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Home > Dogs > Why Does My Australian Shepherd Sit on Me? 7 Typical Reasons

Why Does My Australian Shepherd Sit on Me? 7 Typical Reasons

happy young woman cuddling australian shepherd dog while sitting on couch

Australian Shepherds may be working dogs, but that doesn’t mean work is the only thing on their minds. These pups are also sweet and affectionate and love being close to their families. How they get close to you can vary—they may follow you everywhere, or they may prefer cuddling. But what about if your Australian Shepherd sits on you?

Is sitting on you a sign of affection as well? It turns out there’s one main reason Australian Shepherds, in particular, will sit on you. But there are other reasons that dogs, in general, will sit on their people. If you want to know why your four-legged friend enjoys using you as a sitting spot, then keep reading!


The 7 Reasons Why Your Australian Shepherd Sits on You

1. You are your Australian Shepherd’s person

Australian Shepherds will be sweet and loyal to their entire group of people, but these dogs are also known for choosing one person out of the family as theirs. And this is the main reason an Australian Shepherd will sit on you. This breed is extremely loyal and can be quite clingy, especially if you’re the chosen one. That means your pet will sit on you and you go in an effort to be close to you and show you affection.

Australian Shepherd leaning head into a young boy
Image Credit: cottonbro, Pexels

2. Your dog is spreading its scent

One reason that dogs, in general, will sit on you is to scent you. Because you’re theirs, they want to let others know that, and sitting on you gets your pet’s scent all over you. Pay attention to when your pup is choosing to sit on top of you, though. If it is doing this after another animal or person has visited the home, your dog may be a bit anxious and territorial. Give your pet some extra attention to avoid other kinds of scenting from happening, such as urine marking1.

3. Your pup is asserting dominance

Another reason dogs will sit on you is to assert their dominance2. They aren’t asserting dominance over you when they do this; instead, your pup is showing others in the home—whether animal or human—that it is in control. Sitting on you is a power move, so to speak. (You might notice this occurring more if you have a new dog in the house.) In and of itself, this behavior is fine, but if your Australian Shepherd also begins to act aggressively towards those who approach while it’s in your lap, the behavior should be discouraged.

Man Carrying a Australian Shepherd Dog Beside a Woman
Image Credit: Cottonbro, Pexels

4. Your pet wants to play

Occasionally, dogs sit on you purely for play. They find sitting on you to be a fun time, particularly if you end up engaging in some rolling around and wrestling with them! So, if your Australian Shepherd has a tendency to sit on you, only to then roll around on top of you and make playful sounds, then your dog is ready for a bit of playtime!

5. Your Australian Shepherd wants to comfort you

If you’re a long-time down owner, you’ve probably noticed by now that dogs are excellent at deciphering human emotions. They can tell when we’re happy or when we’re down and in need of some comfort. So, if you’ve had a difficult day and come home to wallow only to find your dog sitting on you, then chances are your pet is offering you a bit of comfort.

Teenage girl kiss australian shepherd dog in summer. Stand in forest
Image Credit: Izemphoto, Shutterstock

6. Your dog is feeling anxious or scared

As their person, you are your dog’s safe place, so when it’s feeling anxious or scared about something, it isn’t uncommon for your pet to seek you out for safety. Sitting on you means your pup trusts you to protect it, so be honored! But keep an eye on your pet if you believe that it’s sitting on you for reasons of anxiety or fear because if your dog still doesn’t feel safe, it can lead to fear or anxiety aggression.

7. You’re in your dog’s spot

Yep, your Australian Shepherd may be sitting on you simply because you have taken “its” place. If your pup has spent a good amount of time scenting one section of the sofa, and then you sit in that area, you’re definitely an intruder. So, your pet will sit on you to make it known that you’ve invaded. However, you’re the pack leader here, so let your dog know you’ll sit wherever you want.

Australian Shepherd leaning on woman's feet
Image Credit: cottonbro studio, Pexels

divider-dog paw


The main reason an Australian Shepherd will sit on you is that you’re its chosen human, and it wants to be close to you. However, there are other reasons dogs like to sit on people. Your pup might be marking you as part of its pack or challenging you because you’ve stolen its seat. Or your pet may be comforting you or seeking comfort because it’s scared.

Most of the reasons a dog sits on you are harmless (and sweet), but be wary of any aggression that may arise if your Australian Shepherd is trying to show others you belong to them or because it’s afraid. Otherwise, enjoy being smushed by 70 pounds of canine!

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Featured Image Credit: LightField Studios, Shutterstock

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