My Dog Doesn’t Like Sitting at Desk: Causes and Solutions

Having a well-trained and obedient dog can be a wonderful experience, but what happens when that obedience doesn’t extend to sitting at a desk with you? Many pet owners struggle with getting their dogs to stay still and behave while working at a desk. This can be frustrating and even detrimental to your productivity. In this article, we will explore the reasons why your dog may not like sitting at a desk and offer some tips on how to train them to be more comfortable and well-behaved in this setting.

My Dog Doesn’t Like Sitting at Desk: Causes and SolutionsMy Dog Doesn't Like Sitting at Desk

There are many reasons why your dog doesn’t like to sit at a desk and below are some of the reasons and possible solutions to this issue.

Why My Dog Doesn’t Like Sitting at Desk?

  1. Uncomfortable Environment: Dogs are used to sitting on the ground or on soft surfaces. Sitting at a desk on a hard chair can be uncomfortable for them.
  2. Lack of Familiarity: Dogs are creatures of habit and are not used to sitting at a desk. They may feel unsure and uncomfortable in this new environment.
  3. Limited Space: Dogs have a natural instinct to have room to move and stretch their legs. Sitting at a desk may restrict their movement and make them feel cramped.
  4. Unfamiliar Sights and Sounds: A desk may be located in an area of the house that is not familiar to the dog. This can make them feel anxious and uncomfortable, leading to a reluctance to sit there.
  5. Association with Work or Discipline: Dogs have a keen sense of association and may associate sitting at a desk with negative experiences, such as being disciplined or ignored while their owner is working.
  6. Lack of Training: Dogs need to be trained and conditioned to sit at a desk. Without proper training and reinforcement, they may not understand what is expected of them and may resist sitting at the desk.
  7. Separation Anxiety: Some dogs may have separation anxiety and feel stressed when their owner is not within close proximity. Sitting at a desk may make the dog feel isolated and cause them to avoid the area.
  8. Physical Limitations: Some dogs, especially older or injured ones, may have physical limitations that make it uncomfortable or difficult for them to sit at a desk.
  9. Prefer Different Seating Options: Just like humans, dogs have preferences for where they like to sit. Some dogs may simply prefer lying on a cozy bed or couch rather than sitting at a desk.
  10. Individual Personality: Every dog has its own unique personality and preferences. It is possible that your dog just does not enjoy sitting at a desk and would rather be in a different spot in the house.

Health-Related Reasons Why Your Dog Doesn’t Like Sitting At The Desk

  1. Joint or Muscle Pain: If your dog has arthritis, hip dysplasia, or any other condition that affects their joints and muscles, sitting at a desk can be uncomfortable and even painful for them. This can make them reluctant to stay in that position for an extended period of time.
  2. Lack of Support: Dogs’ bodies are not designed for sitting at a desk like humans. They don’t have the same support for their backs, necks, and legs, which can make it uncomfortable for them to maintain that position for an extended period of time. This lack of support can also put pressure on their organs, leading to discomfort.
  3. Restricted Movement: Dogs are naturally active animals and like to move around, stretch, and change positions frequently. Sitting at a desk restricts their movement, which can be frustrating and uncomfortable for them. Additionally, dogs have a natural desire to explore their surroundings, and being confined to a desk can lead to boredom and restlessness.
  4. Temperature Sensitivity: Many dogs have a lower tolerance for cold temperatures than humans do. If the desk is made of cold or hard material, it can be uncomfortable for them to sit on and cause them to feel chilled and unwilling to stay in one place.
  5. Sensory Overload: Just as humans can feel overwhelmed in a noisy or busy workplace, dogs can also experience sensory overload. The constant movement, noise, and activity in an office environment can be stressful for them, making them want to retreat to a quieter and more familiar space.

How To Train My Dog To Sit At The Desk?

  1. Start with basic obedience training: Before training your dog to sit at a desk, ensure that your dog has a good understanding of basic obedience commands, such as sit, stay, and come. This will make it easier for them to understand and follow your instructions.
  2. Choose a designated spot: Choose a specific spot for your dog to sit at the desk. This will help them understand that this is where they are expected to sit and also create consistency in their training.
  3. Use positive reinforcement: Positive reinforcement is the best and most effective way to train dogs. When your dog successfully sits at the desk, reward them with treats, verbal praise, and affection. This will encourage them to repeat the behavior.
  4. Use a command: Choose a specific command such as “desk” or “place” that you will use to indicate to your dog that it’s time for them to sit at the desk. Use the same command consistently during training.
  5. Practice with short sessions: Start the training in short sessions of 5-10 minutes to avoid overwhelming your dog. Gradually increase the length of the sessions as your dog becomes more comfortable with the behavior.
  6. Use a leash or harness: If your dog is having difficulty staying in place, you can use a leash or harness to keep them in the designated spot. However, avoid pulling or forcing your dog to sit at the desk as this can create a negative association with the behavior.
  7. Be patient: Training a dog to sit at the desk may take some time, so it’s important to be patient and consistent with your efforts. Avoid getting frustrated or punishing your dog if they don’t get it right away. Positive reinforcement and consistency will lead to success.
  8. Add distractions: Once your dog has mastered sitting at the desk, you can add distractions to the training. This can include noises, toys, or other people moving around. This will help them learn to stay focused and sit at the desk even when there are distractions around.
  9. Train in different locations: In order for your dog to generalize their training, it’s important to practice in different locations, not just at your desk. This will help your dog understand that the behavior is expected in different environments.
  10. Make it fun: Training should be a fun and positive experience for both you and your dog. Keep the sessions short and end on a positive note. Remember to always reward your dog for their efforts and progress.

