If your Golden Retriever sits on your lap a lot then you might be wondering why. In this post, I will show you common reasons why they do it and what you can do to get it to stop.

So, why does my Golden Retriever sits sit on my lap? Possible reasons are that it wants attention, you’re in its spot or that you have rewarded the behavior.

There are many reasons why your Golden Retriever might be doing it and it could be due to a combination of them. However, there are a number of things you can do about it and there are some things you can consider when trying to figure out the main cause.

Why your Golden Retriever sits on your lap

Below are some common reasons why Golden Retrievers sit on their owner’s laps and what would make them more likely to be the main reason why yours does it.

It wants attention

The cause could be that it is looking for attention. This would be more likely if you tend to give it more attention when it sits on your lap and if it does it more when you have not been giving it much attention.

If you want to get it to stop, it would help to avoid rewarding it with attention when it does it and to train it to sit somewhere else.

You’re in its spot

The cause could be that you’re sat where it likes to sit. If that is the case then it would be important to train it to sit somewhere else when you tell it to. Otherwise, you run the risk of it learning that you are not the one in charge which could cause it to become difficult to manage.

To spread its scent

Another possible reason is that it is trying to spread its scent onto you so that other dogs can smell it and so that they are less likely to approach you.

To prevent this you’ll need to spend time training it to sit in certain places and to discourage it from sitting on you by ignoring it when it does and rewarding it when it doesn’t.

It has been encouraged

It could be the case that you have encouraged the behavior by giving it things it wants when it does it. If you give it things such as toys, treats or extra attention, when it sits on you, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.

Instead, of giving it things that it wants, when it sits on you, it would help to train it not to sit on you and to reward it when it is being well behaved.

Separation anxiety

It could also be the case that it does it due to some separation anxiety. This is where it does not like being left alone and being left alone causes it to become anxious. This would be more likely to be the reason if it starts to get anxious when you are about to leave and if it sits on you at around the time that you normally leave.

Things to consider

Below are some things you can consider when trying to figure out why your Golden Retriever has been sitting on your lap.

When it first started sitting on your lap

If your Golden Retriever did not always sit on your lap, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it.

Things that might have happened could be that you rewarded it when it did it once, you stopped giving it as much attention or it stopped getting as many walks.

When it does it

It might also be the case that the timing of when it does it also has something to do with it.

If it does it when you would normally walk it then it might be trying to make you get up to walk it. Whereas, if it does it when you have not been giving it much attention then it might be doing it because it is looking for attention from you.

How to get your Golden Retriever to stop sitting on your lap

There are a number of things that you can do about your Golden Retriever sitting on your lap. The best option for your Golden Retriever will largely depend on the most likely cause of it doing it. Below, I will mention a number of things that you can do about it.

Ignore it

Since the reason why it sits on your lap is likely to be that it is looking for attention it would help to avoid giving it attention when it does it. You can do this by getting it off you, standing up, waiting for it to calm down and then doing it again if it tries to sit on you again.

Train it not to

You can also 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 see how it is done in the video below.

Avoid encouraging the behavior

As mentioned above, the cause could be that it has learned that it gets rewards for sitting on your lap. Instead, of giving your Golden Retriever things that it wants, when it sits on you, it would help to avoid doing so and to train it not to do it like mentioned above.

Give it distractions

In addition to training it not to sit on you, another thing that you can do is to give it lots of things to be distracted with so that it is less likely to seek attention from you. Things that you could give it would be toys, puzzles or bones.

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Author

I created and currently manage Pet Dog Owner, the website you can go to when you have questions about your dog's behavior. It is my hope that you find Pet Dog Owner to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your dog. You can read more about me and my website here.