It is a Sunday afternoon and you decide to sit on the couch and watch your favorite television show. Your dog comes over and jumps into your lap with her toy and begins to chew on it while it rests against your leg. Although you do not mind that your dog is sitting in your lap, it feels like she is using your lap as a bed. Sometimes dogs like to use our bodies for convenience while they chew on their toys because they love having their human’s support while they are relaxing, even though it may feel a bit odd to you.
The Root of the Behavior
Dogs love to chew on their toys, and they also love to lay in their owner’s lap. Although these are usually two separate activities, your dog will sometimes combine them into one. In fact, you may even notice that when your dog plays with her toy, she will usually lay in a place that provides her with support such as her bed, your feet, or in a comfortable spot on the floor where her toy is not going to slip out of her grip. Yet, it is important to know that when your dog comes to lay on your lap with her toy, there is a good reason for it. First off, your dog trusts you tremendously. You are her pack leader who provides her with all of her needs and desires, and she is going to want to spend time with you whenever she can. It is a part of her canine nature to look up to you as a role model and to love you unconditionally.
Secondly, your dog is playing with her toy in your lap because your legs resemble a platform that provides support. Your dog knows that your body is reliable and will keep her and her toy safe. Whether your dog is sitting in your lap or leaning her toy on your leg, she is still using your body as support. It may be why your dog gives you her bone while she chews on it as well. She knows that you will move your body in a way that will support her toy and she also knows that if her toy falls or gets away from her, you will help her get it back. If your dog climbs in your lap to chew on her toy, it is suggested to take it as a compliment. She admires the person you are to her in times of need.
Encouraging the Behavior
If your dog comes over and sits in your lap, it is because she wants to feel safe, comfortable, and content while she is playing with her toy. If you do not mind having your dog sit in your lap while she plays with her toy, then there is no reason to not encourage it or allow it. Yet, you might want to make sure your dog does not get in a reoccurring habit of needing to sit in your lap when she plays with her toy. This activity of having your dog lay in your lap while she chews on her toy should be an activity that is a privilege.
If you do not like having your dog in your lap, then this should not be an activity that you encourage in your dog. You may want to set boundaries with your puppy to show her that she cannot lay in your lap while she is chewing or playing with her toy. You may also want to create a space for your dog where she feels safe, supported, and near you while she is playing with her toy. This can make all the difference in the world for your dog’s enjoyment.
Other Solutions and Considerations
If you notice that your dog loves to lay in your lap when she is playing with her toy, you are going to want to first decide if that is something you want to allow. If it is something you are okay with, then it is suggested to use this activity as a bonding experience between you and your dog. If you don’t like it, then it is suggested to create an area for your dog that provides support and comfort like your lap does. Every dog has different preferences when they sit in their owner's lap and if your dog is chewing on a toy while she is in your lap, then you will know it is because she loves you and feels content.
Throughout your dog's life, you will notice that she will always love to play with her toys. It brings her excitement, joy, and adventure. Your dog may especially love her interaction with you while she participates in this activity. This bonding activity can make a huge impact on your relationship with your dog so make sure you take advantage of it.
By a Golden Retriever lover Erika Seidel
Published: 03/21/2018, edited: 01/30/2020