Why Does My Dog Like To Sit On My Feet?

There are many reasons why a dog may like to sit on an owner’s feet. It all depends on the dog and the other behaviors they exhibit. What kind of dog is it? Is he a pushy dog? A love bug? A dog that always like to be touching someone? Is this an anxious dog who doesn’t like to let the owner out of their sight? The same behavior can be caused by lots of different things, depending on the particular dog.

If you have a dog that is very dominant, then your dog could like to sit on your feet as a way to assert himself over you. He is physically pinning you down and putting himself in a more powerful position. But this would only be the case if this particular dog does other things that make you believe he is trying to be dominant.

Does your dog need constant reassurance? Are they always looking for love and affection? Do they want to be touching you all the time? In this case, the dog may be sitting on your feet simply as a way to stay in physical touch with you.

Does your dog suffer from separation anxiety? Do they follow you from room to room? Do they go to pieces if they can’t see you? In this case the dog may be trying to reassure himself about your presence. He may be looking for comfort by touching you.

Maybe your dog simply likes to be near you. There doesn’t have to be any particular reason why a dog likes to sit on an owner’s feet. Maybe the dog gets some petting when he does this and he likes it.

Your dog may also like to sit on your feet as a way of “claiming” you. Perhaps he feels that he needs to let your spouse or another dog know that you are “his.” Dogs do display this kind of possessive behavior and can become very jealous of an owner.

This is a good example of the way different behaviors can have lots of different interpretations depending on the particular dog — and the owner.

If you like for your dog to sit on your feet then there is no particular reason to make your dog stop it. If you don’t like the behavior then you can discourage it. Don’t pet your dog when he sits on your feet. You can teach him to do something else that you like better instead. Toss a treat for him and teach him to lie down a few feet away, for example. Make sure that you give him lots of praise for keeping his distance.

If you have a very needy dog then it may take some time to teach this lesson because your dog thrives on being closer to you. Be patient.

If your dog is being jealous of you and showing possessive or guarding behavior then you do need to do something about it. Your dog looks upon you as a “resource” and he is guarding you just as he would a bone or a bowl of food. You should let him know that this is not appropriate behavior. If this is the case, then when he sits on your feet to claim you, you should get up and move. Let him know, in subtle ways, that you are not exclusively his. If you let him guard you then it will eventually make life difficult with a spouse or with other pets in the household, or even with children.

Do you have a dog that exhibits this behavior? What have you done to eliminate it?

Until next time…..


  1. Sunshine says

    I have a 2-year-old American Bulldog who does this “feet sitting.” He has gotten worse with it since I have introduced a year and a half old female Pit Bull into our home. They get along fine, but when it comes to me, he “body blocks” her, comes between she and I when I pet her, and even sits on my feet or stands on them to prevent her from coming by me. I curb the behavior by assuring him that he is not being replaced but only being given a playmate. He still gets all of my love, sleeps in my room and surrounds himself with me.

  2. Lisa says

    my dog does a different version of this. she sits on others feet as soon as they walk into our house. then looks up at me like she is waiting for something. she does not want them to leave the entry way. she never gets mean or growls. ever. she is actually very sensitive so we have to be careful house we correct her because she gets very sad she will put her tail between her leg and sulk away like we are beating her. she is just very sensitive. I’m not sure if I should be correcting this or if it’s ok to just let it go. she is a 15 lbs pug

  3. Johni says

    My 1year old Chihuahua/Pomeranian mix, sits on anyones feet who will let him. He will just sit there and watch tv or whatever. He doesn’t seem to mind if our other dog comes near or sits close. He just likes to be loved and feel needed. Such a sweet boy!!!

  4. Randi says

    My Yorkshire Terrier sits on my feet all of the time as I work at my desk. When she was little she used to hold a toy in her mouth and sit on my feet to let me know she wanted to play, now she just does it all of the time. Sometimes another Yorkie sits under there with her, but only Willow sits on my feet.

    I would never try to eliminate her behavior. It’s adorable and absolutely harmless :)

  5. Wendy T says

    We have a 1 year old cane corso anyone have experience with training them? Or Advice in training them. Some people have advised training with a more positive approach, ie praise and treats. Others say you have to be more heavy handed with them. Help!!?

  6. Wayne Booth the Dog Training BloggerWayne Booth the Dog Training Blogger says

    Wendy, I sure wish that you had started the training much earlier. Keep in mind that it is just like other dogs so training is not really different. You need to find a trainer that has experience working with this type of dog so that they are able to give you good advice on what to watch for.

    If you need more help take a look at my website and give me a call. http://www.CanineBehaviorSpecialists.com

  7. chris says

    My labrador huskey sits on my feet when I get in from work. I give her a cuddle and she so ps doing it?. How do I stop her pulling on the lead she is 6 and a half months old.

    • Wayne Booth the Dog Training BloggerWayne Booth the Dog Training Blogger says

      That’s an easy fix Patricia with some training. We have a program that can help . Let me know if you are interested.

  8. Elise says

    I have a one year old staffy x kelpie. I had to bring her home when she was too young as living conditions for her were horrible. She has become very attached and will follow me from room to room. She will not let me interact with other dogs and becomes jealous. She will come between me and my cat. She constantly sits on my feet so I’m not sure if it’s a claiming thing or a reassurance thing. She will also sit on my mum, dad and brothers feet.

  9. julissa says

    I have a 7 month old American gully (pit bull) . He sits on my feet as well,also follows me through out my entire house. He isn’t aggressive at all seems to me he just wants to be by my side all the time. If he isn’t on my feet he is laying down somewhere next to me.

  10. Stephanie says

    My Labrador didn’t sit on my feet, but he’d lay his head on my right foot! I’d had surgery on it and a few years later was still having occasional pain. The warmth from his fur would help ease the pain.

  11. says

    My likkle doggy Pip is very very noise sensitive how can we help her please
    She gets so frightened. We had pizza last night and when my hubby opened his box on his lap she jumped back and kept her distance tail well down.

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