10 Reasons Why do Dogs Lay on Your Feet?


You may experience many times when your dog doesn’t want to leave your side but do you think why do dogs lay on your feet? You might see them sitting by your feet, pawing at you, or maybe talking to you.

Those moments when they are laying at your feet are just another of their adorable behaviours, aren’t they? It’s easy to forget that most of the things our pets do have instinctual reasons, even on those cozy nights with them right by our side.

They show us their loyalty in so many ways throughout the day. They often convey their feelings through their actions, and have a deeply rooted reason that goes back to the wild dog.

What does it mean when our pups insist on sitting at our feet? In this article, we will explain eight reasons for this behaviour, and show you how your pet feels when he or she cuddles at your feet!

Reasons Why Dogs Lay on your Legs

There are many reasons of dog lying but we mention below only the most common reasons.

What makes dogs adore your feet?

There are many reasons why your dog may like to lay at your feet depending on how affectionate or natural they are.

Some people think that only friendliest dog breeds do this but this is usually due to comfort and a need to be with other pack members. Here are some things to consider if your dog is following you around the house and keeping your feet company.


Despite the difficulty of thinking of our pups as “pack animals”, they still have these instinctual traits ingrained in them. We still have dogs that have never been in the wild, even 10-pound chihuahuas.

Therefore, they will still exhibit some of the behaviours of wild, pack animals. It is common in the wild for dogs to travel in packs.

During the time their pack stops for rest, the leader will choose a place to lay down, while the rest will huddle together for shelter and warmth.

Feel like you are living in a wild simulation right in your own home. Your role is to lead your pack at home. They may have been conditioned to sit and lay at your feet from birth.

Once you’ve found your comfortable spot, they must lay at your feet, since you are the alpha. In other words, they want to show you how much they respect you as the leader of the pack. As a sign of respect and devotion, this could be their own special way of showing it.

Is this a safe way for them?


Why do dogs lay on your feet? We are basically their super heroes since we are their pack leader. We trust them to be taken care of, and they have faith that we will protect them if necessary.

Remember when you were a child and you entered a crowded room with someone you trusted. You probably leaned toward your trusted guardian, and tried to stay in their sight at all times.

When they are feeling uneasy, our pups have the same attitude. They will most likely cling to your feet when they feel frightened in a situation, and seek protection from you.

You are the pack leader and they look to you for guidance. Laying on your feet is the action performed by the dogs even when they are sick.

You may noticed your puppy has diarrhea but still playful with this action. Canines are prone to this behaviour when they are in a new situation, but submissive pups are also prone to it on a regular basis.

When a pup is sleeping, it can be vulnerable. It may seem that a sleeping dog is unaware of its surroundings when they are sleeping. Wild dogs are at their most vulnerable during this time, as they are defenceless against possible threats.

They may not be wild dogs, but our spoiled canines do prefer a safe haven. Feeling your touch while lying at your feet can bring them the comfort they need to fall asleep. This is why do dogs sleep at your feet.

What is this behaviour? Is it territorial?

Why do dogs lay on your feet? Is it territorial? Pets see us the same way, just as we see them. Your dog will often feel the need to guard his territories, and keep other dogs away from him, since you are such an awesome pack leader.

You will often find your furry friend sitting right next to you when you’re out in public. The way they do this is to show how you are their pack leader and how everyone else needs to stay away from you! They do this so that they can keep you all to themselves, because our pets are extremely loyal to us.

The pups are complimenting you on how awesome of a pack leader you are, and how no other pup can claim you. This is okay when the action is unaccompanied by aggression, but can be scary at other times.

They may consider hurting anyone who comes too close to their owners if they become too attached. There are not all people who enter our space dangerously, so if your dog becomes aggressive around you, you might want to talk to a trainer about how to stop this behaviour.

A Show of Dominance


When you first meet a new dog, do you instantly feel special because it jumps up into your lap? It may have been just a very happy surprise to see you.

But, it’s also possible that they are signalling that you are now under their command. Why does my dog sit on my feet? Dogs feel more powerful and in control when they sit on people.

