Why Does My Dog Like To Stand On Me?

Why Does My Dog Like To Stand On Me? All Reasons Explained

My pet dog often tries to stand on me whenever I lie on my couch. What does it mean if your dog likes or tries to stand on you all the time? Is it a way of trying to dominate you? Is it to show their love and affection, or is it because they ask for something?

Dogs communicate their emotions through different behavioral traits and gestures. In this article, we will examine why dogs try to stand on their owners.

Suppose you come home after a while or keep sitting on your couch watching TV; you might notice how your dog tries to stand on your legs or chest.

So, why does your dog like to stand on you? This may happen due to several reasons. Some of the common reasons are affection, care, protection, attention, and dominance. As mentioned, dogs use different gestures to indicate their emotions, so they attempt to stand on the owners primarily due to given reasons.

If you own a dog, you might have experienced this situation on several occasions. Sometimes you might not get very bothered by it, but if your dog keeps doing it constantly, it might spark some curiosity within you to figure out why it happens.

So this article will help you understand this concern comprehensively. Without further ado, let’s get started. 

Why does my dog like to stand on me?

As pointed out in the previous section, what typically drives a dog to stand on its owners is its urge to communicate with them.

What they try to communicate might vary from time to time, but the majority of the time, it is a way that dogs express their love and loyalty to their owners.

However, there could be other underlying reasons too. Let’s have a look at them. 

  • Affection 

We all know that dogs and humans are exceptional companions. Dogs love their owners with all their hearts and do not hesitate to show their love through different gestures. One such gesture is standing on your chest or legs.

When your dog leans into your chest, it shows they love you and care for you. Moreover, when they do it, they can feel your heartbeat and the warmth of your body which makes the dog feel soothed.

On the bright side, it will be beneficial for you as well. When dogs stay closer to you, it helps you bond better with the pet, making your dog love you more. 

  • Attention

Dogs are attention seekers. When they feel like owners are not giving attention to them, they will try to get it somehow.

So dogs stand on the owners and attempt to become the center of attention. If your dog stands on you, do not simply ignore them. Show that you pay attention; it will make your pooch happy. 

  • Protection 

Dogs are not only friendly but also highly protective. How do they protect their owners? Well, this depends on one dog to the other because not all dogs have the same personalities.

Some dogs stand on their masters as a gesture of protection. This can be seen among guard dogs. They always have the will to protect owners, and by standing on the owners, they want to indicate that they will be there to protect you. 

  • Playtime or feed time 

If your pet dog is bored and wants to do something, it will come to you and try to stand on you as a way of asking you to come and play.

Moreover, if you take your dog to regular walks or have a specific play time, your dog will spontaneously come to you and stand on you as a reminder.

Also, when your dog is hungry, that is also sometimes indicated through standing on you. 

  • Illness

While the above mentioned reasons are the most common ones which make dogs stand on you, there could be some other reasons behind this behavior too.

For instance, if your dog feels sick, it will try to stand on you to indicate to you that they are in pain and seek comfort. Notice if you see unusual behavior in your dog along with this, like lethargy and loss of appetite; if so, it could be because your dog is sick.

Remember, illnesses are not only limited to physical ones; if your dog feels stressed or anxious for some reason, that will also lead them to this behavior. By standing on your chest or legs, they try to gain reassurance that they are safe. 

  • Dominance 

Do dogs attempt to dominate their masters? This can be a little controversial. Dogs are considered domestic animals; however, they have a pack mentality embedded within them, which is natural.

In most cases, dogs see their owners as the pack leader, but there could be times when they attempt to be the pack leader instead.

Usually, dogs growing up in a household do not try to dominate their owners, but this differs according to the personality of the dog, also the way you raise the dog.

So if your dog has a dominant personality, they try to enforce its dominance by standing on you. 

Why is my dog trying to stand on me?

As mentioned above, there isn’t one fixed reason for your dog to stand on you, but it could happen for several reasons. So if your dog tries to stand, you might raise the question of how to figure out the exact reason for your dog to pursue this behavior.

If your dog usually tries to stand on you when you come home after a long day or as a habit, that is a way of showing their love to you. But if your dog is desperately trying to stand on you, that could be to get your attention.

If they try to stand on you and seem to have a low mood, that could be because they are sick and seeking comfort. If the dog tries to stand on you somewhat aggressively, that shows its attempt to establish its dominance.

Likewise, the reasons may vary, and the best way to understand the exact cause is to be observant of the dog’s normal behavior. However, this is how dogs express their love most of the time. 

Why does my dog like to stand on my chest?

Dogs usually like to stand on your chest because they find it warm and comfortable. Human beings seek love; we want to feel safe and comfortable around the people we love, and the same with dogs.

When they stand on your chest, they feel more connected to you, and it will make the dog happy. It is also a way of showing that they love and protect you.

Furthermore, when dogs have a strong bond with you, they will quickly sense if you are in a bad mood. So if the dog feels like you seem to look upset, it will stand on your chest to show that they care for you. 

Why does my dog like to stand on my legs?

At certain times your dog might stand on your chest, and as mentioned above, it mostly happens as a way of them showing their love for you.

There are also times when your dog might try to stand on your legs. Is there a particular reason for that? Whether standing on your chest or legs, it is not easy to distinguish the difference because they both could indicate your dog’s affection and care towards you.

Other than that, maybe they try to grab your attention or ask something from you. Perhaps they want to eat something or go for a walk. 

Final thoughts

If you were thinking “why does my dog like to stand on me?”, we think you found the answer now.

Dogs use their behavioral traits, gestures, and body language to communicate with their human family. One such gesture they use for communication is standing on the owners. What they attempt to communicate through this behavior could differ from context to context.

However, suppose we are to give a general answer; in that case, dogs stand on either the legs or chest of their owner to express love, loyalty, and protection and receive the owner’s attention and affection in return.

Hence, this behavior often indicates something positive, so when your pet stands on you, you can cuddle the dog, talk to the dog, pet them for a little and make it a reciprocal connection.

However, sometimes dogs stand on you to express negative things. For instance, that they are sick, feel anxious, or even that they try to establish dominance.

The bottom line is there isn’t a precise reason for a dog to stand on its owner; several factors may lead them to do it, and it is not unusual to see your dog attempting to stand on you.

Typically, this is just how your pooch says they love you, so embrace it. However, if you feel like something odd about it or find it somewhat disturbing, you better be more vigilant about your dog’s behavior.

Thank you for reading this post. Stay tuned with Jack Russell Owner for more interesting posts!


  • Dominic Parker

    Dominic P. is a dog behavioral researcher who graduated from the University of Surrey and holds BVMsi (Hons) in Veterinary Medicine and Science. He has been around dogs since childhood and has unconditional love for dogs. It makes him become a researcher instead of practicing as a veterinarian. Dominic enjoys his work and likes to share his findings with dog parents to give them a better understanding of dogs’ behaviors.

    [email protected]

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