Why Does My Dog Sit On My Chest?

By John Martin - May 7, 2021

Puppy on young woman's chest

Have you ever been woken up from a sound sleep by a furry tail brushing your face? If yes, then you may have found your dog sitting on your chest!

Even on other occasions, have you wondered why your canine companion sits on you in that way?

Dogs seem to find human chests to be the perfect spot to lounge on. Let’s take a look at why our furry friends do this.

Pack Behavior

You must already be aware that dogs give an incredible amount of importance to their social and familial life. This means that their packs are super important to them.

The social structure that a pack provides helps them go about their business and live life as a dog!

There are a lot of canine behaviors that your dog may display, for which you might not be able to pinpoint the reasons.

For instance, lying down at your feet and of course, sitting on your chest. Usually, a deep-rooted sense of pack behavior is behind such inexplicable actions by your pet pal.

An act of dominance

It is not clear whether dogs consider humans to be a part of their pack or not. However, most people agree that even when dogs live with humans, a social hierarchy does exist.

If your dog loves using your chest as a couch, there may be a hierarchy-related reason behind that.

It is most likely that you are the ‘pack leader.’ This is because, in the eyes of your pooch, you are the lucky one who decides when to eat and when to go out.

When your dog sits on your chest, though, it may be a slight deed of attempting to display dominance. Sneaky pupper!

Your dog is perhaps trying to act being in-charge. Your pal may also be trying to test the waters when it comes to gaining pack leadership.

You don’t have to worry, though, since sitting on your chest will not really contribute to your dog establishing dominance over you.

‘Claiming’ you as a member of the pack

Brace yourself for quite an endearing reason your dog sits on your chest- to claim you as his or her own!

When your dog rubs against you tail-first or sits on you, your pooch is also putting a unique, individual dog scent on you.

Your dog is making sure that every other canine out there has no doubt about whose family you belong to. Your rascal is trying to ensure no strange dogs mess with you!

This is how your doggo ‘claims’ you. Rubbing his or her scent onto you is your little friend’s way of keeping you safe.

It also helps your dog establish some degree of control and allows a sense of solidarity from a dog-point-of-view.

In some cases, dogs become extremely protective of their humans. Such dogs also tend to sit on their humans’ chests to make sure they are being watched from the closest distance.

Related: Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?

An Act of Affection and Trust

While innate pack behavior can be the reason your dog sits on your chest, it could also be an act of affection.

Another possibility is that your dog trusts you and is being vulnerable. Both of these are very likely.

Sitting on your chest is an intimate act for your dog. This way, your pooch feels very close to you.

Your dog can feel your heartbeat and breathing movements as well! This reassures your fuzzy critter and also allows him or her to express affection. It also helps reduce stress.

Have you ever noticed a litter of puppies? It’s adorable how they all just curl up next to each other, on top of one another! This is their way of staying warm, feeling safe, and being assured of the company.

When your dog climbs up onto your chest, it may be with intents quite similar to this.

Your canine companion wants to feel warm, safe, and sure of the fact that you are there to watch his or her back. After all, your dog would do the same for you!


Humans are not the only ones who suffer from anxiety. Dogs have it too. Some dogs are extremely anxious about being left alone.

If you tend to leave your dog at home a lot, or when at work, your dog may develop separation anxiety. This can cause him or her to become sad when you are not around even for short periods.

When you come home, your dog feels relieved and overjoyed to see you!

Your desperate pupper may want to be as close to you as possible after a period of being separated. This could also be why your dog sits on your chest.

You can try reducing your beloved buddy’s anxiety by leaving him or her alone for shorter periods and eventually building up to longer ones.

Related: Why Do Dogs Lick The Bed?


Sometimes, your dog may feel deprived of attention. This might make your pooch come and plonk down onto your chest.

What is a better way to get someone’s attention than to sit right in front of their face, right?

When your dog does this, you should try talking to him or her, or playing with toys. You could also go out on a walk for some human-doggo bonding time.

Is There Anything to be Concerned About?

So, your dog sits on your chest. There is no doubt that it is a cute act! Even so, should you be worried about anything?

In most cases, there is nothing to worry about.

If your dog displays aggressive or stubborn behavior while sitting on your chest, however, you may need corrective measures. This means that your pooch is beginning to disregard you as the pack leader.

Such behavior is not ideal because it may lead to growling, snapping, and disobedience in public.

To reinforce your position of dominance, you must be stern. Do not allow your dog to sit on your chest. Feed your doggo only when it is time and the same goes for walks.

Your dog may also be sitting on your chest because you have been rewarding that behavior.

Have you been praising your pooch for sitting on you? Do you shower your buddy with extra scratches and cuddles?

If you are not comfortable with your dog sitting on your chest, you should work towards defamiliarizing your rascal with such behavior.

Prompt your dog to get off and make him or her stay off. Scold your mutt if this happens.


The first and foremost reason why your beloved dog sits on your chest is that your buddy loves you! It is a sign of attachment and bonding from your dog’s side.

Sometimes, though, other reasons like a bid for dominance or separation anxiety may be at play. Don’t worry, since these can be handled with equal parts of love and strictness.

If you do not like it when your dog sits on you, it is also possible to train your pooch to not engage in this behavior.

The bottom line is, your furry friend adores you and you must give your pal adequate attention and affection too!