There’s one behavior in particular that raises the eyebrows of most boxer owners… their sitting habits!
Why is it that boxers try to sit on their owners? Like, completely! And some boxers even try sitting on top of their canine companions too. So what gives?
5 Reasons Why Your Boxer Tries Sitting On You
There are a handful of reasons that can explain why your boxer sits on you. But knowing which reason applies to you and your boxer depends on the context of the situation, which I will explain after going through the following causes.
1. Pack Behavior
Boxers have strong pack instincts which come through regardless of whether you have a multi-dog household or not.
Gathering together (quite literally, piling on top of each other) is typical pack behavior seen in the wild. Being physically close like this provides warmth, safety, and reassurance.
Your Boxer will see you and his human family as his pack, just as much as he will view another canine companion as his pack. When he comes to sit on you, this could very well just be a classic display of pack behavior.
2. Asserting Dominance
In some situations, when your boxer sits on you, it could be his way of asserting dominance and demonstrating his “authority” and power over you.
To be able to physically sit on top of, and essentially pin you down, is a strong way of showing everyone who’s boss. This kind of behavior is also seen in the wild.
Although this is a legitimate reason, many behavioral experts feel that this is more unlikely than likely, especially with dogs that have already been well trained.
3. Showing Affection
Boxers are one of the most affectionate breeds there are! Any kind of physical contact, whether it be leaning against you, resting his head on your lap, or outright sitting on top of you… all counts!
Physical contact is an age-old sign of affection that never fails. When your boxer makes contact with you, it will be seen by him as a way of bonding and improving your relationship.
Believe it not, basic physical contact requires a huge amount of trust. And this signifies that your boxer feels safe and comfortable around you. Sitting on you may be a little unconventional but hey, boxers are a weird and wacky breed!
4. Seeking Attention
As much as boxers are affectionate, they’re also attention-seeking. Maybe even one of the most attention-seeking breeds we know of.
If your boxer feels bored, wants to be entertained, or thinks he hasn’t had enough of you for the day, he’ll often seek your attention. And there’s no better way to gain that than by sitting directly on top of you!
Some will bring toys, some will act goofy, and some will sit on you. As insignificant as it sounds, attention-seeking is likely the most common reason why boxer dogs display this behavior in the first place.
5. Spreading Scent
In the canine world, scent is everything, and yet another way to mark their territory and claim authority over someone or something is to have their scent on it.
And you guessed it, their scent is most potent from their backside as well as their urine.
Scent spreading is similar to asserting his dominance, but it’s still somewhat different. Spreading his scent on you is a more indirect way of letting other animals know that you are his, or this is “my owner”.
What Is It With Your Boxer?
So, how do you know which of the reasons apply to your boxer?
Well, as I mentioned previously, the situation must be taken into context to have a better understanding…
If your boxer is excited to see you every morning after you wake up and tries frantically sitting on you. It likely his way of greeting you, showing affection, and gaining your attention.
Contrary to this, if you’re sitting on the TV next to your partner, he might try coming to sit on your lap to assert his dominance and to “claim” you as his, as he might think your partner is getting more attention than he is in that moment…
But with that being said, this most likely won’t be the case if your boxer has been trained properly. For highly trained boxers, he will only see you as his clear leader and won’t try to challenge you in this way.
This is why It’s very important to take into account his natural temperament, lifestyle, personality as well as what’s happening at the moment your boxer tries to sit on you…
Should You Prevent This Behavior?
Should you stop your boxer sitting on you? For the most part, this behavior won’t be an issue but there can be legitimate times when its inappropriate and you’ll want to curb it.
Times you might want to prevent this behavior:
● If you think your boxer is trying to assert his dominance
● If he tries sitting on you ALL of the time
● If sitting on you causes pain or discomfort
● If he becomes aggressive to others when he’s sitting on you
● If you dislike this behavior
If you think this behavior is harmless, only for attention, and when he’s looking to play, you might be fine with letting it slide.
How To Stop Your Boxer Sitting On You
As I mentioned previously, a highly trained boxer likely won’t try sitting on you, or at least considerably less than an untrained boxer.
The more training you give your boxer, the more authority you will build, making it far less likely that your boxer will even consider getting physically up on you as a possibility.
Of course, this will be much harder to prevent if your Boxer has already had months, or years of doing it. At this point, it could be nothing more than a bad habit.
The first step would be to start carrying out basic command training on a daily basis. Use high-value rewards and practice your boxer’s ability to “sit, stay, come, and lay down” on command. With consistency and frequent practice, your boxer will start to view you more as a leader, rather than a “pack mate”.
What you can do in the meantime:
To manage this issue in the meantime, when your boxer tries getting upon you, you will have to move him back down physically, give him a single “down” command, and reward him with a treat for staying where he is.
This is a simple positive-reinforcement-based exercise that will work with time.
Eventually, he will make a positive association between getting rewarded for lying down by you, instead of trying to sit on you.
Does your boxer sit on you?
Let me know what you think this behavior means, and whether or not it’s something owners should be concerned about! Thank you for reading!
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