Dogs often do things that aren’t understood by us. This is usually due to pack behavior. It is important that each dog understands the rank of their pack members. However, this can be a dynamic thing that the dog may feel the need to assess from time to change. Your dog may try to make demands on you.
Your ability to open doors and pour food normally means you are the leader of the pack. Your dog’s instincts will dictate that he/she must make sure. While demanding to be picked up is one example of casual testing, so is sitting on your chest. This is a sign that your dog feels in control. Sitting on your dog is a way for him to mark you as his own. Dogs will rub some of their scent onto your skin by putting their tail on your body.
This will let other dogs know you are loved. Your dog may see this as a way to establish control and protect you from the outside world. Sometimes your dog is simply trying to show that he or her loves you.
Your dog will feel intimate if you place your hand on your chest. The feeling of your breath makes your dog feel close to you. If your dog jumps up onto your chest after being outside all day, it is a sign that he or she wants to be close to you. Your dog misses you! It happens more when you have a bad day. You can be sure your dog is trying to make you feel better.
Your dog may be attempting to make himself comfortable by his chest-sitting behavior. Your dog will want to have a spot to himself, just like you are. You make your dog feel as if he or she is snuggling up with the rest of the pack.
Encourage the behavior
You can train your dog to sit on your chest if you don’t like it. However, experts suggest that you teach your dog the rules. If your dog attempts to sit on your chest, you can stand up and tell him or her to stop.
You might have to give permission for your dog to try again, but this helps you internalize the message that your chest is a privilege. After your dog stops jumping on you, you can lay back down and pat your chest. Your dog will likely accept your offer.
After a while, you can move toward the ground and say “off.” If your dog obeys, pat him or her and then say “off” again. It may take some time to train your dog to lie on your chest when you say the command. Your dog may eventually learn to sit on your chest when you say the cue word and pat your chest. Perhaps even more important, your dog will always be willing to move if you ask.
Other solutions and considerations
You don’t have to worry if your dog is attempting to assert dominance by sitting on your chest. As a responsible pet parent, you must ensure that your dog’s challenges at your pack leadership don’t escalate to a growl or snapping at your face, or trying to escape when you’re out walking together.
Remind your dog that you have the final say if he or she is demanding. You should wait to feed your dog until it’s ready, even if your dog begs. Only allow your dog to lie on your chest when you are comfortable. If you want your dog not to sit on your chest, let him or her know.
All relationships, including the ones with your dog, are complex. You may find it comforting to have your dog on your lap, but you might need your own space on certain days. You are doing doggone good as long as you let your dog know that you love them on both types of days.