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Dogs will naturally dig in the park or backyard, but if your dog starts digging at your body, you may feel a little uncomfortable. Or if not, you may just want to know why they’re doing it.

Why Does My Dog Dig at My Stomach or Body?

Dogs are sensitive creatures, but we might not understand everything they do. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons your dog is digging at your body or stomach.

Your Dog is Hungry

If you have some food leftovers on your clothes or you smell like food, your dog might start digging at your stomach.

Your Dog is Copying You

Your canine loves it when you rub and scratch its belly, so they may do the same in return. Remember that you’re your dog’s parent, and it copies your attitude.

Your Dog Loves You

Since your dog knows that belly rubs are fun, they may want to show you that they love you and care about you. You might be annoyed by this behavior, but this is how your dog shows love and affection. Remember to keep trimming those nails! We discuss this in this post, How to Cut Your Puppy’s Nails: A Complete Guide

Your Dog is Anxious

Dogs can get stressed or anxious for various reasons, and your dog might be trying to relieve stress by digging. A stressed dog will dig at the ground, but if they don’t get to go outside, they will try digging at other areas, including your stomach!

Some experts believe that this behavior is similar to what stressed humans do when they start biting their nails or twisting their hair to relieve stress.

Your Dog is Bored

A dog that doesn’t receive enough mental stimulation through play and exercise will engage in various behavioral patterns, many of which are destructive. For example, digging at different surfaces is common when your dog feels bored, so they might start digging at your body.

Your Dog Wants Your Attention

When you haven’t been paying enough attention to your canine, they may try digging at your stomach or body to get your attention. We have this relevant post you might like to read, Giving Puppies Attention: (3, 6, and 12-months).

You Might Be Pregnant

Pregnant woman hugging dog

Dogs might not have a conscious understanding of the nature of pregnancy, but they can detect a new smell if their human parent is pregnant. They also become protective of the new baby before it’s born.

A dog will sense the pregnancy long before the belly grows just by smelling your breath. In addition, they can detect hormonal changes in the body and might even be able to detect several health issues before they get worse.

Why Is My Dog Digging in My Chest?

Your dog will dig at your chest when they feel confined or unsafe, they feel anxious, or they want to get your attentions.

Dogs have sensitive hearing and smelling senses, so they might sense things that you can’t detect as a human. So, your canine may start digging at your chest if they hear or smell something that makes them anxious.

In some cases, your dog might be digging at your chest because they’re just playful and want to have fun with you. It’s important to look at their body language to determine whether it’s cause for concern or not. Look for stiff body language, a stiff tail, and even wide eyes, to determine if there is danger. A loose and wiggly body tells you they just want to play.

Why Are My Dogs Always Under Me or by My Stomach?

There can be numerous reasons for your dog being under you all the time, or by your stomach. They may just be a clingy dog, in which case you will want to read, Why Is My Dog So Clingy? (Revealed) or Why Does My Dog Get up When I Move?  is also relevant.

Your Dog is Protective

Your canine views you as the caregiver, pack leader, and parent, so they may lie on top of you to protect you. Dogs are sensitive and intuitive creatures and can sense some things before humans do, so they might try to protect you from danger by staying close to your body.

Some breeds are bred to be more protective, so they’ll naturally try to guard you. Dogs can also detect weak spots in our bodies and will cover your stomach for protection. This is also common when a female dog parent is pregnant.

Your Dog is Stressed

Dogs that suffer from stress and separation anxiety will try to lie on top of you to comfort themselves. Puppies engage in similar behavior when they’re young, as they sleep with each other to seek comfort, and a physical touch will make them feel safe when they live with you.

Your Dog is Cold

Your dog will lie on your body or stay close to you because it feels cold. Your body’s heat will keep the dog comfortable, warm, and safe, so it maintains this comfortable position and even sleeps on top of you.

You might like to read this relevant post, Is Your Puppy Cold? How to tell and what to do.

Your Dog is Comfortable

Puppy sleeping on owner

A dog won’t leave you if sleeping on top of you feels cozy. Your soft belly might be the perfect spot to keep your dog comfortable when they’re scared or worried. They naturally want to lie on any part of your body, even your face!

How to Stop Your Dog From Sleeping on Your Stomach

There are a few things you can do to stop your dog from sleeping on top of your body if it bothers you.

  • Crate training is an efficient way to keep your dog away from you and prevent it from sleeping on top of your body.
  • Although you might be affectionate towards your dog, you should stop encouraging them by redirecting them when they sleep on your stomach.
  • If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, ask your vet about the best way to address this problem.

Wrapping Up

Your dog might start digging at your stomach because they’re hungry, they’re trying to attract your attention, they’re playful, or they’re anxious. Use their body language to better determine what their intention is. This behavior shouldn’t be alarming unless it becomes excessive or bothers you, in which case redirect them to something more positive.