For anyone who owns a dog, you’ll know that there’s nothing more comforting than a pup sat at your feet.
Whether you’re relaxing on the sofa at home, or sitting quietly in the pub, there’s nothing quite like a furry friend sprawled out beneath you, keeping your tootsies warm.
And if you stay still long enough, you can bet they’ll settle down for a kip and keep you trapped there for hours!
But why exactly do they do it? And are our feet really more comfy than a dog bed?
Why Dogs Sit On Your Feet
They are a multitude of reasons why your canine constantly comes to rest at your toes, and luckily for you, they’re all bound to make you love your pooch even more!
In the wild, dogs congregate together in packs and so that group mentality is still deeply ingrained in every canine’s DNA. So despite your pup being about as wild as a house cat, their natural instincts are still to guard the leader of the pack at all times. And guess what? The leader of their pack is you!
Dogs that travel in packs must work together to survive and they often huddle together for warmth when sleeping, hence why your dog likes to rest alongside you. There is also a theory that when puppies, dogs learn to sleep at the tail of their mothers. This allows them to avoid being squashed and injured by their mother rolling over. So when a dog sits at your feet, they are merely exhibiting this learned behaviour!
Regardless of whether someone is out to get you or not, canines always want to protect their owners from any potential threats. So by perching on your trotters, they’re putting themselves between you and any aggressors.
Try not to freak out though, as there’s rarely any actual danger present in your own living room!
We humans exude a lot of heat through our tootsies, and so that makes them the perfect little radiator for shivering pups. To keep themselves toasty, dogs will often warm themselves up by resting at your feet, especially if they are a smaller, lapdog style breed.
These breeds get colder a lot quicker and often feel compelled to try and share an owner’s heat.
Love & Affection
I mean… are you really that surprised!?
Dogs are one of the world’s most loving creatures, and a mutt that sleeps, rests or sits at your feet is merely trying to say they love you!
Pups constantly want to basque in your essence, and so if you’ve been out all day, their foot fetish might simply be their way of saying they’ve missed you and want to stay by your side. Dogs are also incredibly intelligent animals and so if they are able to read that you are sad or stressed, this behaviour could be a sign they are trying to comfort and calm you.
So next time a pup annoyingly parks itself on your ankles, remember that it comes from a place of pure love!
While it might seem like this unusual game of footsie is a way for your mutt to safeguard you, remember that you are still the leader of their pack. This means that if they ever feel anxious or insecure, they are conversely going to come to you for protection and safety.
It’s an especially common trait amongst submissive and nervous canines who are easily spooked by loud noises, new people and any other upsetting changes in their environment.
Sitting by your feet can help alleviate this anxiety, as they will likely feel safer and more secure by your side.
Making Their Claim
We humans may consider ourselves the ‘owners’ of our dogs, but you may be surprised to learn that mutts feel exactly the same way about us.
When sitting at your feet, dogs are actually often staking their claim over you and letting everyone and their mother know that you are their property! You may particularly notice this behaviour in public spaces, as it often acts as a warning to other humans and dogs to back away from your pack!
In summary, dogs sit at your feet to bring protection and affection in equal measure.
You should, therefore, see the action as one of your pup’s highest displays of gratitude and an opportunity for you to bond together!
Because it turns out they just have a big old case of puppy love!