My Shepherd BFF

Why Your German Shepherd Sits on You: 10 Reasons & How to Stop It

Why Does My German Shepherd Sit On Me?

Does your German Shepherd love to sit on you? Wonder why?  

If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of your furry friend’s impressive rump planting skills, you’re not alone. 

As a seasoned German Shepherd owner and a self-proclaimed expert in canine couch commandos, I’ve been there too. 

But fear not! 

In this article, I’ll unravel the mystery behind your pup’s affinity for turning you into a human armchair. 

And let me tell you, the answer might just surprise you! 

So grab a comfy seat (preferably one without a dog on it) and prepare to be enlightened.

Why Does My German Shepherd Sit On Me? (10 Reasons)

German Shepherds, known for their loyalty and intelligence, frequently display unique behaviors that differ from other dog breeds. One of the most common German Shepherd behaviors is “sitting” on their owners

It is important to understand the reasons behind this behavior to effectively manage it and provide the necessary attention and care. 

1. Your dog is scent-marking you as its territory

german shepherd sitting on me

German Shepherds establish their domain by various means including urinating or sitting on you

This can signify they consider you their property, or the territory has been marked. 

By sitting on you and rubbing its pheromones, your dog could be attempting to establish ownership within its canine world. 

You may not be able to detect these pheromones, but they play a significant role in communication among dogs and other animals. 

This study suggests that most of the time dogs prefer to urinate to mark their scent. Yet, sometimes, a dog can also spread their scent on certain objects like furniture and walls. 

2. Your GSD may be stressed out

German Shepherds may also sit on their owners due to stress. This behavior is typically observed when the dog is feeling nervous or overwhelmed. 

When a German Shepherd feels stressed, it seeks comfort from its pack leader, which in this case is the owner. 

Sitting directly on top of the owner allows the dog to feel closer to them and receive a sense of security. 

It’s important for owners to understand that this behavior is often a sign that their dog needs attention and care.

In addition to sitting on their owners, German Shepherds may also exhibit other signs of stress such as pacing, panting excessively, or avoiding eye contact. 

To address these behaviors, it’s important for you to identify potential sources of stress and take steps to alleviate them. 

RELATED: When Do German Shepherds Calm Down?

3. Your dog is trying to show you that he/she loves you

German Shepherds show affection by sitting on their owners, which is a sign of their fondness and trust. 

It is their way of seeking proximity and bonding with humans, as they respect them as members of the pack. 

Sitting on you can indicate a desire for closeness, comfort, and seeking your attention. 

Dogs often exhibit such behavior when they feel safe, and secure, and have a strong bond with their owners.

This behavior can also indicate that the dog needs attention or wants to play.

It is recommended to indulge them by playing and petting them as this encourages bonding. 

RELATED: Why are German Shepherds So Protective?

4. It may be because of separation anxiety

why does my german shepherd sit on me

It is possible that your German Shepherd sits on you due to separation anxiety. 

According to this research, separation anxiety is a common condition in dogs where they experience distress or anxiety when separated from their owners. 

According to AKC, Some dogs may exhibit behaviors such as following their owners around, constantly seeking attention, or sitting on them to feel more secure.

If your German Shepherd displays this behavior primarily when you are about to leave or when you are away, it could be a sign of separation anxiety. 

It’s essential to consult with a professional dog trainer or a veterinarian who can evaluate your dog’s behavior and provide guidance on how to address separation anxiety effectively. 

Check out this article to learn how to help your German Shepherd deal with separation anxiety.

Tame the chaos and transform unruly dogs into well-behaved companions with this incredible ‘Brain Training For Dogs Course‘ Experience the power of mental exercise to foster obedience and harmony in your furry friend.

5. It’s your dog’s instinctive behavior

This trait can be traced back to their history as protectors of other retailers’ flocks that required constant attention to ensure predation resistance. 

As such, they were always bred to have a strong bond with their owners

They may also exhibit possessive behaviors over toys or sleep spots that they consider theirs.

Check out this article that talks about why German Shepherds like to sleep with their owners.

While some people may find it annoying that their furry best friend won’t leave them alone, others appreciate the close relationship that comes from a German Shepherd’s need for attention. 

Though these behaviors may be instinctive, they demonstrate why many people have become enamored with this remarkable breed.

Also read: Why Do German Shepherds Have Moles?

6. Your pup wants you to give him/her attention

Dogs, especially German Shepherds, can sit on their owners as a way of seeking attention

This is due to their attachment and affection towards their owners and can occur after physical activity or when wanting affection. 

They may also be trying to establish dominance or simply seeking a comfortable spot to rest. Understanding these motives can help in addressing this behavior.

Dogs often seek physical contact with their owners as a way to express affection, seek comfort, or simply enjoy being close to you. 

By sitting on you, your GSD is likely indicating that they want your attention and interaction. 

RELATED: Do German Shepherds Drool A Lot?

