Why Does My Rottweiler Sit On Me?
[The Complete Guide]

Aaron Rice Expert Dog Trainer
Written: January 17, 2022

Their muscular body and intimidating stature make Rottweilers pretty popular across the country as a guard dog. At the same time, they can be adorable, loving, and fun to have. Many times while you are relaxing on your couch watching TV, your Rottie will just climb up and settle down on your lap. As a dog owner, you may be curious why they sit on top instead of sitting beside you.

If you are puzzled by this exact question, you have come to the right place. The reasons behind this behavior are many. Most pet owners are fine as long as their Rottie puppies sit on them. But when an adult dog is involved, the situation is not the same.

The topic at hand is not a cause of concern. So, first of all, take a deep breath. We will discuss the causal factors behind it as well as some control measures you can employ to restrict the same.

We will first delve into the triggers behind this peculiar behavior in the following section.

Top Reasons Why Rottweilers Sit On The Owners

Rotties often develop a deep sense of attachment with the owners due to their loving and protective traits.

Feeling of Boredom

Rotties, like several dog breeds, are creatures of habit. If you have built the routine of taking your buddy out for walks at a specific time and missed it on a day by chance, they may sit on you. This reaction is a means of saying that they feel bored and want you to take them out.

There may be signs of excitement to pair along and some long-eyes that plead you to listen to them.

Separation Anxiety

Being alone for long hours at a stretch while you are out working can induce anxiety in them. They love laying beside their owners, playing, and cuddling. Once you are back home, the Rottie tries to compensate for the loneliness by sitting on you.

This reaction is a sign of unconditional love from your pup. You can also see some tail-wagging, licking, and a low-rumbling sound (the doggy equivalent of cat’s purring) that indicate their happiness being in your presence. 

If your Rottie is a fully grown adult dog, their weight may be too much to take at times. In such a situation, signal them to sit beside you rather than on you.

Inherent Protectiveness

Being one of the most loyal and protective breeds, Rotties will sit on your lap to spread their scent on you as a passionate act of possessiveness. 

If you have young children at home and having seen the kids sitting on your lap often, the dog can tend to feel jealous. So they exhibit this behavior, trying to make a statement that you belong to them and you are their numero uno.

Show of Dominance

Lack of training can cause the Rottie to follow their instincts of aggression, herd mentality, and dominating character. Sitting on you is an indication of the same.

In this case, you need to be aware that the dog may follow up this act with some form of aggression. Your immediate attention is necessary. Prioritize their training routine and in an assertive yet loving manner, let them know that you are the master, not them.

Excessive Adulation has Spoilt Your Dog

It may so happen that you reinforced the lap-sitting way too much. This action made the dog think you love it a lot, making them repeat the act. 

An adult Rottweiler is not a light fellow. They can weigh anywhere between 40-60 kgs, which is enough to give you a thigh sprain. Ensure to negate the unwanted reinforcement by providing strict guidelines to your canine friend. 

Give them treats or comforting words as soon as they are out of your lap. This response will help them infer the message you are trying to make.

They would also showcase some signs seeking more affection from the owner. Turning around and exposing their bellies for a “Belly rub” is pretty standard among Rotties. Nose nudges and sighing sounds are also seen in many cases. They feel secure and content just lying on you or beside you.

Rottweilers are intense and passionate when it comes to the bond they share with the owner. They feel a constant need to impress you. Getting some appreciation and respect from the pet parent means a world of happiness for them.

So far, we have gone through some of the primary causal links that prompt your Rottie to sit on you. In the next section, we will discuss specific control/preventive measures that will help control this behavior.

Before that, we would like to share an incident with one of our dogs at the dog training center. Missy, the Rottweiler, was so clingy and possessive that every time our cat sat on my lap, she would growl and scare the kitty away. She would then take the cat’s position on my lap. With proper positive reinforcement and obedience training techniques, we made her understand that this was not desirable behavior. 

Measures To Control The Rottweiler Sitting On You

One of the core prerequisites while raising a Rottie is that you need to provide training from the puppy phase and socialization sessions. These measures will keep the aggression and other instincts in check and shape your dog into a delightful addition to the family.

Without any further delay, let’s look at some counter-measures to keep the lap-sitting behavior under control.

Repetitive Training

Once you have identified the reason behind the behavior, impart the basic instructions to your dog. Every time they sit on you, tap on the space next to you to make them understand to sit next to you. 

