Why Does My Dog Stand on Me?

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Author: Jacob Kay

Do you find it weird when your dog stands on you? Or are you worried that your doggy friend is trying to say something to you?

Well, this is the most common behaviour of dogs that pet owners often worry about. Sometimes, understanding these furry canines can be a tedious task for you. Allow me to explain the possible reasons for it and effective solutions to stop this habit.

dog standing on owner

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Why Is Your Dog Standing on You?

You may find it obvious that when you arrive at your place after a busy day, your dog gets too excited. He tries to jump on you and lick you to show that he missed you. It can look cute at first, and you might feel it is adorable.

But, when your 100 pound Lab climbs on you every day for no good reason, it is obvious that something is wrong with him.

1. Your Dog Wants to Stay Close to You

Dogs are loving animals, they always seek extra attention from their owners. You must be aware of the fact that they tend to get attached to their humans in no time.

The act of touching you strengthens the bond you two have, so they love to stand on you while showing affection. Most dogs enjoy cuddling with their humans, so by jumping on you, they may be asking you for some snuggling time.

2. Your Dog Is Asserting Dominance

Many dogs will lie down on your lap or on your chest if all they want is some comfort and cuddles. In fact, if they are standing over you, and staring at you, it can mean they are trying to show their dominance.

Mostly, they prefer to live in packs, and they might feel the need to be the leader, so they act like an alpha. In this situation, you should be careful as their teeth are inches away from you.

3. They Love You

Dogs enjoy showing their owners how much they care for them. Your dog can need your focus sometimes. Their way of requesting petting and ear scratches may involve standing on top of you. If you pet them a bit, they might jump down or settle down for a nice cuddling session in your lap.

4. They’re Sick

We often talk with our dogs, but they cannot reply to us in return. So, as a responsible owner you should get alert when your enthusiastic pet act clingy, and quiet. Your dog may turn to you when he is feeling unwell and attempt to get as near as possible.

5. They Want to Protect You

These furry friends are not as stupid as we assume, they have a deep emotional connection with you. Have you wondered? How your pet knows that you are sad?

You should know that these cuties can sniff out human emotions by smell alone.[1] As they want to protect you and tell you that they are there for you, they try to stand on your chest.

Dog standing on human, Dog standing on women, husky standing on human
Elayne Massaini – iStock

6. They Have Developed an Uncontrolled Bad Habit

Some dogs have a more clingy personality than others. They might have learned over the years to stay near to you so that they can get the long cuddles every time they wish.

Also, your dog might think you like it, and you encourage them to stand on you. And after they realize that, they’ll want to win your affection by standing on top of you.

7. They’re Afraid

Have you observed that your pet got anxious around loud noises and strange people? This feeling can lead him to climb on you to feel comforted. A sign that your dog is experiencing anxiety is when they tuck their tail between their legs.[2]

Consult to a vet about such behaviours if your pet is prone to get nervous in unfamiliar surroundings. They can provide advice on how to help your dog face their concerns.

8. Ready for Playtime

It is possible that your pet think that the best way to get your attention is when they put their paws over your chest. They might bring one of their toys and convey that they are ready for doing the fun activities or go for a walk with you.

Also, it can convey that their owner understand what’s going on inside the little pup’s head.

Dog ready for playtime

9. They Want Something

Does your dog climb on you when you’re eating or holding something interesting? This is a common behaviour among pups. It might suggest that they are hungry, and it’s a food o’clock. This approach is good for little puppies as you can know if they have a healthy appetite.

10. They Feel Safe

Sometimes our protectors can need protection too. They might get stressed in certain situations, so they jump on you to feel safe and calm. If you have a little dog, this probably won’t be an issue. But, it can be uncomfortable for the owners when their large dogs stand on them.

Dog is ill, ill dog standing on owner

How Can You Stop Them From Standing on You?

The first approach should be getting to know the root cause of this issue. Pet dogs usually do everything to get more affection and love from their humans, so it is not right to punish him.

Another is redirecting them by standing up and leaving the place. Through this way, you can stop encouraging this habit.

According to Mikkel Becker from Vetstreet “Giving your dog a cold shoulder when he does something he shouldn’t, can be the first step to solving a behaviour problem.”

Although, it is not advisable to lift your hand on your dog as it can increase their aggression. Another way to solve this issue is to train your pet by withdrawing the treats. Then, treat them when they listen to you.

If you do not see any improvements after trying these primary solutions, it is better to consult a vet.


Why do dogs stand on top of their owners?

Most of the time, dogs do this as an act of dominance. But, it could also mean that they are showing affection and love to you. Also, they might be hungry and want something from you. It also means that they are asking you for help, or they want attention from you, and they wish to play with you.

Why do dogs stand on you when scared?

Dogs often get nervous when loud noises or thunderstorm occurs. So, they seek protection from their owners. They consider them as their saviour, so they try to climb on them to feel safe.

Why does my dog stand on my chest?

Dogs enjoy getting close to their owners. If your dog climbs up on you after you have arrived from a long trip, it can mean that your pet missed you a lot!


To summarize, if your dog is climbing on you, then there are various reasons. They might want to cuddle with you, show affection, or to cheer you up on your low days.

It could also mean they are hungry, anxious, or they want something from you. They might want to dominate you, so there are many possible reasons.

The things you can do to stop this behaviour is by acknowledging this habit.

You can try to train your dog by giving him treats to stop it. If he still continues this habit, then consulting a veterinarian could be a better option.


  1. How dogs know what we’re feeling – RSPCA. (n.d.).
  2. Grzyb, K., DVM. (2022). Signs of Anxiety in Dogs and Puppies.
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Jacob Kay
Jacob Kay is a Veterinary Advisor and Editor at WWD. He’s also a dog lover and has two pet dogs of his own. He has extensive knowledge in the field of veterinary medicine and is always happy to share his insights with others.

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