Oct 08
A Leg Up on Dogs and Feet
Does your dog seem to be happy only when he is literally sleeping or laying around on your feet or your shoes?
There’s no getting around the fact that dogs love feet and everything associated with them.
They adore shoes and socks, and most of all they love the smelly tootsies themselves. In fact, your feet are the part of you that your dog knows best. They’re right there on the floor with her; they’re full of the smell of you, and lots of times, they’re the only part of you that dogs are allowed to sit on.
One reason that dogs like feet so much is the same reason that most people steer clear of them. For such a small body part, feet pack a whole lot of scent. Each foot has about 125,000 sweat glands. That’s enough to keep plenty of smells percolating, especially when the feet are encased in socks and shoes. Dogs draw a huge portion of their knowledge of the world from their sense of smell. And feet sure do smell!
Rich aromas aren’t the only things about feet that dogs find attractive. They also depend on them as sort of a human tether. There are some dogs who worry that their owners will get up and leave without them noticing. They don’t want their people to get very far away, so they sit on them.
Large dogs are more likely than small breeds to choose a perch. Small dogs can scramble into laps when they want to keep track of their people. Big dogs are too bulky for that kind of cuddling. Sitting on feet gives them similar feelings of closeness and reassurance. Of course, there are plenty of dogs who simply want to be near the people they like. They’re not all that desperate for attention or reassurance – they just like the closeness.
Some dogs crave foot contact more than others, and there’s not much you can do about it. Keep your leather shoes in the closet and be grateful that your dog wants to be close to you. Dogs thatare truly anxious about being abandoned, however, need some extra reassurance.
Try scheduling a little extra cuddle time with your pet. Dogs who know they can depend on getting attention at certain times of the day or in certain places are less likely to demand it the rest of the time. Set aside 5 to 10 minutes each day when your dog can sit on your feet, lick your face, and generally revel in physical contact. She’ll come to depend on these regular meetings and look forward to them – and she’ll be less desperate for attention because she’ll know something good is coming.
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