7. Your dog is probably afraid of something/someone

When German Shepherds sit on their owners, it may be due to fear. This is a natural reaction by dogs that are uneasy or scared. 

Dogs frequently use this tactic as an effort to search for security and comfort by remaining close to someone they trust.

German Shepherds may also sit on their owners as a form of protection, particularly if they feel their owner is in danger or threatened. 

By doing so, they’re effectively putting themselves between the owner and the perceived threat.

It’s important to realize this isn’t restricted only to German Shepherds; other breeds of dog also display these behaviors.

8. Your pup missed you

When German Shepherds sit on their owners, it shows their affection and desire to be close. 

They may also miss their owners if they have been away for some time. This behavior is natural and common among dogs.

However, there are several reasons why a German Shepherd might sit on its owner. 

These could include seeking attention, asking for food or water, marking territory, or simply wanting to cuddle.

It’s essential to understand your dog’s body language and behavior to figure out what they are trying to convey when they sit on you. 

Responsive play and providing basic needs like food, water, and exercise can help your canine friend feel loved and secure.

ALSO READ: Can German Shepherds Swim?

9. You may be in their spot

When German Shepherds sit on their owners, it could indicate that they believe the spot belongs to them. 

This behavior is common amongst dogs and can be attributed to their territorial nature. 

Canines are pack animals, and they have a hierarchy system where dominant members have more privileges like access to resources such as food, water, and shelter.

To understand why your German Shepherd has started sitting on you suddenly, you need to pay attention to its body language and other cues. 

It’s essential to know if there have been any environmental changes or if there is anything uncomfortable with the previous spot your dog used. 

Also, it would help if you discouraged this behavior by redirecting them to another spot.

It’s crucial not to let your furry friend take dominance over you since this can lead to future problems such as aggression and disobedience. 

Always remember that dogs do well when they know their position within the family hierarchy.

10. You may have encouraged your dog to sit on you

german shepherd sitting on me when I am on chair

Encouraging a German Shepherd to sit on their owner’s lap is a common behavioral training technique that can result in your dog believing it as an acceptable way of getting your attention. 

This habit may require unlearning, especially if the owner doesn’t appreciate it. This behavior could also indicate attachment anxiety and social dependence that needs managing. 

It is important to consult with professional trainers for help managing this behavior and creating healthy boundaries for mutual understanding.

It is essential to establish rules of engagement with your dog when you are at home so that they do not get too attached, causing distress when separated from you. 

Providing them with enough stimulation, exercise, and affection will keep them content and reduce the likelihood of developing these habits. 

How to Stop Your German Shepherd from Sitting on You

German Shepherds sitting on their owners can be uncomfortable and unpleasant. To prevent this behavior, follow these steps:

  1. Establish Yourself as the Leader: Provide your German Shepherd with proper training, and establish yourself as its leader. Keep a safe distance and don’t allow your dog to sit on you.
  2. Use Positive Reinforcement: Encourage your dog’s good behavior with positive reinforcement techniques like treats and praises. Avoid using physical punishment or aggression.
  3. Teach Your Dog a “No” Command: Train your German Shepherd to respond to a command like “no” or “off” when they sit on you or show unwanted behavior.
  4. Provide Adequate Exercise: A well-exercised dog is less likely to indulge in unwanted behavior. Ensure your German Shepherd gets enough exercise, and reward them with treats and praises.

Additionally, you can also provide a designated space for your dog to sit or lay down near you. This will help make them feel comfortable and secure without invading your personal space.

Pro Tip: Consistency is key when training your German Shepherd. Stay patient, and make sure everyone in the household follows the same protocol to avoid confusion.

You may also refer to this guide. Inside the article, you will find a comprehensive list of 30 essential training commands tailored specifically to control German Shepherd behavior.

Prevention is key

Preventing your German Shepherd from sitting on you is vital for a healthy owner-pet relationship. By utilizing preventative measures, you can avoid this behavior altogether.

To prevent your German Shepherd from sitting on you, try implementing positive reinforcement techniques such as rewarding desired behaviors or using deterrents like physical barriers.

Make sure that your pet has ample space to lie comfortably without feeling the need to sit on you and explore potential underlying medical issues that may cause this behavior.

Creating a designated spot for your German Shepherd

One way to prevent your German Shepherd from sitting on you is to establish a fixed location for them. 

This can be achieved by setting up a spot that will become their designated resting place, and training them to go there when they need to relax. 

By creating a designated spot for your German Shepherd, you can promote positive behavior and discourage unwanted habits.

