Why Do Dogs Lay On Your Feet? (2022) 8 Reasons I PETSHORT


Dogs are the friendliest pets and share a powerful bond with their owner. In case you own a dog, you may have experienced your dog refusing to depart your side, laying by your feet, and even pawing at you. 

These cute behaviors are indeed lovely, but there are specific reasons behind their actions. So why do dogs lay in your feet? Keep scrolling to search out out.

Why do Dogs Lay on Your Feet? 8 Reasons

1. Natural Instincts

Dogs are pack animals, and this behavior is rooted of their genes. Even when dogs have never lived within the wild, they will still exhibit their canine instincts. When living in a pack, dogs hunt and survive together. The pack leader has essentially the most authority and can select essentially the most comfortable area to sleep in while the remaining pack huddles across the leader.

Your dog sees you because the natural pack leader, and laying at your feet is similar as them huddling around an alpha within the wild. Once you might be comfortably seated, your dog will lay in your feet as an indication of respect and devotion.   

3 german shepherd border collie mix dogsPC: Eva Gronblad

2. In search of Attention

Besides being lovely, our fluffy companions are great observers and fast learners. Your dog might lie in your feet as they’ve learned that doing this may get their owner’s attention. 

While it’s normal to greet your pet or cuddle them once they approach, giving your dog ear and belly rubs once they lay in your feet teaches them tips on how to get your physical attention. 

3. Protecting The Pack

Dogs look towards their owner for cover. Likewise, they often feel the urge to guard their pack from harm. They lay in your feet to guard you from danger and put themselves in harm’s way. If there’s no danger around, your dog will still lay near the feet with the intention of protecting the alpha. 

If you find yourself out in public, your dog may have heightened protective instincts and sit on or near your feet. That is your dog’s way of letting other dogs know they need to stay away. It’s okay in case your dog exhibit’s this behavior without aggression.

dogs in the leaves with owner

Some dogs share a bond too strong that they will’t bear other pets coming near to their owner and might turn into aggressive to warn them off. Such behavior should at all times be discouraged. It’s best to examine in with a trainer in the event that they exhibit aggressive behavior when protecting their territory.

Much like your dog feeling obligated to guard you, they can even lay in your feet to hunt protection. It’s a natural instinct for dogs to lean towards their owner for cover when in an unfamiliar environment or a situation. Your dog will rely on you and lay in your feet at any time when they feel threatened. 

4. Exhibiting Dominance

The primary time you meet a dog, it would immediately jump in your lap. There are two reasons behind this attachment. Either the dog is joyful to bond with you or wants to say dominance and let everybody know they’re in charge. 

beagle on woman's lap on couch

Sitting on the lap makes the dog feel higher and provides them an assurance that they’re on top of things. While this behavior is standard when a brand new pet is introduced to other pets in a household, dogs can even practice this behavior on humans. It won’t be clear whether or not they are showing dominance or simply joyful to sit down in your lap. 

In a situation like this, observe your dog’s overall behavior and seek the advice of your veterinarian should you see any red flags like food guarding, aggressive response to verbal commands, or sitting in high places while looking down on other pets. 

5. Exhibiting Affection

Putting behavioral instincts aside, your dog might sit in your feet only because they adore and admire you. They need to be near you and show their affection. Owners mean the world to a dog and can at all times attempt to exhibit their love in various ways. 

Pets, especially dogs, share a powerful bond and perceive how we feel. They easily sense stress or anxiety and should lay in your feet to indicate their support. This behavior confirms you might be doing well as a pet owner, and your dog is solely thankful for the love and care you provide them with. 

man cuddling border collie

6. In search of A Warm Place

Through the winter season, your furry companions might feel cold and need to cuddle with you to get warm. When living in a pack, dogs huddle together, providing one another warmth during colder seasons. Your dog will replicate the precise behavior of laying and sleeping in your feet to hunt warmth. 

7. Sharing A Strong Bond

Dogs turn into intertwined with their owners over time as their connection fosters. Dogs exhibit a secure base effect where they follow their owner, identical to a baby would cling to their mother. Your dog might seek your comfort and might opt to put in your feet to know your whereabouts. 

They immediately know if you leave the premises by resting in your feet. Knowing their companion is next to them gives dogs a sense of security and luxury.

dog paws next to person's feet

8. Showing Anxiety

There are specific situations when your dog might feel like sitting by your feet or on them because they sense fear or are anxious. In case your dog doesn’t at all times sit in your feet and suddenly starts exhibiting this behavior, it points to your dog feeling anxiety. 

