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Why Does My Dog Climb on Me – Is It Normal?

We’ve all seen a dog get overexcited and jump up to lick either its owner or a stranger’s face. While it can be adorable, dogs with too much energy who frequently jump and climb on humans can be a problem. To solve the problem, you must get to the root question; why does my dog climb on me?

Your dog climbs on you because they feel comfortable around you. Climbing signifies trust, playfulness, or a desire to be rewarded by their owner. Dogs may also climb on you to seek attention, or for protection. when they are afraid.

This behavior is typically unwanted and can be troubling, especially with larger dogs who have the power to hurt someone accidentally.  In this article, we’ll dive into why dogs do this and ways you can prevent the behavior long term.

7 Reasons Your Dog Climbs on You 

It is not always clear why a dog wants to climb on you, but nonetheless it can be annoying to deal with. With that said, here are 7 reasons most associated with dogs climbing on their owners.

  1. Your dog thinks you want to play with them.
  2. Your dog wants to get your attention to let you know it’s mealtime or they need to go outside.
  3. Your dog might climb on you if they get overly excited about a treat or playing fetch.
  4. Your dog is trying to get closer to you or wants to be petted.
  5. You just walked in the door after being gone all day, and your dog is trying to say hello.
  6. You are lying on the floor on their level, which removes your position of dominance, and your dog feels like you can play as equals.
  7. Your dog hasn’t been trained that it’s inappropriate to jump or climb on people, especially strangers.

What Does It Mean When A Dog Climbs On You

A dog climbing on you often signifies that the animal feels comfortable in your presence and wants to be closer to you. Some dogs are very affectionate and may climb on their owner to sit in their lap or cuddle.

However, other dogs may climb on you in a more rambunctious and playful manner, and this usually means they want you to engage with them or want your attention. If your dog is prone to uncontrollably jumping up and climbing all over people, that is a sign of inadequate behavioral training and indicates you’ve lost power over your dog.

Why Is My Dog Suddenly Climbing All Over Me

Dogs are pack animals, and their favorite place to be is by the people they love. Getting close to their humans is one of the ways dogs show you their affection. Just like humans have their love languages, touch is an important one in the canine world.

If your dog is climbing all over you and wants affection, make sure to spend some time petting them and rewarding their love. There can be adverse effects to the bond between your dog and yourself if you push them away too frequently while trying to be close to you.

Why Does My Dog Climb On My Chest

If your dog is climbing on your chest, it is a sign they are ok being vulnerable in your presence. A dog laying on your chest is likely looking for an opportunity to cuddle and probably cozy down next to you to take a nap.

Why Does My Dog Climb On Me And Lick My Face

You should feel honored if your dog climbs up on you to lick your face! Dogs lick the face of the person they see as their “alpha” or leader. Licking is one of the other main ways dogs express their affection to loved ones, so a kiss from your pup should give you a warm and fuzzy feeling! 

Why Does My Dog Climb On My Shoulders

Some dogs get a thrill out of being eye-level with their humans! It’s not uncommon for larger dogs with taller legs to jump up and put their paws on your shoulders as a form of greeting when you return home. This behavior can be adorable, and sure that your dog is happy to see you, but it is not an excellent behavior to encourage around others.

While you may love getting a full greeting from your dog, it can be dangerous if your dog jumps up to shoulder height on other people. To prevent this, get down onto your dog’s height level to pet them and teach them not to jump up.

Why Does My Dog Climb On My Back

A dog that climbs onto your back is ready to have some fun! Your dog is trying to tell you that he or she is ready for playtime. Your dog is trying to play with you, similar to how they would play with a canine friend. While it might seem a little aggressive to us, dogs love to roughhouse and tumble around as a form of playtime.

Why Does My Dog Climb On My Head

Have you ever woken up to find your dog trying to climb around near your head? While this can seem like a strange thing for your pup to do, they have learned that sitting near your head is bound to get your attention.

Your dog has learned over time that sitting on your head is an excellent way to get you to focus on them, and dogs will often employ techniques like this when they are trying to let you know they are hungry or need something.

Is A Dog Sitting On You A Sign Of Dominance

Yes, a dog that likes to sit on you is a sign of dominant behavior. Some dogs like to cuddle or be near their owner, so it does not always exclusively point to dominant behavior.

To tell if you have a dominant dog on your hands, look for this behavior compiled with some of the other tell-tale signs such as aggressive behavior towards small children, attempting to herd other animals or children, or being possessive of food and toys (Canna-Pet).

Usually, these dominant behavioral tendencies emerge once your dog is more than a year old and has entered adulthood. If their aggression or dominant tendencies get too pronounced, it is advisable to take them to see a pet trainer who can assist you in taking back some of your power.

How Do You Get Your Dog To Stop Climbing On You

To get your dog to stop climbing on you, be prepared to ignore them and stop rewarding the behavior. There are various disciplinary actions you can take to signal to your dog they can no longer jump up on you.

Some trainers recommend popping up a knee to make it harder for them to jump on you. Another technique is to cross your arms in front of your chest to block them from making contact. Avoid spending too much down on the ground or eye-level with your dog if you are having trouble with them climbing on you.

While it can be fun to spend time cuddling and being close to your dog, it can also be a nuisance to have a dog that continually jumps and climbs all over you. It is crucial to set boundaries about when it’s appropriate to play and cuddle together to ensure you don’t go frustrated with your dog and they are still getting the affection they need.

You may also consider setting up some additional doggy play dates or getting your dog a companion pet if they seem lonely and can’t be separated from you throughout the day.