Why Does My Dog Stand Over Me? How to Control it?

Recently, I noticed my dog standing over me whenever I sit down or lay on the couch, which disturbs my normal activities. Why does my dog stand over me? How can I control it?

It’s a common yet confusing experience for most pet parents. However, the standing behavior of a dog isn’t concerning, as they do so to show love or dominance, provide protection, and seek needs. But if it is annoying you, read on to get the most potential reasons and effective solutions to control this behavior.

Related Article: Why Does My Dog Lay Between My Legs? 

Why Does My Dog Stand Over Me?

why do dogs stand over you

Your pooch may stand over you while you are sitting or lying for plenty of reasons, which vary from dog to dog. The following are some common clues to help you begin diagnosing:

Showing Dominance

If your pooch tends to stand over you when you are sitting down, it means he is displaying dominant behavior. This way, your dog considers him higher than you, as it thinks you aren’t in charge and he is the boss. While standing over you, if you notice the dog’s head is very high in the air, it’s a clear sign of dominance.

Both male and female dogs tend to stand over their owners to show dominance. Even a dog’s standing-over behavior is not limited to humans. Some dogs also attempt to stand directly with other dogs, as they feel more powerful than the rest. By standing over, dogs communicate with other canines of considerably lower social status.

At some point, the dog gives some other clues, like placing one paw on the weaker pet’s shoulder. Tense posture and fixed staring are also clear signs of the dogs’ declaration of dominance.

Feeling Secure

Apart from dominating other canines or humans, sometimes dogs stand guard for their security and comfort. Some puppies tend to climb onto their owners when they’re afraid. It means your pet sees you as a security blanket and feels safe approaching you.

To determine if fear is forcing your pet to stand over you or not, closely monitor the environment when he exhibits this behavior. Possibly something is frightening your dog, hence why it stands over you to feel secure.

Seeking Needs

Your dog may also stand over you to ask for her basic needs, as she can’t speak. Your dog probably needs food or wants to go for a walk or potty. By standing over you, your dog may want to get attention to fulfill her needs.

If your dog stands on you and licks your face, it’s a clear sign that she needs food. Some dogs also do so to show love and create bonding. Another reason for standing over you is that he wants you to join him in his game.

To find out the exact intention, check the time when your dog stands over you to see whether it is meal time or a long time after a potty break.

Also Read: My Dog Is 6 Months Old And Not Potty Trained

Love Your Closeness

What does it mean when a dog stands on your chest? It means your dog is asking you to wake up and go for a walk. Being on the owner’s chest is an intimate behavior of dogs because the sensation of the owner’s breath makes them very happy and comfortable.

Some dogs jump on the chest of their owner whenever their owner notices them lying down, which indicates the pet’s desire for closeness. If you notice this behavior mostly after coming home from work, it means your dog missed you so much.

Even after spending lots of time playing with your dog and showing attention, your dog may still stand over you or climb on your chest to demonstrate their care. Dogs like to express to their owner that they love them.

Something Is Wrong

Along with improved hearing capability, the dog can sense if something is wrong or unusual with its owner. They can smell the change in the owner’s body, including changes in blood pressure and temperature.

When dogs notice something different, they try to guard their owner. So your dog may stand over you as a way of giving you protection. In general, you will find your pooch hovering around you or standing on your feet if you are depressed or sick.

Even a dog can sense pregnancy before the woman realizes it. If you look gloomy or tired, your pooch will get anxious and depressed and will try to comfort you. Instead of lying down, your dog will stand on you and hover around you to take care of you.

What should you do if Your Dog Stands Over You?

how to stop my dog standing on me

In most cases, finding a dog standing guard isn’t concerning. However, it can disturb your normal activities. So if you want to control your dog’s standing behavior, maintain a routine and feeding schedule to fulfill their basic needs, including food, play, walks, and some happy time.

In addition, give them enough exercise and attention while monitoring their behavior and temperament. If you discover any changes, talk to a vet. Apart from that, the other thing you can do at home is:

Redirect the Dog

Train your dog to do something else instead of standing over you. In this case, you can teach your dog to go to the mat on command. To do so, place a rug near you. If you notice your dog going to stand over you while sitting or lying, stand up slowly.

Then speak the command in a high-pitched voice while tapping on the rug. If you respond, give them treats. If the dog keeps standing over you, ignore him and don’t give him treats. If he goes to the rug, reward him quickly. Repeat the process a couple of times to make him used to it. But don’t yell at or punish the dog during training, as it can have a negative effect.

Control the Affection

If your dog becomes extra clingy or the puppy wants to stay with you all the time, try this trick. Seeking attention every time can cause separation anxiety, which needs to be fixed as soon as possible.

To control your dog’s affection, maintain a distance. It means trying to avoid her for most of the day or limiting her access to the house. Leave your pet in the room along with enough toys and treats. In addition, don’t show much affection to your dog. However, it doesn’t mean you have been very cold.

Express your love as usual, particularly when your dog responds to your command. Since it’s a bit harder to resist a dog, have patience.

Help Reduce the Stress

If your pooch stands over you due to feeling anxious, soothe her nerves. Find out the root of the issue, whether it is a stranger, a car honking, or loneliness. Monitor your pet for certain moments, note the reasons, and solve them. If your dog is standing over you to protect you from finding your anxiety, control your nerves so both of you can remain happy.

Fulfill the Needs

As mentioned, provide your dog’s basic needs by following a routine. Feed your pooch on time; give it enough time, and walk and exercise. Along with physical exercise, give them enough interactive toys to improve their brains while preventing stress.

If you can’t spend enough time with your pooch, take him on a scent walk. This will allow your dog to smell to his heart’s content while remaining relaxed.

Socialize the Dog

If your dog more often stands over you and becomes overprotective, socialize him or her. You should meet strangers regularly to correct their behavior. To do this, take your dog for a walk every day so she becomes familiar with other things, including individual and animal scents or the noise of busy streets. Your dog will also enjoy it while being tired. More importantly, adjusting to their surroundings will prevent them from being overprotective.

Consult with Vet

Many pet parents feel that controlling this kind of dog’s behavior at home is challenging. In this case, find a vet who is an expert in dog behavior to control this unwanted behavior before it gets worse.

Allowing a dog to continue dominant behavior can become dangerous for the dog and the owner as well. You should still visit a vet even if you decide to handle this issue at home. While talking to the vet, inform him about your dog’s behavior and your plan so he can decide whether you should do so or not.

A veterinarian will also determine whether the behavior is aggressive or dominant and will advise you on how to proceed.


1. Why does my dog sit on me when I lay down?

Your pooch may sit on you when you are lying down to try to convince you that she loves you and feels comfortable around you. Even she may also consider you part of her territory. If your dog doesn’t act aggressively toward other people or animals, don’t worry about it.

2. Why does my dog stand over me and wag his tail?

It’s an obvious sign of love and trust. If your dog has a strong bond with you, he will show affection by standing on you and wagging his tail, as well as by producing a sweet smile.

3. Why does my female dog stand over my male dog?

If your female dog stands over another male dog while lying down or places her paws or chin on the male dog’s back, it means she is showing dominance over the male. Apart from the female dog, the male dog also mounts to show dominance. Though it’s normal for a dog to want to establish a hierarchy in the pack, don’t let the behavior go out of control.

Final Words

As a dog’s pack leader, you should take care of their every need and monitor their behavior and temperament. After meeting all her basic needs, if your dog becomes addicted to your touch and love, don’t encourage her. Dogs, by instinct, can establish dominance over other pets and then engage in aggression. You should also discourage your pooch from this behavior. Excess is extremely harmful to the dog’s needs and behavior. 

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