Have you been wondering why your dog appears to always like to sit in your spot as soon as you get up? And you may also wonder if your dog doesn't really feel safe and comfortable in its space and begin to feel you're doing something wrong.
So, Why does my dog sit in my spot? Main reasons for this behavior include expression of affection to his owner, territorial aggression, he is being over-protective or rather just a petty habit
Dogs always show clues to help you understand what they feel and why they are acting in a particular way, and you just might be missing these markers since they are usually hidden in the littlest details. Well, this post will help clear your doubts and worry and help you better understand why your dog might be acting this way as I explain further
1. Territorial aggression:
Dogs are known to instinctively protect resources they feel are vital such as food, shelter, and even people. Dogs that show territorial aggression often display defensive, warning, and sometimes even offensive responses when they feel threatened.
Your dog might go to sit in your spot as soon as you get up because it is trying to guard that spot. Check out for other signs in your dog's facial expression and body language to help you confirm if this is a case of territoriality.
Does your dog growl when you try to get it to move as soon as a return? Does its body appear rigid and alert? If you believe this is a case of territorial aggression, then you would want to correct this as this might result in acts of violence.
Give your dog simple commands like "Move" or "Get up", and offer it rewards when it obeys. You must never encourage any behavior in your dog that seems to challenge your authority as the long term consequence is a dog who is out of control.
Territorial aggression is usually deeply rooted in feelings of insecurity and lack of confidence. Hence, you might want to contact an experienced dog behaviorist that would help you identify what triggers such emotions in your dog and how to eliminate it safely.
2. Expression of love:
Every human has their scent, think of it like fingerprints. Each is unique and never truly the same. For dogs, their sense of smell is so powerful, almost like a superpower.
Dogs also have an excellent memory of scent that can help them distinguish and recognize different smells.
So you can be sure your dog knows your particular scent and can identify it in a sea of other scents.
Many studies have shown that dogs feel more secure and peaceful when surrounded by the natural essence of their master. So, your dog going to sit in your spot when you get up maybe because it can smell your scent there. Again, you can watch out for clues that would help you know if this is the root of the behavior.
For example, Does your dog do the same thing to other pieces of clothing at home? Your dirty t-shirt? Or socks? Read other body languages, such as your dog tilting its head to catch a whiff of your scent on the seat, to help you narrow down the reason for the behavior.
Does your dog seem to snuggle all over your space when you're gone and then stands up to move back to its original position as soon as you get back? If yes, then it most likely went there for your fragrance.
3. Guard duties:
Dogs naturally have powerful instincts to protect the people they love and the things that matter to their loved ones. Your dog might go to sit in your spot when you stand because it believes your spot is important to you and feels the need to secure it against any intruders.
Notice, if your dog seems to watch around as it sits in your spot? Does it growl when someone else (that isn't you) tries to approach that spot but moves away obediently as soon as it sees you approaching? If this is the case, then your dog might just be protecting your spot for you.
4. Petty habit:
Dogs sometimes exhibit shallow and petty behaviors. So your dog going to sit at your spot when you stand may be its way of saying "Since you like it so much then I want it too". Reasons like this usually aren't accompanied by fits of aggression and just a light nudging or simple command would get your dog to move back to its original position.
Other points to consider
Another reason your dog might be sitting in your spot might be because it is seeking attention and it knows this would get it some, especially if you've always rewarded it with attention when it does so.
Also, your dog might go to sit in your space as soon as you leave simply because it likes that particular spot and nothing more. You can easily tell if this is the case if it doesn't seem to act that way towards any other spot around the house. It could be that your dog finds this spot more comfortable, or warm, or maybe likes the view this particular spot provides.
You might also want to consider that your dog doesn't want your spot, to begin with. It's easy to mistake your dog nudging you lightly for it trying to get you to leave the spot. Your dog might just want sweet cuddles, kisses, and a good pat on the head.
This would usually be the case if you've always rewarded it with affection whenever it lies beside you when you're sitting at that spot.
How to get your dog to stop
In situations when your dog leaves your spot as soon as you leave, there might be no need to discontinue the habit as it might bear no negative consequences.
However, if your dog always requires commands or continuous nudgings to leave the spot for you, then you might need to do something about this.
Positive reinforcement would be a great way to do this, by offering your dog rewards and treats when it obeys to build a new habit.
You can also provide your dog with its comfortable couch and try to make it as appealing as possible. You can place gifts on its couch such that he no longer sees your space as the best place in the room.
Ensure you do not encourage your dog by going to sit somewhere else whenever it refuses to leave your space, as this would only cause the behavior to persist.
The truth is training your dog can be a little overwhelming. You have to potty train your dog, teach it to be submissive, house train and even crate train your dog.
However, you'll find these tasks less challenging if you have a friendly guide to put you through. Here is a training program by America's leading dog trainer, you'd find all the resources and support you need to make this process as smooth as possible for both your dog and for yourself.