Imagine you've just found the most comfortable pet bed you've ever seen, and you're excited to see your dog's reaction. However, instead of using the new expensive bed, your dog just curls up at your feet. But why does this happen, why do dogs lay on your feet?
Just like humans, dogs communicate with each other in various ways. They naturally communicate through both their behavior and body language.
But unlike us, your dog doesn't share the mental filters between thought and action as we do. So it can sometimes become difficult to tell what they are thinking.
However, dogs and humans have developed ways of communicating with one another without saying a word. During training, we may use vocal commands, but our physical reactions mean just as much, if not more.
So our dogs rely on body posture, position, and eye contact to let us know how they feel.
Every action they make tells a story. And if your dog lays at your feet, they are likely showing submission as they would in a wild pack.
Our canine friends are social animals, which means that they are born with an inherited sense of pack mentality.
Each member of a pack has its own place in a defined social order. And every pack consists of a leader, known as the alpha. The alpha's job is to assert dominance, protect, and care for the rest.
The understanding between owners and their dogs centers on you assuming the role of the pack alpha.
As the pack leader, your dog looks up to you for support, leadership, and safety. That's why dogs typically run to their owners if they feel threatened. They depend on their alpha owners to protect them.
So when questioning why do dogs lay on your feet, it could be because they are looking for pack safety.
Other than being pack animals. Dogs are territorial by nature. That means that they have the instinct to defend, protect, and provide for what belongs to them.
We often use the term when we refer to a dangerous or aggressive dog. But that isn't always the case. When your dog is territorial, it doesn't mean they have to be aggressive.
Territorial dogs are not always trying to dominate or control. They are just embracing what belongs to them. And in the case of why do dogs lay on your feet, what they're territorial over is you!
Essentially, this kind of behavior is telling others that you're their leader.
Yes, even if your dog sees you as the alpha of the pack, you still belong to them just as they take pride in showing that they belong to you.
And with the territory comes the instinct to protect it.
Protectiveness comes from a dog’s instinct to watch over something important to them.
You might be the alpha in their eyes. But you're their owner, and it's up to them to guard and protect you.
So when looking at the question of why do dogs lay on your feet, it might be that simple. Your dog may sit on your feet to keep you from harm, putting themselves between you and any possible threats.
Your dog will also feel more secure knowing that you're safe.
Even when there is no actual danger, your dog will naturally try to provide the protection they think you need. That's why this type of guarding behavior might be more apparent for dogs with elderly, younger, or even sick owners.
Research shows that some dogs can tell when their owners are sick.
Not only can your pet tell when you're not feeling well. But dogs have shown an aptitude for detecting a vast number of severe health conditions.
When you're infected with a virus or bacteria, your dog is sensitive to the change in your smell. Dogs are also able to detect the changes in the early stages of illness before the person even feels sick.
Beyond smell, dogs can tell change from a person’s voice. They can decipher emotional cues in the tone, beyond what they hear from everyday words.
Whether your dog is aware that the changes mean your sick isn't certain. But it does create an increased worry that something could be seriously wrong. And staying close, like laying at your feet, is a good way for your dog to show their concern.
Love and Affection
Of course, when your dog wants to be close, it's not always for a defined reason. Your dog may sit or sleep at your feet simply as a way to show their affection.
Dogs are very similar to humans. When they care for someone, your dog will want to stay close to you. They'll do anything to feel your touch and hear your breathing.
And if you've been away all day, they may lay at your feet to show how much they've missed you. It may also be a way for them to show that they never want you to leave again.
Dogs have a strong ability to pick up on your emotions. They will often show signs of affection to comfort you when you're stressed or feeling upset.
Why Do Dogs Lay
On Your Feet Again?
This behavior is perfectly normal!
We all need to feel that we belong to something and somebody. And as a social animal, your dog is no different. Your dog loves you. And, in the end, laying at your feet is just another way they can show you how much they care.
Why does your dog lay at your feet? Let us know in the comments section below!