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Why Is My Dog Always Under My Feet? (+How to Stop!)

“Why is my dog always under my feet?” If you find yourself asking this question repeatedly, then this article is for you. We’re going to break down why your furry friend always seems to be underfoot and provide solutions to keep you both safe.

We’ll explain the possible reasons behind your dog’s desire to always be near your feet and give you some practical steps on how to stop them from constantly walking under you. If your dog suddenly starts this behavior, we’re going to cover that too. We’ll also touch on the topic of why your dog might like sitting on your feet. Keep reading below!

How to Stop a Dog From Walking Under Your Feet

How to Stop a Dog from Walking Under Your Feet

To stop a dog from walking under your feet, focus on training them to maintain a safe distance. This can be achieved by methods such as leash training, teaching the “heel” command, and using positive reinforcement. All these methods will help your dog understand the concept of personal space, thus reducing the risk of accidents.

  1. Leash Training: Begin with leash training your dog. When you go for walks, keep the leash short but not tight, allowing your dog enough space to walk comfortably beside you but preventing them from weaving between your feet. If they attempt to walk under your feet, halt, guide them back to their position beside you, then continue your walk.
  2. Teaching the “Heel” Command: This command is a powerful tool in guiding your dog’s walking behavior. Here are some step-by-step instructions:
    1. Start in a quiet, distraction-free area with your dog leashed. Stand beside your dog, ensuring that they’re on your left or right, depending on your preference.
    2. Say the command “heel,” then start walking. Your dog should be at your side, not ahead or behind you.
    3. If your dog tries to move ahead, gently pull the leash and say “heel” again. When they return to the proper position, reward them with a treat or praise.
    4. Practice this consistently until your dog starts to understand and follow the command, even without the need for treats. Eventually, progress to more distracting environments once your dog masters the command in a quiet setting.
  3. Positive Reinforcement: Whenever your dog successfully walks beside you without getting underfoot, reward them. Treats, praise, or a favorite toy can serve as positive reinforcement. Over time, they will associate the act of walking beside you with these positive rewards and will be less likely to weave under your feet.
  4. Consistency is Key: Consistency is the foundation of successful training. Ensure everyone who interacts with your dog follows the same rules and uses the same commands. This uniformity prevents your dog from becoming confused and promotes quicker learning.

These steps will get your dog to stop walking under your feet, but it’s important to remember that the underlying behavioral issue (anxiety, attention-seeking, etc.) that was causing this to begin with will still be present. And until you address it, any positive changes you see are only going to be temporary.

“Well, how do I make these changes last?”

By getting your dog to truly choose to follow your direction, that’s how. I tried many times to write out how you can do that before deciding it made more sense to just link you to the free video series that explains it better than I’d ever be able to.

The series is by a man named Dan who is one of the world’s leading dog obedience trainers. In it, he teaches you how to put an end to things like when your dog constantly walks under your feet and all other misbehavior using his fast and easy-to-follow methods.

In the first video, Dan will reveal to you why the two most common methods of dog training only doom you to failure. You can watch the video now by clicking here. Follow the proven system he’ll show you in his series and you’ll never have to spend another second worrying about your dog walking under your feet ever again!

Why Is My Dog Always Under My Feet?

Why Is My Dog Always Under My Feet?

Your dog is always under your feet due to their bonding instinct, desire for attention, and feelings of security. It’s also a common behavior in dogs who are anxious or who have been bred to be close to humans.


If your dog is constantly underfoot, it could be a sign of anxiety. Some dogs may stick close when they’re feeling anxious or scared. This behavior could be a symptom of separation anxiety or a response to changes in their environment. In such cases, your dog might become too attached and stay close to your feet as a coping mechanism.

Bonding and Pack Instinct

Dogs, as pack animals, naturally crave companionship and tend to stay close to their family members. They seek physical proximity as a way of bonding and maintaining a connection with their pack, in this case, their human family. When your dog is always under your feet, they’re likely demonstrating their affection and the strong bond they share with you.

Desire for Attention

Your dog might also position themselves under your feet as a way of seeking attention. Dogs are social creatures and often look for ways to interact with their owners. They quickly learn that certain behaviors, like being underfoot, elicit reactions from you. This attention, whether it’s petting or even a simple look, can be rewarding for them and encourage the behavior.

Security and Comfort

Dogs often feel safer when they’re close to their owners. Being under your feet can give them a sense of security, especially in new or uncertain situations. This is because they perceive you as their protector, and your presence can help alleviate any feelings of fear or anxiety they might have. You may even see your dog sleep on your feet.

Breed-Specific Traits

Finally, certain breeds are more likely to display this behavior due to their historical roles. Breeds that have been used for herding, for instance, might be more inclined to stick close and even attempt to “herd” their owners by staying underfoot.

