Why Does My Dog Attack Me When I Lay Down? 5 Reasons And Solutions

Dogs are truly man’s best friend. I can personally vouch for this, having two of the best decisions of my life being adopting my good boy Duke and my good girl Bella.

Any time with them seems to result in an amusing adventure or two. In fact, just recently we hiked up to a beautiful little lake in the mountains. Duke, always full of energy, was darting around, sniffing out every new scent. Bella, on the other hand, was calmly walking by my side, taking in the sights and sounds.

Suddenly as soon as it was in view, Duke took off towards the lake, barreling excitedly toward it. Before we knew it, he was splashing water with his paws and trying to catch the waves he was making. Bella, ever the protector, ran in after him, to make sure he was okay!

It turned into a goofy game of water tag, with Duke creating waves and Bella trying to ‘save’ him. That day, we didn’t just take a wonderful hike, we also discovered a new game our dogs really enjoy.

As much fun as dogs can be, they can sometimes behave in ways that might seem odd or unusual. As dog owners, it’s important to understand these behaviors.

Is Duke tearing through the house because he’s just being his high-energy self, or is there something more going on? Is Bella’s nervousness when the kids aren’t around normal, or a sign of separation anxiety? Taking the time to learn about your dog’s unique quirks and habits will help you make sure they’re happy and healthy.

So, what about a dog that attacks you when you lay down? Why does my dog attack me when I lay down? The quick and easy answer is that your dog attacks you when you lay down because of one or more of the following:

  • It’s playtime!
  • Not dominance!
  • You’re acting weird (according to your dog)
  • Your dog is bored out of his mind
  • You taught your dog to attack you when you lay down (huh?)


One important thing to keep in mind is that your dog might not actually be attacking you at all. Often, dogs view their owners lying down as an open invitation to engage in playtime.

I’m sure, as a dog owner, you know how much your furry friend loves to play.

And when you get down to his level, your dog may see it as a golden opportunity to initiate some rough-housing or playtime.

If this is the case with your pooch, your dog’s ‘attack’ is born out of excitement and the desire for fun, rather than any malicious intent.

Dominance? Probably Not

A common misconception is that your dog’s attacking behavior while you’re lying down might be an attempt to assert dominance. However, this probably isn’t the case.

Think about it, you’re the one who your dog looks to for feeding, sheltering, playing with, and taking care of all his needs for a happy and healthy life.

With everything you do for your canine buddy, the likelihood of him challenging your authority is slim to none.

You’re Acting In An Unexpected Way

Another reason for your dog’s seemingly aggressive behavior could simply be that he finds your position unusual. We humans don’t generally don’t lie down on the floor or ground, especially not in a spot where a dog could jump on us!

When you lay down in your dog’s ‘area’, it might seem out of the ordinary to him, causing him to react in ways that seem strange or even aggressive.

Your Dog Is Bored

A bored dog can be a mischievous dog. If your dog is constantly unoccupied then seeing you lying down on his level could be the perfect opportunity for some action.

In this case, your dog’s ‘attack’ might just be a plea for entertainment or engagement, which you can easily remedy with some interactive playtime or a nice long walk.

You Taught Your Dog To Do It!

Finally, consider whether your actions while lying down have unintentionally taught your dog that getting you is acceptable or encouraged.

If you’ve been giving your dog love, attention, or praise when he acts this way, he might believe that he’s being rewarded for this behavior.

Dogs love attention, and they will continue acting in ways they believe will be rewarded with praise and affection.

Remember to be mindful of how you respond to your dog’s actions, and be sure to consistently reinforce good behavior.

Is it Okay To Let My Pooch Pounce On Me When I Lie Down?

The answer to whether you should allow your furry friend to engage in this (usually) playful behavior hinges on a few considerations.

To start, be sure you’re interpreting his behavior correctly. Is he actually attacking or is it all just fun and games? Hopefully, my explanations above helped!

Look for signs of joy and enthusiasm such as wagging tails and cheerful barks rather than hostile growling or snarling.

Then ask yourself: Am I okay with this? Does it make me uneasy or scared in any way?

Also, take note of how your dog behaves with others when they lay down – is he equally rough-and-tumble with them? You probably don’t want your dog attacking (even if it is playful) anyone else!

Playtime should always be safe, with clear boundaries in place. Does your dog stop the moment you tell him to? This is an important thing for your dog to learn no matter what behavior he’s engaged in.

