Dogs are known to be quirky, weird and super curious all the time. And while they often exhibit the real definition of an adorable four legged partner, at times they might also take on to a more goofy side, doing all sorts of funny and puzzling things.
So, if lately your dog has been standing on top of you, it might be because the dog is in a playful mood or is trying to communicate with you. Canines express their feelings through their bodies and hence this simple act may link to many things. Usually they do this when they are super excited, hungry, stressed, or want your undivided attention. But sometimes it may also mean much more than that.
Top reasons why your dog stands on you
While many may claim this to be a typical alpha behavior, there has been a lot of debates going on regarding the same. Years have passed since the 1970s study describing how wolves (presumably the ancestors of today’s dog breeds) often exhibit ‘Alpha’ behavior to ascertain dominance and respect from their pack members.
More and more studies have been conducted which have shown that the relationship between dogs and their humans aren’t formed on the basis of this behavior. Therefore, referring to your dog’s standing on top of you as a sign of dominance or aggression is also not wise.
To understand this better, let’s have a look at the most common reasons behind such an action.
Just like small kids, pups also love to have their parents’ attention at all times. And for this, they will try almost every possible way under the sun to make you look at them or run to catch them. Generally puppers start with grabbing a toy and taking it to your side, whining, barking, and even nudging, but sometimes if you are lying and on the phone or busy reading a book they may decide to stand on top of you. It’s their way of saying that you have done enough of other things and it’s their time now.
This is a playful behavior which can be corrected with the proper training. Thus, there is absolutely nothing to be worried about.
No one loves to compromise and for dogs when it comes to their playing time, it is a big NO. If not given attention or taken out to play at the right time, your pup will definitely show their opposition by creating troubles, and that includes standing on top of you. They are intelligent animals and no matter how small they might be, they absolutely know how to grab your attention.
Therefore the next time your pooch is giving you a hard time by standing on top of you, get them their favorite toys and play with them. Your dog may also do the same if he/she is hungry, needs to poop/pee, or wants to go on a walk. So be on the lookout for the subtle cues.
Excitement or Anxiety
Sometimes when super excited or feeling anxious or stressed, a pooch may exhibit similar reactions. Every puppy resonates differently to their emotions and hence if your fur baby chooses to stand on top of you as a reaction to an external factor, it may be due to the heightened production of stress hormones in its body. The sudden spike of the hormones causes their brain to hyperventilate and thus do weird behaviors.
This mostly happens when the pooch is excited to go somewhere or is afraid of thunderstorms and fireworks going outside. Fortunately, it can be treated with the right methods and therefore consulting with a vet is what’s best for you as well as the canine.
Apart from whining, limping, panting, or excessive head shaking dogs also express any possible illness through a wide variety of ways. Thus, if the little pup has been recently clinging on to you more than normal, including standing upon you or leaning every time you sit or lie down, it could mean there is something wrong with the fur baby.
Such a sudden change in behavior could lead to physical, emotional and even psychological illness, hence be on the lookout for such weird behaviors. This is a common response in most pups as they often look up to us as their protectors.
Every woofer loves its owners and there’s no second thoughts in it. But their way of showing love is definitely much different than we humans do. If you have ever watched the Animal Planet or Discovery episodes, you must have seen animals coming closer, leaning and rubbing against other animals or their humans to show that they care and love them.
Therefore, if that’s the case, petting or scratching their ears is enough of a reward for them. They will most probably settle down on your lap after a while gently cuddling right next to you.
In case your pup has previously stood upon you and you have given them whatever they wanted, then the pup is definitely going to repeat the same. Just like small toddlers dogs have high intelligence levels and hence they are very likely to repeat actions which leads them to getting what they desire. And while this standing up on top of you may seem cute and adorable for smaller breeds, for larger ones it is nothing but a painful menace.
What can I do to stop my dog from standing on top of me?
Positive Reinforcement Training methods are hands-down the best solution for any given issue, no matter the breed or severity of the case. Unlike methods consisting of punishing the pup or using choke collars, training them to behave as desired using tasty treats has been time and again proven to be more effective.
This is because allowing the pups to understand the difference between a good and bad behavior without actually pressuring them makes them love and trust you even more. To try this you can start with:
- Sit down on a sofa and be on the lookout for any signs that your dog shows prior to their getting on top of the furniture or over your body.
- Stand up and command them ‘Down’ while pointing your index finger towards the floor.
- Once the canine goes down following your command, praise and reward them with the treat.
- Repeat the same process a couple more times regularly to bid goodbye to the annoying behavior forever.
Always remember it takes time, practice and patience for training your dog to stop exhibiting any weird behavior resulting from excessive stress, excitement, or bad habits. However, if the above method fails or there are other symptoms that show that the dog might be in pain, then consulting the vet must be your prime focus. Through their years of expertise and knowledge they will be able to find any underlying condition causing the issue and treat it properly without any delay.
Apart from this, here are some more funny and weird dog habits that you may come across at your home or on the internet.
- Running when asleep
- Eating poop or licking pee outside
- Zoomies all over the house
- Chasing shadows
- Barking at their own reflection
- Sucking blankets or bed sheets at night
- Dancing to music
- Playing instruments, mostly piano and howling
- Sniffing other dogs rear part
- Chasing their tails or spinning in circles
- Rolling in gross things like fox poo, etc.
So, this was all about the causes and solutions that you could work through if you have a dog that stands on top of you.
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