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Why Does My Dog Sit on My Feet? A Pooch’s Point of View

Written by Adaptil, published on 22 June 2022

There’s something about my human’s feet that I love! Some of my doggie friends don’t like all that touchy, feely stuff – but I do. What’s more relaxing than both you and your human cosying up together in front of the fire and lying on their feet?

I’m quite a large, mixed breed dog, so sitting on my human’s lap is not going to happen – but it’s not for the want of trying. I used to climb on to their lap when I was a puppy, but now they says I’m too heavy – and anyway, there’s not enough room for me on the chair.  

But that doesn’t mean I can’t get close to them and I do that by sitting on their feet – it’s lovely and makes our bond even stronger.

terrier dog on owners lap

Reasons why dogs sit on their humans’ feet

However, sometimes there can be other reasons why I sit on my human’s feet.

I might be scared or anxious

My human is always aware of how I’m feeling, and they know the signs of stress to look out for –  if I start to pant or drool too much, or I tuck my tail under, my ears are pulled back and I try to hide my head, they know there’s something wrong.  

I like to keep right up close to my human if I’m feeling anxious; it always happens around fireworks celebrations or if there’s thunder and lightning – I just hate all those loud noises. But they know what to do. There's always an ADAPTIL Calm Home Diffuser plugged into my room and that does help a lot, but they also make sure they're with me and reassures me when I need to sit on their feet.

The pooch next door does the same when he visits the vet, or somewhere he’s not certain about; his human uses an ADAPTIL Calm collar for Fred (that’s his name) which makes Fred much more comfortable and calm.

down lying in grass next to owners feet

It’s reassuring

It’s always nice to be close to my human. If I sit on their feet, they will often stroke and make a fuss of me. Sometimes, if they've been out to work all day, I just need that reassurance that they haven't forgotten about me; not that I will let them do that because I always give them a very warm welcome when they come home! I wag my tail and do lots of circling around, just because I’m excited and very pleased to see them! I want to make sure they don't forget me!

I know where they are

Laying on my human’s feet enables me to know where they are and if they move, I can get up and follow them around.

dog with head on owners feet

I get their attention

My human can’t really ignore me if I sit on their feet!  As I said, I’m quite large and I know that they will always talk to me if I flop down on their feet – even if it’s to tell me that I’m too heavy!  But at least I’ve got their attention and they might get down onto the floor with me – I am a dog who loves a good belly rub!

He’s warm and smelly!

When my human takes their shoes or slippers off, their feet are always warm and cosy and they smell lovely! That may sound a bit funny to humans, but dogs love to have the smell of their human close by – it makes us feel reassured and more relaxed. I’ll sometimes run off with their socks because I love them so much! Did you know that some breeds were bred to live as close companions and to keep their humans warm, such as Shih Tzu’s in the Ming dynasties? Cool, eh?

terrier dog sat next to owners feet

I like to support my human

Humans can have bad days too and I can always tell if mine is feeling a bit down in the dumps. So, I try to let them know that I’m always here for them and will give them as much support as I can. I suppose it’s just like my canine friends whose job it is to look after their less-abled humans – they have special training to do that and they are very, very clever.

collie dog lying on owners feet

Not all dogs sit on human feet

I know that not all dogs are the same – just like humans – but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to be close to you. Some of my doggie friends prefer to lie in their comfy bed, or on the fluffy rug next to the fire; as long as they’re in the same room as their human, they’re quite happy. They have lots of other ways of bonding with their humans; they love playtime and their training sessions together which are also great for bonding.

Just a heads up, though! If your pooch suddenly starts sitting on your feet when they haven’t before, try and figure out if anything is disturbing them – could there be fireworks in the distance that they can hear, are they showing any other signs of anxiety? My human has learned to read my body language and knows what to do if I get stressed – are you an expert in deciphering your dog’s body language?

Adaptil Calm Diffuser

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