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11 Reasons Why Your Dog Sits Far Away From You + 5 Tips

Why Does My Dog Sit Far Away From Me

Nowadays, you probably feel cold and lonely.

Your pooch seems to hate staying next to you…

And they also move whenever you attempt to sit beside them.

So right now, you’re reading this article with only one thought in your head.

“Doggo, why are you doing this to me?!?”

Read on to discover:

  • What makes your dog not sit beside you.
  • When you should be alarmed by this ‘cold’ behavior.
  • If you did something wrong or if this is only normal in other canines.
  • 5 useful tips on how to handle a pooch who’s acting distant and aloof.
  • And a lot more…

Why does my dog sit far away from me?

Your dog sits far away from you because they’re protecting you, showing their trust in you, establishing boundaries, still anxious around you, or confused with your mixed signals. They might also be naturally independent, feeling too hot, suffering from pain, old, or enjoying a comfier spot.

11 reasons why your dog sits far away from you 

#1: They’re acting as your bodyguard

Your pooch follows you everywhere you go.

However, they don’t settle down beside you even if you ask them to. And they often face the opposite direction too.

So it would be natural to ask, “Why does my dog sit far away from me?” 

Before you jump to conclusions that your Fido hates you, let’s see their body language first.

Do they sit upright while their ears are forward and raised?

If so,  this means that they’re alert. And they’re likely guarding you against potential dangers. 

They might be protective, and their instincts are kicking in. Or, they may have heard something outside that made them act like this these past few days.

Check out also: 13 Extraordinary Reasons Why Your Dog Sits In Front Of You

#2: They trust you

Your Dog Trusts You

Do you know that in the doggy world, facing away is also a sign of trust?

Yup! It may not look like it. But believe me, they’re literally giving you their ‘back.’

Notice how canines greet each other? If one pooch is being friendly, they’re going to turn the other away. Then let the other sniff their bum.

It’s like they’re saying, “Come. I’m completely harmless and putting my guard down right now.”

So your Fido only feels safe with you. This is why they’re entrusting you to this vulnerable part of them.

Further reading: 9 Amazing Reasons Why Your Dog Sleeps With Its Back To You

#3: They respect boundaries

“That’s your place.

And this is mine, okay?”

You tell your pooch to come near you. But they won’t budge a bit from where they are.

Why’s that?

Your dog might have established their boundaries along the way. It’s like there’s a drawn line on the floor indicating their personal spot.

If they’re territorial, you may see your dog rubbing their body against the carpet too. And they do this to mark their place using their scent glands.

Also, they respect your personal bubble. So they don’t try to invade your place. And choose to sit far away – creating enough space for the both of you.

But, this can also be because…

#4: They’re still in the adjustment period

How long have they been with you?

If it’s been only days or weeks, don’t think too much. This is normal.

Are they a skittish rescue?

Unfortunately, it might take months or sometimes even years for some to fully trust a person. But it won’t be impossible.

You don’t know your Fido’s exact history. So they may have gone through some rough years – making it hard for them to open up.

They’re also anxious because they’re in a new environment. There are scents and sounds that they weren’t used to. And these may freak them out.

So, for now, make them comfy and be patient. They’ll come to you when they feel safe enough around you.

Hang in there! 🙂

Check out also: Why Does My Dog Cower? 13 Questions Answered + 9 Tips

#5: They’re confused with your signals

“Is it an invitation for me to sit there on the couch?


Maybe not?”

Your pooch can also be having an inner conflict.

This problem could happen if they’re allowed to sit beside you in the past. Then one time, you or someone else may have told them off. And these 2 scenarios occur alternately.

As a result, they don’t know what you want them to do anymore. Because you know, canines (especially devoted ones) will only do the things that their humans like.

And your Fido sees you as a leader whom they rely on for guidance.

#6: They’re trained to act this way

Did you get your pooch from another place?

If so, and if they’ve been like this ever since, it might be that it’s a learned behavior. Or you may have taught them this inadvertently.

They could have been trained to stay far away. And only come if they’re invited.

Most people will teach dogs to sit somewhere while they eat or prepare food in the kitchen. This is basic manners, so it’s good that your Fido acts like this.

I mean, it’s better than tripping over them and hurting your beloved pooch, right?

#7: They’re a strong independent pooch

Your Dog's A Strong Independent Pooch

“It’s not you, hooman.

It’s me.”

Your Fido moves away from you whenever you go sit next to them. They always dodge your hugs and cuddles too.

Do they hate your smell? Or worse, your presence?

Hey, take it easy. If they’re like this from the start, being aloof might be running in their blood. So they need their space 90% of the time.

If humans trained herding dogs to stay near them, they taught hunting breeds to be far away instead. Basenjis and Borzois work in wide-open areas, so they don’t interact much with people.

Another type who’s know to be independent is Shiba Inus. And they’re famous for being a bit stubborn and ‘cat-like.’

Aside from genetics, this might only be your Fido’s personality.

But remember, they still love you and need attention from time to time.

So they may go crazy when you leave the room. But when you come back, they won’t even come close to you.

And that’s just how (adorably) contradictory they are.

Read next: 13 Real Reasons Why Your Dog Is Not Affectionate + 3 Tips

#8: They’re too hot to stay close

I mean ‘hot’ having so much body heat.

The weather might also be warm. So your dog chooses not to sit close to you.

This is likely the reason if they don’t also sleep beside you. And also hate being snuggled sometimes.

