The Root of the Behavior
If your dog sits on your feet while you are at home, it’s most likely because he wants your attention. Observe what is happening at the moment your dog sits on your feet. Does it happen every time you do the dishes? Your dog might be a bit jealous that you are giving those dirty dishes more attention than him. You can’t let the dishes stack up and attract roaches but you can give your dog attention immediately after finishing the dishes. Dogs often sit at their owner’s feet to guard them even though there isn’t any danger around to protect you from. This situation often happens in public places. Your dog sees strangers or the environment as a potential danger and attempts to protect you by guarding you. This is usually a surprising behavior at first until you realize it is just your dog protecting you from those pesky people walking around.
Pet parents that travel or are away from home for long periods of time will often experience their dog sitting on their feet when they arrive home. Dogs remember their owners and miss them while they are gone. This often causes separation anxiety. Once your dog realizes you are home, he tries to keep you all to himself by sitting on your feet to prevent you from leaving again. This is your dog’s way of showing you he loves and misses you. Have you ever been at the dog park or somewhere around other dogs and your dog sits on your feet? This is your dog trying to mark his territory. Generally, dogs mark their territory with their urine, but luckily for you this type of marking doesn’t involve urine. Sitting on your feet is your dog’s way of telling all the other dogs in the area that you are their pet parent and they can’t have you. Basically, it’s your dog’s way of saying he doesn’t want to share you with any other dogs and wants you all to himself.
Encouraging the Behavior
As a pet parent, you don’t need to encourage this behavior. It’s a natural way your dog communicates with you and the world around both of you. He might want your attention or is trying to protect you from harm, or he might just be keeping you all to himself so he doesn’t have to share you with any other dogs or people. This is normal and common behavior that is harmless, and quite cute. There are times when some dogs take this behavior to a new level and sit on their owner’s feet excessively. This is rare, but it does happen.
If your dog is constantly sitting on your feet you need to determine the cause of the action. There is always an emotional reason attached to the behavior. You can find the reason why your dog sits on your feet by observing your dog’s behavior and writing it down in a notebook. You want to do this for at least two days or up to one week. Once you have enough notes written down, you can determine the reoccurring reason that caused the behavior. Is your dog trying to get your attention? Finding the reasoning behind the behavior is essential to lessening or stopping the behavior.
Other Solutions and Considerations
Dogs that sit on their owner’s feet excessively are trying to tell their pet parent something important. They might want more love and attention. This can be easily remedied with some extra play time with your dog. Schedule more bonding time with your dog such as more walks or games of playing fetch. Sometimes giving your dog attention is as simple as inviting him onto the sofa while you watch a movie and pet him. Treating the cause of the behavior will prevent your dog from repeating the behavior excessively. If you are unable to treat the cause, seek the assistance of a professional dog trainer.
If your dog continues the behavior after sessions with a professional dog trainer, you should visit the veterinarian to rule out any health issues. Otherwise, this behavior may just be normal and common. It could be your dog’s way of communicating with you and strengthening your bond. As soon as you learn the reasons behind the behavior, it will help you communicate with your dog on a new level.