Why do dogs lay on your feet? It is a passive way for them to assert their dominance over you, or other pets, by sitting on you or your feet.

These behaviours are common among puppies when their owners have just brought them home. We can never be sure if our furry companions are just eager to sit in our laps or if they are trying to prove who is boss.

You should assess your dog’s overall behaviour in this case. You should consider whether this is another way for them to show dominance in your home.

Guarding the “Pack”


As much as our puppies look to us for protection, they will often feel inclined to protect us. It is very important for them to protect you whenever possible, because you belong to their pack.

Why do dogs lay on your feet? We love our companions so much, they are so protective of us, and they sit at our feet to keep us safe from harm.

The majority of the time, our dogs will give us their all despite no real danger being present. We find it so endearing that our dogs give their all for us, but if this is accompanied with any aggression, it can create a problem.

It may be necessary to consider hiring a trainer if your dog takes “guarding their pack” too far. A trainer can help prevent your dog from getting into unnecessary trouble. Even our dogs sometimes put themselves into dangerous situations because they love us!

Are they doing this because they love us?


Putting aside all other behavioural reasons, sometimes it’s just because our dogs love us so much. There are times when our pups just want to sit by our feet or lay near us as a sign of admiration.

The entire world of our furry family member is us. They just want to cuddle when we’re all to themselves! Pets can also sense our moods very well.

Because they live with us on a daily basis, they become familiar with our movements and our emotions. They can tell if we feel off if we feel off.

When you experience a breakdown, does your pup show concern for you? They become consumed by your actions, which is visible in their body language. At a time when you are feeling low, your doggy may just be trying to give you a big hug by sitting at your feet.

Are they looking for warmth?


Sometimes, especially during the colder seasons, our fluffy companions are just trying to keep themselves warm by cuddling with you.

Huddling with friends on a cold winter day sounds more inviting than standing alone, doesn’t it? That’s exactly what your dog does when it’s cold.

It also relates to their old pick behaviour, where they cuddled around their “alpha” for warmth. Warmth is more important to some dogs than to others.

It is especially true for small dogs such as chihuahuas, shih tzus, and other similar breeds. So this is why do dogs lay on your feet? Their warm comfort comes from cuddling close to you. They see you as their personal heated blanket.

What they want to know is where you are

Humans and dogs have become increasingly intertwined over time. Dogs have been shown to exhibit a similar bonding phenomenon when they are bonding with their owners, called the “secure base effect”. Like children, dogs seek our company in order to feel safe.

Laying on top of your feet gives them the advantage of being the first to know when you change positions or leave the room.

It can be comforting to a devoted companion to know that he or she is always aware of the location of the person they love. Their need to feel safe is also tied to this habit, as is their desire to protect you.

Is this habit acceptable?

Generally, your pet will not be bothered by this habit. Pets love to show affection to us by sitting or lying close to us. During this time, we show our affection by giving them a loving pat in return.

For the question why do dogs lay on your feet? A few methods can be used to stop your dog from running under your feet all the time, or if your pup shows signs of aggression.

In the first place, you should try your best to never reward your pet when he or she is performing these actions. In essence, we are telling them that we enjoy what they are doing when we pet them as they lie at our feet.

As opposed to petting them, try encouraging them to move into their bed instead of letting them when they are at your feet. So your dog won’t sit on top of you, you can keep the bed nearby, but not on top.

Whenever possible, try to offer positive reinforcement when they use their bed, or choose to sit next to you rather than on your feet. You can encourage them to follow these rules by rewarding them with a tasty treat or praise when they do.

It may not always be easy to solve a problem involving an aggressive furry friend. Our recommendation is to work with a trainer in these situations so you can be sure your dog is getting everything he needs from an expert.


This is a charming action in general. Our pups might very well show us how much they love us by sitting on top of our feet if there was a way for them to do so. The way they lay on us tells us how well we are leading them.

It is completely normal for our dogs to do this as a way to let us know that they care about us, as long as there are no undesirable actions associated with it.

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Luke Grayson
By Luke Grayson

I'm Luke Grayson co founder of The Dogs Wiki and dog lover person. Plays the role of content writing and keyword selection with proper research.

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