Fun fact: The body temperature of dogs is between 101-102.5F (38.3 to 39.2°C). So, have some understanding towards your doggo and let them be. 🙂 

#9: They’re in pain

Being distant might also be a sign that they don’t feel well.

If it’s due to an illness, they may feel restless and refuse to eat or drink. Diarrhea, vomiting, coughing, and excessive licking are other common signs.

They could also have an injury or aching joints.

This is why they can’t jump on the couch and join you like they used to. And they’re avoiding any physical contact as well as you might touch a sensitive part of them.

Your Fido might also feel itchy due to mites, mosquito bites, or fleas. This is why dogs may rub their face on the carpet.

Allergies can be included in the list too. Like if you used a new shampoo on them, they have parasites, or they ate something that has caused it.

You might also wonder: Why does my dog sleep downstairs?

#10: They’re experiencing signs of aging

You might not realize it until now, but your pooch isn’t getting any younger.

Like humans, they’ll also have major changes. And these will happen in their golden senior years.

They’ll suffer from painful joint pains like arthritis. So they may avoid climbing stairs. And it’ll be hard for them to jump to where you are or even stand for too long.

Doggy dementia is also possible. Your Fido might have memory loss. So they feel lost and withdrawn most of the time.

But how old exactly is a senior dog?

VCA says it’s based on their size. So the bigger they are, the earlier they’ll earn the senior citizen badge.

  • Small: 11 years old.
  • Medium: 10 years old.
  • Large: 8 years old.
  • Giant-sized: 7 years old.

Interesting fact: Have you also been computing your Fido’s age in human years by multiplying it to 7? Researchers say it’s inaccurate because they believe they’re much older than that. But it’s a complicated math formula, so I say use whichever works best for you.

#11: They love a particular spot

Your Dog Loves A Particular Spot

Lastly, you might be overanalyzing things.

It’s not that they’re avoiding you. They could have found a nice comfy spot. Say by the door because a cool breeze comes in the bottom gap.

Also, does your dog roll around on the carpet and growl? They may be having fun there, and they love its texture. So they could always choose it over the couch.

5 tips on what to do if your dog sits far away from you

#1: Invite them to stay beside you

Your pooch might only be confused or waiting for your instructions. So just call their name. Then, tap on top of the couch and signal them to come near you.

If they’re anxious, it’ll take time. But, you can try to entice them with yummy treats.

What snacks do they like? Use them to make friends with them.

But don’t put it too close to you at first. Remember, take baby steps to avoid scaring them out.

  1. Place the treats between you and your dog.
  2. If they move and eat them, say “good boy/girl!” sweetly. And don’t approach them yet.
  3. Do this again for 1 to 2 more times.
  4. Then try putting them a bit closer to you as you go on.

However, if they ignore you or don’t come near, don’t force them to. You can try again next time.

Note: Consistency and lots of patience are the keys to success. So, don’t rush everything. And I’m sure it’ll be worth it in the end.

#2: Read and respect

One, read their body language.

Two, respect their boundaries.

You already know one sign that a dog is friendly, right? (Fast recap: facing away from you/giving you their back).

Other signs of an approachable pooch:

  • Head high.
  • Relaxed tail (not stiff).
  • Slightly open mouth/forming a smile.

And someone’s who’s alert and guarding:

  • Closed mouth.
  • Horizontal tail.
  • Twitching raised ears.
  • Neck and head leaning towards a specific direction.

But if they’re aggressive (e.g., growling, snapping) or stressed:

  • Tucked tail.
  • Flattened ears.
  • Raised hackles.
  • Lowered body.
  • Avoiding eye contact.

It’s best to leave them alone. And don’t push something that they don’t want to do.

They may like things to be this way. But don’t be sad, they know for sure that you love them.

And they also love you back. So I’m sure they’ll ask for some random belly rubs or cuddles when they’re in the mood!

#3: Get rid of their discomfort

If they show other signs aside from being withdrawn, they need medical attention. So go to your local vet at once.

This is to find out the right treatment plan for them. And if there are any changes to be made in their diet, lifestyle, or routine.

#4: Don’t take it personally

If they’re perfectly healthy, they might only be aloof and independent in nature.

So calm yourself down. You did nothing wrong to make them stay away from you.

But, slowly accept that you’ll not be getting as many cuddles as you’ve expected. Of course, this will be hard at first.

However, later on, you’re going to notice how blessed you are for having such a calm dog. (Which other parents are dreaming of).

And they’ll show you subtle signs of love every now and then. So stay tuned to them!

#5: Bond with them in other ways

Relax. Not having them beside you will be a bit lonely, but it isn’t the end of the world.

There are plenty of ways to bond with them. And there are probably things that they like doing.

What are they?

If they love water, try swimming. You can also play fetch there and join them in the fun.

Do they love more extreme activities than walking? If you’re an adventurous person too, consider hiking. But if you’re not, use this chance to challenge new things.

This will be beneficial for both of you.

A study proves that people who own dogs are more likely to meet their daily exercise needs. So being a fur parent doesn’t only make your heart happy. But healthy as well.

Also, it looks like you have one intelligent dog, so give them something to do. Completing a task will be extra satisfying for them.

You can make them:

  • Fetch a toy/ball.
  • Search for hidden treats.
  • Help you with some basic house chores.

Train them to pick up trash or things you need in the house. Retrievers may be ecstatic about this.

Closing doors is also an easy task that they could learn. Just reward and praise them every time they complete a job.