Why Does My Dog Sleep On My Feet? 5 Valid Reasons

Why Do Dogs Sleep, Sit or Lay on Your Feet? Meanings Behind Your Dog’s Such Behaviors

The possible reasons why your pooch may sleep on your feet include having a pack instinct, suffering from separation anxiety, showing love towards you, being protective, Simply a Habit and much more.

Keep reading until you know why your dog sleeps on your feet. I have listed some of the most common reasons for the same. I hope this will help. 

Why Do Dogs Sleep, Sit or Lay on Your Feet?

Keeping in Pack instinct

Your dog may sleep on your feet because of pack instinct. Even if your pooch is with you from his initial stage of life he still can have pack instinct.  We all know that dogs are highly pack animals. Therefore it is natural for them to have that instinct even if they live around humans. 

Your pet considers you as the Alpha, the leader of the pack. Therefore he always wants to stay around you and protect you. You can see the same behaviour in the dogs living outside. 

Some dogs directly sleep on the feet of their owner and others sit around it.

Separation anxiety may Trigger This Behaviour

Another reason for your dog to sleep on your feet is due to separation anxiety. You may witness it when you come back home after staying outside for a long. Also, you may see signs of your dog being anxious when you are ready to leave.

Therefore, it is important for you to reduce your pooch’s anxiousness before you leave.

So here is a list of some things that you can do to reduce your dog’s anxiousness-

  1. Feed the dog before leaving
  2. Provide him with a comfortable area to stay
  3. Let him before leaving
  4. Do some physical activities just before you leave
  5.  When came back just let him go outside to pee 

Sleeping on owner’s feet is a way of Showing Love

This is a very normal and common behaviour seen in pet dogs. They just love to sit down on their parents’ feet. In fact, this is similar to humans when we sit near our friends or family. 

Many dogs just like to sit on the floor rather than jump on the couch. Moreover, lying close to their parents on the couch can make them feel hot. Therefore they may choose to sit on the floor. 

Marking territory (dog sitting on feet dominance)

Just like us dogs also see us as their belonging. Therefore, they perceive you as their human. And that is why they don’t want to let other animals or humans get close to you.

Therefore you must socialise your dog and consider it important training. This will help your dog to share you with other pets and humans. Also, it will prevent your canine from being overly territorial or aggressive when everyone is around.

Trauma or Past Incident

Your dog may be expressing his feelings about the trauma he faced by sleeping on your feet. 

Moreover, he may also need some sort of help and reassurance from you. 

Some of the most common science that indicates your dog is traumatised include-

  • Panting
  • Seeing more often
  • Yawning
  • Shaking
  • Ears sideways
  • Getting close to your body
  • Holding their body on the ground
  • Tail between the legs  or low and tight against the body

These signs along with sleeping on your feet are most commonly seen in dogs adopted from a stressful situation or shelter. While adopting we might not know the full background and the trauma from the past experience that your dog has faced. However, now it’s our job to console them and rebuild their confidence. 

Your canine considers you as a protective shield. However, it is not good that every time he searches for you in a hard situation. He must know how to handle stressful situations on his own. 

Therefore in this case positive training and hiring a dog trainer to solve behavioural issues is a good idea. This will help your dog to build his self-confidence and decrease the anxious mind that he is stuck in. The behavioural training will also help him to lessen his insecurities or fear. 

You gave the green flag to this behaviour

If you give positive attention to your dog while he first sleeps on your feet then he will try to do it again and again to get your attention. 

This may happen because he slept on your feet and you have given him belly rubs, ears rubs, etc. Therefore your dog begins to associate this act to get a positive outcome. 

Should I Allow My Dog To Sit On My Feet?

It is completely ok to allow your dog to sit on your feet. Whatever may be the reason,  allowing him to do this behaviour depicts to him that you love him. Also, it showcases that you care about your dog and give him assurance of keeping him safe.

Dogs considered their humans everything. They know that their humans will always be there to provide food, shelter and water. Moreover, if you allow this during the time of stress confirms to them that they are important to you.

In case you do not like this conduct, you can train your dog not to do this. You can train him to sit next to you. 

Moreover, you have to stop encouraging his behaviour. This means, that when he sleeps on your feet, do not give positive reinforcement. 

How To Discourage Your Dog From Sitting At Your Feet?

If you do not want your dog to sleep on your feet, there are a few things you can do to discourage him. 

  • Stop giving rewards when your pooch sleeps on your feet. Basically, it is a discouraging signal toward your dog.
  • Encourage him to move off your feet. You can do it with the help of his favourite treat. 
  • Moreover, you can hire a dog trainer to correct this behaviour of your dog.

What If My Dog Doesn’t Sit on My Feet?

Maybe your pooch is not that clingy, touchy, and huggy kind of dog. Every canine has his own personality. Moreover, every canine has his own way to show affection and attachment toward you. 

Your pooch may just enjoy your presence near him. He does not urge physical contact. And it is NORMAL. 

The canine may show affection in a way like greeting you when you come home, bringing his favourite toy to you, following you, etc. 

Final Words

If you don’t have any objection to your dog sleeping on your feet, then keep it going. This will strengthen your bond with your dog. Canines that can have signs of separation anxiety, insecurity, dominance, etc need positive training. 

This will even help your dog to see you as his ultimate support. 

I hope you enjoyed the article. I will be back soon with more interesting and informative pieces of writing. Till then, stay connected. Thank you.

Frequently asked question

Why do dogs sleep on their feet in bed?

As we know, canines are pack animals. Therefore, their mind is designed to stay close to the pack. This is for protection and safety. However, at home, you are the Alpha. Therefore, your dog will want to stick to you. Sleeping on your feet lets them feel secure. 

Why does my dog sleep at my feet facing the door?

This position resembles the alertness of your dog. Many dogs sleep at their owner’s feet facing the door. This is to alert their owners of potential danger. 

Why does my dog sleep right next to me?

This is a sign of connection, closeness, and affection. Moreover, it indicates that your pooch feels safe with you. Also, it is very important during the foundation of a bond in the early stage of your interaction with your dog. Additionally, your dog is satisfied by your presence and needs confirmation that you are there for him.

Why does my canine lay on my legs?

As dogs are pack animals, they tend to stay close to their people. Moreover, they see their owners as leaders. Therefore, laying on your legs makes them feel safe. If you do not want them to do so, you can train them accordingly. 

Why does my female dog sit on my feet?

It is very normal behaviour for a female canine to sit on your feet. She may be showing affection towards you. Some canines even are content to sit on the floor. Hence, they may end up sitting on your feet.

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