Dogs are very social and adaptable animals. They are fond of their human parents, and even the little ones of the family – babies.
Both baby and dog are attention loving creatures; what better way to grow a bond. Could this be why your dog is often caught sitting on your baby? Maybe; but there could be a myriad of other reasons.
So, why does my dog sit on my baby?
Your dog sits on your baby because he is jealous of the new addition to the family, in which case – your baby. It could also be an attempt to protect your baby, cuddle, get warmth or scratched.
Dogs are baby lovers
The level of affection a dog might show varies from breed to breed. Some breeds are more lovesome than others.
Like the Dachshunds who usually get attached to a member of the family, imagine if that member were the newest. Also, Great Danes, Bulldogs and Pomerians are very affectionate breeds.
Generally, dogs have a penchant for babies and babies return the same energy. Babies often find great playmates in dogs, and dogs get all the love and activity they want from babies, so they don’t get bored.
When humans bond with dogs, it often increases the levels of serotonin and dopamine, (the happiness hormones) in their bodies.
This is the kind of positive feeling that you need your baby to grow with. When babies grow up with dogs, as it has been found, they develop a much stronger immune system that saves them from a lot of allergies.
So when you see your dog sitting on your baby’s lap, you do not want to come in between the pair. They are probably having the time of their lives.
Dogs are Jealous lovers
Your dog might not be happy about the newest addition to the family, and how it is getting all the attention from you.
Dogs can be clingy and loyal to their pet parents so when someone else is getting all the attention they should be getting, they get envious of them, and begin to establish dominance over them, especially when they are helpless little infants.
They sometimes sit on your baby’s lap to show superiority over it and position themselves as more needing of your attention.
Maybe the sudden arrival of the baby has confused the doggy and he isn’t prepared for the new arrangements in the house.
In this case, it is often better to establish clear boundaries between your dog and your baby. You have to be observant of them and not let them alone most of the time.
Also, find a way to spend more time with your four-legged buddy in this transitory period, so he doesn’t feel abandoned.
Dogs, just like humans, are extremely social animals. In fact, to paraphrase the philosopher Barbotin, dogs know themselves in the encounter with others.
So dogs can be needy, clingy, attention-seeking creatures. They easily get bored and you do not want to see your furry buddy in a mood.
Dog people know how nuts dogs can go when they are idle or bored. Some breeds may get aggressive and start distributing bites.
So whenever a baby is available, your doggy may want to relieve boredom by sitting on your baby as an act of fun or play. He may also be desiring a welcoming companion, as you may be too busy to play with him.
An Attempt to Protect Your Baby
Canines have a heightened sense of smell owing to their incredible olfactory glands.
This powerful sense of smell often translates into other sensibilities, so dogs are very sensitive to human feelings.
Your canid is aware of your baby’s vulnerability or harmlessness and often tries to position himself as its guardian against any sudden harm.
So they physically cover the baby with their furry body, and they do this by sitting on them. As this happens, they pick up on the baby’s unique scent, sound and sight, so they can easily find them when need be.
They also rub off their scents on the baby to let other dogs in the hood know the baby is in their care, somewhat marking their own territory.
They may even go on to bark or growl at any one, man or animal, who isn’t family, that comes close to the baby.
Your pup might lick your baby’s face or rear, and according to research, he might be checking your baby’s health. Just like a bitch does to her litter. It isn’t something you should be worried about.
Your Dog Needs Warmth
Dogs are warm-blooded. They often need to keep their body warm no matter the temperature of the surroundings.
They feel colder than us during winter, and may need all the extra heat they can get from their human friends during that time. Also, some dog breeds have a short coat of hair, which means they tend to get cold easily.
So when your dog sits on your baby, it may be because he is cold and needs the supplemental warmth of the nearest human. And he does this naturally, since during his pup years he always went to his mom for warmth.
Dogs Love Cuddling
Doggies are spirited and emotional animals. They love to show emotions with their dog body language, and they pick up on cues and subtleties around them.
If your pooch sits on your baby’s lap, it may be because they want to cuddle with them. They want to be in someone’s doting arms, and the baby’s are all they could find at that moment.
They want to be petted, want their backs rubbed and their heads patted. Next time your dog sits on your baby, it just may be cuddle o’ clock!
Your Dog Wants a Good Scratch
Like other animals, dogs love to relieve themselves of body itches, irritations or fur allergies. When they sit on a baby, it’s probably because they have an itch.
They want some good scratching, so they sort of scratch themselves against the baby’s body. They may have an anal itch, and may want it scratched.
You should endeavor to watch your baby with your dog, and if you notice your dog mimicking a scratching movement, you should take your dog to the vet as soon as possible.
Is it Safe if my dog sits on my baby?
Well, it depends on the situation. If the dog sits on your baby and displays aggressive body language, like ear-pinning and growling, he is trying to assert dominance over your child.
It is best you quickly rebuff that idea, by showing the doggy you are the dominant species in the house. You could separate the dog from the baby for a while and gradually reintroduce them to each other.
Your dog’s aggression could also be because he is a very sensitive pooch, and may be uncomfortable around a new thing or person, in this case your baby. A gradual socialization of dog to baby could solve the problem.
However, if whenever your dog sits on your baby, he does not pin his ear or growl, or keep a stiff posture, then it could be because he wants attention from your baby, or he is bored and wants to play.
It could be a good sign of a healthy relationship between baby and dog. You may want to allow them their space of bonding and connection, which would be helpful especially to your baby’s health and development.
What to do after Seeing your Dog Sitting on your Baby
When you notice your dog sitting on your baby, it is important to observe his behavior around your child, the circumstances in which this happens and the relationship between your dog and your baby.
In fact, do not leave your pooch alone with your baby, or little kids. Adult supervision is always crucial in situations like this.
You may want to observe your dog for aggressive tendencies around your child, so you can discontinue this bad manner.
Also, your dog may get overly possessive of your baby, and may growl or bark at just about anyone who comes close to the baby, including the mother. If you notice this, ensure to separate your dog from your baby, or contact a trainer.
But if – your four-legged friend sits on your baby, doesn’t show aggression or obsession, you aren’t worried that the weight of your dog would harm the baby, and you trust that your dog is showing nothing but affection towards your baby, it would be best to let sitting dogs lie!
Best Ways to Stop your Dog from Sitting on your Baby in the Future
If your dog plummeting on your baby is putting the baby in harm’s way, you can stop your dog from continuing this behavior by some ways.
Contact a Professional Dog Trainer
You can contact a dog trainer, if you become worried that your dog always sits on your baby’s lap, so you can avoid the dog harming your baby.
Use Positive Reinforcements
Whenever your pup sits on your baby, you can gently pull him away and ignore him. And if he decides perhaps to sit near the baby, praise him or give him treats. In no time, he’d prefer to sit near instead of on top of your baby.
Command him to Stop
When you see your furry friend sit on your baby, and you find it uncomfortable, you can call out his name, and say stop! For instance, “Max stop!”. This would immediately show him that what he is doing is bad and he would refrain from it.