If your dog moves when you sit down you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of possible causes and what you can do about them.
So, why does my dog move when I sit next to it? Possible reasons why your dog moves when you sit down are that it is intimidated, it thinks that you do not want it to sit with you, or not wanting to be bothered.
There are actually multiple reasons why your dog might be doing it and it might be due to a combination of reasons. However, there are a number of things you can consider when figuring out the main reason and there are a number of things you can do about it.
Reasons why your dog moves when you sit next to it
Below are a number of possible reasons why your dog has been doing it and what would make them more likely.
The cause might be that it is intimidated. This would be more likely if it moves away when you have gotten angry recently but it does not move away when you are calm with it. In this case, it would help to be calm with it and to use positive reinforcement training to get it to behave the way you want.
The cause might be that it is allowing you to have the more dominant position in the room due to seeing you as the leader. This would be more likely if it immediately goes to sit in a lower down position.
Encouraging the behavior
It might also be the case that it has learned that the behavior gets rewarded. If you tend to give it things such as toys, treats, or extra attention, when it moves away from you, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.
It doesn’t want to be bothered
Another possible cause is that it does not want to be bothered while it is resting. This would be more likely if it immediately goes to a spot where it can sleep and if it only does it when it seems to be tired.
Dogs can also become depressed and it might be why yours has been moving away from you. This would be more likely if it started doing it since an event might have caused it to become depressed and if it has not been showing much interest or excitement around you or anyone else at all. You can read more about dog depression here.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.
If your dog has always when you moved sit next to it
If your dog did not always move when you used to sit next to it, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it. If it started doing it suddenly, it could be due to things such as learning that the behavior is rewarded or because it started getting intimidated.
If your dog does not always move when you sit next to it
If your dog does not always move, when you sit next to it, it would also help to consider what is different when it does not move. For example, if it only moves when it is sleeping, it might be the case that it does it because it does not want to be bothered.
What to do about your dog moving when you sit next to it
Below are a number of options you have when dealing with the behavior.
Avoid encouraging it
As mentioned above, it might be the case that your dog has learned that the behavior gets rewarded. Instead, it would help to reward it when it does not move away and to avoid giving it things such as extra attention when it does.
Be calm with it
Positive reinforcement training
Positive reinforcement training involves encouraging the behaviors you want to see by rewarding your dog when it shows signs of behaving that way and not rewarding it when it does not. To get it to stop moving away from you, you could make it seem like you are going to sit with it, reward it for not moving, and then sit with it and reward it until it does move away. Repeating this process, over time, should teach it that sitting with you results in it being rewarded.