If your German Shepherd has been laying on you then you might be wondering why and what you can do about it.

This post will show you a number of reasons why it might be doing it and what you can do to stop it.

So, why does my German Shepherd lay on me? Possible reasons can include it wanting attention, asserting dominance, being in its spot, spreading its scent or it’s just being affectionate.

There are actually a number of things that you can consider when trying to understand why your German Shepherd lays on you and there are a number of things that you can do about it.

Why your German Shepherd lays on you

Each of the different reasons why your German Shepherd lays on you will likely come with a number of clues.

Below, I will mention a number of reasons why your German Shepherd might be doing it and the signs to look for.

Attention

The reason why your German Shepherd lays on you could be that it is looking for attention.

This would be more likely if it does it when you have not been giving it much attention for a while. It would also be more likely if it lays on you at around the same time that you tend to do things such as to take it for a walk or to feed it.

Dominance

One way that dogs would assert their dominance over each other in the wild would be to raise their elevation above the rest of the pack. If your German Shepherd is trying to assert its dominance over you then it might be doing this by laying on you or laying down in higher positions than you.

This is something that you’ll need to prevent from happening so that your German Shepherd continues to see you as its leader which will help to make it easier to control.

You’re in its spot

It could be that the place that you choose to sit is also where your German Shepherd likes to lay down and that your German Shepherd is trying to get you out of the spot.

If it often sits or lays down in the same place that you normally sit then this could be the case. In this instance, it’s important to teach your German Shepherd that you’re the one that is in charge. You can do this by spending lots of time training it and especially by training it to sit or lay in certain places.

Spreading its scent

It could be that your German Shepherd is trying to spread its scent onto you so that other dogs can smell it. This is its way of saying that you belong to it so that other dogs will steer clear of you.

To prevent this you’ll need to spend time training it to lay in certain places and to discourage it from laying on you by ignoring it and getting it off you and rewarding it when it doesn’t.

Separation anxiety

The reason why it lays on you could be that it has some separation anxiety. This is where your German Shepherd does not like being left alone and it gets anxious when it is alone. This would be more likely to be the reason if your German Shepherd tends to get very anxious when you are going out.

If your German Shepherd does seem to have some separation anxiety then you can watch the video below to see a number of tips on what you can do about it.

Related post: Why is my German Shepherd so anxious?

Mistreatment when it was younger

The reason that your German Shepherd lays on you might be that it was mistreated as a puppy and it now does not want to be away from someone that it trusts. This would be more likely to be the reason if you adopted it from a shelter.

If this is the case then it would help to try and socialize it with other people when possible and to try the tips mentioned in this post.

Reinforcing the behavior

The reason why it lays on you might be that it was mistreated as a puppy and it now does not want to be away from someone that it trusts. This would be more likely to be the reason if you adopted your German Shepherd from a shelter.

If this is the case then it would help to try and socialize it with other people when possible and to try the tips mentioned in this post.

Guarding you

German Shepherds are naturally protective and they are commonly used as guard dogs for that reason. Your German Shepherd might tend to lay on you because it is being protective. This would be more likely if it also tends to follow you around.

It could be the case that it is being protective and it lays on you for a number of other reasons as well such as those mentioned above.

It’s being affectionate

It could be the case that it is laying on you because it is just being affectionate. This would be more similar to the case where it is doing it for attention and it would be more likely if it tends to follow you around as well.

Related post: How to tell if your German Shepherd loves you

Things to consider

Before trying to get your German Shepherd to stop laying on you it would help to consider what is causing it to do it.

When your German Shepherd started to lay on you

When trying to understand why it lays on you it would help to consider when it first started doing it.

If it didn’t always lay on you and it started doing it suddenly it would help to consider what else happened at around the time that it started doing it.

Some things to consider would be:

  • If you moved home
  • If someone else moved away
  • If its schedule changed
  • If you started working different hours

When and where it lays on you

It would also help to consider the timing of when it lays on you.

If it only seems to lay on you in certain situations and at certain times then it could be that there is an external cause for it.

Some things to consider would be if it only lays on you when you would normally feed it or if it only lays on you when you have not given it much attention.

How to get your German Shepherd to stop laying on you

There are a number of things that you can do to get your German Shepherd to lay on you less that I will mention below.

You can look at the book Training Your German Shepherd on Amazon to get more tips about how you can train your GSD.

Ignore it

If your German Shepherd lays on you because it is looking for attention, which is often the case, then the best way to get it to stop is to leave and completely ignore it.

This means that you should get it off you, wait for it to calm down, tell it to lay somewhere else, reward it for behaving and not laying on you, then sit back down. If it tries to lay on you again then repeat the process.

Avoid reinforcing the behavior

If your method of getting your GSD to stop laying on you is to give it things it wants, it could be the case that it has learned to do it more in order to get more rewards.

Instead of giving it things that it wants you could try teaching it to sit or lay down somewhere else and then to reward it for that instead.

I have written about how you can teach your German Shepherd “down” in the past here.

Give it attention

One way to get your German Shepherd to stop seeking attention from you is to give it attention when it’s not laying on you. By doing this it will not need to do things like lay on you to get your attention since it will be getting enough of it anyway.

You can give it more attention by walking it more, playing fetch with it or playing games such as tug of war with it.

Train it not to

You can also train your German Shepherd not to lay on you by teaching it to stay on the floor when you’re sat down. You can do this by getting it to sit or to lay down and then gradually teaching it to stay there over longer and longer time periods.

You can do this by applying the same techniques as in the video below:

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