If your dog has been sitting far away from you a lot, 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 to get yours to stop.
So, why does my dog sit far away from me? Possible reasons why your dog sits far away from you are that it finds a particular spot comfortable, it thinks you don’t want it to sit with you, it feels threatened, it is being protective, it doesn’t want to be bothered or you might have inadvertently encouraged the behavior.
Since there are a number of reasons why your dog might have been sitting far away from you, it would help to consider what would make each of them more likely. Once you have a good idea of the cause, it should become easier to get it to stop.
Why your dog sits far away from you
Below are some common causes and what you can do about them.
It finds a particular spot more comfortable
It might be the case that there is a particular way that it likes to sit or lay down in a certain spot. This would be more likely if your dog does sit with you when you sit in a certain spot but less likely if it sits far away from you even when you are in a different spot. In this case, it might be helpful to give it a comfortable place to sit near where you normally sit.
It thinks you don’t want it to sit with you
It could be the case that it thinks that you want it to sit far away from you. This would be more likely if you previously got mad at it when it did sit near you or if you have been giving it rewards when it sits far away from you. Instead, it would help to be calm with it and to reward it when it shows signs of sitting with you.
It feels threatened
The reason why it has been doing it could be that it feels threatened. This would be more likely if it tends to do it more when you are angry, if it shows signs of being fearful such as making itself appear smaller and if it sits far away regardless of what room you’re in. It would help to be calm with your dog and to train it to behave a certain way with the use of positive reinforcement training.
It is being protective
It could be the case that it does it because it is actually being protective. This would be more likely if it tends to sit in a spot that allows it to see the front door and if it tends to be overly protective at home.
It doesn’t want to be bothered
The reason why it does it might be that it wants to avoid being bothered. This would be more likely if it does not always sit far away and if it does it more when it wants to sleep. In this case, it would help to make sure that it is able to sleep easily at night since it could be the case that it is trying to get extra sleep during the day due to issues sleeping at night.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider when figuring out why your dog has been doing it.
What else happened when your dog first started sitting far away from you
If it did not always sit far away from you, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it since an event could have occurred that caused it to start. For example, if it started doing it since rewarding it for sitting in a certain place, it might have learned to sit there for rewards.
What is different when your dog sits far away from you
If it does sit with you sometimes, it would help to consider what is different when it does sit with you. For example, if it does sit with you when you sit in a certain spot, it could be the case that it doesn’t sit with you when it is not comfortable for it to sit with you.
What to do about your dog sitting far away from you
Below are some options you have when getting your dog to sit with you more.
Train it to sit with you
One option would be to train your dog to sit on command with the use of positive reinforcement training, in the area that you would like it to sit, then you could tell it to sit there a couple of times per day and reward it for doing so. By repeating the process, it should learn that sitting in that new location results in it getting rewards.
Avoid encouraging it not to sit with you
As mentioned above, it might be the case that it learned that it gets rewards when it does not sit with you. Instead, it would help to reward it when it does sit near you, to avoid rewarding it when it does not and to give it positive reinforcement training to get it to sit where you want.
Be calm with it
As mentioned above, it could be the case that it has been avoiding you due to feeling threatened. It would help to be calm with your dog and to avoid punishing it since it might not know why it is being punished. It would help to use positive reinforcement training to change its behavior, where possible, instead.