Your dog talks to you in its own way. It tells you more than you think. All of its seemingly meaningless yet endearing behaviors have deeper meanings.
If it’s snuggling up to you or resting on you it’s doing so for a reason.
Why does my dog sit on my feet?
Your dog can be sitting at your feet for several reasons. It could be for warmth, out of instinct, or simply for love. You need to be especially attentive if the behavior isn’t a normal one for your dog. The behavior might be triggered by anxiety or fear. In some cases, it can be a learned one.
The above reasons must give you a preview but there are more reasons. Stay with us as we will be covering the reasons with more depth.
My Dog’s Sitting at My Feet: What are the Reasons?
Your dog is an exceptionally intelligent creature. While it can’t convey messages as we do, its actions speak for it. And some can mean different things based on how they are done.
Sitting at your feet can have several meanings. Here’s what your furry buddy might be conveying by sitting at your feet.
Reason 1: Your Dog is Cold
If it’s cold your dog will try to get warm. It’ll try to absorb your body heat. Your canine pal will snuggle as close to you as possible. Your dog will probably prefer sitting right next to you on the couch.
But when the furniture’s off-limits it’ll sit at your feet warming itself with your body heat. It’s very endearing. Though you should look into getting it a blanket. You may have a look at the items below:
Either of these will keep your dog warm and happy.
Reason 2: Your Dog is Showing Its Love
Your furry companion definitely loves you a lot. And sometimes it shows you it loves you by snuggling up to you. Sitting on your feet like sleeping under the covers is a sign of love.
While most dogs might prefer sitting right next to you, yours might find it too warm. That’s why instead of being on the furniture, it’s on the floor right next to your feet.
When you have more than one dog there might be a power struggle. Your dogs might compete to see who has a closer spot to you.
Reason 3: Your Dog Might Be Scared
If your dog is scared it’s gonna look for security. And what better security is there than being in close proximity to the pack leader! Pay special attention to your dog’s body language if you feel this is the case.
As the causes of your dogs getting hiccups, not all causes for lying at your feet are harmless. This is particularly a concerning one. You can pinpoint whether this is the case or not by looking out for other signs.
Your canine will have its tail tucked under its body. It will also have its ears raised and pulled back. If these signs are there, then your dog’s sitting on your feet out of fear.
When the behavior is triggered by fear you must deal with the underlying cause. The best way is to first figure out what is scaring your dog. And then expose it to the object of its fear in a controlled manner.
Reason 4: Your Dog’s Instincts are Kicking in
Another explanation for sitting on your feet might be that it’s instinctual. Your furry friend is a pack animal. And it sees you as a part of its pack. And most likely sees you as the alpha.
It’s instinctual for pack animals to want to protect the alpha. Hence, it’ll sit by you and stay alert as a way of defending you.
Reason 5: Your Dog is Exhibiting Territorial Behavior
There’s a good possibility that your dog is showing its dominance over its territory and you. Sitting at your feet and/or laying there is its way of expressing that you’re his family. Your canine pal wants you to smell like it.
This is its way of keeping other dogs away from you. That makes it feel safe and secure about its place in your life.
Reason 6: Your Dog Has Separation Anxiety
If your dog has separation anxiety it will try to find comfort by being close. Being in close proximity to you can have a calming effect on your dog. Dogs suffering from anxiety will try to stick as close to you as possible.
They might even try to block you from leaving. That is when you’ll see them sitting or laying on your feet. Or even lying down on your feet to keep you from moving.
Do not encourage the behavior if this is the cause. Instead, give it the treat to keep it busy when you leave. Or, leave clothes that you had recently worn, outside when you leave. Slowly wean them off of their over-attachment to you.
Reason 7: Your Dog Learned the Behavior
Lastly, there are possibilities that your dog has learned this behavior. Your dog might’ve realized that it gets attention when resting at your feet. And might be repeating that behavior out of a desire for attention.
Your dog is sitting on your feet for one of these reasons.
How to Prevent Dogs from Sitting on My Feet
Despite its endearing nature, you might not want this behavior to stick. What would you do in that case? Worry not! We have a few tips on how you can stop your dog from exhibiting this behavior.
Tip 1: Figuring Out the Cause of Fear
If the behavior is triggered by fear, then getting rid of the fear will do it. To pinpoint the source of its fear you need to carefully observe your dog. See if it’s cowering away from an object or person.
Then expose it to that source in a guided manner. Once your canine friend is over the fear it should stop sitting on your feet.
Tip 2: Don’t Provide Encouragement
As mentioned previously, the behavior can sometimes be learnt. If your dog feels it gets more attention doing this, it’ll continue. The solution, then, is to not give it the attention when it’s sitting on your feet.
Instead, only pay attention to it once it gets off of your feet.
Tip 3: Encouraging Alternate Behavior
Another solution to the problem is positive reinforcement. Instead of denying it attention when it sits on your feet, treat it when sitting elsewhere.
You can do this by sharing a treat, every time it doesn’t sit on your feet. Over time, your dog will associate not sitting on your feet with your approval. This will make it stop.
That’s all from us about the whys of the behavior and the ways to prevent it.
Question: How cold is too cold for dogs?
Answer: Anything lower than 32℉ is too cold for dogs. If your dog is a smaller breed, and/or has shorter hair be extra attentive. These dogs can develop hypothermia more easily. Below 20℉ you must keep your dog warmed.
Question: Can dogs die of hypothermia?
Answer: Yes. Dogs can die of hypothermia. When their body temperature falls below 99° F they’ll develop mild hypothermia. If the hypothermia is not treated, respiratory distress, cardiac arrest, and even death might occur.
Question: Can dogs get heatstroke?
Answer: Yes. Dogs can get heat strokes. Not only that, but it can also prove fatal. When the temperature of the dog’s body rises too high it lowers the temp by panting. If the panting doesn’t do it, there is a possibility of heatstroke.
You don’t need to wonder why my dog sits on my feet. We’ve covered every possible reason for the behavior.
If you have multiple dogs, try giving them all a place close to you. This will prevent any unnecessary competition between the dogs.