It’s been a rough day at work.
You go home and crash on the couch, hoping you’d finally have some relaxation while watching a movie.
After some tries, you finally find the most comfortable position. But then…
Your pooch dives onto you out of nowhere.
They do it so often, and you always get surprised by this sudden attack.
What could it mean? And how can you make it stop?
Keep on reading to discover:
- What makes your dog do it when you’re seated.
- Whether it’s just an attention-seeking behavior or not.
- 5 useful tips on how to make them stop jumping on you for good.
- And a lot more…
Table of contents
Why does my dog jump on me when I sit down?
Your dog jumps on you when you sit down because they’re so excited to see you, they’re naturally high energy, they want to investigate you closely, you’ve got a nice view up there, or they simply want your affection. It can also be due to lack of stimulation, anxiety, hunger, and reinforcement.
9 reasons why your dog jumps on you when you sit down
#1: They couldn’t control their excitement
Does your dog suddenly jump on you and lick your face?
And no matter what you do, they couldn’t stop doing it?
Well, if that’s the case, they might have missed you a lot while you’re out.
“But how could you tell if a dog’s really excited?” you might ask.
Apart from licking, they may also come over you while panting and wagging their tail.
You’re their favorite human. So they’re thrilled to be with you after waiting for hours. And they need to interact with you closer.
So when your dog sees the perfect timing – when you’re sitting, they’ll climb on you to get your attention.
#2: It’s an invitation to play
“Stand up, human.
I want to do something.”
Jumping is usually a sign of seeking attention in dogs. And they also do it when they’re excited.
It’s an unwanted behavior as well, which could be the result of a lack of attention and exercise.
So, if your pooch goes over you and also bites you lightly, they might be under-stimulated.
They might be bored inside the house when you leave them alone. So they just sleep all day while waiting for you.
Also, taking them for a 20-minute walk and letting them fetch a ball for a few minutes daily might not be enough for them. Breeds like Corgis and Poodles usually don’t tire out easily.
And that’s why they go to you to make you stand up and do something about it.
It’s never good to let a dog have so much pent-up energy. They’ll release it in ways you’re not going to like.
And this behavior is one of them, along with destructive ones such as chewing and making a mess.
#3: They’re just high in energy
In the previous reasons, their excitement is caused by something, right?
But for this one, it might be your dog’s nature. And liveliness just runs in their blood like Border Collies.
They might have been so excited about everything. And being a ‘jumper’ is a clear sign of it.
They may not show aggressive behavior like biting. But they might whine like a 7-year old kid wanting to play outside.
Most puppies may also tend to be like this. Some will outgrow it, while a few may not. They’re going to grow and be heavier, and that might be a big problem on your legs later on.
#4: To have a better view
Does your dog jump on you while you’re busy working? Or…
Do they do it while you’re sitting and eating lunch?
They’re very curious. Once they become interested in something, they’ll check it out. So, your pooch might come hop on you to see better.
Being on your lap puts them in a higher place. Thus, giving them a better view.
May it be your laptop, the food you’re eating, or the scenery outside when you’re by the window.
#5: They want to investigate
No, you did nothing wrong. It might be that your dog smelled something on you that interests them.
It can be an unfamiliar scent of a person or the pheromones of your neighbor’s dog who you just pet earlier.
Their sense of smell is incredibly good, and you can’t mess with it.
They can sniff you from head to toe and be able to tell what things you did all day.
It’s all thanks to their nasal cavity that houses more than 220 million receptors based on a study. Along with many mucus inside trapping every scent that passes through it.
And to do all that sniffing, they need to be closer to you. That’s why they jump on your lap.
#6: It’s a reinforced behavior
“When I see a lap, I sit!”
Are you guilty of petting your dog whenever they do it?
Or is it a habit they developed when they’re young?
If so, you might be encouraging the behavior without being aware of it.
Some puppies can be clingy and need to be with their parents at all times. It can be sleeping beside them or resting on their lap.
Your dog might be doing this since puppyhood. And you always give them attention and talk to them sweetly whenever they do it.
It’s also possible if you often put them on you when they’re small. So they might think it’s ‘cuddle time’ every time you sit.
But now that they’re big, you might be scolding and telling them to stop. And they won’t refrain from it.
That’s because they like every kind of attention – whether it’s good or bad.
#7: They feel anxious
Did your pooch jump on you all of a sudden?
There’s no apparent reason for it, and they just stood still on your lap with flattened ears?
If that happens regularly, there might be something that’s scaring your dog.
They might be hearing the loud noises of cars or the sounds of your neighbor’s vacuum cleaner.
Seeing other people or animals may also make them feel insecure. So they come to you to find comfort.
You’d indeed feel safer when you’re around someone you love. And to them, that would be you.
