Why does my dog lay against me?

Why Does My Dog Lay Against Me?

You may have noticed that your dog likes to be close to you.  Whenever you sit or lay down, they like to lay right next to you.  Have you ever wondered why does my dog lay against me?  This article will help you understand why dogs like to be close to us.

Reasons Why Your Dog Lays Against You

Pack Mentality

Dogs are pack animals, so one of the reasons they like to lay against you is because it is in their roots.  Wild dogs sleep in packs back to back cuddled up together, so the instinct to want to be close to their pack is innate. 

puppies lying together

If you have ever seen newborn puppies all packed together sleeping this is a good example of that instinct.   That closeness provides them a certain level of warmth, safety and comfort.

Domesticated dogs still have these instincts; thus, they sometimes like to lay close their human pack members.

Sense of Security

Security is another reason dogs like to be close to us when lying down.  Like in the wild, being huddled together provides them with a sense of protection and security.  They feel safer from any potential threats knowing their pack is surrounding them.  Accordingly, it is only natural they domesticated dogs would want to feel that same sense of security.

They are Scared about Something

Since being close provides dogs with a sense of security, sometimes they like to be close when they are afraid for some reason.  For example, my dog doesn’t really like thunder.  So, whenever there is a thunderstorm, she immediately wants to get close to me (sometimes literally on top of me). 

If your dog wants to lay close to you try and access what is going on around you, there could be some reason they are scared and are looking for extra security from closeness.

Encouragement from You

Another reason dogs like to lay against us is because it has been encouraged by us.  Often times dog owners encourage their dogs to lay on their laps, bed or snuggle up on the couch. 

Dogs are quick learners, so once they are encouraged with rubs and cuddles to lay close to you, they will keep coming back to that rewarding position.

Comforting You

Dogs are in tune with our emotions and can sense when something is bothering us.  Accordingly, sometimes dogs lay against us to provide a sense of comfort.  They can sense something is wrong, but don’t know what that something is, so they try and provide us with comfort like they would provide in the wild… being close to us.

To Provide Protection

Dogs can be protective over their “pack” (i.e. their family).  Have you ever noticed a dog sleeping close to a child? 

Dogs have protective instincts over their family just like we do as humans, thus they can sense that some people (like children) need more protection than others.  Some dogs like to sleep close to their humans to keep them safe in case a threat arises.

What to do if you don’t like your dog laying right next to you

If you aren’t very keen on your dog laying right underneath you for whatever reason, the best way to deal with this is to teach them a more appropriate place to lay.  Get them a nice comfortable dog bed and encourage them to spend time on it. 

Keep their new bed in a location close to you and not in an obscure far away location.  Since dogs want to be close to us, you will have better luck getting your dog to use their new bed if it located close to where you are.

It may take time and training for them to learn to love their new bed, but eventually you will find them gravitating toward their bed more than being right underneath you. 


Dogs being pack animals like to be close in general.  Usually, your dog laying against you is harmless and is just because such closeness provides them with a sense of security or because they have encouraged to do so.  However, if your dog laying underneath you is too much, you can teach them a more appropriate spot to lay with a little time and patience.  Personally, I like a good doggie snuggle every now and again. 

Does your dog like to lay against you?  Let me know in the comments!