Some dogs stand over their owners. This article will discuss the many reasons your dog might stand over you, when to be concerned, and what you can do about it.
Why Does My Dog Stand Over Me?
Dog Wants You To Play 🙂
Your dog may stand over you in the hopes you’ll play with them. By doing so, they’re sure to get your attention.
This is more likely if you’ve established a play routine (i.e., you’ve taught your dog to expect to play at 4:30 each afternoon). This could also be the case if your dog is so lonely or bored that they’ve decided to take matters into their own paws.
Your Doggo Loves You!
Your dog may just enjoy being around you. When they stand over you, is it an aggressive stance, or is it a loving one? They might just be expressing their affection.
Your Doggo Trusts You
Your dog could also be expressing their trust in you by spending time near you. Your dog might be trying to seek you out for comfort because of something that upset them (like the sound of thunder). In this case, they trust you enough to fulfill this emotional need
Your Doggo Is Hungry
Your dog might just be trying to get you to feed them. This is especially true if they lick your face, whimper, and otherwise exhibit “puppy eyes.”
If you think this could be why, make sure to check the food bowl.
Trying To Wake You Up
Your dog is trying to get your attention by standing over you.
By standing over you while you sleep, they basically assure that they are the first thing you think of when you wake up. And now, you’ll do whatever they want you to do. Maybe they’re waiting for you to wake up so you’ll feed them, or to let them outside to pee.
Your Dog Wants To Be Closer To You
Your dog might be standing over you to be near you. Some dogs are clingier than others, especially when they’re puppies. Some breeds, such as pugs, are also clingier than average.
Dog Feels Comfortable With You
Your dog may stand over you because you are a source of stress relief to them. When you’re scared, you might look for comfort in the arms of someone you trust, and your dog just might be doing the same.
Trying To Dominate You!
This may not be the first time you’ve heard this, but your dog sees you as a part of its pack. Within that pack, there is a pecking order: alpha, beta, etc. You want your dog to see you as their Alpha because they’ll be more likely to listen to you and respect you.
However, your dog also wants to be the Alpha. In the wild, the Alpha is the one who gets to eat first, the one who gets to mate the most frequently. Thus, your dog has an innate instinct to dominate. By standing over you, they could be trying to make a symbolic gesture of dominance.
Trying To Protect You
Your dog may be taking on a protective stance. This may be accented with wide eyes and perked ears, as though they’re trying to hear something. A more aggressive version of this includes exposed teeth, a wrinkled nose, raised hairs on their back, and growling.
This is not the same as a dominant stance. They’re not looking to win, they’re looking to guard over you. They’ll do this if they feel threatened by other people or animals.
Dogs have also been known to sense their humans’ moods. If you’re particularly anxious, your dog will pick up on that and may feel the need to guard you.
Dog Thinks That’s What You Want
If you’ve been encouraging your dog to stand over you, your dog is just doing it because they want to please you.
If they were doing it to gain your attention and you gave them attention for it, they’ll do it again. If they did it to establish dominance and you act more subdued around them, they’ll know it’s working.
Poor Pup Is Craving For Attention
Standing over you would be an easy way to get attention since it would put your dog right in your eye line. This is more likely to be the case if you haven’t been giving your dog as much attention as you should or if you’ve taught your dog to expect your attention when they do it.
Dog Feels Safer This Way
Your dog may just be standing over you in a bid for control. Not to assert dominance, but because they feel a situation has gotten out of hand. This behavior has been observed in older dogs dealing with misbehaving puppies.
Dog Is Trying To Get Something From You 🙂
Your dog may be trying to get something from you.
If you feed your dog regularly at the same time each day, for example, they may come to stand over you around that time to remind you to feed them.
Your Doggo Is Trying To Make You Feel Better
Your dog can sometimes tell when you are sick. They may be standing over you so they can figure out what’s wrong with you and try to fix it.
What To Do About Your Dog Standing Over You
Do Some Sleuthing to Find Out What’s Wrong
First, you’ll need to determine whether your dog standing over you is something you need to be worried about. To do that, you’ll need to understand why they’re doing it.
Here are some of the things you should be paying attention to:
- Observe their body language when they stand over you. Are they excited? Aggressive? Anxious?
- How often does your dog stand over you? Do they do it on a regular basis? Do they only do it when a certain stressor is around, like a loud noise or another animal?
- When did this behavior start? In other words, when was the first time your dog did this? Was it when they were a puppy, or did something trigger them into giving this behavior a try?
