Friday, July 30, 2021

Why Does My Dog Always Take My Spot on the Couch?

A retriever dog lounging on a couch where his owner was just sitting.

If you have a dog, you’re probably familiar with the routine: You get up to grab a fresh drink while watching Netflix or hop out of bed and into the shower to start your day, and when you get back, your furry friend is in your spot. Why?

There are two big dog-psychology reasons for the behavior, the first one endearing and the second less so.

For most dogs, the behavior is a positive, pack-oriented behavior. Not only does your dog like you and feel comforted by your smell (so they want to be right in the spot that you were in for maximum scent enjoyment), but they’re also guarding your spot and protecting the “den” that you just occupied.

For some dogs, however, the movement into the spot is a territorial one. That’s the spot that the person highest up in the pack hierarchy sits, so that’s the spot that they want.

How can you tell the difference between your dog missing you and watching your seat vs. plotting against you Game of Thrones-style for the best seat in the house?

If you return and they’re happy to see you and make room for you to come back and hang out with them, then they’re just watching your spot for you. On the other hand, if they growl or snap to protect the space that they took over, then they’re essentially trying to rewrite the pecking order, and a bit of behavioral training is in order. For tips on training your dog from being an aggressive couch-hog, check out the full article over at TreeHugger.

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[Via Mental Floss]


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