Why Does My Dog Leave When I Sit Next to Him

Wondering why your dog leaves when you sit next to him? In this post, you will discover various reasons why your dog move away or get up when you sit next to him.

Why Does My Dog Leave When I Sit Next to Him

Your dog moves away when you sit next to him because he feels threatened by your presence, respects boundaries, doesn’t want to bother you or be bothered, intimidation, his nature, or depression signs.

But wait – there’s more!

Read on as we dig deep on the reasons behind this behavior.

9 Reasons Your Dog Gets Up When You Sit Next to Him

Keeping Distance From You

If your dog has developed the habit of staying away from you each time you try to sit with him and tries to evade your pats and snuggles, there’s a high chance that he’s keeping his distance from you.

This should be a concern since dogs keep distance from their owners for not too good reasons.

Most dogs keep their distance from their owners in order to conceal their pain, sickness, or discomfort. It could also be due to anxiety that you must have unintentionally triggered.

Although dogs are playful and expressive, their survival instinct forces them to hide their pain from predators – this a conditioned behavior that has not been lost to their evolutionary process.

Here are other behaviors your dog will exhibit if he’s trying to keep his distance from you:

  • Avoiding your presence and isolating himself
  • Acts unusually after moving away from you
  • Struggles away from you when you try to touch him
  • Stays quiet all the time, unlike himself

He feels threatened

The feeling of threat is another possible reason for your dog’s behavior of moving away from you. When dogs feel threatened by something or someone, one coping mechanism is moving away.

Dogs can feel threatened by different things – one of which is your smell. A dog’s sense of smell is a thousand times better than that of humans; so, they can perceive pheromones.

If your pheromones trigger your dog or signal a threat to him, it’s only right that he stays away from you.

Here are other signs your dog is likely to exhibit if he actually feels threatened by you:

  • Stiffened back
  • If his fur stands up around you
  • Bite or growl at you if you try getting closer

He Respects Boundaries

Boundary training is a training most dog owners proffer to their dogs in order to keep them away from certain areas of the house.

Although this training comes with its perks, it creates a distance with your dog and conditions them to respect and not invade your personal space.

When you teach your dog where to sit, eat, sleep, and poop, you indirectly teach him how to respect boundaries. So when he refuses to stay near you, it may be because he has established a sense of boundary.

Some boundary training activities that you may have unintentionally administered on your dog include:

  • Locking your dog when preparing food
  • Rewarding your dog when he doesn’t step into an area
  • Saying “No” whenever he tries to cross an area


Depression is one of the main reasons most dogs develop unusual behaviors. It’s a problem that affects 80% of dogs worldwide.

depressed dog laying on the bed

If your dog avoids contact with you and moves away whenever you’re next to him, there’s a high chance that they suffer from depression.

Behaviors to watch out for in a depressed dog:

  • Lack of interest in a favorite activity
  • Loss of appetite
  • Increase in sleeping hours and lethargy
  • Destructive behaviors like excessive barking and chewing, etc
  • Increased irritability

Chronic pain, environmental changes, trauma, and isolation often cause depression in dogs. Thus, it can be treated. Consult the help of a vet doctor, and take your dog out for exercises and road trips.

Adjustment Period

How long have you been with your dog? Has it been days, weeks, or months?

Was your dog recently adopted?

Is he a rescue dog?

The answers to these questions may help you understand the reason behind your dog’s behavior of moving away from you.

Most rescue or recently adopted dogs require weeks and even months to adapt to their new environment. And during this adaptation period, they often avoid close contact with their new owners.

Hence, If your dog keeps moving away from you each time you get close to him, it could be that he is still in his adjustment period.

Try to make him comfortable in his environment, and have patience.

It doesn’t want to bother you or doesn’t want to be bothered

Another possible reason for your dog’s behavior could be that he doesn’t want to be bothered or feels like he’s bothering you.

He doesn’t want to be bothered

If you have the habit of always interfering with your dog’s sleeping time, then it could be that your dog doesn’t like this and will try to stay away from you as much as possible during its rest time.

Dogs are similar to humans; if they find something or someone bothersome, the only solution is to stay away from the person.

Hence, if you notice your dog moving away from you when you sit next to him, it’s time to reflect on your recent behavior.

Give your dog some space. Most dogs aren’t clingy and love to be left alone.

He doesn’t want to bother you

Dogs are capable of understanding human feelings. They know when you feel sad, happy, exhausted, and lonely. Similarly, they know when you’re busy and shouldn’t be disturbed.

If you’ve neglected your dog for a while, he’ll assume you’re busy and shouldn’t be disturbed; hence, he’ll move away from you.

You Encouraged The Behavior

Dogs are great learners. If you prohibit a behavior or act in a certain way towards your dog when they perform an action, your dog will take note and try not to repeat it.

Thus, if your dog keeps moving away whenever you try getting close, there’s a high chance that you encouraged the behavior.

dog positive reinforcement

Do you tend to give out treats or toys to your dog whenever it stays away from you?

If yes, you must have unintentionally encouraged him always to stay away from you. Only give out treats when he comes close to you to stop this behavior.

It’s Nature

Like humans, most dogs have a quiet personality and may find it uncomfortable when humans try to come in close contact.

Additionally, most dogs dislike hugs and often see them as a threat.

So, if you’re clingy and often give hugs to your dog whenever you’re in close contact, there’s a high chance that your dog is staying away from you to avoid the hugs and pattings.

Pay attention to your dog’s behavior each time you try to hug him.

If he tries to struggle out of your arm, leans away, averts his eyes, or shows any other unpleasant expression, then he probably doesn’t like being hugged, and the only way to avoid your hugs is by staying away from you.

He’s Annoyed With You or Doesn’t Like You

If your dog doesn’t want to be anywhere around you, he’s probably annoyed with you or doesn’t like you.

It’s as simple as that!

Although dogs are unlikely to hate their owners, you do certain things that can annoy your dog into avoiding you. If you constantly get in his face or yell, your dog will avoid you as much as possible.

Here are signs to look out for if you think your dog is annoyed at you or dislikes you:

  • Tucks his tail between his legs at the sight of you
  • Stiffens his body when around you
  • Flattened ears
  • Refusal to engage in fun activities with you

Recap on why does a dog leave or move away when you sit next to him

In conclusion, when your dog leaves when you sit next to him, it could be due to a variety of reasons. Dogs have their own personal space preferences and may feel uncomfortable or overwhelmed with close proximity.

It’s important to respect their boundaries and provide positive reinforcement to build trust and comfort.

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