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9 Reasons Why Your Dog Sits Under Your Desk + 3 Tips

Why Does My Dog Sit Under My Desk

Does your pooch suddenly go under the desk while you’re working?

Or do they love staying in that spot whether you’re there or not?

Well, stop racking your brains out.

In this article, you’ll discover:

  • What makes your dog hang out under your desk.
  • If canines truly love confined and cramped spaces.
  • When you should be alarmed by this ‘hiding’ behavior and when not.
  • 3 useful tips on how to understand your dog and keep the space under your desk off-limits.
  • And many more…

Why does my dog sit under my desk?

Your dog sits under your desk because they love den-like spaces, want to spend time with you, like to follow you everywhere you go, find it comfortable down there, or need something from you. They can also be eating food crumbs underneath, feeling sick, or sense that you’re unwell and need company.

9 reasons why your dog sits under your desk

#1: Denning behavior

Other canids build dens to keep their pups safe until they’re ready to join the pack.

Those can be rock caves or holes dug in the ground. And they’re also used as storage and protection from the weather. 

This behavior is observed in dingoes, foxes, and canines’ ancestors – wolves. So, Fidos may also have this instinct.

“But why? Pet dogs don’t need one for shelter, right?”

Well, yes. So it could be that den-like spaces only remind them of their moms’ warmth.

Mother Fidos will have a nesting behavior after giving birth. And they’ll find a safe place for their babies.

So your pooch might only be seeking security in a confined area like under your desk because it feels like their first home.

Fun fact: How many dens do wolves use in a year? Researchers found that one pack can have 2 sites. And they may continue to use each of them for 1 to 8 years.

You might also like: 9 Astonishing Reasons Why Your Dog Sleeps Under The Covers

#2: Your dog wants to hang out with you

While you’re working, your pooch sits under your desk. Then they often lay down there and sleep later on.

Why is that?

If they’re not bugging you or anything, your Fido might only want to spend time with you.

Dogs enjoy the company of their humans. Some like to be super close all the time. But others can be independent. And are satisfied with only feeling their parents’ presence.

But you may wonder, why under your desk?

Remember, canines are observant.

Your dog probably noticed that you mostly spend your day sitting at the table – with your eyes fixed on your computer. So knowing this, they’ll choose to stay there too.

#3: Hyper attachment

Your Dog Has Hyper Attachment

Is your Fido guilty of being a velcro?

They follow you everywhere. May it be in the toilet or any other room.

If yes, your pooch is closely attached to you. So they want to be near you even while you’re working or doing something at your desk.

And unlike the previous one, they might demand cuddles and lean against your feet.

What causes them to be like this?

3 things:

  • Genetics.
  • Personality.
  • Your actions.

Herding dogs are bred to work close to humans for guidance. So no wonder why Corgis and German Shepherds are often devoted and clingy.

While others are made to be lap dogs like Pugs and Chihuahuas. 

Also, you might have let them stick with you most of the time, so they become dependent on you. This isn’t necessarily wrong, but sometimes, their neediness could be excessive.

But who can blame these pups?

A study shows that dogs and their humans’ oxytocin (or cuddle hormones) increase after a mutual gaze. As well as physical contact. And they’re responsible for strengthening bonds.

Read further: Why is my dog so attached to me?

#4: Your dog feels safe down there

It’s believed that doggos see their humans as their security blanket. And it’s true!

Studies show that they respond better to stressful events with the presence of their parents.

So your pooch might be afraid of something, like sudden noises or even a stranger. This is why they hide and stay near you.

But if they go there when you’re not at the table, they may need a time out. They could be overwhelmed by too many sensory cues. So they look for a quieter place.

#5: For comfort

Another possible reason is that it’s comfy there.

If the weather’s hot or your pooch has thick fur, they’ll find a cool spot. So there might be a breeze under your desk or because the flooring is cold.

In contrast, Fidos who are chilly will seek warmth. You being there makes them feel cozier. Or sitting in a cramped place like that can warm their body faster.

You may also wonder: Why does my dog sleep downstairs or by the door?

#6: Your dog wants something from you

“Henlo, hooman.

I’m just here to remind you of something.”

Oftentimes, Fidos will do this to be noticed as it’s effective. I mean, a dog under the desk won’t be easy to ignore.

So does your pooch does this before a meal or playtime?

If yes, they could be asking you for food or a walk.

