4 Sweet Reasons Your Dog Sometimes Sits On Your Upper Body Awkwardly

Surprisingly, it’s more than just adorable.

Small dog sitting on its owner's lap. evrymmnt / Shutterstock

It can be difficult not knowing exactly what our dogs are thinking every second of every day. All we want is for them to be happy, well-fed, and comfortable, so we're left to decode their mannerisms that at the outset may not make a lot of sense.

For example, dog trainer Bronagh Daly shared her dog’s tendency to sit up on her chest in an awkward position that many dog owners know all too well. While it seems like a silly ploy for them to be close to you, she revealed several reasons why they might actually be doing it. 


Here are the 4 sweet reasons your dog sometimes sits on your upper body awkwardly.



1. If they’re relaxed, they’re likely trying to get your attention. 

Typically because they’re bored or frustrated, dogs use behaviors like sitting on you to get your attention. Accompanied by pawing or eye contact, the adorable tendency is a result of their social nature. 


While it might just take a few pets or a throw of a toy to get them off, noticing this behavior can also help you understand how your dog is feeling. As with any tendency in animals, their overall demeanor can tell you a lot about what they’re trying to communicate. If they’re sitting up on you looking relaxed, with a loose body, and occasional “squinty” eye contact, they likely just want some love from you. 

RELATED: 8 Sweet Signs Your Dog Is Happy And Feels Safe With You

2. If you’re noticing more stressed emotions, they might be alerting you of their discomfort. 

If you find that your dog is backing up into your space or sitting closely on your chest, they might be trying to alert you of something else. Take note of their behavior. If they seem stressed, they might be feeling anxiety or discomfort. 

Look for yawning when they aren't tired and excessive licking as signs of stress.




Taking in the environment around you to acknowledge any triggers your dog might be experiencing like loud noises, uncomfortable temperatures, or strangers, can help you make them feel more at ease. 

3. They want the space that you’re taking up for themselves. 

Sometimes, they’re simply annoyed by you and want to use the space that you’re sitting or lying on for themselves. Dogs tend to use this tactic on other dogs and animals, as well. 

So, if your big dog is constantly pushing up into your smaller dog’s space it might be as innocent as they want the bed they’re laying in. 




RELATED: Professional Dog Trainer Reveals The Top 3 Dog Breeds He Would Never Own

4. More aggressive behavior could indicate ‘resource guarding.’

If you notice your dog doing this when there’s food or toys nearby, their behavior could be a sign of “resource guarding,” which is a protective measure dogs use while trying to “assert dominance” over their things.



While Daly admitted resource guarding was less common, it’s still very possible and their rigid or stressed behavior might be a sign that they’re protecting something — in this case, probably you! 


Don't forget that a snuggle with your pup is good for you both.

Chances are, your best buddy is just trying to get some quality time with their favorite pack mate, and you should indulge them! Cuddling with your dog isn't just good for them, it's also good for you. Petting and spending time with your dog releases serotonin and reduces stress, something we all need help with.



So, next time Snoopy climbs up onto your chest, put aside any distractions and indulge in some furry snuggles.


RELATED: 15 Sweet Signs Your Dog Thinks Of You As Their Mom Or Dad

Zayda Slabbekoorn is a news and entertainment writer at YourTango focusing on pop culture analysis and human interest stories.