My Dog Pushes Me Away When Lying Down: Why & How To Help It

What should I do when my dog pushes me away when lying down? 

Dogs communicate through various actions and body language, and understanding their behavior can help strengthen the bond between you and your canine companion.

In today’s article, I will discuss possible reasons why dogs exhibit this pushing behavior and provide insights to help you better understand and address it.

My Dog Pushes Me Away When Lying Down – Why?

dog pushes me away when lying down

Various factors may contribute to this behavior.

These include the need for personal space, dominance or resource guarding, sleep preferences, and the desire for relaxation without petting.

Moreover, it can be because of their nesting behavior, pain or discomfort, anxiety or fear, rewarded behavior, lack of socialization, seeking attention, playfulness or contentment, and a craving for something specific.

Personal Space

Why does my dog push me with his paw when lying down? Just like humans, dogs have boundaries and may want some me-time or a designated area to relax without being disturbed.

Sign Of Dominance or Resource Guarding

In some cases, dogs may perceive their resting spot as their territory or a valuable resource they want to protect.

This behavior pattern can also be seen as a way to guard their space and prevent others, including their owners, from infringing on it.

Sleep Preferences

Why does my dog push against me? They may have a specific spot or comfortable position where they feel most relaxed during bedtime routines.

It could be their own way of creating space to find the ideal sleeping position or establish their own comfortable environment when they push you away.

The Needs For Relaxation (Don’t Need Your Petting)

Why does my dog push me away?

Like us, these social creatures also experience essential times when they desire solitude and prefer not to be touched or petted.

Hence, respecting their boundaries and recognizing that they may not always be receptive to physical interaction is crucial.

Nesting Behavior

Why do dogs push you away when lying down? Nesting behavior is an instinct in dogs, rooted in their ancestral roots as den-dwelling animals.

They may engage in nesting behavior by scratching, pawing, barking, and wagging tails.

My pooch even circled their sleeping area to arrange it to their liking.

It also includes pushing you away to make room for themselves or create a sense of security.

Pain Or Discomfort

Puppies may exhibit this dominant behavior to protect themselves or avoid aggravating any physical discomfort they may be feeling.

It’s important to pay attention to other body language signs of discomfort, such as limping, whining, or changes in appetite or behavior.

Anxiety or Fear

Besides scratching or biting his tail until bleeding, signs of anxiety or fear can also contribute to a dog pushing you away when lying down.

Dogs may feel anxious or fearful in certain situations or environments, forcing them to seek distance or avoid close contact with their pet parents.

Rewarded Behavior

Why do dogs push you away? 

For example, my pooch pushes me away, and usually I respond by giving them attention, treats, belly rub, or any form of positive reinforcement.

So he sees this as a successful strategy to get what he wants.

Over time, these communication signals become ingrained, and they repeat it whenever they want something or seek a particular outcome.

Lack of Socialization

When a canine pushes you away, it could be a means of expressing discomfort or uncertainty due to a lack of socialization.

They may not have had enough positive experiences or exposure to different individuals.

That makes them less inclined to engage in close physical contact or seek attention from unfamiliar people.

Seeking Attention

Dogs are social creatures and may use different behaviors to communicate their desire for interaction and engagement. 

Pushing you away may be their attempt to initiate play or focus your attention on them.

Playful Or Content

Why does my dog push me away with his paws? Dogs, especially younger ones, often display playful behaviors to engage and interact with their owners.

In a playful context, they may nudge you or use their paws to engage in a game or seek interaction. It’s how they invite you to play with them.

In addition, pushing you away gently and flexibly often signifies that they need cuddle time and are satisfied in your presence.

Craving For Something

Why do dogs push against you with their paws? They are trying to convey their desire or request by forcing you away.

This attention-seeking behavior typically happens when they seek attention, treats, playtime, or any form of stimulation.

In addition, the pet might try to communicate their needs and express what they want.

Do It By Instinct

This ancient behavior is rooted in their instincts and can be influenced by breeding traits, past experiences, or survival aptitudes.

It could be their way of asserting independence, protecting their personal space, or responding to perceived threats.

What Should I Do When My Dog Pushes Me Away When Lying Down? 

why do dogs push you away

When your dog pushes you away when lying down, respect their personal space and provide it a comfortable and safe environment.

