If your dog won’t sit with you, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of possible causes and what you can do about them.
Common reasons why your dog does not sit with you are that it prefers a diffferent spot, it thinks you do not want it to sit with you, it does not want to be bothered or that it has learned that not sitting with you is rewarded.
There are actually multiple possible reasons why your dog has been doing it and it could be due to a combination of them. However, there are a number of things you can consider when figuring out the main reason and there are a number of things you can do about it.
Reasons why your dog won’t sit with you
Below are a number of possible reasons why your dog won’t sit with you and what would make each of them more likely.
It prefers a different spot
The cause could be that there is a certain spot that it likes to sit in. This would be more likely if your dog does sit with you when you sit in a certain spot but less likely if it sits far away from you even when you are in a different spot. In this case, it might be helpful to give it a comfortable place to sit near where you normally sit.
It thinks you don’t want it to sit with you
It might also be the case that your dog thinks you do not want it to sit with you. This would be more likely if you previously got mad at it when it did sit near you or if you have been giving it rewards when it sits far away from you. Instead, it would help to be calm with it and to reward it when it shows signs of sitting with you.
It feels threatened
The reason why it has been doing it could be that it feels threatened. This would be more likely if it tends to avoid sitting with you more when you are angry, if it shows signs of being fearful such as making itself appear smaller and if it sits far away regardless of what room you’re in. It would help to be calm with your dog and to train it to behave a certain way with the use of positive reinforcement training.
It’s being protective
It could be the case that it does it because it is actually being protective. This would be more likely if it tends to sit in a spot that allows it to see the front door and if it tends to be overly protective at home.
It does not want to be bothered
The reason why it does it might be that it wants to avoid being bothered. This would be more likely if it does not always sit far away and if it does it more when it wants to sleep. In this case, it would help to make sure that it is able to sleep easily at night since it could be the case that it is trying to get extra sleep during the day due to issues sleeping at night.
Encouraging the behavior
Another possible cause is that it has learned that it gets rewards when it does not sit with you. If you tend to give it things such as extra attention, toys, or treats, when it chooses to sit somewhere else, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main cause.
If it has always not sat with you
If your dog did used to sit with you before, it would help to consider what else happened when it stopped sitting with you. If it stopped doing it suddenly, it might be because it found another spot that it prefers or you got mad at it when it sat with you.
What is different when it does sit with you
If it does sit with you sometimes, it would help to consider what is different when it does sit with you. For example, if it does sit with you when you sit in a certain spot, it could be the case that it doesn’t sit with you when it is not comfortable for it to sit with you.
What to do about it
Below are some options you have when dealing with the behavior.
Avoid encouraging the behavior
As mentioned above, it might be the case that it has learned that it gets rewards for not sitting with you. Instead, it would help to reward it when it does sit with you and to avoid giving it rewards when it sits elsewhere.
Be calm with it
As mentioned above, it could be the case that it has been avoiding you due to feeling threatened. It would help to be calm with your dog and to avoid punishing it since it might not know why it is being punished. It would help to use positive reinforcement training to change its behavior, where possible, instead.
Train it to sit with you
One option would be to train your dog to sit on command with the use of positive reinforcement training, in the area that you would like it to sit, then you could tell it to sit there a couple of times per day and reward it for doing so. By repeating the process, it should learn that sitting in that new location results in it getting rewards.
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