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9 Reasons Why Your German Shepherd Sits On You + Tips

Why Does My German Shepherd Sit On Me

Hi, my name is Gabriel. 

You can call me Gab or Gab Gab for short. I’m an eight months old German Shepherd. 

I know, I know. You’re wondering where Petya is. She’s still here. I just ask her to help me write this article because all I have is my paw.

Anyway, I have a human named Sallie. She’s my most favorite human in the world. 

I always sit on her every time I have a chance, and she wonders why I’m doing it. 

I love to tell her, you know, but I’m a doggo. That’s why I looked for a person who can understand me, so I can tell my human why I sit on her. Luckily, I found Petya. 

Are you also curious why your German Shepherd sits on you? 

Read on and discover:

  • 9 reasons why your German Shepherd sits on you.
  • Things to consider before you try to stop the behavior. 
  • 3 tips on how to stop your German Shepherd from sitting on you. 
  • And much more…

Why does my German Shepherd sit on me?

Your German Shepherd sits on you because of a few reasons such as scent marking, separation anxiety, breed’s behavior, or being stressed out or fearful of something. Other reasons are that your German Shepherd enjoys it, loves to cuddle with you, wants attention, or you’re in their spot.

9 reasons why your German Shepherd sits on you

#1: Scent marking

According to a study, scent marking is important to dogs. 

They rely on their nose for sociality and territorial defense so much. Thus it’s a natural behavior for your fur baby to mark the area with their scent. 

German Shepherds have a very sensitive sense of smell. They can pick an unfamiliar scent or a new, unrecognizable area while taking them for a walk. When this happens, your dog will mark his spot by urinating in that area. 

Most of the time dogs prefer to urinate to mark their scent. Yet, sometimes, a dog can also spread their scent on certain objects like furniture and walls. 

You should be thankful when your German Shepherd spreads their scent by sitting on you. Instead of marking you by peeing. 

They’re doing this behavior to show that you belong to them. Your dog may also do this when there’s another dog around. 

#2: The breed behavior

It's Your German Shepherd's Behavior To Sit On You

German Shepherds are affectionate dogs. Plus, they’re very loyal. 

While some will show noticeable affection, others are super affectionate. So they may sit on you, cling or lay across your lap as often as they can. 

#3: Stress out or afraid of something

When your German Shepherd is fearful of something, they will go near you to feel safe. If you’re sitting on the couch, they might sit on you to ask for a cuddle so they can calm down. 

A fearful dog needs a safe environment to live in. And you need to keep them away from a few social stressors according to PetMD

Make them feel secure by petting them. This kind of gesture assures your German Shepherd that they got your back. No matter what happens. 

The next time they sit on your lap, try to observe their eyes and their behavior. How about their tails? When you do this, you’ll be able to know if they’re afraid or stress about something. 

Once you’re aware of the reasons, it’s easier for you to address them.

#4: Your fur baby enjoys it

Dogs enjoy sitting on your lap as much as you enjoyed doing it to your parents when you’re still a kid. 

This is an excellent opportunity to play light wrestling with your fur baby. They may shower you with lots of kisses after this. So just have fun with them and let them sit on your lap. 

Collect wonderful memories together by enjoying these funny moments with them. 

#5: It’s time for some cuddles

Cuddling is a very basic instinct at the very beginning of your dog’s life. Their mother comforts and protects them by cuddling. 

When you cuddle your dog, it releases a hormone called oxytocin. It’s the same hormone that is released during childbirth and breastfeeding. 

This has a comfortable and calming effect. 3 minutes of cuddling between you and your dog increase oxytocin in both you and your dog. This only proves that cuddling your dog is beneficial for both of you.

The reasons dog wants to cuddle:

  • Get warmth. 
  • To bond with you.
  • It releases chemicals that make them feel good.

Having someone to cuddle with is one of the best feelings in the world. And having your fur baby to snuggle with is one of the few things you wish for. 

Cuddling with them while they sit on your lap. It gives you the feeling of being loved. 

Your German Shepherd loves it too. Cuddling strengthens your bond with your fur baby. So it’d be great if you do it more often. 

#6. They want your attention

When your German Shepherd is still a puppy, attention-seeking dog behavior is common. It’s a normal survival mechanism in puppies. 

They rely on their mother’s care. But as adult dogs barking, pawing, excessive jumping, and sitting on your lap can become annoying. Especially if they’re doing it more often. 

Your dog is seeking your attention because they’re bored or they’re not getting enough physical and mental stimulation. For some, they’re not getting enough of your attention. 

