Why Does My Dog Sleep at My Feet Featured Image

If you're a long-time dog owner, a thought might have run into your head, “Why does my dog sleep at my feet?”

Thousands of years ago, before dogs were even domesticated, these animals lived in the wild and were forced to find a safe space to sleep every night.

But nowadays, domesticated dogs don't need to hunt for food or find a safe space to sleep.

In this day and age, dogs love to sleep on the couch, on their bed, and sometimes, beside their owner's feet.

So why do dogs do this? Should I be worried?

Generally, when dogs stay beside you or sleep at your feet is normal dog behavior.

The simplest answer is that dogs do this as an instinctive pack behavior. For Fido, you are their pack, and that's why they want to be close to you.

This blog discusses why your dog sleeps at your feet.

Without further ado, let's get right into it!


Why Does My Dog Sleep at My Feet? 

When a dog sleeps, it's often the most vulnerable time for them because their awareness of their surroundings is low.

There are numerous reasons why dogs sleep on your feet. Below, we'll discuss the most common reasons why.

Dog Pack Instinct

Even if you own just one dog and have never been part of a pack of dogs, it will still have pack behavior instincts.

Dogs still often instinctively behave as if they are in a pack.

There might be many reasons why dogs sleep on our feet, but one of the most common and simplest reasons is their pack instincts.

Dogs have a natural feel for staying close to their alpha.

For instance, if you've seen a pack of dogs resting, you'll see the alpha in a prime position with a good view of the environment.

But in your house, you are the pack leader. That's why your dog tends to stay close to you.

Seeking comfort or safety

Another possible reason your dog lies beside your feet is that they seek comfort or protection.

Sometimes, our dogs might feel stressed or scared, and during these times, our dogs will seek relief and safety, and where will they find it?

Close to us, of course.

They might also feel nervous when there's a stranger around or when there's an unusual smell.

For instance, if your dog fears thunderstorms, they might feel scared and anxious. This is when they'll seek safety from you as they see you as their protector.

Sitting at your feet makes them feel secure, so they'll be able to feel relaxed.

Marking Their Territory

Dogs also stay on their owner's feet to mark their territory.

Humans might see dogs as a possession, but dogs probably see their owners as belongings as well.

You are their human, and they don't necessarily want to share you with other pets.

Properly socializing your dog at a young age can help them learn to share you with other pets in your home and not be aggressive or overly territorial.

If you own a cat, you might notice that when your cat jumps onto your lap, your dog will run toward you to remind other pets in the house about your bond with him.

This territorial behavior is nothing to be worried about unless aggression or negative behaviors are shown.

Why Does My Dog Sleep at My Feet

Your Dog is Cold

When winter comes (no, this is not Game of Thrones), temperatures will drop. Notice your pup, who might also seek warmth when sleeping at your feet.

They can get warmth from your feet through body heat.

They will try to get as close to you as possible when they are cold. They would want to get as much skin contact as possible.

If your dog is cold, there are plenty of ways to keep your dog warm.

They are protecting you

Sometimes dogs sleep at your feet because they sense threats and want to protect you.

This can happen when there's a new person in your house. For instance, if you've invited a friend to sleep over or your cousins are visiting.

However, it would be best if you were careful. Some dogs tend to get aggressive when they feel like there's a potential threat.

Socialize and train your pup to adjust quickly to different people, environments, and other pets.

Showing love to you

If your dog sleeps at your feet, this can also mean that they are showing love to you. A lot of dogs love to cuddle and snuggle with their humans.

Dogs also show love by jumping on you when excited or lick you.

They think you need them

Dogs can sense how we feel. They know if we feel sad, happy, anxious, or scared.

If they've picked up that we're feeling a bit down, they'll probably do their best to help us.

Their way of helping us is by being present and giving us affection.

They can cuddle you up, or rest on your feet, reminding you they are here with you.

Pets are truly wonderful creatures. Sometimes we wonder if we truly deserve them.

They are loving and caring and can sometimes be comedic, making us happy and smile even on our worst days.

why do dogs sleep at your feet

Should You Let Your Dog Sit At Your Feet?

Even though there are plenty of reasons why your dog is sitting or sleeping at your feet, this behavior is something you shouldn't worry about.

The only exception would be if the motivation is due to stress or anxiety.

When dogs sleep at your feet, their instincts usually kick in.

This behavior can also strengthen your bond. It's also a great way to show affection and attention to your pup, as he deserves all cuddles and scratches in the world.

However, if your pup doesn't usually do this behavior, it can be because they feel a sudden scare.

As pet owners, we must know the root of this, whether or not it is a health concern.

How to Stop Your Dog from Sitting or Sleeping at Your Feet

If you've decided you want to stop this behavior, we can give you tips on how to do so.

Some pet owners don't want their dogs to sleep at their feet because it can make their sleeping posture uneasy or weird.

To discourage this, you should never give them any reward once they display this kind of behavior.

Rewards don't necessarily mean food or treats.

A little scratch on their head can be a form of reward, and you must try your best to avoid giving them pets if you want to stop this behavior.

How to Create a Comfortable Space for Your Dog to Sleep

It would also help to have a designated place for your pup. A small room or his favorite bed where Fido can feel warm and safe.

Bring their bed next to yours if you still want them to sleep close to you while not sleeping at your feet.

Place some treats into their bed, and don't forget to add your dog's favorite toys, blankets, or scents.

If your dog is sleeping at your feet because he is scared, you can help them by giving him some clothes with your scent.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you know if your dog loves you?

Have you ever wondered if your dog really likes you? Or loves you?

A few signs that your dog loves you are:

  • The dog is happy to see you
  • The dog gives you presents
  • The dog likes to sleep close to you
  • The dog follows you everywhere

Do dogs feel safe when they sleep with you?

Dogs generally love to be around their people, and most dogs feel safe, loved, and warm when they share a bed with their humans.

Being close to their person also helps reduce stress from loud noises such as thunders or fireworks.

Why does my dog follow me everywhere?

Your dog follows you everywhere you go because they trust you.

It means that they love you and they feel safe around you.

why do dogs sleep at your feet

Why Does My Dog Sleep at My Feet: Before You Go…

Have you ever wondered, “Why does my dog sleep at my feet?”

Well, there are plenty of reasons why your dog does this behavior.

But don't worry! Most of these are nothing to be worried about.

A few simple reasons why dogs do this is that they are cold or it's out of their natural pack instincts.

Unfortunately, it can also mean they seek comfort or safety from you. They might be feeling anxious because of loud noises.

On the other hand, dogs sleeping at your feet can also be their way of showing their love and affection for you.

After all, dogs will depend on their human for basic needs such as food and a safe space to sleep in.


Toby loves spending time with his dog and two cats. They are the best stress reliever and affectionate pets, especially his Belgian Malinois, Shawie. Shawie's favorite activity is running or jogging. But their go-to spot is to chill and swim around a nearby river.