Dogs have so many strange tendencies, they roll around in the dirt, they sniff your crotch, lick themselves and even eat trash(please don't allow your dog to do that). Most of these behaviors are very weird, well strange to us because we tend to want to expect our human instincts from our dogs.
Well, I don't know if you've noticed, but your dog doesn't belong to the same species as you, hence why you might be finding yourself asking "why does my dog sit under me?".
Many dog owners report noticing such behavior from their dog, wanting to know the root of the habit and how to get their dog to stop. Maybe you also have such concerns, as there might be not much room left under the chair for your feet when your dog gets in there.
Then, this post would not only help you identify the cause for such an attitude but also help you know what to do if you wish for it to discontinue.
1. Safety and comfort:
Dogs tend to feel safe and secure in the presence of their owner. They tend to be more relaxed and comfortable around their master. Your dog might be sitting under you because it just wants to be close to you.
This is more common among puppies or dogs introduced to a new home, or if you recently moved to a new apartment and your dog is slowly adjusting to the change in scenery.
Also, you might want to consider when your dog goes to sit under you as this might help identify the reason for the behavior. Does your dog only goes to sit under you when other people are around?.
Some dogs tend to shy away from people they aren't familiar with because they are thrown off by the new scents they can't quite recognize. Did you get a new pet or have a baby recently? This also could be the reason for your dog sitting under you.
2. Attention seeking:
Your dog values your attention and would always seek to get it especially if you haven't been paying much mind to it. It's normal for your dog to jump on you when you give it food, or look sad and yelp when you make a move to leave the room.
However, some behaviors are considered excessive attention-seeking, such as your dog following you around the house, always coming to sit under you, nudging you with its paws and barking for no obvious reason.
It is easy to admit that it's very hard to ignore your dog when it is sitting directly under you especially if it's making loud noises and constantly moving around down there.
You might want to discourage the habit, by only offering him attention and treats when he isn't disturbing for your attention as you do not want an ill-mannered and rude dog that makes a fuss when you're too busy to play or go for a walk.
3. Your dog wants something:
Let's say, you go to your work table because you have a long-overdue project. You look at the digital clock by your desk and see that it's 3 pm, the same time you'd normally take your dog for a walk, but you can't because your boss just gave you a new deadline. You sit by your desk ready to dig into work, and then your dog comes to sit under your legs. You begin to wonder what this might mean.
You might want to consider that your dog coming to sit under you might be because it wants something and it's trying to tell you. This would most likely be the case if your dog only does this at particular times during the day.
For example, if your dog only comes to sit under you when you're eating, then it could be that your dog is waiting for crumbs and treats it might score, or if your dog only sits there at a time that coincides with its exercise time.
4. Separation anxiety:
Raising a dog takes commitment and patience. There are so many stages you would watch your dog go through, from potty training to crate training, and even learning new tricks.
There are so many behavioral changes you might need to handle and one of them might be separation anxiety. Dogs that exhibit separation anxiety always want to be near their owners and show signs of distress and panic when you are about to leave the room.
Your dog always coming to sit under your legs might be because it's afraid of being alone and is dependent on your presence. Separation anxiety is a serious condition that should not be trivialized.
Other signs that your dog is suffering from separation anxiety include fear and desperate attempts to flee the room when it notices you're about leaving, trembling, barking, and frequent potty accidents.
You would need to be patient with your dog if it is exhibiting signs of anxiety. Also, you might want to contact a dog behaviorist to help you discover how to help your dog get over its stress and fear, and to find that alone time is not so scary.
5. Your dog is being protective:
The natural instincts of dogs are to protect their owners, and if they feel their master is being threatened they immediately switch to defense mode. Your dog coming to sit under you might be because it wants to watch out for potential threats and keep guard.
In this case, the behavior doesn't necessarily need to be discouraged except your dog is showing signs of overprotectiveness. Signs such as your dog snarling, snapping, flaring its nostrils, baring its teeth, and even lunging at anyone that tries to approach you (especially if the person is a stranger) are indications that your dog is being overprotective.
This behavior should not be encouraged as you don't want your dog to hurt itself or someone else.
6. Show of care:
While it is simple and straightforward for you to tell someone you love them by just saying the words, dogs on the other hand don't have it so easy, instead, they make use of their body language and non-verbal actions.
But, make no mistake your dog does communicate plainly as long as you know what you're to watch for. Notice what your dog does when it comes to sit under you, does it nudge your feet softly and give you a soulful stare?, then this might just be a way of saying "Hey there, I like you" and a show of care and affection.
Sometimes our dogs do things we'd rather they didn't or act in a way we find unattractive. As a dog owner, you would have to take conscious and well-calculated steps to get them to stop.
First, you have to practice the act of "management", this simply means you take actions to prevent your dog from acting this way again. Next, you'd want to ensure you haven't unintentionally been reinforcing the attitude, such as giving it gifts and treats when it acts in this manner.
Finally, you'd want to teach your dog how you want it to act by giving it simple commands on what to do and offering it rewards and praises whenever it behaves accordingly.
This would not only help your dog get rid of bad habits and pick up good ones, but it would also allow for more bonding time between you and your dog. You would get to understand your dog better, what it is trying to say when it scratches at the backdoor, or licks itself or even brings toys to you.