Dogs are full of weird behaviors that sometimes lead to a worried owner. However, if you’re asking yourself ‘why does my dog sleep at my feet?’ don’t worry. Although not all of them do it, this is normal behavior.

Reasons Your Dog Sleeps at Your Feet

There are several reasons as to why dogs act this way and we’ll explore all of them.

Primal Instinct

Dogs are distant relatives of wolves, so they reproduce some instinctive behavior of this wild animal.

When your dog sleeps at your feet it means they see you as the leader of the pack. But why there? To protect you from any attack that you can’t defend yourself. Packs usually surround their leader when resting and safeguard the leader’s weakest point.

There are many pure instinctive behaviors, such as licking your feet, so don’t concern yourself too much about it.

Looking for a Comfortable Place

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Pets like resting in a cozy place, so they might just sleep between your legs because it’s the most spacious place of the bed or couch.

Most dogs, as well as cats, like sleeping with their owners, but they need a comfortable place to do so. Due to their size, they can’t sleep on your chest nor beside you, so they choose to sleep at your feet to move more freely and rest at ease.

Separation Anxiety

Certain dogs are very fond of their owners... maybe a bit too much. Separation anxiety is a common issue among this species.

A dog that is too attached to you will try to stop you from leaving them. This doesn’t mean they’ll do it by force, but they’ll definitely seek ways to convince you not to leave. They might stick to you like glue or sleep at your feet.

How do I notice if my dog has separation anxiety? It’s quite easy to spot: your pet will become increasingly anxious when you’re preparing to leave, especially for work. They might attack your door, destroy furniture or bite things while alone.

Emotional Support

Research has proven dogs are quite emotionally intelligent, but we, as owners, don’t need any paper to confirm this: their actions are enough to tell.

Your emotions are fairly easy to see through by your dog, so they will react according to your feelings. If you are sad, sick, or dejected, your dog will get closer to you in order to reassure you. To calm you down, they might lick you or sleep at your feet.

On the same note, if you show you’re cheerful and full of energy, your dog will want you to share your positive emotions with them. Don’t worry if they seem too clingy when you’re happy, they just want to have fun!

Marking Territory

Who said pets don’t feel jealousy? Dogs can tell if you were hanging out with another animal and will immediately mark their scent on you.

Dogs possess a keen sense of smell and can easily recognize you petting other dogs or cats behind their backs. Since they like bluffing about you being their owner, your companion will mark you all over so that other mascots know who the real pet is.

Should you worry about this behavior? No. If their jealousy only results in your dog staying close to you, then it is not toxic behavior at all.

Seeking Warmth

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In cold winter olds, your dog might just want to get a little warmer with you.

Pets don’t like the idea of sleeping too cold. To avoid this, they try to rest in the warmest places of the house, including your bed. You’ll see this behavior quite often during winter and fall.

Taught Behavior

Your dog might have learned to do sleep at your feet because of your teachings.

Owners reacting happily to a dog’s actions is a reinforcer. These reactions might lead your pet to the conclusion they should do this more often because it makes you happier.

Why does my dog sleep at my feet? If you happened to play with your dog or give strokes to them when they were at your feet, you already have your answer. You taught them.

Should I Allow My Dog Sleeping at My Feet?

Although there are many arguments against a dog sleeping with its owner, this bonding event is absolutely safe and non-detrimental. In fact, a study found out that sleeping with our pets is beneficial to us

If your dog is behaving normally and is not causing you any trouble, then just let it be. If it’s not an issue, why think it is?

Keep in mind that your dog loves you a whole lot and they will show how much you mean to them in many ways, such as sleeping at your feet!