6 Reasons why your Great Pyrenees Sits on You – And How to Prevent It


why does my great pyrenees sit on me

The Great Pyrenees is a large dog, and this can make them sitting on you extremely uncomfortable.

Due to the fact that the Great Pyrenees breed is not your classic lap dog, many Great Pyrenees owners have likely asked themselves: why does my Great Pyrenees sit on me?

Contrary to what some may believe, the great pyrenees is actually considered to be a very affectionate dog to the members of their family. As a result many Pyrenees like to be near their owners as a way to show affection or calm themselves down when they are stressed or anxious.

Although it can be nice to have cuddle time with our dogs, it is only natural for Great Pyrenees owners to want to avoid their dog from sitting on them.

Luckily, there are some simple solutions to this problem.

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6 Reasons Why Your Pyrenees Sits on You

There are six common reasons why your Pyrenees is sitting on you. This behavior is usually nothing to worry about and is most often simply just a sign of affection.

However, sitting on people can also be a sign of severe anxiety, which is serious and can require veterinary care in some cases. Here are the six reasons your Pyrenees sits on you.

1. Your Great Pyrenees Just Wants to Cuddle

Many dogs love cuddling with the people they love, and the Great Pyrenees is no exception. As a result your Great Pyrenees may be trying to curl up in your lap simply because he wants to snuggle with one of his favorite people. Sometimes large dogs forget how big they are when they are in cuddle mode.

2. Your Great Pyrenees is Stressed or Anxious

Stress and anxiety can cause dogs to want to be close to their owners. This provides them with comfort and security. Your Great Pyrenees could be sitting on you or leaning on you as a result of this habit.

If you believe that your Great Pyrenees is sitting on you because he is stressed or anxious about something then you should eliminate or reduce the stressful stimuli when at all possible. It is also a good idea to take your dog to the vet if his anxiety or stress is prolonged. This is because prolonged stress could be a sign of a health problem.

Read Our Other Articles About Great Pyrenees’:

3. Your Pyrenees Wants Some Attention

Many dogs learn that sitting on their owner is one of the quickest ways to get their attention. As a result, your Great Pyrenees may be sitting on you because he wants some affection or wants to play.

If your Pyr is sitting on you to get attention, then it is important to ignore him and correct the behavior.

This way your Great Pyrenee’s bad habit will not be reinforced. We will explain how you can stop your dog from sitting on you later on in this article.

4. Your Pyrenees is Trying to Cheer You Up

If your Great Pyrenees is sitting on you when you are upset then your dog is likely trying to cheer you up. These dogs are extremely intuitive and affectionate.

As a result, they will likely know when their owner is upset and will try to make them feel better.

Most people are happy when their dog shows them affection while they are feeling down, and they should be. This behavior is just another way that the Great Pyrenees shows their owner that they love them.

5. You Have Rewarded Sitting on You in the Past

As we have mentioned before, some dogs sit on their owners because it gets their attention. This is especially common for dogs that were allowed to sit in your lap like a puppy.

Large dogs do not understand that as they get older they also get bigger, and sitting in their owner’s lap is now uncomfortable to them.

Rewarding this behavior only makes it worse and more frequent, unfortunately.

For this reason, you will likely need to do some training to resolve this behavior problem. We explain how you can do this a little later on in this article.

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6. It Could Be a Sign of Separation Anxiety

Sitting on you could be a sign of separation anxiety. This is especially true if your dog does this consistently when you get home and/or when you are about to leave.

Oftentimes separation anxiety includes more than one symptom. Some other common symptoms of separation anxiety in dogs include:

  • Obsessive behaviors like pacing and excessive itching
  • Excessive barking or howling
  • Attempting to escape a crate, room, house, yard, etc
  • Having accidents inside
  • Destructive behaviors like digging or chewing

Although separation anxiety is a pretty serious condition, it is also more common than some people may think. If your dog is exhibiting signs of separation anxiety then it is crucial that you take them to the vet to be properly evaluated.

You could also benefit from some training help by an animal behaviorist or a dog trainer who is qualified in working with separation anxiety.

