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13 Reasons Why Your Dog Barks When You Sit Down (On The Couch)

Why Does My Dog Bark At Me When I Sit Down

You’re aiming for a good seat on the couch.

But you always stop mid-way. And this is because of your Fido’s crazy barking. 

Now you’re left with questions:

“Why does my dog do this?”

“Is there something they’re trying to tell me?

Continue reading to find out:

  • 13 real reasons why your dog barks when you sit down. 
  • A step-by-step trick to teach your dog to stop this behavior. 
  • 5 things to do if your pooch snaps at you when you take a seat. 
  • And much much more…

Why does my dog bark when I sit down?

Your dog barks when you sit down because they’re demanding something of you. Other reasons include being understimulated, wanting to play, alerting you, acting territorial, being hyperactive, stressed, untrained, or sick. Or this behavior could be reinforced. 

13 reasons why your dog barks when you sit down (on the couch)

#1: Your pooch is requesting something

“If my dog could talk, what would she tell me?”

Did that question ever cross your mind?

Especially when your pooch is barking at you.

It’s like dogs are trying to tell us something.

But what could their barks mean?

Canines can only communicate with us, dog parents, in 2 ways. Through vocalization and body language.

These 2 will be our tool in decoding what they want to tell us.

In the case of Fido’s barking, it could mean demand. So, try to find out what your pooch is requesting. And make sure to attend to their needs. In order for them to stop barking. 

Wondering how to do that?

Here are some of the things you have to spot. And what they could mean in doggy language:

Demand for attention 

Your dog might seek your attention if you’re sitting on the couch for some time. Say you’ve been watching a movie for hours. Or you’ve been busy on your phone.

Aside from barking, here’s what your dog’s body language will look like:

  • Jumping.
  • Wagging tail.
  • Muzzle licking.
  • Lowering their body.
  • Stretching their backs.

Also, keep in mind that some dog breeds are more clingy than others. Which include:

  • Border Collie.
  • Cocker Spaniel.
  • Siberian Husky.
  • English Bulldog.
  • Labrador Retriever.
  • Jack Russell Terrier.
  • Australian Shepherd.
  • German Shorthaired Pointer.

Request for food

Barking and other vocalization behavior could indicate that a dog is hungry. 

In general, adult canines need to eat 2 times per day. In between 8-12 hours. So, try to recall when you last fed your dog. 

If it seems to be longer than 8 hours since they last ate, try giving them a meal. 

Call for water

Fido may become a barker too if they’re thirsty. Especially if you have an active breed that moves around a lot. Or if your pooch gets easily hot such as Siberian Huskies and Chow Chows.

Here’s what you have to look out for if your dog is thirsty:

  • Drooling.
  • Listlessness.
  • Gums that are dry and pale.
  • Panicking when looking for water.

Wants to do their “business”

Besides barking, additional signs that your dog needs to go are:

  • Pacing.
  • Whining.
  • Sniffing around.
  • Circling and then followed by squatting.

Read also: Demand Barking: 19 Simple Tips To Stop It (How-To Guide)

#2: Your dog wants to play

It’s true that dogs enjoy play because it’s fun. But it’s more than that. 

Playing also allows dogs to practice their motor skills. Especially when they play games that include running and jumping. 

Through this, pooches make use of their extreme senses too. Sniffing when finding objects for example.

Aside from that, play also improves their social relationships. Particularly if their dog parents are involved.

Now, I have questions when it comes to your human-dog plays.

Are you that type of fur parent who lets your dog win in a tug-of-war?

Or do you always let them find you easily when playing hide and seek?

If that’s the case, you might be interested in the findings of one study.

Researchers reveal that dogs seek to play more if they’re allowed to win at games. Findings also suggest that due to this, some dogs become more persistent in having playtime.

This may be the reason why your pooch barks at you when you sit on the couch. Their barks could mean an invitation for play.

