13 Unexpected Reasons Why Dogs Sit In High Places + 3 Tips

Why Does My Dog Sit In High Places

“I’m the king of the world!”

This is what your pooch thinks whenever they sit in high places. 

On the couch, their dog house, the balcony…

They seem to enjoy this, but you’re concerned.

“What if they fall down one day?”

Keep reading to find out: 

  • 3 tips on what to do if your dog likes heights. 
  • 13 unexpected reasons why dogs sit in high places. 
  • Why you should cut your dog’s nails if they act this way.
  • And much much more…

Why does my dog sit in high places?

Your dog sits in high places for reasons such as being a small breed, getting a better view, guarding territory, seeking warmth, waiting, being comfortable and curious, wanting to get close, not wanting to be disturbed, trying to get something, imitating you, rubbing scent, or being thrilled. 

Why does my dog like high places?

Your dog likes high places because they get a good view of everything from there. 

It’s like hitting two birds with one stone. They can watch and protect their property at the same time, in case there are intruders or unwelcomed visitors. 

From the balcony, they could probably see the pooch next door. Or from the couch, they can see whenever other people are walking up to your porch. (Maybe your dog’s also trying to scare the marketing guys that try to sell you different kinds of stuff.)

Why do dogs sit on top of couches?

Dogs sit on top of the couches because being in a high spot like this can give them a good vantage point of both the door and the window. 

This way, they’re able to see what’s happening both indoors and outdoors. They can see anyone who’ll come up from the driveway, and perhaps they’re also trying to scare away anyone who’s attempting to come near it. 

Another possible reason why they sit on top of the couch is because they find that spot comfortable. Your dog could be sitting on there for some time now that the form of the couch perfectly fits their body. 

Why do dogs sit on top of their dog houses?

Dogs sit on top of their dog houses because they’re being protective of their territory. They’re trying to keep watch and defend against any potential threats like intruders or wild animals.

Huskies are dog breeds who are known to do this behavior. And aside from them, some dogs also sit on top of their dog house because they find jumping from the dog house thrilling. 

However, this activity could also cause them to have injuries like leg sprains and fractures. 


13 reasons why your dog sits in high places


#1: They’re a small breed

Your small dog sits in high places because they can see everything better from there.

Imagine yourself being a small pooch. 

Like a Chihuahua. 

Then try to think about what your house looks like from their point of view.

You’re always looking up, with a limited perspective of everything. Because the only thing you can see are things bigger than you. 

Feet walking, pieces of furniture blocking your way… 

Now, that’s tough, right?

This is why small dog breeds like Poms, Chis, Shih Tzus, and Pugs, sit in high places. 

They get a better view sitting on top of things, compared to when they’re just sitting on the floor.

A brief peek in the life of Lissa

My beloved long-haired Chihuahuas – Mini Spitz mix, Lissa, loves sitting in high places! There’s no stopping her (we allow her to).

She’s very agile and loves jumping on the big tall bed we have. That’s why I’ve bought a staircase for small dogs. It’s perfect because it’s just the right size. And Lissa now uses it daily.

Sometimes she jumps on and off the bed. But other times, she takes the stairs. It’s a good way to go easy on the joints. 

But Lissa also loves jumping in my lap when I’m sitting at the dining room table. Or she simply hops on the chair when it’s vacant. 

Another thing I observed last year is when i and my boyfriend went on a vacation. We were in an Airbnb apartment and there was a couch. 

Lissa would jump on top and sit at the highest point. She’d then look at the window to the street. A smart cookie she is! 

#2: High places give a better view

Your Dog Sits In High Places For A Better View

“Mom/Dad, I can see you from here!”

Some dogs like to sit in high places like the roof because they can see everything from up there.

Like Huckleberry.

Have you heard of this trending news about him? 

Huckleberry is a Golden Retriever who likes to chill on his dog parent’s roof. He likes to watch cars passing by.

His dog parents say that neighbors and other people often knock on their door. They’re worried that he might hurt himself. 

But thankfully, he hasn’t had any injury because of his habit. 

(Based on his Instagram account, he still sits on their roof up until today.)

If your pooch is like Huckleberry, you have to keep them in check, too.

Because if they jump on a high place, especially the roof, they may hurt themself. 

They may land on the wrong foot causing leg sprains. 

Or their body may not stand the impact of their landing. Leading to internal damages. 

#3: They’re guarding territory

Your dog will sit in high places because it’s the best place to guard the house. 

For example, your dog may sit or sleep often on the couch. Because it’s near the windows. 