How to deal with an attention-seeking dog:

  • Provide them with some toys to play with. 
  • Give them enough attention and interaction.
  • Get them enough mental and physical stimuli.

Other dogs may parade and chew socks to get their human’s attention, but your dog may just sit in your lap. They’ll do this, especially if you haven’t given them much attention for a while. 

AKC said canines deserve your attention and love. You’re in charge of how you can find a healthy balance of your time. 

Giving enough attention to your German Shepherd helps in creating a powerful bond with them. For your dog, you’re their world. 

#7: You’re in their spot

You're In Your German Shepherd's Spot

You may be unaware that where you sit is where your German Shepherd loves to sit. 

That’s why they sit on you to let you know you need to find your own spot. It’s up to you if you move or enjoy having them on your lap. 

Have you seen the Big Bang Theory TV series? Do you remember how Sheldon reacts every time someone is sitting on his spot? I think if German Shepherds can talk, they’ll say the same thing. 

#8. You unknowingly teach them 

You’re encouraging your dog’s behavior without you knowing it. They might think that you like having them in your lap if you’re giving them more of your attention. Or you give them treats whenever they sit on you.

Avoid giving them attention when they do this behavior. This way, you’ll not motivate them to do it. 

You can train them to sit on the other side of the couch. Give them rewards for it, like giving them healthy treats. 

#9. Separation anxiety

A study found out that an estimation of 20% of the dog’s population has separation anxiety. 

Treatment for canine separation anxiety:

  • Medications.
  • Behavioral treatments.
  • Dog-appeasing pheromone.

Separation anxiety can be the reason your German Shepherd sits on your lap. Your dog gets anxious when they don’t enjoy being left alone. 

German Shepherds with separation anxiety cry, pace, or destroy things while you’re away from them. So consult your vet to know how to handle your dog. 

Before you attempt to stop your German Shepherd from sitting on you, seek medical advice first. 

You should understand what is causing this behavior before you try to stop it. And try to determine when is the first time they sat on you. 

Considering what else happened around the time it started would be helpful. 

Evaluate the situation if:

  • You moved to a new house.
  • They have a new daily routine.
  • A family member moved away.
  • You have a new work schedule.

Observe if they’re only doing this behavior in certain times or situations. If so, there could be an external cause for it. 

You might also want to consider if theyonly sit on your lap if you haven’t given them enough attention. Or they do this when you would normally feed them.

3 tips to stop your German Shepherd from sitting on you 

#1: It’s time to train them

You love your dog so much, but if they exhibit unwanted behavior, it will start to irritate you. 

How to control unwanted dog behavior:

  • Train them.
  • Be consistent with rules.
  • Reward desired behaviors.
  • Exercise them to help release their energy. 
  • Prevent them from learning inappropriate behaviors.

Start training your German Shepherd. This will help them undo their behavior. Try teaching them to stay on the floor or sit on the other side of the couch when you’re sat down. 

You can ask for professional help on how to train your dog not to sit on you. 

This way, you’ll be confident that the techniques and tricks you’re learning are safe and friendly for your dog. 

#2. Try ignoring them

Your dog’s unwanted behavior will get your attention. But ignoring your German Shepherd’s unacceptable behavior is sometimes the best way to stop it. 

Giving your dog a cold shoulder is the first step to solve the situation by sitting on your lap. 

Sure some dog parents aren’t bothered with this kind of behavior. But others may find it annoying. Especially if their dog sits on them way too much. 

Your German Shepherd might look for your attention. And like others, they sit in your lap too. If you find their behavior intolerable, you can always try this technique on your dog. 

Note: Just make sure that you don’t ignore them too much. 

#3: Give them something they’ll enjoy

You should give your German Shepherd something that will divert their attention from you. For example, toys to play with and chew on.

When a German Shepherd is distracted by other things, it stops them from sitting on you.

Bonus: Stop encouraging them

You could have encouraged the behavior of your German Shepherd. Giving things that your dog wants while sitting on your lap makes them want to do it more often. 

An example of this is when you give them treats while they sit on you or you’re playing with them at those times. Your German Shepherd remembers it. And they’ll do it often.  


German Shepherds sit on for so many reasons mentioned above. This behavior is not so alarming as long as they don’t do it excessively. 

As long as you’re comfortable with your dog sitting on your lap, it’s fine. But when it bothers you so much, you can always ask for professional help. 

This kind of behavior does not bother most of dog parents. For them, it’s just their dog’s way of showing their affection and most of them loved it. 

But dog parents are still curious about why their dog sits on them.