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Why does my dog stand in front of me?

Why does my dog stand in front of me?

If your dog keeps standing in front of you, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it.

This post will show you a number of reasons why your dog might be doing it and how you can get it to stop.

Possible reasons why your dog stands in front of you are that it wants attention, has separation anxiety, is being protective, is nervous or you might have inadvertently rewarded the behavior.

There are a number of nuances that you can consider when trying to figure out why your dog stands in front of you. Once you have a good idea of why it is doing it, you’ll have a much easier time getting it to stop.

Why your dog stands in front of you

Each of the different reasons that your dog stands in front of you will likely come with a number of clues.

Below, I will mention a number of reasons why your dog might be doing it and what would make them more likely.

It wants attention

The reason that it stands in front of you might be that it wants attention. This would be more likely if it comes and stands in front of you when you are sitting down. It would also be more likely if you tend to reward it with attention when it stands in front of you.

If you do tend to reward it with attention, when it stands in front of you, then consider training it to sit somewhere else and to avoid rewarding it when it stands in front of you.

Related: Why does my dog walk in front of me?

It has separation anxiety

The reason that it does it might be that it has some separation anxiety. This is where your dog does not like being left alone and the prospect of being left alone causes it to get anxious. This would be more likely if your dog tends to get anxious when you are about to leave.

If it does have separation anxiety then it might stand in front of you in order to make it more difficult for you to leave it.

Related: why does my dog grumble?

It’s being protective

The reason that it stands in front of you could be that it is being protective. This would be more likely if it only seems to do it when other people or dogs are around. It would also be more likely if it does not do it when there are not other people around.

You have inadvertently rewarded it

The reason that it stands in front of you might be that you have inadvertently rewarded it. This would be more likely if your method of getting it to stop standing in front of you is to give it things that it wants such as treats, attention or toys.

Instead, it would help to train it to sit somewhere else and to avoid rewarding it when it does it.

Nervousness

The reason that it stands 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.

Lack of spatial awareness

It could just be the case that your dog does not realize that it is blocking your path. This would be more likely if it stands there when there is not much room about and it is waiting to see what you are doing.

Things to consider

Below, I will mention some particularly helpful things to consider when trying to figure out why your dog stands in front of you. Once you have a better idea of the cause it will be easier to take the appropriate action.

When it first started doing it

It would help to consider when your dog first started standing in front of you.

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

When it does it

The timing of when it stands in front of you could also be a helpful thing to consider.

If you notice that it stands 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 at random times then it could be that it does not realize that it is in your way.

How to get your dog to stop standing in front of you

There are a number of things that you can do about your dog standing ahead of you. The best option for your dog will largely depend on the cause of it doing it.

Below, I will mention a number of things that you can do about it.

Positive reinforcement training

Positive reinforcement training is where you reward your dog for doing the things that you want it to do getting it to learn to do them more.

To use positive reinforcement training to get it to stop standing in your way, you would:

  • Reward it before it stands in front of you
  • Stop rewarding it when it stands in front of you
  • Get it to stop standing in front of you and avoid giving it attention until it doesn’t try to get stand in front of you
  • Reward it each time it does not try to stand in front of you

Avoid negative reinforcement training

Negative reinforcement training is where you inadvertently reinforce bad behaviors by giving it things that it wants when it stands in front of you. If you want to get your dog to stop standing in front of you, it would help to avoid rewarding it when it does it.

Avoid punishing it

While it would help to avoid rewarding it, when it stands in front of you, it would also help to avoid punishing it. If you punish it, your dog might not know why and it could cause feelings of resentment.

Instead, it would help to reward it when it is well behaved and to use positive reinforcement training to get it to be well behaved.

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