If your Labrador keeps standing over you, this post will show you a number of possible reasons why and what you can do about it.
So, why does my Labrador stand over me? Possible reasons are that it is being dominant, it’s being protective, it is looking for attention or you might have inadvertently rewarded the behavior.
Your Labrador might do it for a number of reasons and it could be due to a combination of them. However, there are some things you can consider when trying to figure out the exact reason and there are a number of things you can do about it.
Why your Labrador stands over you
Below are a number of reasons why your Labrador might stand over you and what would make them more likely to be a main reason.
It’s being dominant
Sometimes, dogs will stand over other dogs when they are being dominant in the wild and being dominant could be the reason why your Labrador stands over you. This would be more likely if it does other things such as not listen to you, become aggressive, tries to sit where you sit or to position itself to be higher than you.
If it does seem to be being dominant it would be important to give it lots of training so that it learns how it should behave.
It’s being protective
The reason why it has been doing it could also be that it is being protective. This would be more likely if it does it more in situations such as when there is another person nearby. It would also be more likely if it becomes overly protective when you are around other animals and people.
You have inadvertently trained it to do it
It could also be the case that you have actually trained it to do it by rewarding the behavior. If you tend to give it things such as toys or treats in order to get it to stop, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.
Instead, it would help to give it rewards when it is well behaved and to try to redirect its focus onto something else when it seems like it is about to try to stand over you.
It is looking for attention
It could also be the case that it does it to get extra attention from you. This would be more likely if you tend to give it more attention when it stands over you and if it does it more when you have not been giving it much attention.
Instead, it would help to give it attention throughout the day by playing with it, training it or exercising it and to avoid rewarding it with attention when it stands over you.
It makes it feel safer
The cause could be that it makes your Labrador feel more secure. This would be more likely if it does it when it might be feeling insecure such as when there are fireworks outside or construction works.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider about your Labrador standing over you.
When it first started doing it
If your Labrador did not always stand over you, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it.
If it did start doing it suddenly it could be that it learned that it results in it getting rewards, that something happened that might have made it feel insecure or that it started looking for extra attention when its daily routine changed.
If it has been doing it since a young age then it could be that you rewarded it for doing it when it was young or that it has been doing it due to being dominating especially if you didn’t give it much training as a puppy.
If it stands over other people or dogs
It would also help to consider whether or not it does it to other people or animals or it just does it to you.
If it also stands over other people or animals then it would make it more likely to be because it is being dominating.
Whereas, if it just does it to you then it would be more likely that it is looking for attention from you or that it does it for the rewards.
When it seems to do it more
It could also help to consider if there is a certain time that it tends to do it more since it could be the case that the timing has something to do with it.
For example, if it only does it when there are noises outside like sirens then it might be because it is feeling insecure due to the noises.
What to do about your Labrador standing over you
Below are a number of things you can do about your Labrador standing over you.
Give it lots of training
It would help to give your Labrador lots of training so that it learns how to behave and to see you as the leader.
If you have not given your Labrador much training it would be important to do so starting with the basics and building up from there. The training method I would recommend would be positive reinforcement training.
Avoid allowing it to do so by noticing when it is about to stand over you
It would also help to try to redirect your Labrador’s focus as soon as it seems like it is likely to stand over you. To do this you would train it to lay down in a certain spot when you say a certain command using positive reinforcement training and then you would tell it to lay down there whenever it starts trying to stand over you.
Get help from a dog behaviorist
If you can’t figure out why your Labrador stands over you, you can’t get it to stop or it does it aggressively then the best option would be to get help from a dog behaviorist. By doing so you will be able to see how to train it in a secure manner.