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Dog Behavior: 5 Reasons Why Dogs Sit On Feet

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There are many reasons dogs sit on feet. Is he pushy? A love bug? An anxious dog who doesn’t like to let his owner out of his sight?  Let’s look at some common reasons our dogs sit on feet:

Reasons Dogs Sit On Feet

Dominance

If you have a very dominant dog, he may 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. This would be the case if the dog does other things that make you believe he is trying to be dominant.

Reassurance

Does your dog need constant reassurance? Is he always looking for love and affection? Does he 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.

Separation Anxiety

Does your dog suffer from separation anxiety, following you from room to room? Is he upset if he 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.

Attention

Maybe your dog simply likes to be near you. He’s figured out he gets some petting when he does this and he likes it.

Claiming You

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 displaying this possessive behavior can become very jealous of an owner.

Changing The Behavior

Discourage Unwanted Behavior

If you don’t like the behavior then discourage it. Don’t pet your dog when he sits on your feet. 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 is guarding you as he would a bone or a bowl of food. Let him know that this is not appropriate behavior.

When he sits on your feet to claim you, 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, roommate, with other pets in the household, or even with children. Be consistent, otherwise your dog will be confused and not know what you expect from him.

Praise him when he exhibits the behavior you’re looking for.  Dogs want to please their people, and once your dog knows what you expect, he’ll do what makes you happy.

Have questions about other unusual dog behaviors?  Check out the Dog Behaviors section of our blog.

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