This is also likely to happen if your pooch has naturally high energy. Plus if they have a playful personality.

Dog breeds that are known to be more playful than others are:

  • Corgi.
  • Boxer.
  • Dalmatian.
  • Golden Retriever.
  • Labrador Retriever.
  • Jack Russell Terrier.
  • Australian Shepherd.
  • English Springer Spaniel.

Here’s how you’ll be able to tell if a dog is playful:

  • Wagging tail. 
  • Open and grinning mouth. 
  • Legs are repetitively hitting the ground. 
  • The chest is down and the bottom is up (the play bow position).

Further reading: 13 Reasons Why Your Dog Won’t Let You Sit Down + 7 Tips

#3: Your furbaby is understimulated

Understimulated Dog Barks When You Sit Down On The Couch

Dogs may result in displaying unwanted behaviors because of understimulation.

“What does that mean?”

This refers to when dogs aren’t able to keep their minds occupied. Which often leads to boredom.

And boredom makes people and dogs alike do weird things sometimes.

Let’s take kids for example.

Have you noticed how they keep themselves entertained during boring situations?

Say, they’re riding public transportation. They either play with things near them. Or observe other people, smile, and wave at them. Some may even take a look at what you’re doing on your phone.

In short, they’re keeping their minds occupied. Because if they’re left with nothing to do, they may suddenly show unpleasant behaviors like throwing a tantrum. And it’s when things start to get chaotic. 

Going back to your pooch, this can also be the same if they’re bored. Say, they don’t have anything to do while you’re having a couch rest.

As a result, your furry companion will bark at you out of boredom. 

How to avoid this? 

Try giving Fido interactive toys to stimulate their minds while you rest. Such as:

#4: You’ve encouraged their behavior

Your dog might also bark at you when you sit down because of encouraging the behavior.

“How? I don’t encourage them to bark.”

This is a common mistake of dog parents. But this is often unintentional. It has happened to me as well.

You’ll encourage the behavior if you respond to it. And this applies both to positive and negative responses.

Say you’re sitting on the couch. Then your pooch started barking.

Your initial response was telling your dog “Quiet! Shhh!”. Or petting their head to calm them down.

If you do this, Fido will think that you’re rewarding them. And that is for barking at you when you sit on the couch. Particularly if you pay them attention every time they do it.

So what will happen next?

Your dog will repeat the barking behavior. So they can get more of that good old attention.

#5: Your fur pal is alerting you 

“Get up, hooman! We’re in danger!”

Your dog will bark to alert you when they sense a threat.

Dogs have a powerful sense of hearing and smell. These allow canines to detect threats in our environments.

“Such as?”

Aside from hearing intruders coming, dogs may also feel natural calamities.

Thunderstorms for example. Canines are able to use their sense of smell in detecting the change in the air pressure.

However, dogs react to it differently. Some may bark at their dog parents to alert them. While others whine and seek a place to hide.

Keep reading: 9 Weird Reasons Why Your Dog Barks When It Rains + 7 Tips

#6: Your dog is resource guarding

“Back off! The couch is mine, hooman.”

Some dogs may bark at you when you sit down on the couch because of their resource-guarding nature.

Dogs display this behavior if they want to protect an item that is valuable for them. This has been passed down from their wolf ancestors. 

In the wild, there are limited resources. Wolves often don’t have enough water, shelter, and food.

So, if they have resources with them, they get overly protective of it. When someone comes near their resource they start to bark, lunge or growl at them. 

In domestication, pooches display this behavior towards their most treasured objects. Such as their food, toys, fur parents, and favorite spots. Which in this case is the couch.

Barking at you when sitting down might be an indication that they don’t want you on the sofa. And they claim it as their own.

A study was conducted on 711 dogs to see what behaviors are associated with territorial aggression. Results suggest that barking too much is one of them. Which also comes with:

  • Being easily nervous.
  • Biting the upper limbs.
  • Attacking random strangers.

