You’re working late at night, and your dog’s laying on your toes.
It’s adorable most days. But you’re exhausted from having your toes go numb.
Why does my dog lay on my feet?
The reasons are mostly adorable. It’s because they seek comfort from you and safety. Sometimes they need to feel warm and affectionate. It might also be them being possessive of you. Also, they might be protecting you. In other words, your dog adores you enough to do all that.
You might want to go deeper in this case.
Because as dog owners, all of us want to ensure the best thing for them.
Let’s continue to know more!
Origin of This Behavior
This behavior originates from pack instincts. Pack culture is evident in canid species. Hence, domesticated dogs exhibit them too.
In a pack system, dogs or wolves sleep closely and together. So that they can protect each other and the leader; also, they sleep at the foot of the leader.
They give leaders an ideal sleeping spot. That’s why if your dog is laying at your feet, they consider you the leader.
Again, puppies have this instinct. But they do this at the tail of their mothers. They might even consider you a parent.
Adorable. Having your dog laying on you is one of the sweetest moments of having a pet.
5 Reasons Why Dogs Lay on Toes
Dogs share many common behaviors. Laying on toes is one of them. Here are five reasons why your dog’s lying on your feet.
Reason 1: Comfort and Security
You’re seen as the leader or someone in charge of the pack. Your dog trusts you and considers you ‘safe’.
Lying on your feet makes them feel relaxed and calm. It’s your dog’s way of showing you he loves, supports, and wants to comfort you.
Since he considers you the leader, he wants to stay as close as possible because pack leaders are considered protectors.
Both secure and insecure dogs will do this. You can also notice them lying close to you during a foreign presence. It means they are seeking protection.
But, there’s a difference. If they expose their belly while laying close, it means they feel safe.
They also do this to keep tabs on you. Knowing where you’re going keeps them at peace. You might have your dog go behind you to the bathroom with you.
Reason 2: Affection
This is a given. If your pup’s smooching up to your feet, it’s simply them adoring you.
Laying on your feet is also an acceptable form of physical contact with their leader. But this reason resonates with your bond with your dog rather than your pack instincts.
Reason 3: Warmth
This cause is seen more in puppies. But adult dogs can express this as well.
Puppies always sleep closely together around their mother’s tail. This keeps them warm and protected.
Sticking physically together is a survival mode of canid species for staying warm.
If your dog wants to feel warm, he’ll cuddle up too. If needed, your dog will lay on you.
Reason 4: Territorial Behavior
Many dogs can be possessive. If your dog’s laying on your feet, he might be marking his territory. He is warning other dogs to back off from you.
You might see this both in your house and outdoors. This can be confirmed by noticing one thing. It is if your dog gets aggressive when other people or dogs are near your proximity.
Just like you, your dog thinks you belong to him.
Reason 5: Protection
Your dog may appear calm outside, but there might be things he considers threatening. Hence, he’ll lay on your foot to guard you.
This is a common survival instinct in packs of the wild. Dogs and wolves of lower rank guard their leader.
The leader protects the pack. Hence, the pack members guard the leader.
If you don’t mind your dog being cuddly, there is no reason to stop your dog. Just like humans, pets seek love and affection too.
If your dog cares for you, it shows your bond’s good. He considers you a parent or leader and seeks reassurance.
No reason to reprimand a fur baby as long as he isn’t stirring trouble.
Can It Become a Problem?
If your dog isn’t causing problems, there’s no reason to stop him.
But this behavior can become a problem in 2 cases.
Having a healthy relationship is essential. If your dog has separation anxiety or any mental issues, this might encourage them. But your dog should not consider you a safety blanket all the time.
This might drive his symptoms to the extreme. It might get to the point where he won’t be able to stay alone, in another room under the same roof.
This might happen if you let your dog go on with his guarding and protection. He will exhibit aggression towards anyone coming up to you.
This might cause him to distrust and scare other people.
In both these cases, behavioral training can help your dog. There are significant benefits of training dogs. If there are signs that your dog needs training, consult with a trainer.
How to Stop Your Dog
You might want to try correcting your dog’s behavior first. Your dog might feel more comfortable with you than with a trainer.
You can try correcting your dog’s behavior in 3 steps.
Step 1: Create Some Distance
When your dog lays down, go to another spot and tell him to sit or lay there.
If he wanders back again, do it again.
Step 2: Reward Your Dog
If your dog listens, give them compliments and treats. Positive reinforcements always work as incentives. And encourages behavior.
You can also try throwing a treat to a spot and asking them to stay there.
You might want to invest in some healthy treats for this. We’ll help you pick the right ones.
Here are some of our favorite dog treats:
Your dogs will be thankful for these. You should only get the best for your babies.
Step 3: Have Patience and Repeat
Your dog might not pass the test on the first try. Be patient, and do not get angry at them.
Like humans, for habits to change, you need a lot of practice.
If your dog has an issue understanding, reward him even if he stays put for a minimum of 5 seconds.
Hopefully, you can correct your dog’s behavior this way. If not, seek professional help.
Which dog breeds bark the least?
If yours is a loudmouth, breeds can’t help. Bulldogs, Shiba Inu, and Terriers bark the least. However, each dog has a unique personality.
Why does my dog eat grass?
There’s a 10% chance your dog’s sick. That’s why he is eating grass. Other causes include boredom, liking the taste, and having a high-fiber diet.
What vaccines should I get for my dog?
It would help if you got your dog some core vaccines, such as – the distemper virus, canine parvovirus, and adenovirus-2. It’s better to consult with a vet.
We hope I can answer your question about why your dog lays on your feet.
Make a safe spot for your dog. Please give him a small bed with his toys, pillows, and a water bowl. In stressful situations, you can soothe him there.
Have a great day!