Why Does My Dog Sit On My Lap Facing Away? (+What to Do!)

Ever caught your dog sitting on your lap facing away and wondered why? It might seem like an odd choice at first—after all, wouldn’t they want to face you? This behavior, where your dog sits with their back to you, can be both confusing and endearing. Understanding why they do this is essential for interpreting their needs and emotions correctly.

In this article, we’ll explain why dogs sit facing away from you, whether it’s while sitting on your lap, after you get home, or if it’s a sudden change in their usual behavior. We’ll discuss if it’s okay and what it might mean about their trust and comfort levels with you. Whether your dog is seeking protection or simply finds it comfy, we’ll help you understand. Let’s begin!

Why Does My Dog Sit On My Lap Facing Away?

Why Does My Dog Sit On My Lap Facing Away?

Your dog sits on your lap facing away for various reasons that can include comfort, trust, and a desire to protect you. This position allows them to monitor the environment while feeling the warmth and closeness of their favorite person. It’s a behavior that signifies your dog’s affection and confidence in you, indicating they see you as their safe space while keeping an eye on their surroundings.

New Dog Sits With Back to Me On My Lap

A new dog sitting with their back to you on your lap is a sign they are beginning to feel comfortable in their new home with you. This position not only helps them feel secure but also allows them to survey their new environment while staying close to their trusted human. It’s a positive sign of developing trust and comfort with you.

Dog Sitting Facing Away All of a Sudden

If your dog starts sitting facing away from you all of a sudden, it could be due to a change in their environment or routine that makes them feel the need to be more alert. Alternatively, it might simply be a new preference for comfort.

Watching for any other changes in behavior can help you determine if this is just a temporary thing or a new habit.

Dog Sits Facing Away From Me, Is It Okay?

It’s generally okay for your dog to sit facing away from you, as it often means they feel secure and protective. However, if you’d prefer your dog to sit next to you facing the same direction, you can encourage this behavior with gentle guidance and training:

  1. Lead with treats: Use your dog’s favorite treats to lure them into the desired position next to you. Reward them with the treat once they are in place.
  2. Use a command: Pair the action with a command like “next to me” or “side.” Consistently use this command each time you want them to sit next to you.
  3. Positive reinforcement: Always praise and reward your dog for following the command and sitting next to you in the preferred position.
  4. Practice regularly: Regular practice will help your dog understand and remember the preferred behavior, making it a habit over time.

Your dog sitting on your lap facing away is a behavior rooted in their instinct to protect and their comfort with you. While it’s typically a sign of trust and security, you can gently train your dog to adopt a different position if preferred, using treats, commands, and positive reinforcement to guide them.

It’s important to remember that any underlying behavioral issues (anxiety, overprotectiveness, etc.) that may have been contributing to this will still be present. And until you address those, any positive changes you see will only be temporary.

“Well, how do I make these changes last?”

By getting your dog to truly choose to follow your direction, that’s how. I tried many times to write out how you can do that before deciding it made more sense to just link you to the free video series that explains it better than I’d ever be able to.

The series is by a man named Dan who is one of the world’s leading dog obedience trainers. In it, he teaches you how to put an end to things like your dog sitting facing away from you while being overprotective and all other problematic behavior using his fast and easy-to-follow methods.

In the first video, Dan will reveal to you why the two most common methods of dog training only doom you to failure. You can watch the video now by clicking here. Follow the proven system he’ll show you in his series and you’ll never have to spend another second worrying about why your dog sits on your lap facing away from you ever again!

Why Do Dogs Sit Facing Away From You?

Why Do Dogs Sit Facing Away From You?

Dogs sit facing away from you for a variety of reasons that range from feeling comfortable and secure in your presence to keeping a watchful eye on their environment. This behavior can also be a sign of independence or simply finding a position that feels comfortable for them.

Why Does My Dog Sit With His Back to Me?

Your dog sits with his back to you primarily as a gesture of trust and comfort. By choosing to sit with their back towards you, they’re showing that they feel safe in your presence and don’t feel the need to be on guard.

Additionally, this position allows them to survey their surroundings, acting as a lookout while they relax. It’s important, however, to watch for any indications of aggression such as growling, barking, or focused staring, as these are all signs your dog is guarding you too intensely.

Dog Sitting With Back to Me And Keeps Turning Away

If your dog sits with their back to you and keeps turning away, they might be seeking a better view of their environment or even responding to something specific that has caught their attention. This behavior can also indicate a desire for some personal space or simply your dog wanting a moment of independence.

Observing the context and any additional body language can help determine the specific reason in each case. To help your dog form positive associations with sitting next to you, go back to the first section now where we’ll explain exactly what you need to do.

Dog Sits Facing Away From Me After I Get Home

When your dog sits facing away from you after you get home, it might be their way of decompressing from the excitement or taking in the change from being alone to having you back in the space. Dogs can experience a range of emotions upon their owner’s return, and sitting away might be their method of slowly readjusting to the social setting.

It can also be a sign of your dog casually monitoring the household while enjoying the comfort of knowing you’re nearby.

In summary, dogs sitting facing away from their owners is a common behavior with various underlying reasons, including comfort, security, and an instinct to observe their surroundings. Recognizing this behavior as a part of your dog’s way of communicating their feelings and needs can help you better understand and connect with your canine companion.

You’re probably ready to get started now that you have all of your questions about why your dog sits facing away from you answered, so I’ll let you get going on things. Good luck, and thanks for checking out our article “Why Does My Dog Sit On My Lap Facing Away? (+What to Do!)”.

The Author

KB Williams

KB Williams

Hey there! I'm a dog behavior expert and lover of travel. Since 2016, I've been sharing my knowledge of dog training and behavior while exploring the Pacific Northwest with my two rescues.