For big dogs who can't cuddle up on your lap, the feet are about the only part of you they can lay on. It helps them to feel close to you.
Sitting on people's feet also helps your dog to keep track of you. If they are sitting on your feet, you can't get up and go anywhere without them knowing about it. Dogs love to stay with their "pack".
Now that you know the secret behind why dogs sit on people's feet, it would be best to keep a few things in mind...
If your dog likes feet alot then you probably want to keep your good leather shoes off the floor. They smell like your feet you know! And remember that your dog has no understanding that those shoes cost you alot of money. It's just another chew to to him. Socks may also smell like your feet and will be a target for dogs that love the smell of feet.
If your companion is truly anxious about keeping track of you, there are a few things you can do to reassure them.
First, dogs are creatures of habit. Routines are important to them. It helps give balance and stability to their world. So, let your dog know that they can depend on getting attention at certain times of the day, or in certain places. This will help your dog to be less demanding the rest of the time. The key here to consistancy. The attention has to be given every single day at the same time and preferably in the same place. You only need to set aside 10 minutes or so.
During these times, let your dog sit on your feet or lap and lick you and have all the physical contact they want. Turn off that television and give them your full attention during this time.
If your dog is one of those that just will not leave you alone and gets frantic if you are not touching them or giving them attention, there is hope.
The trick is to help your dog to understand that being away from you is a good thing. How on earth do you accomplish that? Well, it is not as hard as it may sound.
Most dogs love food. Food is a great motivator to extablish desired behaviors. Therefore you are going to use your dogs favorite treat to get him to leave you alone.
Start by putting a leash on your dog and attaching that leash to something just a few feet away from you. Then you go sit down and ignore your dog. The key word here is... IGNORE. Your dog WILL whine at first and may continue whining for quite a while, so do this when you are not involved in a conversation with someone and not while you are on the phone and not while you are trying to watch television and not while you are trying to read a book. This time should be set aside for training only. Brace yourself from the beginning for the whining and know that your dog is not hurting physically and he is safe.
When your dog finally gives up...and they WILL give up... wait about one minute and then give the food treat. Then the dog can be released. Do this a couple of times per day for however long it takes for your dog to understand that being apart from you can make his stomach feel good. Once your dog has figured this out, he will start leaving you alone some. When your dog initiates leaving you alone, even if it is just to get a bite of food or to get a drink of water, praise and give a treat. After all, that is what he is hoping to get by leaving you alone. Eventually reduce the treats until you feel the behavior has become a natural habit for your dog.
Your new understanding about smelly feet and dogs has just made you a better companion for your dog. Next time you let those smelly toes out for some air and your dog comes running to lay on them, just smile, and know that your dog loves you.
BACK TO DOGS SECRET LIVES
BACK TO HOMEPAGE