Here’s a 5-Step Guide to creating a designated spot for your German Shepherd:

  1. Choose a location: Decide on where you want the designated spot to be. Ensure it is an area with enough space for your dog.
  2. Provide comfortable bedding: Make sure the area is cushioned adequately with comfortable bedding so that they can relax there comfortably.
  3. Introduce the spot: Show your dog the new area and encourage them to explore it. Reward them with treats when they are in the area. Repeat this several times until they understand that this space belongs to them.
  4. Teach your dog ‘Go-to-Place’: Train your dog using ‘Go-to-Place’ command by pointing towards the designated place and saying “go“. They should obey and go straight there. Always reward their obedience positively!
  5. Maintain a routine: Maintain consistency in keeping their designated rest space comfortable daily. Reinforce their habit of returning back whenever given directives such as “Go-to-place“, or by familiarizing routine commands such as “bedtime” effortlessly.

Creating a designated spot for your German Shepherd requires patience, effort, and consistency while providing positive reinforcement till desired behaviors are obtained. 

It is important to note, however, that each pooch’s learning pace varies.

Steps to train and prevent unwanted behavior

One effective measure to curb unwanted behavior in your German Shepherd is through structured training techniques. 

A progression of well-formulated methods, including consistent daily routines, clear communication, and positive reinforcement, can be implemented to achieve desired outcomes.

Here is a Guide to training and preventing unwanted behavior:

  1. Establish boundaries: Identify where your dog should be allowed. Encourage them not to roam around aimlessly.
  2. Train with consistency: Develop a rigorous routine that includes meals, playtime, learning exercises such as sit, stay and recall, short walks and appointments with the vet.
  3. Encourage socialization: Graciously introduce new people or animals to your furry friend during their early years. Check their temperament and reactions regularly.
  4. Create stimuli via toys/games: Play games such as tug-o-war or hide-and-seek to keep your dog stimulated yet entertained. Sustain these activities on a regular basis.
  5. Maintain positive reinforcement: Offer praises or favorite treats when your German shepherd listens or obeys; for example, when they respond positively to a specific command.

Pro Tip: Be patient when using training methods – it takes time for dogs to learn new habits- avoid scolding or punishing them but instead focus on affirming positive behaviors consistently.

Seeking professional help

If your dog continues to sit on you even after you have done everything mentioned in this article, it is crucial to seek professional counsel. 

Professional dog trainers or veterinarians can provide valuable advice in tackling these problems. 

Training sessions can be tailored to cater to the needs of individual dogs, ensuring that they receive appropriate attention and care.

As an example, a friend of mine who was facing difficulty with his dog Jake’s incessant barking sought expert help. 

A professional trainer diagnosed Jake’s nervousness as the root cause of his behavior and provided training exercises that helped him calm down. Through consistent training sessions, Jake became more relaxed and stopped barking unnecessarily.


German Shepherds have a strong inclination to sit on their owners due to their pack mentality and natural protective behavior. This behavior can also indicate a need for attention, affection, or dominance. 

Owners should train their German Shepherds to sit on command and provide them with adequate exercise and mental stimulation to prevent excessive sitting. Additionally, owners should consult with a professional trainer if the behavior persists.

Some Facts About Why Your GSD Sits On You:

  • ✅ German Shepherds are known to be very loyal and affectionate towards their owners and sitting on them can be a sign of love and comfort. (Source: American Kennel Club)
  • ✅ Sitting on their owners can also be a way for German Shepherds to assert dominance and establish their place in the household hierarchy. (Source: Wag!)
  • ✅ This behavior can also be an indication that the dog is seeking attention or trying to communicate a need, such as going outside or needing food or water. (Source: K9 Web)
  • ✅ German Shepherds are bred to be working dogs and sitting on their owners can be a way for them to relax and recharge. (Source: iHeartDogs)
  • ✅ Training and proper socialization can help curb this behavior if it becomes excessive or unwanted. (Source: PetMD)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Why does my German Shepherd sit on me?

German Shepherds are known for their loyalty and affection towards their owners. Sitting on their owners is their way of showing love, affection, and dominance.

Is it possible my German Shepherd is trying to protect me when they sit on me?

Yes, it is possible. German Shepherds are naturally protective of their owners and sitting on them is one way of showing it, especially if they sense any potential threat or danger.

What should I do if my German Shepherd sits on me too much?

You should establish boundaries early on and train your dog to respect personal space. Redirect their behavior to a designated spot or provide them with a comfortable bed or mat close by.

Can sitting on their owner be a sign of anxiety or stress in German Shepherds?

Absolutely. If your German Shepherd is sitting on you excessively or aggressively, it could be a sign of fear, anxiety, or stress and should be addressed immediately by consulting a professional in dog behavior.

Will neutering or spaying my German Shepherd stop them from sitting on me?

No, neutering or spaying your German Shepherd will not stop them from sitting on you. While neutering or spaying can help with some behavioral issues, sitting on their owners is a natural form of affection and should be managed through training and boundaries.

Can sitting on their owner be a sign of medical issues in German Shepherds?

Yes, in rare cases, sitting on their owner excessively can be a sign of pain or discomfort. If you notice any other unusual behavior or symptoms, it’s best to consult a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top