If your dog has been sitting under you 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 it has been doing it and what you can do to get it to stop.
So, why does my dog sit under my legs? Possible reasons why your dog sits under your legs are that it wants something from you, it is being affectionate, it is waiting for something such as exercise, you have inadvertently rewarded the behavior or it feels more secure by sitting under your legs
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 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.
Why your dog sits under your legs
Below are a number of common reasons why dogs do it and what would make them more likely to be the reason why your dog has been doing it.
It is waiting for something
The reason why it does it might be that it is waiting to get something from you. This would be more likely if it tends to do it more at around the same time that you would normally feed it or give it a walk. It would also be more likely if it does it when you are eating because it likely wants some of your food.
You have rewarded the behavior
It could be the case that it has learned that it gets rewards for sitting under your legs. If you tend to give it things such as extra attention, treats or food, when your dog does it, your dog will likely do it more in order to get more rewards. If you want it to stop, it would help to reward it when it sits where you want it to and to try to redirect it to sit elsewhere when it is about to sit underneath your legs.
It feels safer there
It could also be the case that it has been doing it because it feels safer there. This would be more likely if it has a submissive personality and if it tends to hide when you are not around.
It is being affectionate
The reason why it does it could just be that it is being affectionate. This would be more likely if it tends to touch you when sitting under your legs and if it gets you to do things such as give it belly rubs.
It could be the case that it has some separation anxiety and it wants to know when you are about to leave. This would be more likely if it tends to do it when you are about to leave home and if it tends to show signs of being anxious when you are leaving. In this case, it would help to try to reduce reasons why it might be anxious by letting it pee, eat and get exercise before leaving it for long time periods.
It is being protective
It could be the case that it does it because it is being protective. This would be more likely if it sits under your legs mostly when other people are around and if it can get overly protective when other people are around.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider when figuring out the most likely reason why your dog has been doing it.
What else happened when your dog first started sitting under your legs
If your dog did not always sit under your legs, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it. For example, if it started doing it after you gave it some of your food, it probably learned that, if it sits under your legs, it will be able to get some more of your food.
What is different when it does it
It would also help to consider if there is anything different in the timing that your dog tends to do it. For example, if your dog tends to do it more when you are about to leave home, it might be the case that it has some separation anxiety.
What to do about your dog sitting under your legs
Below are some options you have when getting your dog to stop doing it.
Train it to sit 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, 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 sit
It would also help to give it a comfortable area where it can sit or lay down. The area should be cool, quiet, not too bright and there should be space for it to lay down comfortably.
Avoid rewarding the behavior
As mentioned above, it might have learned that it gets rewards for sitting under your legs. It would help to reward it when it behaves the way you want, to avoid rewarding it when it sits under your legs and to try to redirect it to sit somewhere else when it is about to sit under your legs.