After taking all of this into account, if you decide that it’s fine for your dog to keep up with this playfulness, make sure it’s enjoyable and safe for both of you.

However, if you feel it’s better to put a stop to it, I’ve got you covered with some handy techniques to help you prevent it.

How Can I Get My Dog To Stop Getting Me When I Lay Down?

If you’ve decided that your dog is crossing the line by attacking you when you lay down, here are some tried and true methods to help you modify your pooch’s behavior.

Teach Basic Commands

To communicate effectively with your dog, he needs to understand basic commands such as ‘no’ and ‘off.’ These commands help establish boundaries and make it clear when a particular behavior, like attacking when you lay down, is not acceptable.

Create Physical Separation

If your dog tries to attack you when you lay down, immediately get up. This teaches your dog that the behavior won’t be tolerated. When you are about to lie down, consider making your dog go to a separate room to avoid any unwanted interactions.

Discourage Undesirable Behavior

When your dog attacks or becomes overly playful when you lay down, do not engage with him in encouraging ways.

Don’t play with him, don’t tell him he’s a good boy when he leaves, etc. Make sure to avoid rewarding the behavior with treats, toys, or affection, as these will only incentivize unwanted behaviors.

Keep Your Dog Engaged and Stimulated

A bored dog can sometimes exhibit unwanted behaviors. Make sure you’re taking the time for your dog to get ample physical exercise. Take him for walks and let him play in the yard.

Don’t forget to provide mental and emotional stimulation too.

Puzzle toys, training sessions, and socializing with other dogs do so much to keep your dog from getting bored.

Use Positive Reinforcement

Instead of punishing your dog for attacking, focus on rewarding good behavior. For example, when your dog stays calm and doesn’t attack while you lay down, offer praise, treats, or a favorite toy.

Positive reinforcement is more effective than punishment in the long run.

Consult A Dog Trainer or Behaviorist

If you’re struggling to manage your dog’s behavior, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Experienced dog trainers and behaviorists can provide valuable insight and guidance on working with your dog to address his specific issues.

Even the most knowledgeable and experienced dog owners can use expert advice tailored to their unique situation from time to time.

Laying Down Near A Dog Has Benefits

Alright, I just talked so much about why you probably don’t want your dog to get you when you lay down, and how to make him stop. But what about after you get him to quit playing with you? That’s when the good stuff kicks in!

Laying down near a friendly dog can do wonders for your bond with a dog. Especially if you’ve recently taken up dog sitting or adopted a dog that’s still warming up to you.

One of the key advantages of lying down near your dog is that it can help build trust and camaraderie. When you’re at your dog’s level, you become less intimidating, making your furry friend more likely to approach you.

This alone can significantly improve the bonding process, especially with timid or newly adopted dogs.

Most dogs are also natural-born players who love spending time with their owners. Rolling around and playing with them on the floor is a delightful way to strengthen your bond.

Pro tip: Make sure your dog is calm (and avoid riling him up) before engaging in playtime to avoid any accidental nips or scratches.

In addition to building a connection, lying down on the floor or the grass next to your dog is a fantastic opportunity for cozy cuddles without getting your bed or couch dirty.

So, the next time you’re settling in for a movie night, consider grabbing a pillow and laying it near your dog.

Trust me! He’ll appreciate your company and the chance for some quality time together!

Summary And Conclusion: Why Does My Dog Try To Get Me When I Lay Down?

Understanding the reasons behind your dog’s behavior when you lay down will help you maintain a healthy, fun, and safe relationship with your good boy.

Remember, most of the time, your dog attacking you is more than likely a playful gesture than an actual attack.

But it’s also important to consider everyone who interacts regularly with your dog and their comfort levels, as well.

If you want to discourage your dog from this behavior, you have several options, including teaching basic commands, using positive reinforcement, providing enough mental and physical stimulation, and if necessary consulting with a professional dog trainer or behaviorist.

Don’t let this playful ‘attack’ stop you from enjoying the benefits of laying down with your beloved canine companion. Not only can this bonding time make you more approachable to a new or unsure dog, but it also doubles down as a fantastic way to cuddle up during a movie night.

So, dive into this relationship-building opportunity while taking the appropriate precautions to ensure a delightful and paw-sitive (sorry I couldn’t help it!) experience for both you and your four-legged family member.

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