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11 Reasons Why Your Dog Sits On Your Lap + 5 Tips

Why Does My Dog Sit On My Lap

Are you wondering if your lap has some magnet?

Because your pup’s bum is always attracted to it…

And they plop on you – everywhere and anywhere.

May it be while you’re working or just sitting on the floor.

Sometimes it puts a big question mark in your head. But most times, it makes you smile.

But why do they love to do it? And what can you do if it’s too much?

In this article, you’ll discover:

  • Why they’re attracted to your lap.
  • What makes them rest on you while driving.
  • When you should tolerate this behavior and when not.
  • Whether your dog is a lap dog or they do it due to other reasons.
  • 5 helpful tips for you to have a healthy cuddling time with your pooch.
  • And a lot more…

Why does my dog sit on my lap (all the time)?

Your dog sits on your lap to comfort you, feel warm, be secured, cuddle with you, have a better view, grab your attention, get some snacks, or show others they own you. It can also be because they just want to sleep on you, it’s in their nature, or they just love being around you.

People also ask: 

11 reasons why your dog sits on your lap

#1: To cheer you up

Does your dog sit on your lap when you’re not in the mood or feel unwell?

On most days, you might be comforting your dog. But this time, it might be the other way around.

They might do it because they can sense your emotions. And think, “Oh, you seem sad. I know what’s going to make you feel better.” Then they rest on your lap – hoping it’ll take some of your worries away.

Because if getting near you makes them happy, they think it’ll put a smile on you too. And they aren’t wrong.

Also, do you know that they could even smell if someone’s ill? And tell if they’re happy or not?

They’ll know it by looking at people’s facial expressions. Or listening to the changes in their tone. They don’t only detect emotions but can also tell if it’s a good or bad one. Like if you’re angry or just excited.

Fun fact: A research in Australia reported that having a dog, even for only 3 months, can greatly reduce a person’s loneliness.

#2: Your dog loves the warmth

Your Dog Sits On Your Lap Because He Loves Your Warmth

“I’m cold, you’re warm. It’s a perfect combination!”

For a cold dog, your lap might be the best heating pad they could ever wish for.

And it might also be the most accessible for them at that time. Because you’re just sitting there while using your phone.

So they would lay on you because they want to feel warm and cozy.

Some dogs get cold easily. And winter might not be their favorite season at all. This is more common in dogs with short coats like Chihuahuas, Dachshunds, and even Great Danes.

Read also: 13 reasons why your dog sits in your spot

#3: To feel secure

Does your pooch sit on your lap out of nowhere?

Dogs will seek comfort when they’re afraid or uncomfortable. Just imagine a scared child wanting to get carried by their parents.

That can be similar to what they’re feeling at the moment. So they’ll get close to you because they feel safe.

That can be the reason why your dog jumps unto you upon hearing a loud noise (e.g. fireworks). Or when they see a strange object (e.g. a floating feather).

They’ll also do it when in an unfamiliar place. Because they’re surrounded by lots of strangers and other dogs.

#4: Your dog only wants to cuddle

Dogs might also do this to simply get affection from their humans.

Some of them might really want to snuggle and get petted. And what do they think is the best way to get those things?

Yes, to sit on you.

Because they know that when they get close to you, you’ll give them more kisses and hugs.

Not all dogs are like this. Only some breeds are cuddlier than others such as Pomeranians, Greyhounds, and Corgis.

#5: Your dog feels insecure

Now, does your dog do it when you’re outside while there are many dogs around? Or when you’ve brought home a new pup?

You may notice that their body is stiff. They’re also likely to snarl at other dogs or people.

No, it isn’t jealousy. Experts like to call it resource guarding. It means that they’re only protecting their number one source of food, shelter, and care which is you.

And what do you do to show others that you own something?

You mark it, right?

So your dog sits on your lap and rubs their scent on you.

It’s like a sign telling other doggies to not touch their human.

#6: Your dog just loves to sleep on you

“What’s a bed? I only know your lap.”

It’s always a wonderful sight to see your dog crashing on your lap. They look so content and happy being with you.

And that just might be it. They feel comfortable up there while sleeping on your thighs.

They don’t care what you’re doing and you can’t do anything about it. They’re tired, and all you need to do is surrender to these fluff balls.

#7: To get something from you

Your Dog Needs Something From You

This might also be their way of asking for something they want.

Especially when your dog sits on your lap and stares at you. Because they know you can’t resist their warm bum and adorable twinkling eyes.

So when they’re up there, they know that they’ll get some delicious snacks because you can’t say no to them when they’re that close.

