Why Do Dogs Steal Your Seat When You Get Up?

By John Martin - May 3, 2021

Dog stole seat when got up

Dogs are adorable and it’s difficult not to love them. However, understanding them always is not easy. Sometimes they do silly things that we don’t understand.

Do you have a dog who is always taking up your seat whenever you get up? Let’s explore why they do that and if it is something you should be worried about.

Your Scent and Warmth

This is one of the most popular reasons why dogs do this. Your dog is simply looking for more comfort as dogs love cuddling.

Dogs love warm spaces. They find these places comforting and they get relaxed. This is exactly why so many dogs wound up in a bed or under a chair.

If your dog is sitting in your chair, it is perhaps looking for warmth. It may also find your smell comforting.

If your dog gets up as soon as you are back, this is not a concern. However, if your dog gets aggressive and refuses to get up, you should consider proper training.

Also Read: Why Does My Dog Check On Me When I’m Sleeping?

Playing Games

Most dogs behave like small children. Stealing your chair as soon as you get up may just be a fun game for your dog. It is likely that the dog has no malicious intent.

Your Attention

It may be possible that your dog is feeling ignored and just wants your attention.

You might have unknowingly encouraged this behavior in the past by petting and giving your dog kisses once you get back to your chair.

It is likely the dog thinks that it will get the same kind of attention once again.

Sitting exactly where you were sitting might be a sign that you need to give your dog a little more love.

The Better Spot

Dogs enjoy homely spaces. They just love to nestle in a good spot and snooze away after a few pets and scratches.

If your dog is stealing your spot, it is possible that it thinks you have a better spot and wants to steal it for more comfort.

It is stealing your seat to check if you really have a better spot and will get down if it isn’t.

Separation Anxiety

Some dogs are vulnerable to separation anxiety. If you have rescued a pet with a past of traumatic abuse, it may be suffering from this.

An anxious dog is always looking for ways to ensure it won’t be abused again. Your dog wants you to be in sight at all times and doesn’t want to be alone.

Such a traumatized dog is always looking for reassurance that you won’t leave it behind. To see if your dog suffers from this, take note of its body language.

If it’s cowering and whimpering while in your chair, it is likely it just wants to make sure you still care about it.

To get your dog treated for separation anxiety, you must visit a trained professional.

Asserting Dominance

Dogs are descendants of wolves and have the mentality of asserting dominance in a pack. Every pack has an alpha who is in charge.

This might be the case if you have more than one pet in your house. Your dog just wants to show your other pet who’s the boss and taking up your seat is one way to do that.

If your dog is showing other behavior that may be problematic along with this, you should see an animal behaviorist.

These behaviors include being territorial and aggressive towards you and the other pets in the house, biting and aggressively barking loudly at things.

With proper training, it is possible for you to show your dog there is no need of doing this.

A trained professional would be better equipped to understand your dog’s behavior and will take appropriate steps to solve this problem.

Also Read: Why Do Dogs Like Drinking Rainwater?

Spread Their Scent

This is common behavior when it comes to dogs. They love spreading their scent everywhere to mark their territory.

Even if they live in your house, they may not understand that it is their home. By spreading their scent all over, they make your house their home.

It is a representation of your dog’s love. It loves you and wants the whole world to know that it is a part of your family.

Copy Cat

Dogs are playful creatures and sometimes they do things simply because they saw their owners doing them.

This is likely the case if you catch your dog copying you doing other things too and not just sitting in your chair.

Protecting You

In the animal world, it is common for a dog to mark its territory. When your dog sees you sitting in your chair, it sees the chair as your territory.

When you get up, it may be possible that your dog is protecting you and your territory until you get back.

This is a way for your dog to look out for you and show you it loves you.

Learned Behavior

What do you do when you find your dog in your seat? Do you laugh it off? Do you find it cute and shower your pet with treats and kisses?

If you do this, you may have conditioned your dog to think it will get a reward every time it gets in your chair.

Dogs are intelligent animals and once they figure out a way to get rewards, they will continue to repeat that thing.

Should You Be Worried?

If your dog has stolen your seat a few times, it can be ignored. This is especially true if your dog is wagging its tail and licking your hands while doing that.

If it’s moving away from your spot when you get back without showing any aggressive behavior, you need not be worried.

You should be worried about your dog’s behavior if you find it doing one of the following things.

  • If your dog is continuously doing this, it may be a cause for concern. If your dog is growling at you while doing this, it may even be more serious.
  • If it refuses to leave your seat when you get back even when you ask it to.
  • When your dog is whimpering in your seat while you are away.

What You Should Do

  • Do not laugh or pet your dog when it steals your chair. It may provoke it to do it even more often.
  • Do not shout at your dog. It won’t understand why you are scolding it and your anger may make the situation worse.
  • You should consider putting your dog in a training school if you are struggling with handling this behavior on your own.
  • If your dog is a younger puppy, training in the early phase will help you train it for the rest of its life.

How to Train Your Dog at Home

If your dog isn’t properly trained, it may be an obstacle to both you and your dog. A well-trained dog is happier and calmer.

If you are new to training, there are many resources online that you can use to learn how to train your dog.

The best methods and techniques of training will depend on your dog and how much time you can devote to its training.

If your dog has a history of abuse, you should consider being more gentle in your training. Scolding and shouting may make your dog feel even worse.

Dogs are like little kids and will learn quickly when they get an immediate response.

There are two main ways of training.

Rewards-Based Training

This training involves techniques such as using rewards to train your dog whenever it shows good behavior. The rewards may include belly rubs, treats and kisses.

Discipline Training

This is a stricter method than reward-based training. This training uses loud noises, harsh scoldings and physical corrections to make your dog behave.


Here are some quick tips that you can use for training your dog.

  • When you get up from your seat, don’t leave the room immediately. Stand and look your dog in the eye to see if it takes your spot.
  • Assess your dog’s body language and train accordingly. You may need to be stricter with your dog if it reacts aggressively.
  • Maintain eye contact with your dog and give it commands. Do this even before it has a chance to get in your chair.
  • If your dog still moves towards your chair, lift up a finger and force your dog to be submissive with actions.
  • Reward your dog when it doesn’t steal your seat to show it has done a good thing.
  • Continue reinforcing good behavior with treats so that your dog understands it is not supposed to sit in your seat.

Also Read: Why Does My Dog Sit On My Chest?

The Final Wag

Dogs can’t talk like humans do but they definitely communicate with their behavior. If your dog is stealing your seat, it is likely that your pet is trying to tell you something.

A dog stealing your seat may not be a serious concern. Keep a close eye on your dog and you will be able to better understand your dog.