If your Labrador keeps sitting on you, this post will show you why and what you can do about it.

So, why does my Labrador sit on me? Possible reasons are that it wants attention, is bored, has separation anxiety or you might have inadvertently rewarded the behavior.

Your Labrador might sit on you for many different reasons and it could 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 Labrador sits on you

Below are some common reasons why Labradors sit on their owners and what would make them more likely to be the main reason why yours has been doing it to you.

It wants attention

It might be the case that your Labrador has been doing it in order 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.

Boredom

The reason why it does it could be because it is bored. Labradors are a breed that is meant to get daily exercise, 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 could also be the case that you have encouraged the behavior by giving it things that 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.

Separation anxiety

It might be the case that your Labrador has 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.

It’s waiting for you to give it something

The reason why it does it might be because it is waiting for you to give it something. This would be more likely if it tends to do it more at around the same time that you would normally give it something such as food or a walk.

Things to consider

Below are some things you can consider when trying to figure out why your Labrador has been doing it.

When it started sitting on you

If it did not always sit on you, 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

It would also help to consider the timing of when your Labrador sits on you since the timing could also have something to do with 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 Labrador to stop sitting on you

Below are some things you can do when getting your Labrador to stop sitting on you.

Train it not to

You can train your Labrador 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 might be the case you have encouraged it to do it by giving it rewards when it does it.

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.

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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.