If your dog has been sitting under your desk 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 about them.
So, why does my dog sit under my desk? Possible reasons are that it finds it more comfortable there, it feels safer there, it is waiting for something from you such as food or that you have inadvertently encouraged it to do it by rewarding it when it sits there.
Since there are a number of possible causes, 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 a lot easier to get it to stop.
Why your dog sits under your desk
Below are a number of common reasons why dogs do it and what would make them more likely to be the main reason.
It finds it more comfortable there
It is not uncommon for dogs to sit or sleep under desks. The reason why yours has been doing it could simply be that it finds it more comfortable there. This would be more likely if your dog does not show any signs of being anxious or scared around the house and if it behaves normally otherwise.
It feels safer there
The reason why it does it could be that it feels safer there. By sitting or laying under the desk, it will be able to protect itself from above making it more likely that it will be able to see potential threats. Being around you would also likely make it feel more secure. This could be the reason why your dog does it even if there is no reason for it to be scared. This would be more likely to be the reason if it tends to have a more submissive personality.
It wants something from you
The reason why it does it could be that it is waiting to get something from you such as a walk or food. This would be more likely if it does it more at around the same time that you would normally feed it or walk it. The cause could also be the case that it is hoping to get some of the food that you have at your desk.
Something has been causing it to be fearful
It might be the case that something has been causing it to be fearful and it has been hiding under the desk because it feels safer there. This would be more likely if it tends to do it more at a certain time such as when there are loud noises outside or when a certain person is around.
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 under the desk
If your dog has started doing it suddenly, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it. For example, if it started doing it at around the same time that you started bringing food to your desk, it could be the case that your dog has been going there because it wants some of your food.
What is different when it does it
It would also help to consider the timing of when your dog goes there. If it goes there when you are at your desk, it would be more likely that it does it because it feels safer around you or that it wants something from you such as food. Whereas, if it goes there when you are not there, it could be that it finds it comfortable there or that it feels safer there.
What to do about your dog sitting or laying under the desk
Below are some options you have when getting your dog to stop doing it.
Train it to sit or lay somewhere else
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 or lay, 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.
Give it another place to lay down
If it does not currently have somewhere else to sit or lay down, it would help to give it access to another spot to go to. One option would be to get a crate for it to use and to put a cover over it so that it can go to its crate when it wants to and feel safe there.
Avoid rewarding the behavior
It could be the case that you have encouraged it to go under the desk by giving it things it wants when it does it. Instead, it would help to reward it when it lays where you want it to and to avoid rewarding it when it goes under the desk.
Reduce reasons why it might be anxious
As mentioned above, it could be the case that something has been causing it to be fearful. If possible, it would help to try to minimize reasons that it might be fearful such as by letting it stay in a quieter room.