Research has also proved it in dog-parent relationships. It’s reported they’ll seek their humans when they’re in stressful situations.
#8: They’re hungry/thirsty
It’s also possible that they remember you giving them treats when they hop on you before.
Remember, dogs do things that’ll reward them. And they might think that by going up there while you sit, you might just do it again.
When they’re on your lap or if they’re closer to you, it’ll be hard to ignore them. And they know it because they’ve tested it before.
Their bowl might be empty and needs to be filled with water. They might also be hungry and want some snacks.
#9: They want your affection
Lastly, if they’re not anxious or asking anything from you, they might just want to stay by your side.
Your dog knows that when they’re on your lap, there are high chances of being petted.
They might be asking you to rub their bellies like usual. Or maybe some kisses and hugs too!
And with your warmth, it’s cozier and feels comfier for them.
5 tips to stop your dog from jumping on you when you sit down
#1: Calm them and control yourself
Instead of saying “no” and “sit” when you haven’t trained them yet, it’s best to start with actions rather than words.
You must avoid doing the things which reinforce their behavior.
So when your dog tries to get on to you, stand up and stay still. Act like a pole and ignore them in the meantime.
Once all of their paws are on the ground, give them praises and a small treat.
They’ll be so confused at first and will keep on jumping. But be patient and don’t give in.
You may check this video out to learn more:
#2: Teach them your desired behavior
Now, if they already seem to understand that you’re not liking it when they jump on you, do this next tip.
Once you’ve made them stop doing something, it must be replaced by another action. By doing that, they’ll be busy and forget that previous thing.
So if the undesired behavior is hopping on you, you can teach them how to stay on the ground instead.
Make them sit
- Prepare a treat first.
- Stand in front of them. Then grab their attention by showing them a treat.
- Place it on your hand and move it close to their nose.
- Say “sit” and slowly raise your hand until their bum touches the floor.
- Give them a treat and praise if they’re in the sitting position.
- Repeat until they sit in command. But lessen the treats.
Teach them to get “off”
- Before this, place some snacks nearby where you usually sit.
- When they’re going to jump, stand up and toss some treats on the ground. And say “off”.
- This would make them go down and eat them.
- If they really did go back on the floor, praise them. Make your tone very excited! And pat them on the head.
- Repeat this, and don’t reward them if they’re trying to climb up.
Train them to come “up” when invited
If you trained them to stay away, you must also teach them how to come to you in command. But make sure that they learned the two cues first.
- While you’re sitting, tap on your couch, indicating them to jump. Say “up” when you’re doing it.
- If they did it, reward them with treats and praises.
You should never yell at them or punish them when they won’t obey. Always keep the training positive so their behavior will also be the same.
Note: Only use treats at the beginning. When they seem to be picking up the cues faster, only say praises and gradually remove the goodies.
#3: Crate/bed/rug training
If your dog also feels anxious and you have guests coming over, it’ll be good to provide them with a crate.
This is not locking them in. You’re only going to give them a little room where they can retreat to when they feel insecure. PetMD says that it’ll be a good idea in house training your dog.
So to do this:
- Buy a crate that suits their size – never buy a smaller one for comfort.
- Place them near where you sit all day. They should still see you from there to not add up to their anxiety.
- Then, you need to get them used to it first.
- You can put a mat in there and an old shirt of yours. Your scent is there and it’ll help to make them calm.
- Next, put the toys and kibbles they love inside to lure them in.
- When they eat it, don’t lock the doors yet.
- Wait until they’ve fully settled it and play with their toys.
- Then close the crate slowly. Avoid startling them.
They’ll whine and ask you to let them out but just say a calm and firm “no.” Then repeat this for days.
Of course, they’re going to like that at first. But be patient and don’t give them attention while they’re crying inside.
Note: If there are no visitors at home, you may place their bed or a rug beside you and teach them to stay there instead. Do this while also putting some treats there. Praise them every time they lay there.
#5: Stimulate your dog
Do this for their physical and mental well-being.
Sometimes, a daily walk outside might not be doing the trick for your hyperactive dog.
So, instead of casual walking, you can do a ‘scent walk’ next time. It’s letting your pooch have a sniffing frenzy.
While using their senses, their body and brains will both work. So it’s much better than simple strolling.
You may also introduce other physical activities like playing fetch. This might help if they would really like to jump.
That’s because they’ll be needing it in that game. And you’re just putting it into good use. Plus, it’ll get rid of all their excess energy too.
#BONUS: Consistency is what you need
By being consistent, they wouldn’t be confused. It would also help them in better retention of the commands.
Make sure you:
- Train your dog regularly.
- Stick and be firm with your rules.
- Only reward the good behavior and ignore the bad ones.
It won’t be easy, but it would benefit you and your pooch a lot in the long run.