All they need is your company when they are feeling alone, anxious, or stressed. Irrespective of whether they’re sitting on you or beside you, it does not make much of a difference. The only benefit being that your legs do not hurt when they no longer sit on your lap.

Results will not be achieved in a day or two. Keep in mind that positive responses to training take time, patience, dedication, and determination from the dog owner.

Give Them the Required Attention and Respect 

As responsible pet owners, ensure you spend quality time with your dog. Never leave them alone for so long that they feel lonely, sad, and depressed. 

Please treat them with all the affection, warmth, and respect so that they feel they belong here. Once this aspect is taken care of, they will be desperate to gain your attention via means like sitting on top of you.

Ignorance, disrespect, and acts of violence will aggravate their anger and make their demeanor unpredictable.

Professional Modes of Training

Imparting the basic training techniques at home is always a good start. But the discipline and grooming of proper and formal dog training can help provision is immense. We will briefly go through some of the common categories of professional dog training below.

  • When it comes to minor issues like increased barking and growling, behavioral training is the best choice for shaping the canine’s personality. This technique will give them a firm foundation for basic commands and make them well-behaved during different circumstances.
  • An advanced technique known as obedience training is required to negate the aggressive and herd-like instincts in the Rottie. The professional dog trainer will analyze the areas of concern and focus on eliminating the unwanted tendencies first. Then they will follow it up with retraining your dog using positive reinforcements.
  • Co-curricular training is performed when you want to teach your Rottweiler a new set of skills. Rotties can be trained to help the elderly at nursing homes, search and rescue work, and so on. These training routines shape them to interact properly with the associated people and primarily focus on completing the task at hand.
  • Rotties can also be made to learn tricks for pet shows and sporting events. Agility training emphasizes top fitness levels for both the dog and the owner participating in gaming competitions. An example of the same would be Dog Olympics.

For each of these training methods, we advise you to seek the help of a professional dog trainer who will be experienced enough to chart a customized training circuit for your Rottie. Their methods will help elevate your dog’s skill sets. At the same time, this activity will help eliminate any undesirable behaviors/traits currently showcased by your dog.

Physical and Mental Stimulation Techniques

Letting your dog sit idly for most of the day at home can cause stress and boredom. Engaging them in regular physical exercise like outdoor games, walks is crucial to channel their energies in the right direction. 

To keep mental health issues like depression, memory loss, and tension at bay, make it a point to participate in dog puzzles and other cognitive stimulation activities

The next time your dog sits on you, a good game of fetch/frisbee will be a great redirection, and it will end up making them overjoyed.

Seek Medical Help

You never know the kinds of things your dog is trying to say using their ways of expression indirectly. They may be facing a fear of something, insecurity, anxiety-attacks, and other range of health issues.

In case you notice a sudden change in their behavior as they sit on you, never treat that as silly and ignore the situation. Seek the help of a registered veterinary doctor. With their expertise, they will be the best people to rightly diagnose the root cause behind such behavior from your Rottie. 

Once they identify the underlying issue, they will prescribe the required remedial measures and medications. Ensure you strictly follow their guidelines. Lethargy or any other forms of deviation from the same can dilute the desired recovery.

Never indulge in self-treatment or medication, as this can prove fatal for your puppy. Acting rashly and using abusive language on your dog can do nothing but harm. We highly recommend you refrain from such unwanted reactions. Be patient and considerate, follow the control measure stringently, and you will soon see positive responses from your beloved pet.


We have arrived at the tail end of our discussion. Rotties are a loyal and affectionate breed of dogs. If their behavior of sitting on your lap puzzles you, make sure to first identify the causal trigger behind the same. Never shy away from getting the help of professional dog trainers or vets if you have to.

Upon successfully identifying the root cause, appropriate remedial methods can be employed. With a consistent and dedicated following of training techniques, this behavior will gradually tone down. Adequate socialization of dogs with other dogs/animals is equally significant. Taking them to dog daycare centers and frequent visits to the park can help, especially when done from a young age. 
Rotties consider that pleasing their masters is their ultimate goal in life. As pet owners, channel this behavior into making them understand what you deem desirable. It then ends up being a win-win situation for both you and your pet. Make use of reinforcements to enable the smooth transition of behavior. 

We have seen Rottweilers cases responding to formal dog training routines in a timespan as low as 2-3 weeks at our center. When your Rottie is in the hands of an experienced dog trainer, they will know how to take care of your canine friend. Imparting the suitable methods customized to your dog is crucial for getting the proper outcomes.

We sincerely hope this article gave you some useful tips and insights about your Rottweiler’s behavior.