Facts about the animal kingdom

Why Do Dogs Sleep at Your Feet?

Josie F. Turner
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: July 10, 2018
Why Do Dogs Sleep at Your Feet?

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Although you've spent a good deal of money and time looking for the best and most comfortable bed for your dog, they insist on falling asleep at your feet. Any chance your dog sees, even if you're standing, they will take advantage of it. This is a very amusing and sweet habit, but why does it happen?

Dogs are expected to be very affectionate and faithful animals. They always want to be by your side and will find any way to prove it to you. Over the years, these creatures have filled the hearts of humans with unconditional affection and companionship. We know that our pets will always be there, present with their endearing looks and canine empathy.

If you want to know a little more about the life of our best friends, continue reading this AnimalWised article as we answer: why do dogs sleep at your feet?

You may also be interested in: Why Do Dogs Sit on Your Feet?
  1. They love being close to you
  2. For love. Not just comfort.
  3. My dog sleeps on my feet and I want it to stop

They love being close to you

It's very simple. Dogs love to sleep with their herd and the more tight they are the better. If you take your dog home, give them a good life and a lot of love, they will consider you their family. Furthermore, they consider you the leader of the herd, so will seek to sleep the closest to you. Bear this in mind if you wonder why does your dog lay at your feet.

Dogs would be willing, as often as necessary, to show their loyalty simply by being present. Instinctively sleeping at our feet, for them, is a demonstration of mutual protection. They feel that you are caring for them and at the same time they are taking care of you, as if you are a team in a battle. This is a very common trend in dogs and is totally normal. What happens is that our dogs do not mind if they are in a quite uncomfortable position, as long as they are as close to you as possible. My dog sleeps on my feet because he knows he's mine. He's my companion and laying there proves it.

Dogs love to sleep. If it were up to them, they would sleep all day and better still if they can do it at the feet of their human friend. Sleeping for them is just as enjoyable as going out for walks. Our pets could sleep for hours. However, dogs are not overly demanding as far as location is concerned. They could perfectly ignore and give up that expensive and comfortable bed - if your feet are free and you let them sleep on them, they are ecstatic.

Why Do Dogs Sleep at Your Feet? - They love being close to you

For love. Not just comfort.

Why do dogs like to sleep at your feet? It's not just for comfort or loyalty. It's because they love you. If you're a decent guardian who takes care of their canine charge, you will not be able to avoid it. If you find it a bit uncomfortable, you'd better find a way to get used to it. A dog laying at your feet is a dog in its natural predisposition that comes from generation to generation. It's part of the essence of being a dog. We could say that it is inside the DNA of our canine friends.

As mentioned earlier, dogs sleeping on a person's feet may not be the most appropriate place for a refreshing nap. However, it is not a habit that endangers the health of the owner or the dog. Your pet will not care if their sleep is interrupted by your movements, by discomfort or even a certain pain in their muscles after a long stay in a compromising position. Remember, you are their favorite person, the one they need to protect at all times.

Why Do Dogs Sleep at Your Feet? - For love. Not just comfort.

My dog sleeps on my feet and I want it to stop

As much as we love our dogs and we want to cater to their every whim, we live with our pets as a family. Some people think having a dog means you invite a little dictator into your home. This shouldn't be the case. You and your dog live together and you both have certain needs. Some people may have a dog lay at their feet when they sleep, but it's not feasible to maintain. They have to get up for work and a sleeping dog might disturb their sleep. The size of sleeping dog might be a factor as well.

If you dog lays on your feet and you need it to stop, then just make sure you use positive reinforcement. This means rewarding them when they sleep in their own bed and training them to sleep elsewhere. It doesn't mean kicking them out or shouting at them to get off the duvet. This can cause serious stress issues for your dog It is also likely to affect the bond dog and tutor share.

As with all obedience issues, you need to ensure they are supported and encouraged, not stressed and confused. If your dog sleeps at your feet and you want it to stop, then you have to have patience and give reassurance. This article on obedience training for dogs will help encourage your dog in the right way.

If you found this article useful you may be interested in is it bad to sleep with my dog? and why does my cat sleep on my feet?

If you want to read similar articles to Why Do Dogs Sleep at Your Feet?, we recommend you visit our Facts about the animal kingdom category.

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1 comment
Dog sleeps ON your feet: Means your dog NEEDS your attention NOW. Every time my dog laid ON my feet, something was wrong with my dog. Pain, very uncomfortable, high temp, etc. VET TIME - and NOW! After hours, call the emergency vet and GO. My dog NEVER did this just because. No "cry wolf." She did it 4 times in our 18 years together and EVERY time something was wrong. Why ON your feet? Hard to do most anything without moving your feet without noticing your dog is on them. TRUST YOUR DOG. THEY'RE TELLING YOU SOMETHING!
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Gary,

Thank you for sharing your experience. We are glad to hear that you and your dog had such a close relationship. You seemed to have developed a method of communication which has worked for you and we are glad you were able to respond accordingly. However, your experience is one which seems exceptional. A dog may sleep at your feet because they want your attention, but the vast majority are not doing it because they are unwell or in pain. Most dogs will simply want to be close to you. Very healthy and happy dogs will sleep on their guardian's feet because they want to show their appreciation.
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Why Do Dogs Sleep at Your Feet?