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Why does My Golden Retriever Sit on Me: Golden Behavior’s Guide!

Knowing the behavior of your Golden Retriever is actually an essential factor to understand some of their doggy mannerism. Golden Retriever is a large size dog that can actually be a great companion. However, they may come at a time that they may behave more likely as lap dogs. But, what is the reason why my Golden Retriever sit on me?

In this blog post, we will reveal the answers to why the Goldies love to be on your lap. Aside from that, we also have here some of the helpful tips that can prevent this sitting behavior of the Golden Retriever. So, if you want to know more about your Goldies’ behavior, let’s check it out below!

Different Reasons why does my Golden Retriever Sit on Me

For some reason, Golden Retriever may sit on you. And, if you are asking why does my Golden Retriever sit on me, well, he is just using his body language to tell something to you. Here are some of those reasons:

1-Seeking for attention

One of the reasons behind the question of why does my Golden Retriever sit on me is because he wants to grab your attention. Maybe you are not paying that much and he is not getting enough of that attention. If this is the case, consider giving him a gentle belly rub, scratching the ears, or playing wrestling with him.

Moreover, you can also give your Goldies the attention that he needs in other forms like a brisk walk outside or a short training session. In case you decide to undergo training with him, always make the rewards of a tasteful doggy treat ready on hand. This will definitely make your dog’s day really satisfying.

A little bit of consistency is the key here. Keep in mind that a Golden Retriever who is always getting a fair amount of activity or attention may disturb you once you fail to give it.


Golden Retrievers belong to the list of most active dogs. Meaning to say, the Goldies need lots of exercises every day as well as mental stimulation. Even an hour of daily activity may be highly beneficial for adult Goldies. In case the Golden Retriever is not getting enough amount of exercise, then he may start sitting on you.

Most likely, Golden Retriever sitting on his parents wants to communicate something. Maybe he’s probably bored and wants to have some activities outside. This is most likely true especially when he is used to doing those kinds of activities.


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Dominance is one of the assertive ways for Golden Retrievers to heighten their level from the other members of the pack. A Goldies showing dominancy may generally sit on you or sit on a position that is higher than you. Although Golden Retrievers are not dominant dogs, their natural instinct may let you either be assertive or submissive with it.

It is very important to know not to encourage a dog’s dominant behavior. If he continues doing so, he may probably think that you are not his leader and he will be the one in charge. So, training the Golden Retriever not to sit on you that is in a lower position where you sit will make it easier to handle him.

4-Separation anxiety

Another reason why does my Golden Retriever sit on me is because he doesn’t want to be alone. It is because leaving him all by himself in the house may make him feel anxious. Sometimes, this sitting behavior strongly happens when he sees you going out of the house. When the Golden Retriever sits on you that is actually a strong sign of convincing you to stay.

Moreover, in addition to Goldie’s sitting behavior, when his anxiousness is accompanied by some verbal cues like crying, that would mean that he is trying to convey something. Keep in mind that a nervous Golden Retriever sometimes needs a safe and secure place. That is actually a great way to relieve his anxiety. You may consider placing your Goldies in a crate or a den; likewise, a comfortable dog bed may also do the job.

5-Being territorial

The olfactory sense is the strongest sense for dogs including the Golden Retriever. Most of the time, the Goldies is incorporating his scent over something to let other dogs know that it is his territory. So, in case the Golden Retriever sits on you, it may probably mean that he is marking you as one of his spots by rubbing his scent on you.

6-Feeling hungry

Dogs will continuously feed almost anything. And so, he will continue doing so until such time that we stop doing the feeding. If it is already near dinner and your Goldies starting to do the sitting position, you would probably ask why does my Golden Retriever sit on me. In this case, the main reason would that your Goldies is looking for food.

That is one way of your furry buddy in reminding you about dinner time because he is already hungry. With this, it is important to be very keen on time so that you won’t skip any of his meals. Moreover, it will also your way to get rid of having a big fluff on your lap.

7-You encourage him to do so

There are some doggy programs that usually set the mind of our Golden Retriever. With that, their particular behavior would have been developed. Actually, the behavior of the Golden Retriever of wanting to sit on your lap would be a problematic act. This only means that you are just encouraging the behavior of your pooch and that you provoke him to do so.

Generally, dogs including the Golden Retriever usually respond well with their toys. There would not be any difference if the dog is climbing up to your lap and just sit there with their favorite ball. Training your dog properly about the use of his toys or treats would make him understand everything.

Moreover, the Golden Retrievers wanting to please you may guarantee that he comprehends well on your cues. In case your Goldies is exhibiting positive behavior about this, don’t forget to reward him. Always remember that positive reinforcement is still the best training method for your pooch.

8-Not feeling well

It would actually be better if the Golden Retrievers would tell us directly to the point what’s on their mind. But, that’s not the way it used to be. Despite being active, our Goldies may also feel unwell. So, being on your lap is one of the best answers on why does my Golden Retriever sit on me.

Learning the meaning behind your dog’s manner and body language is always crucial for you to identify when something’s not right. Generally, he may need your full supervision especially when his actions are really strange. Moreover, it is always important to give immediate medical attention once sickness or lethargy is shown by your Goldies.