#7: Your pawed baby is hyperactive 

Dog Hyperactivity

Hyperactivity may also cause dogs to bark when you sit down.

A hyperactive dog will constantly seek attention. They’ll also appear to be distracted and high in energy.

Wondering what causes hyper-activeness in dogs?

There are various factors, some of which are:


Hyperactivity may be due to a dog’s breed. Particularly if they’re bred to be active.

Working dogs for example have natural high energy. This is because they need it when they do certain jobs. Such as herding, sniffing, guarding, and pulling sleds. 

Some of the hyperactive dog breeds are:

  • Akita. 
  • Dalmatian.
  • Weimaraner.
  • Border Collie.
  • Siberian Husky.
  • Labrador Retriever.
  • Jack Russell Terrier.
  • Australian Shepherd.

Poor diet

Some foods may cause hyperactivity in dogs. Especially if your dog eats too much of these:

  • Sugar.
  • Carbohydrates.
  • Artificial preservatives (found in packaged and canned foods). 

Puppy phase

Puppies are prone to bark due to hyperactivity. Because they’re beaming with so much energy. And they won’t have control over it.

Most often they don’t know how to communicate correctly. So this results in behaviors such as barking and biting. But with proper training, this can be curbed.

Inappropriate exercise

Some dogs may get hyper because of having pent-up energy. And that happens if a dog doesn’t exercise enough.

Huskies and German Shepherds are more prone to this. Since they’re more active, they need more exercise too.

So, if you’re a fur parent of active dogs, you should allow them to have an appropriate exercise. This is to make them calmer and anxious-free.

For GSD fur parents, your pooch needs to have 90 minutes of exercise a day. Which should include running, training, and playing. 

And for the Husky parents out there, try letting them swim or hike with you. Exercise for them should last about 80 minutes per day. 

You might also like: 17 Hyperactive Dog Symptoms + 11 Tips To Calm Down Your Dog

#8: Your fur child is stressed

Barking when you’re sitting down doesn’t always mean that your dog doesn’t want you on the couch.

Their barks could also be their call for help. Especially if your pooch is in distress.

Try to observe what causes your dog’s stress. Some possible triggers include:

  • Children.
  • Traveling.
  • Strangers. 
  • Being alone.
  • Loud noises.  
  • New situations. 
  • New environment. 
  • Other dogs or animals. 

If your dog is stressed, they may not know what to do. They might look for things to calm them down. Or seek their human’s help through barking.

Watch out for signs of stress in dogs which includes:

  • Pacing.
  • Licking.
  • Panting.
  • Shaking.
  • Whining.
  • Yawning.
  • Drooling.
  • Eyes showing more white than usual.
  • Ears are pinned back against their head.

Check out also: 19 Proven Ways To Calm Your Anxious Dog (How-To Guide)

#9: Your pooch is untrained 

Some dog behaviors can get out of hand. Particularly for a dog who lacks training.

If a dog lacks discipline when someone is sitting, they’ll act the way they want.

They may bark. And even whine or jump on you.

And this problem might get worse in time. Because this behavior has a chance of turning into a habit.

Plus, your dog might also do this to your visitors who’ll sit on your sofa. And that might scare your guests. 

#10: Your dog is sick 

Some dogs vocalize excessively when they’re sick. This might explain why your dog barks at you when you sit down.

It could be their way of telling you that they’re in pain. And they’re asking for help.

Now, if you’re suspecting that your dog is sick, bring them to the vet right away.

Here are some of your green signals to visit the animal hospital:

  • Panting.
  • Sneezing.
  • Coughing.
  • Excessive drinking.
  • A change in appetite.
  • Having difficulty moving.
  • Dry, red, or cloudy eyes.
  • Sudden weight loss or gain.
  • A change in their activity levels.
  • Uncontrolled bowel movements.
  • Sleeping less or more than usual.