It makes sense, right?

Your dog might also do it because they feel lonely on the floor where you can’t notice them.

They might need some playtime and attention. So they jump on your lap and wait for you to do something about it. 

#8: Your dog got used to it

“If I see a lap, I sit.” 

Did you always carry them when they’re pups? Or do you always put them on your thighs while you’re sitting?

That might be the reason why they love to do it. And it became a part of their daily routine.

It’s a normal thing for both of you. And you always let them come to you whenever they want to so they just kept on doing it.

#9: To see better

“I have a nice view up here!”

Well, your dog might have also found your lap to be a convenient place for sightseeing. Because everyone might be bored when all they see are feet and…more feet.

They might want to join you from staring outside the window. Because they’re curious about what you see from there and want to be involved in everything you do.

Does your pooch also do it while you’re driving? If so, they might like to see the scenery, and that’s the best spot to view it.

They might also dislike car rides and want to be near to you as much as possible.

Note: Please, don’t let them sit on your lap while driving. It’s dangerous. It’s not only for your safety but for your dog’s as well. 

#10: Your dog’s a natural

Not everyone’s a lap dog.

And that’s what makes some dog parents sad because most people would like to cuddle with their buddies for a simple reason – because it’s reassuring and it feels nice.

But if your dog always wants to snuggle on your thighs, it might be because they’re lap dogs by nature.

According to AKC, here are the 10 small breed dogs who usually enjoy it:

  • Pug.
  • Maltese.
  • Shih Tzu.
  • Chihuahua.  
  • Dachshund.
  • Pomeranian.
  • Bichon Frise.
  • Yorkshire Terrier.
  • Miniature Schnauzer.
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

And who says only little ones can be attracted to your lap?

Well, some large dogs are fond of it too, such as:

  • Mastiff.
  • Great Dane.
  • Newfoundland.
  • Irish Wolfhound.
  • Bernese Mountain Dog.

#11: They love you

Your Dog Loves You

“Hmm. Don’t you get my feelings?

I do this because…”

Lastly, sitting on your lap might be their way of telling you that they like you.

And that they enjoy your company…a LOT.

Being close to you, that physical connection, makes them feel loved. And they only want to give it back to you.

5 tips on what to do if your dog sits on your lap 

#1: Just give in

If there’s nothing wrong with them sitting on your lap, why not let them be?

Well, except when you’re driving. Or in such situations that they might cause accidents or if your legs are in bad shape.

The behavior is usually a sign of their affection and trust in you. So, if you’re only sitting on the couch watching a movie, don’t push them away and simply give in.

#2: Teach your dog to be confident

This is for dogs who always feel insecure or anxious. They always feel the need to protect you when there are other people or dogs. And it’s not healthy.

When you’re training your dog to be sure of themselves, you must act like one too. Because if you always show fright or shock when you see other dogs, it’ll also startle them.

To do this, you need to reassure your dog that there’s nothing to worry about. Everything’s fine, and that they need to trust you.

They also need to get used to meeting other dogs. But you shouldn’t force them to like someone immediately. Always put them on a leash and observe their body language.

You can follow a dog while walking but maintain a safe distance. While doing it, let them sniff the spot where the other dog passes through. This is to make your dog familiar with their scent.

If they seem calm, try getting a bit closer. But if your pooch is aggressive, you might need a dog trainer for this to ensure everyone’s safety in the process.

#3: Prepare them for the ride

Now, this is for discouraging your dog from not sitting on your lap while you’re driving.

First, tire them out before the trip. This will calm them down and use up their energy.

You can walk them outside or play fetch in the yard. You must also stimulate their minds by teaching them commands. Or giving them interactive toys (e.g. kongs, puzzles, treat-dispensers).

Next, when they’re ready and buckled up in the backseat, provide them calming treats or goodies that they love.

Also, you can prepare a pillow or cloth with your scent on it for them to hug while you’re driving.

Note: Don’t feed them a lot before the ride because they might throw up.

#4: Have a practice drill

You must do this before the actual ride. Just drive with your dog around your area for only a couple of minutes.

PetMD says that by doing this, they’ll have a chance to adjust to their carriers or harness. And they’ll also think that it’s not really scary being in a car.

Think of it as a dry run rehearsal for the trip.

#5: Get a safety harness for your dog

This is a must if you want them to be safe in your car without being on your lap. Because it’s definitely not the best spot for them to rest during a ride.

You can get them at shops and choose what suits your furry buddy best.

You may also need to check the laws in your state if there are other requirements for having a pet during a ride.