Listed here are the signs you must search for:

  • The dog pants and drools extensively.
  • The tail points toward the bottom or is tucked underneath their legs.
  • The top position is lowered.
  • Pulled back ears. 

dog looking up to owner

Should This Behaviour Be Allowed?

Generally, this habit just isn’t something try to be concerned about. Most pet owners like their pets coming near them and showing affection. In return, dogs get pat downs and belly rubs. Nonetheless, should you notice signs of aggression in your dog, this behavior should be discouraged. 

Reinforcement Learning

This protocol can assist pet owners in improving their dog’s behavior. This method rewards and praises the dog for the positive behavior they exhibit. For instance, if the dog follows a command, give them a fast snack or reward so that they feel appreciated and know this behavior results in fruitful outcomes. 

man cuddling border collie

Likewise, don’t encourage your dog if you see negative behavior. A vital thing to recollect is rarely to reward the dog or practice reinforcement learning protocols when your dog is exhibiting aggressiveness. In case you will not be following reinforcement learning, you may have to begin from scratch and slowly work on improving their behavior.

The way in which you treat your dog matters essentially the most. Make sure you appreciate the great behavior and discourage your dog if you see aggressiveness. Avoid hitting or kicking your dog if its habit of laying in your feet increases each day. As an alternative, contact a licensed trainer, as you may need skilled assistance besides practicing reinforcement learning.

Avoid petting them once they show aggressive behavior while lying in your feet. Patting them will show your dog that what they’re doing is true. Every time you see them attempting to lie in your feet, motivate them to maneuver to their sleeping place. You’ll be able to place their bed near so it becomes easier so that you can encourage the dog to sleep on their bed relatively than resting in your feet.  

dog lies on person's legs

Sleeping Positions

Now that we’ve covered the possible reasons behind your dog laying near or in your feet let’s dig into some sleeping positions so you’ll be able to higher judge their body language to judge their aggressiveness and overall personality. 

  • The curled ball position might be seen throughout a pup’s life. They curl up with their legs and tail beneath their body. They seek warmth and feel protected on this position. 
  • Dogs sleeping on their back means they’re calm, feel secure, and are comfortable of their surroundings. The dog’s submissive position shows they’re carefree.
  • Side sleeping is exhibited by dogs when their owner is around. They show their trust when sleeping sideways. 
  • Within the passed-out position, the dog will likely be lying on their back with its legs on its chest. This position shows the dog is exhausted and doesn’t need to be bothered. 
  • Dogs sleep in a belly curl position once they are wired physically and might’t get enough rest. 

When your dog is agitated, it could lose its hours of sleep and could appear irritated throughout its usual routine. 

What If Your Dog Doesn’t Lie On Your Feet?

Much like humans, dogs have different personality traits, that are further shaped by their surroundings as they grow up. While some dogs crave a belly rub on a regular basis, some dogs don’t want their owner to the touch them too often and like sitting by your side as an alternative of lying on their feet. 

dog asleep on paws

Your dog will still be having fun with your organization without you showing love or cuddling them. Still, your dog will show affection in other ways once they don’t prefer an excessive amount of cuddling. For instance, they could present you with their favorite toy or follow your trail wherever you go. In a nutshell, it’s okay in case your dog doesn’t sit in your feet. 

Final Thoughts

A pet owner has a responsibility to supply their dog with the required care, affection, and love. It’s perfectly normal in your dog to put in your feet, beside you, or follow you on a regular basis. 

Nonetheless, try to be concerned should you notice signs of aggressive behavior toward strangers or other pets. In the event that they turn into aggressive, it’s best to go to knowledgeable trainer and discuss the possible reasons for his or her behavior. They are going to advise you on training sessions to resolve the problem.

This aggressiveness might be on account of a medical condition or an injury you might be unfamiliar with. Visiting the veterinarian often can assist in providing the very best care in your canine companion and ensuring their good health.

Whether your dog likes to sit down beside you or at all times follows you, each pup has a singular personality that must be cherished and enjoyed. We hope the data presented here can enable you to higher understand the explanations dogs lay in your feet and the actions you’ll be able to take to resolve this case if it begins to negatively affect your relationship along with your pet. 

dog lays at man's feet

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