Dogs are some of the most fun and lovable pets around. My two lovable pups, Duke and Bella, are prime examples of why canine companionship is so great.
Even today they had me grinning ear to ear as they played a hilarious doggy version of hide-and-seek. It was so funny to watch them, prancing around the living room and kitchen, trying to outsmart each other.
Being a responsible pet owner isn’t all laughs though. It means being aware of when something isn’t quite right with your furry buddies. Sometimes dogs act strange when they have an injury or illness, and it’s important to be able to recognize these signs and take action if needed.
This can mean taking your pup to the vet for a checkup or calling an animal emergency service if the situation is more serious. And it can also mean knowing when to laugh because your pooch just likes to do weird things.
So what about when your dog is seemingly obsessed with your tummy? Why does my dog lay on my stomach? The quick and easy answer is: Your dog is probably laying on your stomach because your stomach is warm, to feel secure, your stomach is comfy, your dog is claiming the top of the dog social ladder, your dog suffers from separation anxiety, you trained your dog to lay there, your dog is protecting you, or your dog is loving on you.
Your Stomach Is Warm
Dogs like to relax at a comfy temperature too!
If the temperature in your house is a little cool for your good girl, then someplace warm like your stomach looks like a tempting spot to lay her head.
To Feel Secure
Sure, some of them may look like big tough animals but dogs also like to feel safe and secure. And what better way to do so than to be as close to you as possible?
After all, your good girl has pack instincts to stay close. And laying her head on your tummy is about as close as she can get to you.
Your Stomach Is Comfortable
I just talked about the emotional comfort of security, but now I’m talking about the physical comfort of a nice spot to rest your head.
Don’t worry, I’m not saying you’re overweight! Just because your stomach is comfortable, doesn’t mean it’s big and soft. Simply being able to lay her head in an elevated position is comfy for your dog.
Remember, dogs often lay their heads on the floor, so just about anything is more comfortable than that!
Putting Herself On Top Of The Dog Social Ladder
Dogs usually follow a pecking order of sorts. Odds are, if you have more than one dog, then at least one of them will want to be the head of the pack.
Of course, you, being in charge of everything from food to warmth are the head of the whole house.
So, the best your dogs can hope for is to be above the other dogs.
And what better way to do that than to be close to you and therefore atop the other dogs?
By laying on your tummy, your dog is showing the other dogs how close she is to you.
Which puts her above her four-legged siblings!
Some dogs don’t just miss you when you’re gone. They suffer from something called separation anxiety.
This can lead to all sorts of bizarre and even destructive behaviors.
If your dog has to be close to you no matter what and exhibits other signs of not being able to handle the situation when you’re not around, she may suffer from separation anxiety.
You Taught Your Dog To Lay On Your Stomach
‘Say What?’ You ask! As crazy as it sounds, many people have accidentally trained their dogs to do all sorts of silly things.
Dogs love rewards and will do what they can to get them from you. After all, they’re getting something they want and they’re pleasing their owners all at the same time!
Whether it’s treats, head scratches, or belly rubs, you somehow rewarded your dog often enough while she was lying on your belly that now she thinks it is what you want her to do!
And why wouldn’t she? All sorts of good things come to her when she does it.
If you’re laying on your back, especially if you’re asleep, you’re in a vulnerable position.
Your dog doesn’t see herself as just your buddy, she also sees herself as your partner. She’s there to make sure you’re safe and sound.
Being close to you while you’re snoozing is a great way for your dog to keep tabs on what is going on with you.
A good indication that this is the reason your dog is on your stomach is if you dose off, but your dog stays awake or even alert.
Loving On You
Everyone who has had a dog knows the universal truth about dogs: Dogs love to love.
And your good girl especially loves to love her favorite person – YOU!
Being close and cuddling up with you by laying on your stomach, is a great way to show that love and devotion.
Am I Pregnant? Do Dogs Like To Lay On Pregnant Stomachs?
Some people say their dogs sensed they were pregnant…sometimes even before the person knew!
Is this some sort of 6th sense? Possibly, but more than likely there are other changes in you that your dog has picked up on. These changes, no matter how subtle, may have made your good girl start acting differently.
So, that’s not to say your dog isn’t laying on your stomach because you’re pregnant. Your dog may have detected hormone changes or changes in your attitude that led her to start laying on your stomach when you became pregnant.
And while it might have appeared that your dog has a 6th sense, really she was only reacting to your changes.
How Do I Stop My Dog From Laying On My Stomach?
It can be endearing to have your pup lay on your stomach, but maybe it’s not something you enjoy all that much. Luckily, dogs are easily trainable. With some effort and consistency on your part, your best friend will soon be lounging somewhere else.
Figure Out The Cause
The first thing you need to do is figure out why your dog is laying on your stomach. I went over the primary reasons above, so hopefully, you know your dog’s motivations.
You’ll approach the situation differently if your dog has separation anxiety than if your dog is simply trying to cuddle.
If your dog does have separation or other serious issues, then you’ll want to address the underlying cause first.
You want to treat the cause before you correct the symptom.
Don’t Encourage It
You don’t want to reward your dog in any way while she’s on your tummy.
Otherwise, your good girl will associate being on your stomach with the good life.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you need to be unkind to your dog. Just avoid the rewards
Give Your Dog Her Special Spot
There probably isn’t a soft enough bed in a perfect enough spot to replace laying on you.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t create something that will come in a close 2nd.
Get your dog her own bed, and put it in a place where she’ll feel safe and happy.
Teach your dog that her new bed is where she should be laying.
Call her over to her new spot when she’d normally lay on you. This will help her know that it’s where you want her to be.
And don’t forget to reward her when she goes there on her own!
Use Commands Your Dog Already Understands
Unless you just brought your dog home, she should understand basic commands.
Use the ‘no’, ‘off’, and ‘down’ commands to direct your dog off and away from your stomach.
The trick to successfully teaching your pup that you don’t want her on your stomach is consistency.
You need to consistently follow through with using the commands and acting on them. If you let the behavior slide once in a while, you’ll just confuse your dog.
Train A New Command
Once your dog has her own bed or place you’d like her to lay, you can work on a command like ‘go to bed’.
Otherwise, something as simple as ‘No Tummy’ will help your dog learn that you don’t want her on your stomach.
As with the ‘no’ and ‘off’ commands, be sure to consistently use the new command. Don’t forget to gently direct her away from laying on your stomach as you use the new command as well.
Wrapping It Up: Why Do Dogs Lay On Your Stomach?
There are a number of reasons why dogs lay on your stomach. From, separation anxiety, to trying to get comfy and/or secure, to wanting to establish her place in the pack hierarchy, to protecting you while you rest, or simply showing love and affection.
Your dog could even be laying on your belly because you’re pregnant. Even crazier! Your dog might have even sensed your pregnancy before you did!
No matter the reason, it’s important to remember that each individual pup will have its own unique motivations for cuddling up with its favorite human!
If you’re not a fan of your pup’s stomach cuddles, there are steps you can take to correct this behavior. Try getting her her own special place to lay or even training her new commands, that way your furry friend can learn that your tummy isn’t where she should be laying.