Is there a reason why dogs like to sleep at the foot of the bed? Even though I have always given my dog the option of sleeping at the head or middle of the bed, he just picks the foot.
If this is happening to your dog as well, let’s read into the dog’s mind to find out the reasons.
Your dog is sleeping at the foot of the bed because of the foot odor that you have left there. It arouses his curiosity and he likes the scent. He is doing his duty to protect and watch over you. He is wary of his surroundings and wants your protection. He looks upon you as his Alpha and wishes to be close to you.
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You Have Left Your Foot’s Odor On The Bed That Attracts Your Dog’s Curiosity
Usually, your feet will carry a strong odor if they are not properly cleaned or when you go to bed without washing your feet.
That strong foot odor will be stained on the foot of your bed and will certainly arouse your dog’s curiosity.
As you know, your dog possesses an acute scent, and he can easily smell the salty scent that you have left on the foot of the bed.
That makes him love visiting that spot and performing his investigation. Your dog is, in fact, more curious about the foot odor that you have left on the bed.
And once he gets to like the odor, he will begin visiting the spot even when you are not around and sleeping on that spot.
To avoid this problem, you should use odor deodorizer on your feet before going to bed.
His Strong Desire to Protect and Watch Over You
Dogs are pack animals. When they are sleeping, they keep an eye on their pack members. Thus, it is a natural instinct for a dog to sleep with his pack at his feet.
That explains why your dog is sleeping at the foot of your bed. He keeps an eye out for any danger that might come your way when you are sound asleep.
This protective instinct has been passed down to every dog from generation to generation and is especially so for guard dog breeds such as German shepherd, Dobermann, Rottweiler and Great Dane.
They have a strong desire to protect and watch over their owners.
The Nature of Bonding in Packs
It is natural for your dog to love sleeping at the foot of the bed because of his desire to be close to you, who he looks upon as his Alpha.
He is showing his respect to you and deferring to your authority by sleeping at your feet as a respectful gesture.
He wants to be close to the people that he trusts the most, which is YOU. This is why he will always want to sleep next to you even though you are not the only one in the house.
If he is not allowed to sleep at the foot of the bed, then he will most likely just go to the nearest available spot where he can still be close to you.
This is his way of showing you that he wants to be a part of your family.
He Wants Your Protection
Dogs who are wary of their surroundings will often want to stay close to their pack leader as they believe that their Alpha (who is the strongest in the pack) will keep them from any threat.
That is why you will find your dog sleeping better when he is with you. He knows that he will be safe from any dangers in the room and can let off his guard.
You can know if your dog is wary of his surroundings through his behavior. If he has a tendency to sleep in the corner or hide under a table when you are not with him, that is an indication of his fear.
If your dog is showing fearful behavior, it is best to give him a safe environment that will make him feel more at ease.
One of the ways is to make him see the crate as a personal, secure and safe place that he can go to anytime when he feels uncomfortable through crate training.
He Is Feeling Cold
Dogs like to sleep with their bodies close to a heat source and nothing beats the warmth from our body.
So, if your dog is feeling cold on his couch, it is natural for him to sleep beside you as he likes the warm and cozy feeling of staying close to you.
And as a respect for you as his pack leader, he will only sleep at the foot of the bed and not at the same level as you.
What you can do is to ensure that his sleeping couch or crate is warm and cozy for him. You can do this by placing a warm quilt on his couch or, if he is staying in his crate, turning on a heat lamp to keep him warm.
This will give your pet a warm place to stay so that he will not have to move around searching for a warm spot to sleep.
You Have Encouraged Him For This Behavior
When you praise your dog for sleeping at the foot of your bed, you are actually telling him that he should do this behavior because it makes you happy.
You are in fact encouraging him to act in this way, and he is more likely to repeat this behavior just to please you.
He is going to associate sleeping in your bed with a positive experience. That is, you are going to be delighted.
And as you know, all dogs love to please their masters, especially if that behavior earns them rewards and that makes your dog love doing that act over and over again.
So be mindful only to praise and reward your dog for the desired behaviors that you want him to learn.
Only positive reinforced the intended behavior. That is, praising and rewarding him for the right behavior.
He Is Suffering From Separation Anxiety
Dogs are very social animals, and they like to be around people because this is what they were bred to do.
That is why your dog wants to be with you at all times, because he knows that he will receive a lot of love and attention from you when he is with you.
He will start feeling anxious about being left alone in the night and that makes him leave his sleeping couch and look for you in your bed.
He is trying to ensure that you will not abandon him in the middle of the night when he is asleep and wants to see you the moment he wakes up.
He Is Claiming His Territory
Dogs will often sleep at the foot of the bed for the same reason that they pee on the floor, which is to mark and protect their territory.
If you let your dog sleep on your bed, he will think that is his territory and he won’t want to leave.
This is especially so if your dog is a dominance type of dog, such as Caucasian Ovcharka, Boerboel, American Bulldog and Giant Schnauzer who has a strong sense of territoriality.
What are the signs that your dog is dominant?
If your dog is exhibiting one or more of the following behaviors, it is often a sign of dominance behaviors that you need to address.
- Responding aggressively to verbal corrections.
- Eye contact provokes aggressive responses.
- The act of nipping another pet or human in order to herd them.
- Guarding behavior when it comes to toys or food.
- An unwillingness to obey commands.
- A refusal to give up sofas and beds.