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

Written by: Misty Layne

Last Updated on May 31, 2024 by Dogster Team

happy young woman cuddling australian shepherd dog while sitting on couch

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

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 show that preference 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?

It turns out that there’s one main reason that 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, keep reading!

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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. 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, in an effort to be close to you and show you affection.

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

2. Your Dog Is Spreading Their Scent

One reason that dogs in general will sit on you is to scent you. Since 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 they’re doing this after another animal or person has visited the home, your dog may be a bit anxious and territorial. Give your pet extra attention to avoid other kinds of scenting from happening, such as urine marking.


3. Your Pup Is Asserting Dominance

Another reason that dogs will sit on you is to assert their dominance.1 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 they are 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 toward those who approach while they’re in your lap, the behavior should be discouraged.

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

4. Your Pet Wants to Pay

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, 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, chances are that your pet is offering you a bit of comfort.

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

6. Your Dog Is Feeling Anxious or Scared

As their person, you are your dog’s safe place, so when they’re 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 them, so be honored! But keep an eye on your pet if you believe that they’re 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 “their” 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 that you’ll sit wherever you want.

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

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Conclusion

The main reason an Australian Shepherd will sit on you is that you’re their chosen human, and they want 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 their pack or challenging you because you’ve stolen their seat. Or your pet may be comforting you or seeking comfort because they’re scared.

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

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Featured Image Credit: LightField Studios, Shutterstock

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