You have just adopted a new dog and was surprised to see your residential dog sitting on him.
That makes you wonder if your residential dog is “bullying” him or if there is more to that behavior?
Your dog is sitting on another dog to assert his dominance over him. It could simply be his playful attitude, or you have made it a rewarding experience for him. He is trying to get some warmth or to protect the dog. He is seeking companionship or is trying to ease his boredom.
Demonstration Of Dominance
This could be the case where your residential dog is asserting his dominance over the new dog.
He is telling him that he is the Alpha in this house and the new dog will have to be submissive to him.
You will also likely see him exhibiting body signals such as low range barking, growling and snarling at the new dog with standing tails and erect ears.
His body will be in a tense state with tails moving stiffly from side to side and his eyes will be looking directly into the new dog’s eyes.
These behaviors are generally exhibited by a dominant dog when he is trying to assume the authority position over a submissive or subordinate dog.
Your new dog will act submissive by licking the mouth of your residential dog.
If you see any of these behaviors, separate them for a few days while you work on correcting your residential dog’s dominant behavior.
For him to stop acting this way, you need to show him that YOU are the pack leader in this home.
Everything he owns, including shelter, toys and food, comes from you!
He has to know that you are the one who makes the rules, and he needs to do what you say, and follow your instructions.
It will take time and consistency, but if you can establish this dominance hierarchy, your dog will be a well-behaved member of your pack and live in harmony with your new pet.
Remember that dogs learn through experience and will continue to behave in a way that is comfortable for them.
Exhibiting Sign Of Playfulness
If you observe how puppies play around, you will see them displaying a playful attitude such as chasing, biting, pouncing, barking as well as sitting on each other.
They are always ready to interact with one another and love to play.
This “playful” instinctive behavior that they developed during their puppy-hood never goes away even when they have grown up.
That explains why your dog likes to sit on another dog when he is with him.
He is trying to establish his version of sibling love!
A Learned Behavior
When you allow your dog to sit on your feet or chest whenever he is with you, and praise or pet him for doing that, he will associate that behavior with a REWARDING experience.
He will then naturally want to do that whenever he has a chance.
So, when he is with a new dog, he will take the opportunity to sit on his head or body just to get that “praise” from you.
You should not be too concerned about this behavior as long as your new dog is not showing any sign of aggressiveness when your residential dog is sitting on him.
To Keep Him Warm
Did you see your dog performing this act only when the weather turns cold?
That could be his way to get some warmth from another dog by cuddling to him.
This is especially so for short-haired dog breeds such as Boston Terrier, Terrier Pug, Beagle, Bulldog, Labrador Retriever or Great Dane as they are less hairy than other dogs and thus, easily feel cold.
So, if your dog is a short-haired breed, make sure that you have a warm resting place for him to turn into whenever he feels cold.
You can install a heat lamp near his crate or get him a heating mat to rest on.
This will ensure that he gets to stay warm and comfortable without the need to lookout for anyone to get any warmth.
To Keep The Other Dog From Harm
In the wild, dogs often sit on each other in opposite directions to keep a watch-out for any predators nearby.
Through this posture, they will be able to cover each other from any attackers.
This helps them to keep an eye on what is happening around them and also gives them a better chance of escaping.
So, if you have recently moved to a new home, your dogs will be feeling insecure and worried about their safety.
That is why they will sit in the opposite direction to safeguard themselves from any threat.
Your dog is more than happy to see a new pack member in the family and wants to seek her companionship.
This is likely to be the case where your dog (male) is attracted to your new dog (female) and he is telling her that he likes to be with her.
You would observe your male dog exhibiting some behaviors such as mounting and thrusting on your female dog when he sits on her.
It is suggested that you should have your male dog neutered as soon as he is 6 to 9 months old.
A neutered dog will have less behavior and health issues than a dog who is not neutered.
The reason is that neutering reduces the amount of testosterone in the blood, which is the hormone that triggers sex drive and aggression.
He will be less likely to wander around looking for mates and will leave your new dog alone.
Some people feel that neutering their dogs is cruel, but I would suggest that you just do it if you feel that it is the best thing for your dog.
It is very likely that your dog will be happier if you have him neutered of the fact that he will have fewer health complications and behavioral issues.
He Is Feeling Bored
Dogs need to be physically and mentally simulated to keep their minds alert and prevent boredom.
If they are not stimulated, they will become restless.
That is why you will see your dog trying to keep himself occupied when he is feeling bored.
By sitting on the other dog, he hopes to get his attention and make him play with him.
He wants the other dog to know his presence and will look at him as if to say: “Hey, I’m here! Do you want to play?”
He could also be licking his paws, chewing your furniture and unrolling your toilet papers.
This is a sign of boredom!
Your dog is full of pent-up energy and there are no channels for him to release that excessive energy in his body.
What you should do is to plan some physical and mental simulation activities to keep him busy throughout the day.
So, if your dog is feeling bored, you should provide him with something interesting to do, such as playing tug of war, hide-and-seek or a game of fetch with a toy ball or stick or taking him for a walk in an area where he can run around and play freely.
This will help to keep his energy level low and be an obedient dog!