9-Asking you to move out

why does my Golden retriever sit on me
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Inside our house, each family member has a favorite spot to relax with. If this applies to humans, this is also applicable for the Goldies. They too have a spot in the house where they really want to hang around. In case you are not that considerate of your Golden Retriever’s favorite place, they may actually ask you to move out from it.

However, it is very important for you to let the Golden Retriever’s know who really takes over. So, making your doggo realize that you are still the boss and your place will be owned by you will become easy for them to understand the place that really belongs to him. Moreover, you can also easily confirm your leadership.

10-Showing affection

The truth that the dog is still man’s best friend still prevails. And all dogs including the Golden Retriever are included in the list. If you are asking why does my Golden Retriever sit on me, it is absolutely because of his love and affection to you as his pet parent. Sitting on your lap with a soulful staring directly in your eyes is a great version of their doggy hug.

Actually, among all the other reasons behind the Golden Retriever’s sitting behavior on you, this one tends to be the most common reason. For the Goldies, once you bring them home, they will start to consider you as their world.

Some Important Considerations

Now that you already have a better understanding about the reasons why does my Golden Retriever sit on me, it is also crucial to take the following things into account:

The time that Goldies began sitting on me

Generally, the sitting behavior of the Goldies could not have happened if there is no factor that triggers him to do so. Based on the above reasons, Golden Retrievers usually starts to sit on you if the following instances happened:

  • The Goldies achieved a reward, treat, praise, or even just a simple hug when he sits on you once. This is a good example of encouraging the dog’s behavior.
  • Your office time outside the house gets longer or your work generally increased resulting in you not giving some attention to your Goldies. With this, the Golden Retriever will look for ways on how to catch your attention. And, one of them is to sit on you.
  • Since much of your time has been preoccupied with your work, there will be no one to accompany the Goldies in his exercise activity. Because of that, the Golden Retriever tends to have to lack physical and mental stimulation. So, it would be easy for this doggo to get bored.

Important Considerations to Take into Account When My Golden Retriever Sit on Me on My Head

Not only that the Golden Retriever sits on your lap. There will generally be instances in which the dog will sit over your head. But, again, the reason for doing so will always be the same. He wants to get attention, he is actually bored with what he’s doing, or you basically tolerate him from doing so.

However, in order for you to clearly figure out the main reason behind the sitting behavior over your head. Usually, the Golden Retriever started to do that maybe because he presumes that he may be rewarded once he did it. That’s why the Golden Retriever sits on your head.

Preventing My Golden Retriever to Sit on Me

Preventing the sitting behavior of the Golden Retriever actually begins with understanding the reason why he is doing it. Once you decide to cut your Golden Retriever’s behavior of sitting on you, you may generally consider doing the things below. These would probably help you and your Goldies to behave properly and accordingly on each other.

*Train your Goldies not to sit on you

Generally, the key here is to trace the root cause and once you know why your Goldies behave that way, it would be a great training ground for him. In case you sit on the place that the Goldies presume it’s his territory, teach him to sit in other places instead. Moreover, let him learn that the place is not his personal property.

One instance is if the Golden Retriever likes to sit on the spot on a couch where you are sitting on. Instead of giving him the place, try to teach him to sit on the floor. Do this by instructing him to lie down over there and then teach him to stay on that spot for a long time eventually. It would generally be perfect if you combine the basic word commands of “sit”, “stay’, and “no” in conjunction with some treats.

*Ignore their behavior

Thirsty for your attention is the main thing that the Golden Retriever is trying to get. Once they sit on you, just simply ignore them and don’t easily give what they want. Training them to sit somewhere rather than giving him what he wants is actually a good decision to make.

In case they’re still a puppy and sits on you, simply remove them from your lap and put them on somewhere else. Meanwhile, if they are old enough, just stand up and walk away from them if they are trying to start sitting. It would also help if you ignore them even for a little while.

*Distract him

Dogs really love to play with toys, so the best way to distract him is to offer him some toys especially when he is starting to sit on you. Tossing some chew toys for Goldies or a bone would definitely make a great distraction for the Golden Retrievers. With this, they will be unlikely to seek any of your attention.

*Focus your attention on him all throughout the day

Spending some of your time with your Golden Retriever and giving him much attention effectively works. Try to give him some exercise, train him or play with him.

*Avoid encouraging him for doing so

As much as possible, consider doing the following once the Golden Retriever sits on you so that you will not trigger them to do the behavior:

  • Take away your attention from them
  • Do not make an eye contact
  • Take him down from your lap
  • Pretend to leave the room

Final Thoughts

There is actually a plethora of reasons why does my Golden Retriever sits on me. It may actually one of their probable ways to speak in their language and tell you what they really want. By understanding those reasons above, you generally determine the true meaning of their body language. That way you can directly address the needs of your pooch. Aside from that, your Golden Retriever will be a happier and more satisfied dog without trying to sit on you.

About Tom Thorpe

Tom Thorpe has overtime interacted with different species of dogs mostly through breeding and training; according to him, man’s best friend is yet to find solace in the company of man, as they are continuously mistreated. He, therefore, runs a rescue center that provides shelter to stray dogs, and has been advocating for the rights of animals; the Golden Retriever dogs are among his favorites, the reason he came up with the extensive excerpts to help educate the society on the right treatment and care of the respective breed. Tom spends most of his time running his dog shelter; he is a husband and proud father of two boys and loves to go fishing during his free time.

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