Rottweilers are a large, lovable breed—and they sure do like to spread all their love around!
By now, you’ve likely experienced a few of your Rottie’s different ways of showing love, like licking your hand, giving you a happy rumble, or following your every move.
And when that same Rottie decides they want to sit all that hunk-of-love weight on your lap, it’s pretty hard not to notice!
So, now you’re asking yourself the question: why does my Rottweiler sit on me?
When your Rottweiler sits on you, your big lovebug may be trying to communicate something to you. This could be that they love you, they’re bored, or that they’re channeling a little bit of their ancient drover. Moreover, by sitting on you, your Rottie could be expressing signs of separation anxiety or of being territorial.
Let’s explore each of these reasons for why your Rottweiler sits on you!
Reason 1: Because They’re Showing Affection
Rotties are one of the most affectionate dog breeds around and they have a lot of different ways of showing you their love!
When your Rottweiler wants to show you their affection, they may lean up against you—which, while similar, is a bit different from sitting on you. Other affectionate touches include your Rottie nosing your hand, pawing you, and resting their head in your lap.
Most Rotties love physical touch, whether it’s giving or receiving!
So, it’s no wonder that your Rottweiler sometimes wants to sit on you, if they consistently use other touches to say, “Hey, I love you!”.
When a full-grown Rottie leans against you, they’re usually making a statement of some kind.
Leaning allows your Rottweiler to express their love and devotion, any insecurities they may be feeling, or even a little stubbornness by physically pushing you where they want you to go.
Leaning, however, simply may not be close enough for your Rottie and that’s why sitting is preferred!
Reason 2: Because Your Rottie Is Bored
Many of us have heard sayings about idle hands, but have you ever heard one about idle paws?
How about this one, “Curiosity killed the cat”?
Though cats are notorious for sticking their head into things they shouldn’t, the same principle applies to our pups. If a dog is allowed to be bored all the time, they’re going to get into mischief, even if they aren’t typically a bad-mannered dog.
Fortunately, there are some telltale signs to look out for if you suspect that your dog is bored:
- Chewing up furniture
- Ignoring or acting disinterested in their favorite toys when you try to play with them
- Barking excessively
In the case of Rottweiler boredom, sitting on you can also go on this list.
If you are away for 6-8 hours every day for work, your Rottie may be attempting to get any attention from you that they can. And if sitting on you is what they think will work, that’s what they’ll do!
Your Rottweiler isn’t trying to be rude by plopping all their weight on you. However, if you feel that your Rottie sitting on you is a sign of boredom, here are a few things you can do to discourage that sitting by decreasing their boredom:
- Playing and exercise
- Mental stimulation through puzzles or games like hide and seek
- Hiring a dog walker/nanny to visit with your Rottie if your work schedule extremely limits your time at home
- Doggy daycare
A few things to consider if you think your Rottweiler’s sitting on you is a sign of boredom would be when the behavior started and when the behavior seems to be most prevalent.
Reason 3: Because They’re Herding You
Long before they earned their reputation as guard dogs, Rottweilers were herders and drovers, among other things, which is what made them so popular on farms.
These roles vary in their exact responsibilities, but the way we see this instinct show today is through leaning, pushing around, and excessive physical contact. In some cases, your Rottie sitting on you may mean they’re trying to keep you in one place.
If your Rottweiler becomes overly pushy or nips the air around you while sitting on you, extra discipline may be needed to deter your Rottweiler’s desire to herd. Rotties are really smart and can respond to positive reinforcement training fairly quickly. However, this means you’ll need to make sure you aren’t accidentally encouraging forceful or pushy behavior.
A Rottie puppy crawling in your lap is downright adorable, but once your pup gets to be over 100 pounds, you may decide you don’t like them sitting on you, after all!
Reason 4: Because They’re Feeling Separation Anxiety
Like boredom, a dog that’s left alone all the time may start to display symptoms of separation anxiety:
- Becoming anxious or resistant when you try to leave the house
- Whining, pacing, or trembling
- Excessive barking
- Having accidents in the house
- Destroying things in the house
- Excessive physical contact when you are together
If you aren’t home often, you may inadvertently encourage overly clingy behaviors when you are home with your Rottweiler, including sitting on you. Even though socialization is key to a healthy Rottie pup, it’s also important to help your Rottie develop confidence and independence when you are away.
You might have heard the nickname “Velcro dog” used when talking about Rottweilers before. A Velcro dog is a dog that is stuck to you at the hip—sounds pretty familiar with some of our Rotties, huh?
Though Velcro dogs are heavily attached, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will develop separation anxiety or any of the related symptoms. With that in mind, though, they are more prone to it, and sitting on you is one way that dogs suffering from separation anxiety can comfort themselves. Not only does it get you nice and close but it also prevents you from moving.
If your already-Velcro Rottie has started sitting on you and you aren’t sure why, take note of any possibly stressful life changes or external factors that could have caused this sudden behavior.
Reason 5: Because They’re Feeling Territorial
Less likely, but still a possible reason for your Rottweiler sitting on you, is a need to claim you as his space.
Most of us have experienced our canine’s temporary jealousy if we come home smelling like another dog. If your Rottweiler has taken to sitting on you when there are other people or animals around, it may be because he’s trying to spread his scent on you.
How To Show Love To Your Rottie
If you’re concerned that your Rottweiler is feeling unnoticed, there are a few ways you can reassure your pal that you haven’t forgotten them.
Because healthy, well-socialized Rottweilers are such touchy dogs, regular pets and cuddles will go a long way in assuring your dog that you love them and want to be near them, too.
No one likes a one-sided relationship, after all.
I’ve found that my Rottie particularly enjoys and even calms down when I pet his chest in big, circular motions. Other areas Rotties typically enjoy receiving touch are their bellies, necks, and shoulders. Play around to see what your dog’s favorite touch (or touches!) are and implement them consistently.
Speaking of play, a great way to show your Rottie affection is through playtime and exercise! We’ve already mentioned exercise and play as tools to reduce boredom, but they can also be used to simply let your big baby know that you love them.
PDSA has some great tips and tricks for being physically active with your dog even if you have any physical impairments. Rottweilers are especially known for their smarts and have proudly worked as service dogs because of their notable intelligence.
Being large dogs, Rottweilers need routine movement to ensure that they maintain healthy muscle mass. You can choose to take your Rottie on daily runs, walks, or puppy playdates in the park, for instance. Some Rotties may even enjoy an occasional swim!
Check out this big boy turned puppy, playing in his very own kiddie pool!
If your Rottweiler sits on you, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are hurting in the love department. Take note of any factors that may be causing your Rottie stress before assuming that you aren’t giving them enough attention.
I’m sure they’d agree that a little more loving wouldn’t hurt, though!
At the end of the day, whether it’s by licking or sitting, your Rottweiler is probably just trying to tell you they love you.
Just like a lot of us value spending quality time together and sharing physical touch, your Rottie probably does, too!
If you feel that your Rottie sitting on you is a sign that something’s wrong, take a little extra time today to cuddle your big lovebug or toss around a ball with them and consider joining a training class to help discourage the behavior.
In the meantime, soak up all your Rottweiler’s other ways of saying, “I love you”!
What is your Rottie’s go-to way to show you affection?