Observe any signs of pain or discomfort and address them accordingly.

Additionally, reinforce positive behaviors through rewards and professional training if necessary.

Socialize and desensitize your dog to different situations. Above all, be patient, consistent, and understanding throughout the process.

Respect Their Personal Space

Dogs have boundaries and times when they appreciate solitude. Therefore, it is vital to refrain from imposing physical contact or attention when your dog is seeking relaxation.

Remember to honor their need for personal space and respect their desire for alone time.

Provide A Comfortable And Safe Space

Understand that canines have boundaries and moments when they prefer solitude.

When your dog is trying to unwind, it’s best to avoid forcing physical contact or attention.

Furthermore, please respect their privacy and acknowledge their need for alone time.

Observe For Discomfort Or Pain

Observing their behavior, body language, and any potential indications of discomfort can help you identify if they are experiencing any physical pain.

You can make sure of their comfort and well-being by being aware of their well-being and promptly addressing any pain or discomfort.

Reinforce Positive Behaviors

Rewarding positive behavior is crucial to training and creating a strong bond with your dog.

Positive reinforcement should be given when your dog displays desired behaviors, such as remaining calm, being nice, or obeying directions.

This can include incentives like food, kudos, or affection that will support and promote those positive actions.

Your dog’s behavior can be efficiently shaped by continuously rewarding and reinforcing positive actions, encouraging a peaceful and well-behaved companion.

Professional Training And Behavior Modification

In more severe cases, turning to professional training and behavior modification can be beneficial when dealing with a dog that consistently pushes you away when lying down.

Professional trainers and behaviorists are well-educated enough to assess your dog’s behavior.

They can track down the underlying problem and map out a training plan tailored to your pooch.

They will also guide how to modify unwanted behaviors and teach effective techniques to solve the issue.

Their expertise and guidance can significantly improve your dog’s behavior and strengthen your bond with them.

Socialization And Desensitization

Socialization and desensitization are essential in addressing a dog’s behavior of pushing you away when lying down.

  • Socialization involves exposing them to different people, animals, and environments to build their confidence and relaxation.
  • Desensitization gradually introduces them to triggers that cause the anxious behavior, helping them overcome fear or discomfort.

Patience And Consistency

Patience and consistency are key when dealing with this situation. It takes time for them to adjust their behavior, so be patient.

You can effectively reinforce positive behaviors and create a harmonious relationship with your furry friend with patience and consistency.

What Are Tips For Strengthening Bond With My Dog?

why do dogs push you away when lying down

Here are some tips to strengthen your bond:

  • Spend Quality Time Together: Dedicate daily time for one-on-one interaction with your dog.

For example, engaging them in activities they enjoy, such as going for walks, playing games, or simply cuddling and giving them attention.

  • Use Positive Reinforcement: You can reward your dog for good behavior using treats, affection, and praise.

Positive reinforcement helps reinforce desired behaviors and strengthens the bond between you two.

  • Regular Exercise and Playtime: Try participating in regular exercise and play sessions with your pets.

Physical activity keeps them physically fit, provides mental stimulation, and tightens the bond as you both enjoy shared activities.

This enhances their obedience, delivers mental stimulation, and strengthens the communication between you and your pet.


Is It Normal For A Dog To Push Their Owner Away When Lying Down?

Yes, a dog can push its owner away when the animal is lying down. Canines have personal space preferences and times when they want to be left alone, just like humans do.

It is crucial to respect their privacy and recognize that they might not always be in the mood to talk or play.

Could There Be Underlying Health Issues Causing My Dog To Push Me Away When Lying Down?

Some health conditions, such as pain, discomfort, or joint problems, can cause a dog to exhibit this behavior.

It’s advisable to observe your dog for any signs of pain or changes in their mobility, and if you have concerns, consult with a veterinarian.

A thorough examination and appropriate diagnostic tests can help determine whether any underlying health issues contribute to your dog’s behavior.


What to do when my dog pushes me away when lying down? 

To maintain a healthy and good relationship with your dog, it’s important to understand why they try to separate from you when lying down.

Remember that patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement play vital roles in shaping your dog’s behavior.


Photo of author
Hi I am Mitchell. Dog Growth is a blog about dog caring and training where I share my experiences to my community. Hope you enjoy it!

Leave a Comment