They can see if anyone’s coming to the porch. And if anyone dares to walk in the driveway, they’d bark to scare them off. 

Another example is when your dog likes to sit on top of your car. 

By doing this, they get a vantage point of the whole backyard. 

They could easily see potential threats. Like cats and squirrels who come into their territory. 

But don’t fret too much.

There’s still a good thing that comes with this weird habit.

This way, your pooch can also ward off birds from pooping and perching on your car. 

#4: They want some sun

High places get more sunlight. That’s why your pooch likes to sit on top of things.

“What a sunny day! Time to get my tan on.”

Your dog likes to sit on top of the couch because it’s by the window. So the light of the sun comes in when it’s sunny outside. 

It’s their chance to get warmed up. Especially when the cold winter has passed. 

Some dogs also like to sit on top of their dog house because of the same reason. 

(I know a pooch who likes to do this when it’s sunny outside. He likes to sleep on top of his dog house until noon.)

Huskies also like to sit on top of dog houses. Especially the sledding ones. 

They must prefer relaxing outside over their dark sledding kennels. 

#5: They’re waiting for someone

Your Dog's Waiting For Someone

“My dog likes to sit on top of the couch every afternoon. Always looking out the window. 

It’s clockwork. 

By the time the school bus arrives, they’d jump off and go straight to the door. ”, you happily say to your friend.

The reason why your dog is doing this is because they’re waiting for someone. Like your children, or sometimes even you. 

They sit in high places. 

Like the roof of the house or on top of the couch because it’s by the window. Because from there, they can easily see everyone who’s arriving. 

Fun fact: According to research, 45 to 52% of dog parents in the US and Britain say their dogs know when a family member is about to come home. 

This is because the dog knows their daily routine. They can also hear and smell them from afar.

And they also take cues from the other members of the family at home. 

#6: It’s the most comfortable spot

Do you often wonder why out of all the places in the house, your dog likes to sit on top of the couch?

Well, your dog does this because they find it the most comfortable spot. 

Maybe your previous cat or dog used to sit there as well. 

And that area on the couch has become so worn-out. And your dog’s body already fits in there like it’s a mold customized for them. 

I mean, who can blame them? That spot for sure is way comfier than sitting on a cold, hard floor.

#7: They’re curious about everyone

Your pooch is a big stalker. But not in a creepy way. 

They’re just a curious pooch who likes to sit in high places. 

Like your house’s balcony, or on the top of your car. Because they want to see what everyone’s up to. 

They’re always on the lookout for their favorite people in the neighborhood.

If they spot their dog friend, they’d jump right down to play.

And when they see their favorite neighbors who give them treats, they come down and greet them.

They like to keep on watch on everything that’s going on. Because they don’t want to miss anything. 

#8: They want to get close to you

Another reason why your dog sits on top of the couch is because they want to be close to you

They love you. 

And by sitting in that part of the couch, your dog has learned they’re guaranteed to get cuddles. 

They must be getting rewards every time they go there. 

You always pet them. Or you stroke them as they go to sleep. 

#9: Do not disturb…

Your dog sits in high places because they don’t want to be disturbed.

Here’s a scenario.

There are multiple dogs in your house. So it’s a given that sometimes, it can be a bit chaotic. 

So whenever your dog’s looking for peace and quiet, they go to a high place. Someplace where the other dogs or cats won’t disturb them. 

Like on the top of your car, the balcony, or their dog house. 

By doing this, smaller dog breeds won’t get to them. These are spots where they can be all alone. 

#10: They’re trying to get something

“This is the best seat ever!”

There’s a reason why your pooch likes to sit in high places like dining chairs. And it’s because sitting there equals eating. 

Perhaps when they sit on the dining chair they can always grab a snack from the table. 

Or they’re always given pieces of food when they sit there. 

Okay, I know another pooch who often did this.

He always sat on the dining chair because he used to steal food from the table.

And one time, he even grabbed a whole roasted chicken by the mouth!

Oopsy-daisy… 

His dog parents, of course, were appalled. So he’s banned from sitting on a chair from then on.

#11: Your dog is imitating you

Have you seen the memes of dogs sitting on the couch?

The one where dogs are sitting like humans? It’s hilarious! 

But you can’t help but think, why would they sit this way?

PetMD says dogs imitate people. 

They’re sitting on high places like the couch because that’s where you sit. And sometimes they even copy your actions and behaviors.

So for example, you like to put your arm on the armrest. There’s a chance that your dog will also do it. 

(But in a weird manner.)

