creatures of routine. And for most of the time, they’d likely stick to it.
#4: Watch out and remove stressors
Well, you know how it is with dogs when they get scared and stressed – they come to you for comfort.
This is especially true if you have a healthy and loving relationship with them.
“So what are examples of stressors that I can eliminate?”
One common thing that agitates dogs is loud noises.
If you listen to loud music, it can affect their mood and stress levels.
Well, it won’t be as bad as when the 4th July fireworks are flying.
But it will still cause them to feel uneasiness and stress.
Shouting and quarreling could also spell trouble for your dogs.
Dogs mirror the mood that you are in.
If you are stressed, their cortisol levels also increase with you.
Research has proven that our dogs match the level of our stress.
#5: Don’t mind them
Assess whether or not this behavior really is detrimental to your life.
If it isn’t affecting anything negatively, then letting your dog do their thing would also be good.
Generally speaking, there is nothing wrong with your dog standing over you.
As long as they don’t show signs of being agitated and getting aggressive towards you, you’re good.
This is just their way of showing love, trust, and care for you.
Look, if our dogs feel these things towards us, aren’t we lucky?
Frequently asked questions
Why does my dog stand over me when I lay down?
Dogs stand over you when you lay down because they want to be close to you, are trying to grab your attention, or are looking for comfort.
This is a pretty common behavior in dogs.
They easily find comfort and safety in your presence and would go to you when they need it.
Your dog could also be trying to protect you.
As a part of their pack, they will instinctively come to defend you.
Sleeping makes you vulnerable to attacks and this could be why your dog guards you by standing over you.
Why does my dog stand over me when I sleep?
Dogs stand over when you sleep because they are trying to wake you up. Dogs have routines and might be reminding you it’s time for food, going out, or playtime.
Whenever the usual time for activity comes, they anticipate and are excited for you to do it with them.
Make sure that you remember their routine. This way you’ll prevent your dog from standing over you.