In conclusion, dogs stay under their owner’s feet for a variety of reasons – to bond, seek attention, find security, cope with anxiety, or due to breed-specific traits. Understanding these reasons can help you better accommodate your dog’s needs and manage their behavior. Learn the “Heel” command by going back to the first section.

Why Does My Dog Sit on My Feet?

Your dog sits on your feet primarily for reasons such as demonstrating their bond, expressing affection, claiming ownership, seeking warmth and comfort, or managing anxiety. This behavior, while sometimes amusing or slightly inconvenient, is usually nothing to worry about. It’s simply a part of your dog’s social nature and their way of interacting with you, their most important companion.

Demonstration of Bond and Affection

Dogs, as social animals, often use physical contact to express their affection and loyalty. Sitting on your feet can be a way for your dog to stay close to their favorite human, showing their bond. As pack animals, dogs value the sense of belonging they have with their human family. By sitting on your feet, your dog is communicating that they cherish the relationship they have with you.

Claiming Ownership

Another possible reason for this behavior is a subtle way of claiming ownership. When your dog sits on your feet, they may be saying to other pets or people, “This is my human, and I’m looking out for them.” While this may seem like an adorable sign of their love, it can also be a sign of overprotective behavior, especially if your dog exhibits other signs of aggression or extreme possessiveness.

Seeking Warmth and Comfort

Dogs have been our companions for thousands of years, and historically, they’ve huddled together for warmth and protection. Your feet can provide warmth, and sitting on them may just be your dog’s way of getting cozy. Moreover, the pressure against their body can also provide a sense of security and comfort.

Anxiety and Fear

Sometimes, a dog will sit on their owner’s feet because they’re feeling anxious or fearful. It can be their way of seeking comfort and reassurance. If your dog shows other signs of anxiety such as excessive licking, whimpering, or being overly clingy, it might be worth taking further steps to address this underlying issue (more on how to do that in the first section).

Understanding Your Dog’s Behavior

While the above reasons are common, it’s important to remember that every dog is unique. Their reasons for sitting on your feet may vary and could be a combination of these factors. Understanding your dog’s behavior patterns and responses can help strengthen your bond with them, and ensure you’re able to provide the best care for your four-legged friend.

Dog Constantly Under Foot All of a Sudden

If your dog is constantly underfoot all of a sudden, it could be due to changes in their environment, anxiety, seeking attention, or even medical issues. It’s crucial to assess their behavior, environment, and health to identify the underlying cause and address it appropriately.

  1. Changes in Environment: Dogs can be sensitive to changes in their surroundings. A new person in the house, moving to a new location, or changes in your work schedule can disrupt your dog’s routine and make them feel insecure. They might respond by staying close to you for reassurance. It’s essential to help your dog adjust during this time, maintaining a consistent routine where possible and offering plenty of reassurance and comfort.
  2. Anxiety: Anxiety can cause dogs to cling to their owners. This could be separation anxiety or anxiety due to specific triggers such as loud noises or unfamiliar environments. If anxiety is the cause, you may notice other signs such as panting, pacing, whining, or destructive behavior. It’s important to identify the source of the anxiety and work on techniques to help your dog feel safe and secure. This may involve gradual desensitization to the anxiety trigger or consulting with a veterinarian or pet behaviorist.
  3. Seeking Attention: If your dog is underfoot more than usual, they may be trying to get your attention. This could be their way of asking for more interaction, playtime, or even signaling that it’s mealtime. Make sure your dog is getting enough exercise and mental stimulation. If the behavior continues, it might be beneficial to schedule specific times for interaction and stick to them consistently, so your dog knows when to expect attention.
  4. Health Concerns: Sometimes, a dog staying close to you can be a sign of a health issue. Dogs might seek comfort from their owners when they’re not feeling well. If your dog is also showing signs of discomfort, such as changes in appetite, lethargy, or unusual behavior, it would be wise to consult with a veterinarian to rule out any health problems.

In conclusion, a dog being constantly underfoot all of a sudden can be a response to various triggers. Identifying the root cause and addressing it with patience, consistency, and possibly professional help can help resolve this behavior. Learn how to do these things (including teaching the “Heel” command) in the first section of this article.

I’m sure you’re ready to see all of these wonderful changes in your dog, so I’ll let you get started now. Good luck with everything, and thanks for reading our article “Why Is My Dog Always Under My Feet? (+How to Stop!)”

The Author

KB Williams

KB Williams

Hey there! I'm a dog behavior expert and lover of travel. Since 2016, I've been sharing my knowledge of dog training and behavior while exploring the Pacific Northwest with my two rescues.