Does Your Dog Always Steal Your Seat? Why You Can No Longer Call “Fives” as a Pet Parent

Lizzy Rosenberg - Author

Jan. 19 2023, Published 3:52 p.m. ET

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Every dog or cat parent has been there: you get up from your warm, comfy spot on the couch to take a quick bathroom break, to grab a snack, or to charge your phone. But upon your return five-or-so minutes later, your seat is no longer unoccupied — your beloved fur baby has swiped your seat.

This isn't uncommon, but it makes us wonder: why do pets always steal our seats? Apparently, calling "fives" is no longer possible once you adopt a highly spoiled and furniture-dwelling dog or cat.

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There could be a number of reasons as to why your pet has found joy in constantly stealing your seat. While it isn't intended to be malicious, by any means, there could be more to it than just mere coincidence or repositioning. Keep reading for more on why this might happen in your home more often than you'd like.

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Your pup might be seeking out attention.

The most simple answer to our question may be that your dog or cat is craving attention. If you've been watching TV for a while, and then you leave the room, they might feel a little desperate. According to Doggone Walking, your pet might swipe your seat because they know it'll grab your attention, redirecting you away from whatever you were doing before that. It's almost like a game!

But also, seat stealing could truly be a learned behavior. If your pup or kitten often steals your seat — and you give them pets and snuggles for being a "little rascal" — they might associate stealing your seat with ear scratches, belly rubs, kisses, and more. It sounds silly, but they might think attention is their reward for snagging your spot on the sofa.

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They're enjoying your scent or warmth.

Although we — as human beings —probably would rather not stick our face where someone's butt was just parked for an extended period of time, your pet might... especially if they are particularly prone to separation anxiety (and let's face it, most pandemic pets are, if they're used to having you right by their side at all times!).

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Because your pet loves you so much, according to My Pet Child, seat stealing may be a sign of them soaking up your scent, or even just enjoying the warmth you left behind.

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They might think they're protecting you.

While your goofy fur ball likely won't be keeping you out of harm's way in the comfort of your own home on any given night, seat stealing can be a sign that your dog thinks they are "protecting you."

According to Mental Floss, stealing your seat protects your "area" from any invaders. It keeps house guests, or anyone else, out of your territory.

Some think that seat stealing is your pets way of showing their caregivers how much they care about them and their comfort. It shows they will do anything for you to keep you comfortable, and to keep your "spot" free.

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Your pet may be asserting their dominance.

Sometimes, the answer is a little less cute.

Some dogs steal seats to show dominance, especially if there are multiple dogs in the house, for a dog to show their "rank," according to Treehugger. If this is the case, they may get aggressive or territorial, with barking, being defensive, or snapping.

Because this can lead to behavioral issues, it's important to address things with a trainer immediately if this happens. But if your dog isn't exhibiting this behavior, it's likely one of the more wholesome reasons listed above — no domination intended.

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