If you’re still uncertain but you’re worried about the behavior, you can always talk to your vet.
You could adjust your dog’s behavior by training them out of it. The key is to be consistent and assertive, while also not being aggressive. You also need to train them frequently, since the more often you train your dog, the faster they’ll understand that they shouldn’t be doing that.
This training will probably entail redirecting your dog’s focus. You might try to train them to lie down next to you when they feel the urge to stand next to you, for example.
This is especially true if this is a dominance issue; your dog may try to snap at you if they think you’re challenging them for dominance. The point of the training is not to fight your dog for dominance, but to make clear that there is no point in fighting because you are the Alpha. It is very important that your dog sees you as in charge. If your dog continues showing signs of aggression, you may need to consult a behavior specialist.
Don’t Encourage the Behavior
Again, your dog will stand over you a lot if they know it’ll get them what they want.
So, you should make it clear that this will not be the case. For example, if your dog is being clingy, control the amount of affection you give them when you find them standing over you. You might do this by leaving the room altogether.
Take Care of Your Dog
Obviously, there are times when your dog is right to get your attention, like when they need food, water, or stress relief. However, providing for those needs ahead of time will minimize the number of times your dog feels the need to do that.
Figure out what’s causing your dog’s stress and take steps to minimize the dog’s exposure to those stressors. Make sure they’re getting enough food, water, and exercise. If you do it at regular times, your dog will be less likely to stand over you to ask when they’ll be getting those things.
Setting a routine for food and exercise may also alleviate some of your dog’s anxieties.
If your dog is being too protective of you, you should try to get them more accustomed to other people and dogs.
Take them for a walk every day so they have the chance to encounter new people and new experiences. If they can get along with other dogs, you might also take them to the dog park so they can have positive experiences with other dogs.
Why Does My Dog Stand Over Me While I Sleep/Lie Down?
Your dog may do so for many of the reasons we’ve discussed above. They may also take advantage of the warmth you exude when you sleep, or they may take the chance to observe you more closely if they’re worried about you.
The most likely explanation, however, is that they’re being protective. When you’re asleep, you’re vulnerable, and so they’ll protect you because they know you can’t protect yourself when you’re unconscious.
Why Does My Dog Stand Over Me And Lick Me?
Your dog could be expressing their affection by “kissing” you.
They could also be trying to tell you that they’re hungry or thirsty. This is even more likely to be the case if they focus on licking your lips or mouth.
Why Does My Male Dog Stand Over Me?
Gender doesn’t really play a role in this particular behavior. So, a male dog will stand over for the same reasons that a female dog would stand over you.
Dog Standing Over Me At Night?
Similar to when you lie down, your dog sees you as more vulnerable at night and therefore feels a need to protect you.
Is My Dog Trying To Be Protective By Standing Over Me?
Whether your dog is trying to be protective depends on the situation. Are there other people or animals nearby? Has your dog exhibited protective behavior before? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, then your dog may be trying to protect you.
Should I Stop My Dog From Standing Over Me?
You should stop your dog from standing over you if it is a dominance thing. You don’t want your dog to think they’re dominant because it’ll be harder to get them to listen to you.
Some things you can try to regain dominance is to ignore your dog when they beg for food or stop them from going on the furniture. If these things don’t work, you may want to look into obedience classes.
Is My Dog Trying To Tell Me Something When He Stands Over Me?
That depends on when they started to stand over you and how often they do it.
Was there a specific event that caused your dog to stand over you? Something that might have made them feel unsafe or made them seek out your attention? Maybe they’re only doing it when they feel afraid and want you to comfort them. Maybe they only do it when there is a certain trigger, like sirens.
Have they been doing this since they were a puppy? How do you react when they do stand over you? If you’ve been giving them positive attention, it may just be a learned behavior.
Why Does My Female Dog Stand Over My Male Dog?
Your female dog may be trying to establish dominance over your male dog. There are other ways dogs establish dominance, such as eating out of the other dog’s bowl.
It is important to treat both your dogs equally; do not give your “submissive” dog extra attention, since that might make your “dominant” dog challenge them. Do not punish your dog for trying to establish dominance, since this may encourage your dogs to fight when you’re nearby. If things are becoming too aggressive, you should keep them both on a strict routine.
Why Does My Dog Stand Over Other Dogs?
If your dog is standing over other dogs, they are almost certainly trying to dominate them. Keep an eye out for this, since you don’t want your dog to get into a physical fight for dominance.