#12: They’re rubbing their scent

Your dog’s favorite spot changes depending on their mood. 

But their most favorite places to sit are in high places. Like the couch or on the top of their dog house. 

Your other dogs aren’t allowed to come near it. Because your pooch has already claimed it as theirs. 

You usually don’t mind this situation, but you can’t help but wonder:

“Why does my pooch choose to sit there?”

The reason for this is because they’re trying to rub off their scent on these areas. 

By doing so, they’re letting the other dogs know that it’s theirs. And they shouldn’t try to come near it. 

But here’s a friendly reminder. 

If you have a territorial pooch, you must curb this territorial behavior as early as possible. Or else they may become aggressive. 

Read next: 13 Reasons Why Your Dog Sits In Your Spot + 7 Tips

#13: It’s thrilling for them

Lastly, your dog sits in high places. Because they jump on and off there. 

An example is when they’re sitting on top of the couch. 

Your pooch must be enjoying the bounciness of the cushion they land on. 

And when they’re sitting on their dog house’s roof, they get thrilled. 

They must like the feeling of landing perfectly all the time.

Dogs and heights

“But Petya, isn’t my dog scared of heights?”

Yep! Dogs can be scared of heights just like some humans. 

Especially puppies. 

That’s why some dogs don’t like going into high places. While other dogs won’t even bat an eye jumping off from roofs or balconies. 

But…

Your dog’s mind can’t fully understand the concept of heights. And they’re not aware of the consequences they’ll face if they miscalculated their jumps. 

That’s why they often get accidents and body injuries. 

Bonus: Other seats are taken

Oh, one last thing…

Your pooch could be sitting in high places because there’s nowhere else to sit. 

Perhaps the couch is always fully occupied. And the only seat available is on the top of the couch. Or on your lap. 


3 tips on what to do if your dog sits in high places


#1: Trim their nails

Do you have a pooch who likes to sit then jump off from high places? 

If so, you have to trim their nails regularly. 

Broken nails are one of the common injuries of active dogs. Based on a survey, out of 207 dogs, 10.6% of them have had nail injuries in their lifetime. 

You see, long nails often get ripped. And they also get jammed on uneven surfaces. 

So for instance, your dog likes to jump off the roof or any high place. 

As they jump, their long nails will get all the impact of their landing. Which can also injure their footpads. 

So how can you effectively trim your dog’s nails?

Trimming nails 101

There are 2 important things you should know about nail trimming. 

One, your dog should get accustomed to the nail trimmer or grinder first. And two, they should be comfortable.

To make them familiar with the trimmer, have them sniff it. Then let it touch their paws without trimming. 

Then give them a treat if they don’t show signs of anxiety. 

If your dog allows it, try to trim the tip of their nail on one paw. Then give another treat and lots of praises. 

You can trim their other nails in the next few days. This is so your dog doesn’t get overwhelmed. 

Here’s a video to show how to do it. 

Tip: Put a plastic wrapper on your forehead and spread peanut butter on it. 

This way, your pooch will be more concentrated on licking it. Rather than paying attention to their nail pedicure. 

I know, it’ll make you look funny. But it works. 🙂

To know how you can trim the nails of small dogs like a Chihuahua, read this article

#2: Refrain them from climbing

Your pooch thinks high places are their personal throne. Like your car and their dog house. 

So to avoid them from sitting on top of these places, limit their access to them. 

To refrain your dog from climbing on top of your car, put it inside the garage. And keep it closed so your pooch can’t come in. 

But if you don’t have a garage, put a car cover on it. 

The cover can also act as protection to your car from scratches. And if your dog climbs on top of it, spray them with water.

As for their dog house, change its roof to an A-frame. 

It’ll be harder to climb, and your pooch will not choose to stay there. Because it’s uncomfortable to sit on and they’ll often slip on it. 

#3: Limit their access

If you don’t want your pooch sitting on the balcony or on top of the couch, limit their access to these areas. 

You can put baby gates to prevent them from coming into the living room. Or in the room that has access to the balcony. 

Make sure that it’s high enough, or your dog will just jump on it. 

Bonus: Give them a dog-friendly sitting area

Lastly, give your pooch their own sitting area. 

But not just any seat. If your pooch likes to be on top of things, then you must still keep them seated in a high place.

This time, make it dog-friendly. 

If you want to indulge your dog, there are many designs of dog houses you can look up online. Some of it includes a dedicated seating area on the top of their roof.

There’s even a slide on the side. 

So your dog can just climb instead of jumping off from it.