If your dog won’t let you lie down, 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.
So, why won’t my dog let me lie down? Common reasons why your dog will not let you lie down are boredom, hunger, anxiety, wanting something from you, learning that the behavior is rewarded or possessiveness.
There are actually a number of possible causes and your dog might be doing it due to a combination of reasons. However, there are some things you can consider when figuring out the main cause and there are a number of things you can do about it.
Reasons why your dog won’t let you lie down
Below are a number of possible causes and what would make each of them more likely to be the main cause.
A part of the cause could be that it is bored and under-stimulated. This would be more likely if your dog does not let you lie down when it has not already gotten exercise and it is normally calmer after getting exercise. In this case, it would help to ensure that it is able to get the daily amount of recommended exercise for its age and breed.
Another possible cause is that it is hungry and it wants you to get up and feed it. This would be more likely if it tends to stop you from lying down before it has been fed. In this case, it would help to try to feed it at around the same time each day and to ensure that it is eating the right amount of calories.
Another possible cause is that there has been something causing it to be anxious that it wants you to deal with. This would be more likely if your dog tends to stop you from lying down at a certain time such as when there are noises outside.
If you lie down in a different room to the one your dog is in, it might also be the case that your dog has some separation anxiety. This would be more likely if it tends to show signs of being anxious when you are leaving it by doing things such as pace or cry.
Encouraging the behavior
Another possible cause is that it has learned that the behavior gets rewarded. If you tend to give your dog things such as toys, treats, or extra attention, when it stops you from lying down, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards. Instead, it would help to make it lie elsewhere, when you are lying down, and to reward it when it does not stop you from lying down.
Another possible cause is that it is being possessive and it thinks that the place you lie down belongs to it. This would be more likely if your dog stops you from lying down when you lie in a certain spot or if it becomes aggressive.
An issue with its diet
Another possible cause is that an issue with its diet has been causing it to be hyperactive. This would be more likely if your dog stops you from lying down when it has eaten certain foods.
Often, people jump to the conclusion that their dogs do it because they are trying to be dominant. However, the alpha/beta dynamic has been disproven in studies showing that wolves take turns in taking the lead.
Despite that, it could be doing it due to bullying behavior which would be more likely if it tries to get you to move to a different spot and if it shows signs of aggression when doing it. In this case, it would help to get it to learn to behave the way you want it to with training programs such as NLIF (“Nothing in Life is Free) dog training and positive reinforcement training.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.
What else happened when it first started doing it
If your dog did used to let you lie down, it would help to consider what else happened when it stopped letting you do it. If it stopped letting you lie down suddenly, it might be due to things such as a change in the time it gets walked or fed, something causing it to be anxious or another change in its environment.
What is different when your dog does let you lie down
If your dog does let you lie down sometimes, it would also help to consider what is different when it does let you lie down. For example, if it does not stop you from lying down when it has gotten exercise, the cause could be that it wants exercise.
What to do about your dog not letting you lie down
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 the behavior is rewarded. Instead, it would help to avoid giving it rewards when it doesn’t let you lie down, to train it to lie elsewhere using positive reinforcement training and to reward it when it does let you lie down.
Give it a routine to be used to
It would also help to give it food at around the same time and to give it exercise at around the same time daily. Doing this should help it to know when it can expect to be fed and exercised so that it is less likely to bother you at other times.
Give it sufficient exercise
It would also help to ensure that it is getting enough exercise daily because it might be doing it because it wants more exercise.
Ensure it is getting the right diet
It would also help to ensure that it is getting enough calories in its diet and that it is eating the right foods.
Positive reinforcement training
Positive reinforcement training is where you encourage your dog to behave the way you want it to by rewarding it when it shows signs of behaving that way. To use it to get your dog to let you lie down, you could make it seem like you will lie down, reward your dog with a treat, then get closer and closer to lying down, rewarding your dog each time that it does not try to stop you from lying down.
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