If your dog keeps sits in front of you a lot, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of reasons why your dog has been doing it and what you can do to stop it.
So, why does my dog sit in front of me? Possible reasons why your dog sits in front of you are that it wants something from you, it is waiting for something, you have inadvertently encouraged the behavior, or that it wants extra attention.
There are many reasons why it might be doing it and it could be due to a combination of reasons. However, there are a number of things to consider that will help you figure out the main reason. Once you have a good idea of the cause, it should become easier to decide upon what you should do about it.
Why your dog sits in front of you
Below are a number of reasons why your dog might sit in front of you and what would make them more likely to be the main reason.
It wants attention
The reason why it sits in front of you might be that it wants attention. This would be more likely if it comes and sits in front of you when you are sitting down and have not been giving it attention for a while. It would also be more likely if you tend to reward it with attention when it sits in front of you.
If you do tend to reward it with attention, when it sits in front of you, then consider training it to sit somewhere else and to avoid rewarding it when it sits in front of you.
It has some separation anxiety
The cause might be that it has some separation anxiety. This would be more likely if it tends to do it more when you normally leave home and if it tends to show signs of being anxious when you are leaving such as pacing or whining. It would help to reduce reasons why it might be anxious by giving it exercise, feeding it and letting it pee before leaving and periodically coming back to see it if possible.
It is waiting for something
The reason why it does it could be that it is waiting for something from you. This would be more likely if it tends to do it at around the same time that you would give it things such as food or exercise.
Encouraging the behavior
It might be the case that it has learned that it gets rewards when it sits in front of you. If you tend to give it things such as extra attention, toys, treats or food, when it sits in front of you, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards. Instead, it would help to reward it when it sits where you want it to and to avoid rewarding it when it behaves in a way that you do not want.
It’s being protective
It might be the case that it does it because it is being protective. This would be more likely if it sits facing away from you and if it does it more when other people are around.
The reason why it sits in front of you could be that it is nervous. This would be more likely if it only does it when things happen that would cause it to become nervous. Examples could be when there is lightning, sirens outside or someone being around that it doesn’t like.
Things to consider
Below are a number of things to consider when figuring out the main reason why it has been doing it.
What else happened when your dog first started sitting in front of you
If it did not always sit in front of you, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started. It could be the case that an event occurred that caused it to start.
Things that might have happened that could have triggered it to start doing it could be:
- You rewarded it one time when it did it
- You moved home and it is anxious in its new environment
- Its schedule changed and it does not know what to expect now
What is different when your dog does not sit in front of you
The timing of when it sits in front of you could also be a helpful thing to consider.
If you notice that it sits in front of you when you are about to leave then it might be that it has some separation anxiety. Whereas, if it seems to do it when you would normally feed it, the reason would be more likely to be waiting for food.
What you can do about your dog sitting in front of you
Below are a number of things you can do if you want to get it to sit somewhere else.
Train it to sit where you want it to
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 the behavior
As mentioned above, it might be the case that it learned that it gets rewards when it sits in front of you. Instead, it would help to reward it when it sits where you want it to, to avoid rewarding it when it does not and to give it positive reinforcement training to get it to sit where you want.
Give it a daily routine
Dogs like following a daily routine so that they know what to expect at certain times. If you currently feed or exercise your dog at random times, it might be sitting in front of you to remind you to give it food or exercise. If you try to give it food and exercise at the same time daily, it should start to learn what time to expect those things and help to reduce how much it sits waiting in front of you.