No matter where you sit around the house, your dog magically finds its way right behind you. You can be sitting in your favorite armchair, and suddenly your dog is behind you or sitting on the sofa, and once again your dog is behind you, or you can even be sleeping and your dog standing snoozing behind you.
So, it is normal to ask – why does my dog sit behind me? There are many reasons why your dog might be sitting behind you – from protection and safety to affection and habit. Regardless of what causes your dog’s behavior, you need to stop it early on if it is bothering you.
This article will discuss the main reasons why dogs sit behind their pet parents and offer some tips on how this behavior can be prevented or stopped altogether. Therefore, if your dog likes to sit behind you and you are puzzled by this behavior, This is the right article for you!
WHY DOES MY DOG SIT BEHIND ME?
If your dog chooses to sit behind you, regardless of where you sit, there are several possible scenarios.
Your dog seeks protection
For your dog, hiding behind you is the best option. Your dog knows how much you love it and feels protected when you are around. Consequently, if something feels off, there is no better hiding spot than behind the owner.
Your dog is being affectionate
Dogs adore their human family members and like spending as much time as possible together. So if your dog sits behind you and is always trying to initiate contact, it is probably because it is loving and affectionate.
Your dog has separation anxiety
Separation anxiety is a serious behavioral issue that warrants further investigation and proper management. If your dog is dealing with this issue, it will manifest an array of other signs.
Your dog is a creature of habit
Dogs are particularly fond of habits and routines. For example, if your dog sat behind you several times and liked its position, it would keep sitting unless interrupted. Namely, if you are bothered by your dog’s seating position, you need to act before it becomes a habit.
WHY DOES MY DOG LIKE TO SIT BEHIND ME ON THE COUCH?
If you wonder why your dog always chooses the second row of the couch, here are some possible explanations.
Your dog is afraid of being squished
This is usually more applicable to smaller dogs. Still, larger dogs can be afraid, especially if they have had a bad experience – for example, if they have been stepped on (especially by someone wearing heels).
In a nutshell, all dogs have powerful self-preservation instincts, and avoiding potentially squishing situations is part of those instincts.
In terms of being squished, sitting behind you is safer from your dog’s perspective. That way, your dog will be able to be close to you and monitor everything, but from a no-squishing position.
Your dog is guarding you and the room
Many dogs prefer sitting in advantageous positions from where they can observe the entire space. The back of the couch is the perfect example of an advantageous position – something like an outlook post.
Interestingly, even non-guarding dog breeds often tend to take the back of the couch position while on alert.
If your dog is particularly large and the couch is not tightly pressed to the wall, keep in mind that your dog can easily knock the sofa down and injure itself. You can avoid this by pushing the couch against the wall.
The back of the couch is much more comfortable
Dogs reason differently than we do. Sometimes, for some reason, the back of the couch can be more comfortable for your dog.
For example, it could be warmer, cozier, and more soothing to your dogs’ pressure points. Or your dog can often sit at the same spot and have its indentation formed.
Unless your dog’s sitting position interferes with your sitting position, there is no reason to push your dog or prevent this behavior.
WHY IS MY DOG SQUEEZING ITSELF BETWEEN ME AND THE COUCH?
Another kind of annoying sitting position is when your dog decides to squeeze at the same sitting spot with you or, more precisely, finds a place between you and the couch.
Your dog is stressed
When it comes to being stressed or scared, dogs are pretty much like children and like to hide behind you literally.
Dogs are creatures of habits, and despite the tough appearances, most get scared really quickly. For example, someone ringing the bell can be a stress trigger for some dogs, while thunderstorms are a scary event for almost all dogs.
If your dog frequently runs and squeezes itself between you and the couch, try finding a pattern in the behavior. For example, maybe your dog is feeling scared of something that you can easily eliminate.
Your dog has separation anxiety
Separation anxiety is a common issue among modern dogs. While some breeds are predisposed to this problem, basically all dogs can develop separation anxiety.
Squeezing itself into impossible places just so it could be closer to you is one of the critical signs of separation anxiety. However, it is not enough to set a diagnosis.
You need to pay attention to your dog’s overall behavior and try noticing what your dog is doing when you are not at home. For example, is your dog extra destructive while you are gone or, maybe, excessively loud and keen on unnecessary barking?
Your dog is trying to protect you
Have you ever heard of the phrase – “I have your back”? Well, if no one else, your dog definitely has your back. All dogs are protective of their owners and human family members.
This behavior might be more accented in breeds that excel in guarding and protection, but basically, all dogs are instinctively driven into keeping you safe.
Your dog is feeling chilly
The reason explained above was quite flattering, but this one is reasonably practical. Just like people, some dogs prefer when the room thermostat is set on a higher value and get chilled easily.
If your dog is feeling cold and seeks warmth, it will probably squeeze itself somewhere it is both warm and cozy, like, for example, between you and the couch. You might not be aware, but your body radiates precious heat.
WHEN YOUR COUCH IS NO LONGER YOURS
Unless your dog’s constant presence behind you is not annoying to you, there is no need to stop the behavior. The only objective situation in which you have to stop your dog from doing this is if it became overly possessive.
For example, if your dog starts exhibiting guarding instincts toward the couch or chair you usually sit in, you need to be proactive. Aggression and resource guarding are unacceptable behaviors and must be stopped before they evolve into habits.
More often than not, rooting out an unwanted behavior can be challenging. To make things more straightforward, ask for professional help – a licensed dog trainer or canine behaviorist.
All in all, there is nothing wrong with letting your dog sit behind you. However, if you feel that the behavior stems from being scared or stress, the responsible thing would be to look into the problem and try figuring the trigger.
Another concerning moment would be if your dog started to perceive the sofa or chair as its own personal territory and exhibits protective instincts toward the furniture piece.
If these issues are not presented, there is no objective reason to prevent your dog from sitting behind you. You might feel squeezed and hot from time to time, but being with your best furry friend does come at a specific price.
Why does my dog sit in my spot when I get up?
There are many reasons why your dog is always trying to steal your spot on the couch, but the top two reasons are – the spot smells like you, and your dog really misses you (even though you are few steps away), or you are sitting in the best spot, and your dog is aware of that, so it wants you to share the comfort.
Why does my dog sit back to back with me?
Remember the last time you had an itch in your back you could not scratch? Well, dogs get those too. So if your dog’s back is feeling itchy, your dog might sit back to back with you so it could rub its back. Although this seems like your dog is trying to squeeze a favor out of you, you should be pleased. Namely, if your dog is showing you its back, it means it trusts you – turning the back is a vulnerable position.
Why is my dog sleeping on the couch instead its bed?
Your dog knows how to recognize comfort, and your bed is probably more comfortable than the dog bed. However, your dog might decide to sleep with you. It may also be because of separation anxiety issues, fear, safety, protection, or simply warmth.