#11: Fido is injured

Another thing to be concerned about Fido’s barking is injury.

Dogs who are injured are very sensitive. So, your dog might get reactive if you touch or move them.

This is likely to happen if you sit on the couch where they also stay. They may have felt a slight movement on the couch. And that may cause them to bark at you.

But your pooch may also bark at you even if you’re not on the couch together. They might just do this like the previous reason. Barking as a cry for help.

Watch closely for signs of injury in dogs. Which include:

  • Limping.
  • Walking slowly.
  • Refusing to move.
  • Inability to lie down or get up.
  • A reluctance to use the stairs. 

5 tips to stop your dog from barking when you sit down

#1: Start by providing your dog’s basic needs

Make sure to give your dog their basic needs before having a couch rest.

This is so they won’t disturb you when you want to watch Netflix. Or have a small nap. 

With this in mind, it’s best to provide Fido with enough exercise, food, and water.

Also, make sure that they’ll do their business on time. 

And this will turn out better if you’ll also…

#2: Stick to routines 

By establishing a routine, you’re helping your dog feel secure and happier. This might also make your dog excited because they’ll know how their day would go. 

Here’s a sample schedule that you may use. (You can add other activities as well to make it more personalized.)

7:00 AM- 7:30 AMA morning walk. Short playtime. 
7:30 AM- 8:00 AMMealtime. 
8:00 AM – 9:00 AMPlaying with interactive dog toys. 
9:00 AM – 12:00 NNNaptime. 
12:00 NN – 2:00 PMSecond walk. Exercise or training. 
2:00 PM – 5:00 PMNaptime. Playing with interactive dog toys. 
5:00 PM – 6:00 PMFamily bonding. (Rest, play, or cuddle together).
6:00 PM  – 7:30 PMDinner time. 
7:30 PM – 9:00 PMAn evening walk. 
9:00 PM – onwardsBrushing the teeth and coat. Bedtime. 

#3: Exercise your pooch

Exercising your dog may stop them from barking at you when you sit down. Because this will tire them out. And they won’t have the energy to bother your rest by barking anymore.

You may try letting them exercise or train. But don’t overdo it, over-stimulation has the same effect as understimulation. 

In general, dogs should have about 30 to 60 minutes of exercise a day. So, running in the yard and letting them play fetch will do. 

But keep in mind that exercise intensity varies for different breeds. Active ones should have more exercise than others. Take as an example Golden Retrievers and Beagles.

For active dogs, you may exercise them for about 30 minutes to 2 hours. 

Fun fact: Did you know that exercise improves a dog’s sniffing detection ability? 

A study suggests that dogs were 95% likely to detect their target by sniffing. And this is after they exercised for 30 minutes on a treadmill.

#4: Introduce mental stimulation 

Physical exercise should also go with mental training. This is to keep dogs from barking due to boredom.

Mental stimulation makes your dog’s mind work. And at the end of the day, it helps them relax and quiet down. 

Just like when kids bother their parents because they’re bored. Some parents hand their children coloring books or puzzles to keep them occupied. 

And when it comes to dogs, this can be achieved by:

  • Giving your dog puzzle toys.
  • Teaching your pooch new tricks.
  • Creating an indoor and outdoor obstacle course.
  • Letting your dog explore their environment by sniffing.

#5: Teach your dog the “quiet” command

You won’t go wrong in choosing to teach your dog a trick. And can also be useful in the long term.

In this case, try teaching your dog the “quiet” command. So you can use this to stop them from barking if they’re doing so.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Prepare a yummy treat as a reward when your pooch starts barking.
  2. Wait until they calm down and pause from their barks.
  3. Place the treat near your dog’s nose. Let them sniff it.
  4. Command “quiet”.
  5. Give them the treat if they don’t continue to bark.
  6. Repeat the process and increase the duration of making them quiet before giving a treat.
  7. Practice consistently until your dog masters the trick.