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Why Does My Australian Shepherd Sit On Me? 9 Reasons

Why Does My Australian Shepherd Sit On Me? 9 Reasons

No, it’s not because they are tired. If you know anything about Aussie Shepherds, you know they have so much energy that you wonder if they are plugged into some power source.

So, why does my Australian Shepherd sit on me?

Do they need something from me? Or, do they simply think I am so comfy they can’t help themselves?

Let’s find out! There are 9 reasons why your Australian Shepherd sits on you.

I have to say that most of them are heart-melting and adorable, but…there is one reason that might cause some raised eyebrows.

We’re not saying it makes Aussies look bad – every dog is different, and has its own set of traits. However, there is one time when we’ll have to make some serious changes.

Why Does My Australian Shepherd Sit On Me?

woman with two red three colours Australian shepherd puppy dog on couch

Australian Shepherds are one of the most beautiful dogs. Especially the blue merle coat pattern… Oh, it is gorgeous!

They are also very active and playful. Another fact is that they are incredible herding dogs that come from the States! Yes, it’s an all-American dog breed with an Australian name.

If you wondered how that happened – here is a totally plausible explanation: God Makes Australian Shepherds.

But, why do they like to sit on us? What’s up with that? Yes, you can ignore it, and just go with the fact your doggo sits on you while you are trying to eat and watch TV at the same time.

However, if you are like me, and you want to know every little detail about a dog’s behavior… here’s why they do it.

1. They Love You

Overhead view of Australian Shepherd dog laying on owners lap, smiling while looking up at the camera.

Of course, this is the first reason on the list. Australian Shepherds are one of the most loyal dog breeds in the world. 

This loyalty is innate, and it only further strengthens if you work out or do all kinds of activities with your Aussie dog. 

So, when there’s nothing to do, and it’s time to rest, your Australian Shepherd will sit on you and continue strengthening your bond. It’s a true blessing – a dog choosing you as it’s human No. 1.

Give him pets and hugs, and don’t forget to tell him he’s the best boy!

2. They Need Your Attention

OK, apart from showing love, a dog can sit on you to draw your attention. Maybe they need to go outside to do their business. Perhaps they need a bit more food or they are simply seeking some more playtime with you.

In either case, they want your attention so the best way to do it is to sit on you. They don’t want to bark, they are smart doggos. They know barking can sometimes create the opposite reaction. However, sitting on you is the cutest way to ask for something.

Good boy!

3. They Are Scared

Young Caucasian man with dreadlocks and beard plays with Australian shepherd in autumn field.

This is also a way of seeking attention and protection from you. Something scared your Australian Shepherd, and it ran to you where it felt the safest. 

It doesn’t matter if you have a female or a male Aussie Shepherd – both can get scared and look for you in scary situations. 

This usually happens when a noise scares them… maybe a loud bang coming from the outside, fireworks, a loud TV, or any other noise they think is scary.

Maybe it’s not a noise, but something they smelled?

Whatever it is, calm your dog, and look around to see if there is a problem inside your house.

4. Separation Anxiety

All dogs can develop a behavioral issue called separation anxiety. Some dog breeds are more prone to it, especially loyal dog breeds. So, an Australian Shepherd can develop this issue as well.

Basically, they cannot stand you being gone or out of the home, so they become anxious, depressed, or destructive while you are gone.

When you do come home, they’ll overcompensate by not leaving your side no matter what. They will also sit on you. It’s a way of saying “please don’t go.”

There are ways to help your dog

One of them is not to make a big deal out of you leaving and coming back home.

5. They Are Marking You

Blue merle Australian Shepherd puppy smiling, sitting on man's lap.

Yup… this sounds a lot like you are a part of their territory, but actually, you should be flattered. It’s a way that an Australian Shepherd tells everyone you are part of their pack! You are BFFs!

They could even pee on you… so this is a good way to mark you as one of their own.

This is also a reason why your dog lies on your bed, your pillow, your sofa, or anything that belongs to you.

Do you have kids? They’ll mark them, too. You are all one big happy family. It’s normal behavior, and nothing to be worried about.

Read Next: Are Australian Shepherds Good With Kids?

6. They Are Guarding You

This one goes hand in hand with scent marking. If you wonder why your Australian Shepherd sits on you and kind of looks alert… he might be guarding you.

It doesn’t matter whether there is anyone at home or not – your Aussie Shepherd wants to be sure no one gets to you. 

This is a flattering reason as well. You can doze off on your sofa knowing you have your furry friend keeping you safe. You can even train him to cover you and tuck you in when you fall asleep. 

7. That’s Their Spot

Blonde woman with her Australian Shepherd dog on her lap.

As simple as it sounds, this could be a very good reason why your Australian Shepherd sits on you. Just like most people, Aussies have their favorite spots, too.

If you are their favorite person, it is very likely that you will have the same favorite spot. So, if you come to the spot before your doggo, he’ll just sit on you.

If you have a Toy Australian Shepherd it’s not a big deal. However, an adult, standard-size Aussie Shepherd is not that easy to keep on your lap/chest/legs.

If you can’t hold your dog anymore, gently move him next to you with lots of pats and kind words.

8. They Learned To Do It

This is common behavior if you unintentionally use positive reinforcement every time your puppy Australian Shepherd sits on you. 

So, simply said – they learned to sit on you because they think it’s what they should do.

If you don’t want your dog to sit on you anymore, you have to “erase” this learned behavior, and “write” a new one.

This is something to think about if you plan on getting a new puppy. If you don’t want your dog to sit on you when it grows up, start teaching it not to do it when it is still a puppy.

9. Showing Dominance

australian shepherd photographed in nature

This is the one reason I mentioned at the beginning that might raise some eyebrows. Why? Because Australian Shepherds are not considered aggressive dog breeds, and we surely don’t want to think we raised an aggressive dog.

Dominance doesn’t mean aggression, but dogs can use some aggressive forms of behavior which allow them to express their dominance.

However, it might be something else, too… If you have more than one dog, your Australian Shepherd might be showing dominance over other dogs by sitting on you. That shows other dogs who is in charge or who gets to sit with the alpha (you are the alpha).

To Sum Up

If you wonder why your Australian Shepherd sits on you, there are 9 reasons for such behavior. Most of them are just the way your dog shows love, but a few are also behavioral issues that tell us our dog is agitated or anxious.

And, there is a dominance reason, too. If you think this is the reason, and you want to reestablish dominance, here is an incredible article that can help you do it: How to show dominance to a dog.

And, after all – if you don’t mind your dog sitting on you, but you just want to know why – enjoy the time with your doggo.

Aussie Shepherds can live for more than 15 years, but nothing is enough when it comes to our best furry friends.