If your dog has been laying at your feet a lot, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you seven common reasons why dogs do it and what you can do to get it to stop.
So, why does my dog lay on my feet? Possible reasons why your dog lays on your feet are separation anxiety, affection, waiting for something, or having learned that the behavior is rewarded.
Your dog might actually be doing it for a number of different reasons and it might be due to a combination of them. However, there are some things you can consider when figuring out the main causes and there are many things you can do about them.
Reasons why your dog lays at your feet
Below are a number of possible reasons why your dog has been doing it and what would make each of them more likely.
The cause could be that it has some separation anxiety and it wants to be alerted when you are leaving. This would be more likely if your dog tends to lay at your feet more at around the same time that you would normally leave home. It would also be more likely if it tends to show signs of being anxious when you are leaving by doing things such as pacing or crying.
Another possible reason why it does it could be that it finds it comfortable. This would be more likely if it chooses to sleep there instead of in its bed, if it rests its head on you or leans on you and if it does not seem to show any abnormal behavior.
Encouraging the behavior
The cause could also be that it has learned that the behavior gets rewarded. If you tend to give it things such as belly rubs or extra attention, when it lays at your feet, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.
It could just be the case that it is being affectionate. This would be more likely if it wants to sleep when it does it and if it does not try to get you to do anything or to give it anything.
It’s waiting for something
The cause could also be that it is waiting to get something from you. This would be more likely if it tends to do it more at around the same time that you would normally give it something such as food or a walk.
Most dog breeds were bred to work alongside their owners and feel more secure when they are in a group. Laying at your feet could be helping it to feel safer since it will make it feel like it is in a group and less vulnerable.
It’s being protective
The reason why it does it might be that it is being protective. This would be more likely if it also becomes protective when you are around other people or animals. It would also be more likely if it tends to do it when there are other people around.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.
What else happened when it first started doing it
If your dog did not always lay on your feet, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it. If it started doing it suddenly, it could be due to things such as learning that the behavior is rewarded or anxiety.
What is different when your dog lays on your feet
If there is a certain time that it tends to do it, it would also help to consider what is different about the timing. For example, if it does it before being fed, it might be waiting to see when it will be fed. Whereas, if it does it before you normally leave home, it might be doing it so that it is woken up when you leave home.
What to do about your dog laying on your feet
Below are some options you have when dealing with the behavior.
Avoid encouraging it
As mentioned above, it might be the case that it has learned that it gets things that it wants when it lays on your feet. Instead, it would help to reward it when it lays down where you want it to and to avoid giving it things such as extra attention when it tries to lay on your feet.
Limit reasons why it might be anxious
As mentioned above, it could be doing it because it has some separation anxiety. It would help to try to reduce how anxious it gets by giving it exercise, letting it pee and feeding it before leaving so that it does not have to wait so long.
Give it another place to lay down
It would also help to encourage it to sleep or lay where you want it to by making the area comfortable. It should be cool, not too bright at night, quiet and there should be space for it to lie down.