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How to Stop Your Great Pyrenees From Sitting on You

Having a very large dog such as a Great Pyrenees with a habit of sitting on you can quickly become a problem. Luckily, there is some simple training that you can do to stop this behavior.

Here is how you can stop your Great Pyrenees from sitting on you through positive reinforcement training methods.

You will need to teach the “off” cue. This will teach your dog to get off of you and the sofa when you want them to. For this explanation, we will not be explaining how you can keep your dog off of furniture in this article. Here is how to teach the off cue.

Step 1: When your dog goes to sit on you, start to get up and say “off” at the same time. This will make it impossible for your dog to sit on you. Then lure your dog to the floor with a treat if he isn’t on the floor already. Once he is on the floor, reward your dog with the treat.

Step 2: Practice step 1 several times.

Step 3: Whenever your dog goes to sit on you say “off”. You should not need to lure your dog to the floor anymore, but you do still need to reward him for getting on the floor at this point. You should reward him as soon as he jumps off of you.

Step 4: Continue practicing step 3. Dogs sometimes take a while to perfect this command, especially if it was particularly rewarding to them in the past. Limiting your affection only after your dog is on the ground can help. In addition, adding the sit or lie down commands after “off” can encourage them as well.

You will need to see a vet and receive other specialized training for cases of extreme stress, general anxiety, and separation anxiety. This is because these issues are more complex and require specialized care.

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Conclusion

The Great Pyrenees is an amazing dog. However, it is also a very big dog. This can make them sitting on your lap become a problem rather quickly. Luckily, most of the causes for this behavior are not serious, and you can train a dog not to sit on you pretty easily.

Extreme stress and anxiety is a serious situation though. As a result these causes often require veterinary care and specialized training in order to reduce this kind of behavior.

Related Questions

How do Great Pyrenees show affection?

Although Great Pyrenees tend to be very independent dogs, they actually form very strong bonds with the members of their families.

As a result, these dogs tend to show their affection for the people they love by wanting to be near them all the time.

This doesn’t necessarily have to be them sitting on you or cuddling you. This also includes just wanting to be in the same room and having the desire to sit somewhat close to you.

Why Do Great Pyrenees put their paw on you?

Dogs put their paws on people for several different reasons.

The three most common causes of this behavior are a dog wanting its owner’s attention, being confused, or feeling a bit nervous about something.

You can usually tell what your dog is feeling by looking at his body language as these three different causes do appear different from one another.

How do you know if a Great Pyrenees likes you?

The Great Pyrenees can come off as a bit aloof, especially to strangers. However, these dogs do show signs when they like someone. Some examples of what a Great Pyrenees will do when they like someone include:

  • Wanting to sit next to you
  • Walking up to you in a friendly way
  • Asking to be pet by you
  • Wanting to play with you
  • Having a happy and relaxed body language around you (soft eyes, wagging tail, relaxed posture, etc)

Are Great Pyrenees clingy?

The Great Pyrenees can appear to be clingy to their owners. This is simply because they tend to like being around them. It is normal for your dog to want to be around you.

However, your dog shouldn’t become overly anxious when you leave him alone. This is because separation anxiety is a condition that is not considered to be normal or ideal, and it often requires veterinary care and specialized training to reduce it.

References

Ripley, Katherine. “9 Things You Didn’t Know About the Great Pyrenees.” American Kennel Club, American Kennel Club, 11 Oct. 2018, www.akc.org/expert-advice/lifestyle/9-facts-great-pyrenees/.

“Separation Anxiety.” ASPCA, www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/common-dog-behavior-issues/separation-anxiety.

Mood, Abbie. “How To Tell If Your Dog Is Stressed: Body Language And Warning Signs.” American Kennel Club, American Kennel Club, 18 Oct. 2019, www.akc.org/expert-advice/advice/how-to-tell-if-your-dog-is-stressed/.

Wriley

Hi, I'm the owner of Juniper Pets! You can often find me playing fetch with my dogs, working out or cooking up something legendary in the kitchen. Hope you enjoy my blog!

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