If your Golden Retriever keeps sitting on you, this post will show you why and what you can do about it.
So, why does my Golden Retriever sit on me? Possible reasons are that it wants attention, is bored, has separation anxiety or you might have inadvertently rewarded the behavior.
There are many different reasons why your Golden Retriever might sit on you and it might be due to a combination of them. However, there are a number of things you can consider when trying to figure out the main cause and there are a number of things you can do about it.
Why your Golden Retriever sits on you
Below are common reasons why your Golden Retriever might sit on you and what would make them more likely.
It wants attention
The reason why it does it might be to get extra attention from you. This would be more likely if it tends to do it when you have not been giving it much attention and if you tend to give it extra attention when it does it.
Instead, it would help to give it attention throughout the day in the form of exercise, training and play. It would also help to avoid rewarding it with attention when it tries to sit on you and to train it to sit somewhere else.
Golden Retrievers are meant to get exercise daily. When they do not get enough exercise it can cause them to behave abnormally and it might be why yours sits on you. This would be more likely if it tends to do it at around the same time that you would normally give it exercise.
Generally, it is recommended for them to get at least an hour of exercise per day as healthy adults.
You encouraged the behavior
It might also be the case that you have inadvertently trained it to sit on you by giving it things it wants when it does it. If you tend to give it things such as extra attention, toys or treats when it sits on you, 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 and to give it positive reinforcement training.
A way that dogs assert their dominance over each other in the wild is to raise their elevation above the rest of the pack. If your Golden Retriever is trying to be dominant then it might be doing this by sitting on you or sitting down in higher positions than you.
This is something that is important to prevent from happening so that your Golden Retriever continues to see you as its leader which will help to make it easier to control. You can do this by training it to sit or to lay down in certain places that are lower than where you sit.
The reason why it does it might be due to having some separation anxiety. This is where it does not like being left alone and the prospect of being left alone causes it to get anxious. This would be more likely if it sits on you when you would normally go out. It would also be more likely if it shows signs of being anxious when you’re leaving such as pacing or crying.
You’re in its spot
If it only sits on you when you are sitting in a certain place then it might be doing it because it thinks that the spot belongs to it. In this case, it would be important to train it to sit somewhere else when you are there so that it continues to see you as the leader.
Things to consider
Below are some things you can consider when trying to figure out why your Golden Retriever has been doing it.
When it started sitting on you
If your Golden Retriever, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it.
If it started doing it suddenly then it could be that something triggered it to start doing it. Things that might have happened could include:
- You rewarded it for sitting with you once
- You started working longer hours
- It stopped getting as much exercise
When it does it
If it tends to sit on you at a certain time, it might also help to consider what is different when it does it.
If it does it when you would normally give it attention then it could be that it has learned to come and sit on you to get attention at that time. Whereas, if it does it when it would normally get exercise then it might be trying to get you to give it exercise.
How to get your Golden Retriever to stop sitting on you
Below are some things you can do when getting your Golden Retriever to stop sitting on you.
Train it not to
You can train your Golden Retriever not to sit on you by teaching it to stay on the floor when you’re sat down. You can do this by getting it to sit or to lay down and then gradually teaching it to stay there over longer and longer time periods.
You can do this by applying the same techniques as in the video below:
Avoid encouraging the behavior
As mentioned above, it could be the case you have trained it to do it by giving it rewards when it sits on you.
Instead of giving it things that it wants, when it sits on you, it would help to train it to sit somewhere else and to reward it when it is being well behaved.
Give it attention throughout the day
Since it might be doing it because it wants to get attention from you, it would help to give it attention throughout the day. You can do this by exercising it, training it and playing with it.