Why Does My Dog Sit Behind Me on The Couch?

Dogs are fiercely loyal to the core of their being, a trait passed down from their wolf ancestors. 

The ability to stay close to its pack at all times, even during times of conflict, is an important part of this loyalty. For example, how some dogs stand on top of you.

Even if your dog isn’t actively helping you defend yourself against predators, instincts tell it to stay close by. 

It’s not just about keeping you safe; dogs often prefer to be close to their owners because it makes them feel more at ease. 

This is particularly true for puppies. It’s one of the best parts about having a dog: the simple things are the most important, and sitting by your dog is one of them. 

Apart from that, there are numerous other reasons for this, so we’ll go over the top five reasons as well as a few others.


5 Reasons Why Your Dog Sits Behind You

1: To Protect You

Dogs often develop a strong attachment to their owners, with many of them considering them to be the pack leader. 

As a member of the pack, they believe that it is their responsibility to stay close to you and protect you. 

Examining how dogs defend their homes against intruders, we can gain a better understanding of how and why this occurs. 

Dogs stay close by, ready to take action at a moment’s notice if necessary. 

In most cases, when your dog sits steadily behind you, it means that they are prepared to assist you in fending off whatever threats may come your way. 

Because this isn’t a negative behavior, there isn’t a compelling reason to train them to stop doing it.

2: For Comfort

Dogs may experience what is known as separation anxiety from their owners from time to time. This is more likely to occur in dogs who aren’t accustomed to being left alone for long periods. 

Separation anxiety is a type of anxiety that occurs when a dog’s pack abandons them, causing them to become fearful. 

When their owner leaves for work, school, or the grocery store, this can quickly escalate into a state of panic. 

This is something that can be resolved over time with proper instruction. They may believe that by sitting next to you, they will reduce the likelihood of your leaving. 

This could help to alleviate their anxiety. Furthermore, they may be waiting nearby to take off the next time you try to leave.

3: Feeling Unwell

When a dog is sick, it may seek refuge near its owner, believing that the pack leader will protect it. Going to the bathroom is a prime example of this.

If you notice your dog sitting outside the bathroom door, they are likely guarding you against harm. They’re hoping that you will also look after them while they are ill. 

They also expect the same level of loyalty from you when they need to go to the bathroom and when they’re sick. 

By sitting behind you, they get the impression that you are keeping an eye out for them and keeping them safe from potential threats.

This may also provide them with some anxiety relief as a result of it.

4: They’re Bored

When my dog is bored, he almost always comes to sit next to me on the couch. Often, he will bring a toy with him, or he will simply sit near the door. 

Taking a glance at him causes his ears to pop up and he becomes a lot more animated. Bored dogs will naturally come to their pack for company. 

If you’ve been busy lately, or if you haven’t had as much time to play with your dog as you’d like, you should consider doing so more often. 

This may provide them with sufficient satisfaction that he will no longer feel the need to sit close to you at all times. 

Pick up a toy and spend a few minutes each day playing with him or her; they’ll appreciate it.

5: Showing Affection

Finally, dogs will come to their leader’s side to express affection. 

Dogs are unable to give you kisses or communicate verbally, so sitting near you may be their way of simply expressing their affection for you. 

Dogs are extremely affectionate creatures, and this is unquestionably one of their favorite ways of expressing their feelings for us. 

Whatever the situation, consider tossing them a toy or rubbing their belly to demonstrate your affection for them. 

The last thing you want to do is push them away from you while they’re expressing their affection for you. 

One of the most enjoyable aspects of dog ownership is sitting with your dog; the small things matter.

How You Can Help

1: Place Their Bed Elsewhere

Dogs adore having their bed to curl up in at the end of the day. In addition, dog beds are extremely soft and often custom-made to fit the dogs for whom they are intended. 

If you don’t already have a bed for your dog(s), purchase one and keep it somewhere cool, like a spare bedroom. 

If you’d prefer them to be nearby — but not on the couch — then place the dog bed near the couch so they can sit close by.

2: Train Them To Avoid The Couch

Even if your dog enjoys sleeping on the couch, it may be time to train them to avoid sleeping on the couch altogether if doing so causes you additional work in cleaning up after them.

Working your way up from small items such as a broom or other light object on the couch cushions, you can gradually increase the size of your collection. 

As a result, your dog may have a difficult time navigating through this physical obstacle.

3: Have a Stash of treats Nearby

Training them will almost certainly solve this problem, but you’ll need something to entice our canine companion to stay off the couch in the meantime. 

Treats are an excellent way to accomplish this. When your dog tries to jump onto the couch, tell them to leave it alone.

As soon as they obey your command, reward them with a treat and tell them “good boy/girl.” They will eventually come to realize that staying off the couch entails receiving a reward.


It should come as no surprise that dogs prefer to sit close to their owners. And because we humans enjoy relaxing on our plush couches, our dogs may enjoy doing so as well. 

If your dog prefers to sit behind the couch rather than in front of it, it’s possible that your dog is hot and prefers the cool draft that may be flowing through the bottom of the couch. 

Check in on your dog to make sure they’re feeling well. 

If your dog is exhibiting this type of behavior for the first time, keep an eye on them and look for signs of lethargy or other issues that could indicate a health problem.

Written by Brian Rucker

Brian Rucker has been a dog lover since childhood. He has had his Lab Mix with Hound for over 10+ years now! They enjoy playing outdoors together. Brian loves sharing his knowledge about all things dog on this website. Read more of Brian's articles.