If your dog has been sitting on your head or face a lot, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of possible reasons why your dog has been doing it and what you can do about it.
So, why does my dog sit on my head? Possible reasons why your dog sits on your head are that it is trying to get you to do something for it such as feed it, you have inadvertently rewarded the behavior, or that it is doing it for attention.
There are a number of reasons why your dog might be doing it and it could be due to a combination of reasons. However, there are some things you can consider when figuring out the main reason and there are some things you can do to get it to stop.
Why your dog sits on your head or face
Below are common reasons why dogs do it and what would make them more likely to be the main reason.
It wants something from you
The reason why your dog does it could be that it wants something from you. This would be more likely if it does it at around the same time that you would normally give it something such as food or exercise and if it sits on you in a way that gets you to get up.
The cause might also be that it is bored. This would be more likely if it does it when it has not gotten any exercise in a while and if it tends to become highly energetic when it does it. In this case, it would help to ensure that it is getting at least the daily amount of recommended exercise for its breed.
Encouraging the behavior
It could be the case that it has learned that it gets things that it wants if it sits on your face or head. If you tend to give it things such as toys, treats or other rewards when your dog does sits on your head, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards. Instead, it would help to reward it when it behaves the way you want it to, to give it positive reinforcement training and to try to redirect its behavior when it is about to sit on your head.
It wants attention
It could be the case that it does it in order to get extra attention from you. This would be more likely if it tends to do it more when you have not been giving it much attention and if you tend to give it more attention when it does it.
Instead, it would help to give it attention throughout the day by training it, playing with it and giving it exercise. But, it would help to avoid rewarding it with attention when it misbehaves and to wait for it to calm down before giving it attention.
It’s not likely to be dominance
Many people jump to the conclusion that their dogs do it because they are trying to be dominant. However, the alpha/beta dynamic has been disproven in studies showing that wolves take turns in taking the lead.
With that being said, it could be doing it due to bullying behavior which would be more likely if it tries to get you to move and if it shows signs of aggression when doing it. In this case, it would help to avoid giving it reasons to feel threatened and to get it to learn to behave the way you want it to with training programs such as NLIF (Nothing in Life is Free) dog training.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.
What else happened when your dog first started sitting on your head
If your dog did not always behave that way, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it. If it started doing it suddenly, it might be the case that it learned that it gets rewards for doing it.
What is different when your dog sits on your head
It would also help to consider what is different when your dog sits on your head. For example, if it does it at the same time that you normally give it exercise, it might be trying to get you to give it exercise.
What to do about your dog sitting on your head
Below are some options you have when getting your dog to stop doing it.
Positive reinforcement training
Positive reinforcement training is where you train your dog to behave the way you want by rewarding it when it shows signs of behaving the way 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.
Nothing in Life is Free training
NLIF training is where you train your dog to complete tasks before giving it rewards. For example, you might get your dog to sit and stay before letting it eat from its food bowl in the morning. By doing so, you should be able to get it to learn that following your command and being well-behaved results in it getting things that it wants.
Ignore it and don’t reward it
As mentioned above, it could be the case that your dog has learned that sitting on your head results in it getting rewards. Instead, it would help to get it off your head and to ignore it until it is being well behaved so that learns that being well behaved is what gets it rewards.