#7: Food crumbs

Your pooch sniffs and goes under your desk. After a few seconds, you notice that they’ve become quiet.

A-ha! They might be busy eating something. There could be food crumbs underneath your table. And they’re licking the traces of your snacks earlier.

Also, if you’re eating, they may be begging you to give them some. Or they’re waiting for crumbs to fall on the floor.

Check out also: 11 Surprising Reasons Why Your Dog Licks Your Bed + 7 Tips

#8: Your dog is unwell

Your Dog Is Unwell

Did your pooch do this before?

If not, and it’s all of a sudden, they might be sick or sulky.

Any abrupt changes in their behavior could be a sign of an illness. Or they can also be lonely or low in spirit. So they go to you for safety and comfort.

Also, if they go under your desk when you’re not there, it might be a sign they’re depressed. 

As one common sign of it, according to PetMD, is being withdrawn. And they’ll also be less interested in activities they usually enjoy.

Note: Observe your dog for a while. If this behavior persists and you notice more signs, consult your vet asap.

#9: They sense you’re under the weather

Dogs’ ability to smell is a hundred times better than us humans. Apart from tracking food and animals by their odor…

They can also sniff human emotions and diseases.

So if you’re sick or stressed at the moment, your pooch might be concerned about you. This is why they sit near you – offering help or company.

Can they smell what we feel?

Yup, and they may also absorb and react to it.

Scientists let 40 Labs smell two different odors – ‘happy sweat’ and ‘fearful sweat.’ And they found that dogs are also stressed upon sniffing the latter one. Plus, they had higher heart rates too.

But when the former scent is presented, they act more curious. As well as didn’t show any signs of distress.

How about illnesses?

There’s no doubt about this. Some can detect diseases with no training. And if taught more, they’ll sniff with high accuracy, from malaria to various cancers.

Service dogs are also trained to detect chemical changes in the body to respond well to emergencies.

For example, they know whether a person has low or high blood sugar levels. And they could also sniff incoming seizures. As well as panic attacks.

So they lay down next to their human and bark to alert everyone.

In fact, experts are now trying to create a technology that mimics their ability.

This is why aside from seeking comfort in you when they’re unwell, they may also do the same for you.

Well, they aren’t called a ‘man’s best friend’ for nothing.

Fun fact: The bigger or longer a dog’s snout is, the better they can sniff. So Bloodhounds have greater smell receptors (up to 300 million) than flat-nosed Fidos like Bulldogs.

3 tips on what to do if your dog sits under your desk

#1: Know and respond to the signs

I’m sure you know your Fido so well. But there could be times where you might overlook some of their signs.

So when do they do this? And how’s their body language?

If they come closer and paw or bark at you, they could be hungry or want to do something (e.g., pee, poop, play, or walk).

But if they’re acting weird and seem anxious, examine their surroundings. Then look for possible triggers and remove them quickly.

Check out this article for the list of common signs and reasons.

Also, it would be best to have them checked by a vet. This is because some symptoms of anxiety can also be a sign of an underlying illness.

Note: How about recording their behavior? Try to video your dog while they’re alone. Then watch and study the clips carefully to understand them better.

#2: Help them cope with anxiety

If your pooch is anxious, they’re likely seeking a safe place to hide. Or they’re trying to comfort themselves by staying close to you.

So reassure them by petting them for a bit. But one reminder, over comforting them (always picking and cuddling them up), may reinforce the behavior.

“How can I help them?”

Provide a ‘sanctuary’ for them instead. It’s a quiet room or a crate where they’ll retreat in times of stress. Fill it with their favorite toys – interactive ones will keep them occupied.

Also, do they look gloomy?

If so, bond with them more. Take them for a walk or introduce fun activities that they’ll love.

Note: Working dogs prefer doing tasks or more extreme things such as hiking. Some may also like swimming or even painting.

#3: Train them to sit in other places

Does your pooch always do this? And do they also sleep on your feet?

Uh-oh. They could get in your way sometimes. And if there are wires beneath your desk, your Fido can accidentally pull them off. So teach them where to stay instead.


Place a doggie bed, rug, or mat beside your table. And teach them to sit there by rewarding them when they obey you – treats and praises.

If they do this regularly, correcting them can be difficult. So put it under your desk first. Then after several days, move it gradually to your preferred spot until they get used to it.