Why Do Dogs Like To Sit Under Desks?

Dogs are social animals and like to be close to their owners. Sitting under desks allows them to be near their owners while still remaining out of the way. It also offers a sense of security and comfort for the dog, as the enclosed space may make them feel safe. Furthermore, dogs have a natural instinct to seek out small, enclosed spaces as it mimics their den-like instincts in the wild. Sitting under desks may also be a way for dogs to get away from loud noises or other stimuli that may be overwhelming for them. Finally, it simply may be a comfortable spot for them to rest and observe their surroundings. 

SEE ALSO: Best Training Collar for Stubborn Dogs That Actually Work

Should You Force a Dog To Sit On The Desk?

No, you should not force a dog to sit on a desk. It is not a natural or comfortable position for them and they may become stressed or uncomfortable. Additionally, it could be dangerous for them to be on a desk, as they may slip or fall off and injure themselves. It is better to train your dog to sit or lie down in a designated spot next to your desk, or to give them a comfortable bed or mat to lay on while you work.

How To Keep Your Dog From Sitting on You?DOG SIT

  1. Provide Comfortable Alternative: Dogs love to be close to their owners, so it’s important to provide them with a comfortable and inviting spot nearby. This could be a dog bed, a cozy blanket, or even a designated spot on the couch. Make sure to reward your dog with praise and treats when they choose to lay on their own spot.
  2. Train Basic Commands: Teaching your dog basic commands like “down” or “off” can be useful in situations when they try to sit on you. Use positive reinforcement techniques and consistently reinforce these commands to help your dog understand what you want from them.
  3. Be Consistent: Consistency is key when trying to train your dog. Make sure all members of your household are on board with the same approach to prevent confusion and mixed signals from your dog. If you allow your dog to sit on you sometimes but not others, they will become confused about what behavior is expected of them.
  4. Avoid Encouraging the Behavior: If your dog has a habit of sitting on you, it’s important to not give them attention when they do this. This can be difficult, especially if your dog is seeking attention or is just being cute, but giving them attention reinforces the behavior.
  5. Provide Distractions: Often, dogs will sit on their owners because they are seeking attention or are bored. Make sure to provide your dog with plenty of toys and mental stimulation to keep them occupied and less likely to sit on you.
  6. Practice Separation: If your dog is overly reliant on you and always wants to be near you, it’s important to practice some separation. This helps them become more comfortable being on their own and can reduce their need to constantly sit on you.
  7. Seek Professional Help: If your dog’s behavior is becoming overwhelming or if you are struggling to train them on your own, seek help from a professional dog trainer. They can provide personalized advice and strategies to help you keep your dog from sitting on you.

How Long Does It Take To Train a Dog to Sit?

The length of time it takes to train a dog to sit can vary depending on several factors, including the age, breed, and personality of the dog, as well as the consistency and effectiveness of the training method being used. However, with consistent and positive reinforcement, most dogs can learn to sit within one to two weeks. Some dogs may learn even quicker, while others may take longer. It is important to be patient and consistent with training and to always use positive reinforcement techniques such as treats and praise.

SEE ALSO: Best Leash for Dogs That Pull: Top Picks


Q. What causes a dog to not want to sit down?

A. There are several possible reasons why a dog may not want to sit down. One possibility is that the dog is in pain, and sitting down causes discomfort. Another possibility is that the dog has a medical condition that makes it difficult to sit down, such as arthritis or hip dysplasia. Additionally, the dog may be anxious or fearful, and sitting down may make them feel more vulnerable. Finally, some dogs simply have a lot of energy and are more comfortable standing or lying down.

Q. What to do if your dog refuses to sit?

A. If your dog is refusing to sit, there are a few things you can try. First, try to determine why they are not sitting. If they are in pain, you should consult with your veterinarian. If they are feeling anxious or fearful, try to provide a safe and calm environment for them to relax in. If your dog is simply energetic, try to tire them out with a long walk or some playtime before asking them to sit. Additionally, you can try using positive reinforcement, such as treats or praise, to encourage your dog to sit. Be patient and consistent, and eventually, your dog should learn to sit on command.

Q. Why is my dog acting weird and can’t sit still?

A. If your dog is acting weird and can’t sit still, it is possible that they are experiencing anxiety or fear. Dogs can become anxious or fearful for a variety of reasons, such as changes in their environment, loud noises, or unfamiliar people or animals. When a dog is anxious or fearful, they may pant excessively, pace, or have trouble sitting still.


In conclusion, it is not uncommon for dogs to not enjoy sitting at a desk, as it goes against their natural instincts and preferences. It is important for dog owners to understand and respect their dog’s needs and behaviors, and find alternative ways to keep them comfortable and entertained during tasks that require sitting at a desk. With proper training and patience, it is possible to teach a dog to tolerate sitting at a desk, but ultimately, their happiness and well-being should always be the top priority. It is also crucial for dog owners to provide their dogs with ample opportunities for exercise and playtime in order to keep them physically and mentally stimulated. 

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