Is there a reason why my dog sleep at my feet?

Dogs speak to us through signals, and one of their commonly used communication signals is sleeping on or close to our feet.

So, why does your dog sleep on or close to your feet? One of the main reasons dogs sleep at our feet is because they appreciate us. They want to stay close to us for companionship, warmth, protection, and to show affection. Perhaps, your dog wants to reconnect with you because you were away all day.

Generally, dogs communicate volumes of things when they sleep on your feet. This guide will explain why dogs sleep at our feet and how to stop it; if that’s something your want.

Dogs like to sleep at our feet because:

To Fulfill Their Pack Instinct

Like wild dogs, our canine friends still have some pack mentality. In the wild, they would follow their leader to all places, and when they want to rest, the leader will identify a safe place where they can rest peacefully. The other dogs then sit or sleep around their leader.

They cling together for warmth, security, and unity, among other reasons.

Perhaps, your lone pup at home lacks the companionship of a pack, and it looks to you as the leader. They will sleep on your feet for warmth and protection from their enemies.

To Declare Their Territory

Like their wild cousins, dogs can be territorial. So, they may sleep on your feet, walk alongside you and play with you to signal other pets that you belong to them.

If your dog curls up at your feet when it sees other dogs or humans, it might be claiming you as its own.

The urge to claim you may derive from the need to claim the most significant share of the valuable resources you provide, including food, exercise, and specialized care.

The territorial behavior shouldn’t concern you as long as your dog can tolerate other animals and people around you without being aggressive. Otherwise, you need the help of a qualified dog trainer to deal with this behavior known as resource guarding.

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To Show You Their Affection

Dogs are affectionate animals and can demonstrate love for you by wagging their tails, jumping up to greet you, nuzzling, or even licking you. If they don’t welcome you with any of the above actions, they may wait until you are settled and then sit on your feet to show their intimacy.

According to anecdotes, some canine friends can realize when you are sick, stressed, and grieved and sleep on your feet to comfort you.

For Emotional Support and Protection

Your dog may develop new fears and confusion due to Cognitive Disorder Syndrome (CDS). These fears may compel your canine friend to seek emotional support by engaging in unusual behaviors like sleeping on your feet.

The other signs of Cognitive Disorder in your dog include confusion, excessive licking, and inactivity. You should call a vet to examine your furry friend as soon as you observe any of the above symptoms.

Your dog may also become nervous in the presence of other dogs, strangers, or from strange sounds such as thunderstorms, causing it to move to your feet for refuge.

To Protect You

Each dog has its own unique reasons for doing this. While some will sleep on your feet for protection, others do so to protect you from your enemies.

Therefore, your dog may sit on your feet primarily to prevent any animal or human from coming close to you.

However, dogs of such characters tend to be aggressive. You should take your dog for social training if you notice overaggression like chasing, barking, and lunging towards other animals.

To Seek Your Attention

Your dog will make it habitual if it realizes that sleeping on your feet is the only way to win your attention. In most cases, a dog would seek your attention if they have so much energy and feel the urge to exercise. And, they may end up destroying your belongings if you don’t work them out.

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To Trace Your Whereabouts

Some dogs are so close to their owners that they don’t want to part with them. If your dog exhibits such character, the chances are high that it will sleep on your feet to be the first to detect when you intend to change your location. I remember how my father’s dog would follow and wait for him outside the toilet.

Should I Stop the Dog From Sleeping on My Feet?

Not necessarily. The dog should not raise any concern if it’s not over-aggressive to other people and animals. Many people appreciate the affection these furry babies show by playing around with them, massaging their bellies, feeding them, etc.

If you don’t want the dog close to you, then don’t reinforce its activity in any positive manner. Instead, train them on impulse controls with specific workouts like sit, leave it, wait, go to your mattress, etc., which can help your furry companion behave well. Be sure to praise them when they follow these instructions well.

If your dog is aggressive to the people and animals around you, call a qualified dog trainer to help the animal relate well with other pets and people in your compound. The aggressive signs to watch for in your dog include chasing after other pets, lunging at people, growling, baring teeth, snarling, etc.

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Final Remarks

Dogs sit on our feet to show their affection, seek protection, protect their owners, locate the owner’s whereabouts, and declare territory, among other reasons. Whatever the reason, their behavior strengthens their bond with their owners, provided that the dog is not aggressive.

However, this doesn’t mean you do away with your aggressive dog. Remember, your dog is getting over-aggressive to maintain its bond with you. You should call a dog expert to train your canine friend to socialize with other animals and people.

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Nadine Oraby

My name is Nadine; I am a passionate writer and a pet lover. People usually call me by the nickname “Joy” because they think that I am a positive and joyful person who is a child at heart. My love for animals triggered me to create this blog. Articles are written by vets, pet experts, and me. Thanks for visiting. Your friend, Nadine!

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