Why does my dog always have to lie on my feet?

Floss, the collie is a prime example of a foot hugger.  She is at her happiest when tangled up in someone’s feet while relaxing in the evening.  She regularly ‘pins’ somebody’s legs to the floor or worse, attempts to bend a foot the wrong way in her efforts to attach herself to a human companion.

Many of us find this comforting and wouldn’t have it any other way, when settling down with our pooches for the evening, but just why do our four legged companions often insist on lying so close to our feet?  Holidays4Dogs decided to find out why.

Many experts believe that when dogs lie close to their owners it harks back to their pack instincts to stay close together for security, comfort and warmth.

But there could be other things going on and certainly, some dogs are more inclined to want to be closer to their owners, than others.  Fearful and anxious dog may seek to spend more time lying at their owners feet – often dogs that suffer from separation anxiety will seek to be close to their owners at all times.  Dogs that are not allowed on the furniture or on the bed may also be more inclined to seek out closeness by lying at their owner’s feet.

This bears out in Floss the collie who is a sensitive soul and tends to be anxious about lots of things.  She’s the sort of dog who does not favour the company of other dogs and we suspect this is due to her probably coming from a puppy farm, but also partly because collies do tend to be ‘clingy’, ‘needy’ dogs in general who become very attached to their human companions.  Other individual dogs can be much more independent and will happily go and sleep in their own corner, or even in another room.

Sleeping at your feet should certainly not be regarded as bad or unwanted behaviour, but it could be a mild nuisance if your dog is constantly under your feet.  As well as this it may be helpful to your dog to encourage him to feel comfortable being a distance away from you at times, rather than constantly being in an anxious state about his need to be near you.  To help your dog settle happily without being glued to your legs, provide him with a comfy bed and perhaps a kong filled with tasty treats.