Dogs step on your feet for the basic reality that your feet are cumbersome protrusions that get in the means. It"s regularly simply as basic as that. Many dog owners worry about dogs that action on their feet or also sit on them or lie down on them perhaps because of an old myth that claims that dogs are perpetually on a mission to dominate. Turns out, many type of doggy actions happen simply bereason of the legislations of reinforcement.

You are watching: Why does my dog step on my feet


When dogs step on your feet, you might have all kind of alarm bells sounding off. Perhaps you have actually heard that dogs that action on feet are wannabe "alpha dogs," dogs that will certainly take over your life, lying on the couch as if it's a throne and also maxing out your credit card. Well, the alpha dog/alpha wolf myth has actually been debunked long back, courtesy of David Mech's examine.


Or possibly, your worry is even more based on the negative connotations associated with the metaphoric interpretation behind the saying "stepping on someone toes." As if Rover's stepping on your feet is a way to intentionally upcollection you. Well, here's some excellent news: you have the right to relax. Rover is not on a plot to either upset you or take over.


*

A History of Reinforcement 

When perform dogs action on your feet? If you watch closely, you'll notification that it often happens as soon as dogs are coming cshed to you seeking your attention and also touch. Whether you are sitting or standing, your feet are likely in the means and also are almost inescapable to action on or sit on if your dog desires to acquire as cshed to you as he have the right to.


If upon coming closer to you (and stepping on your feet in the process) outcomes in you looking at your dog, talking to your dog or petting your dog, (which are all signs of attention), you have the right to bet that the foot stepping and coming right into cshed proximity to you are actions that will certainly be reincompelled, and therefore, will repeat.


 Similar dynamics go on via dogs who sleep by their owner's feet. Dogs choose to be cshed to their people for reassurance and proximity feels comforting. 

It was Burrhus Frederic Skinner, the father of operant conditioning to state that actions which is reinforced has a tendency to  repeat, and is therefore strengthened; while actions which is not reinforced often tends to threaten and extinguish. 

Many dog behaviors (whether desirable or undesirable) happen bereason of a background of reinforcement. It's simply as simple as that. No need to overthink things and also issue about dogs having ill intents. All that dogs require, in a lot of cases, is simply training. 

The Association of Professional Dog Trainers, in the write-up Dominance Myths and also Dog Training Realitied, clarifies that dogs who pull on the leash execute so, not to be in charge of the walk, but because they're excited and also want to discover the world; dogs that jump, do so, not to assert their rank, but simply bereason, jumping enables them to acquire closer to us and also get attention; dogs who sleep on couches or beds carry out so, not to dominion the household, however ssuggest because they're comfortable, and so on. 


All these habits deserve to be quickly fixed by employing reward-based approaches to  gently affect and also motivate dogs to act in more desirable manners. 


*

*


*

At What Period are Female Dogs Sexually Mature?

Knowing at what age female dogs are sexually mature is somepoint brand-new puppy owners need to be mindful of, so to recognize what to expect as the puppy matures. While many type of puppy owners might never witness the the majority of obvious alters of sexual maturity due to early on spay programs, nowadays, more and even more puppy owners opt to wait to spay their pups.


*

Is it Good to Train Dogs With Treats?

Whether it is good to train dogs with treats is a question that often pops up among dog owners. You might have actually heard world frowning upon the methods of utilizing dog treats for training, and also then you might discover others who are deeply enamored through this exercise. The reality is, it is not just great to train dogs with treats, yet it is a lot of instances actually recommended.


Ask a Dog Trainer: What Does Dopamine Do to Dogs?

Knowing what dopamine does to dogs can assist you much better understand your dog and exactly how this chemical impacts his life. As you uncover just how dopamine impacts your dog's life, you will certainly additionally come to find exactly how it influence yours. Yes, we are all impacted by this neurotransmitter, and also actually as you are reading this you will have a small surge of dopamine release.


The Effect of Emotions

Dogs that action on your feet frequently as soon as you are standing may additionally perform so bereason they are as well overwhelmed to realize what they are doing. Dogs may be also excited or also anxious to realize what they are doing through their feet. 

For instance, many type of dogs get extremely excited once owners grab their leash from a closet to go on a walk. They may therefore begin walking approximately the owner and this may bring about them accidentally stepping on the owner's toes, something they might probably never before carry out in calmer cases. 

Dogs who are particularly stressed or anxious about a instance (or upcoming situation) may additionally inadvertently action on the owner's feet. If your dog is fearful of somepoint and rushes in the direction of you trying to hide in between your legs or is worried around your leaving the house (as watched in dogs via separation anxiety), he may action on your toes in the spur of the moment. 


Strong emotions such as excitement or are afraid, might cause dogs to forgain their manners or act in unusual ways. Who have the right to blame them though? In a moment of stress or panic, us humans may additionally act in strange means such as pushing with a crowd, dropping points from our hands or biting our nails. 


A Matter of Conformation

Dogs who action anywhere your feet are frequently doing so out of clumsiness. Dogs, unfavor us, have actually 4 legs and their back feet aren't as visible to them as our feet are to us. It's straightforward therefore for dogs to accidentally action (via their earlier legs in particular) on points they shouldn't. 

In all your years of dog ownership, you have actually likely witnessed your dog at some point accidentally stepping on his poop via his earlier legs after defecating. Of course, this is not intentional and also many dogs appear upset around it!


And What About Pheromones?

While some dogs show up to step on their owner's feet inadvertently, what about those dogs who seem to so so intently? As already mentioned, most likely, there's a history of reinforcement going on, but there's likewise somepoint else to consider, and this time, it's around those doggy paws. 


It is a known fact that dogs deserve to scent mark with paws. Indeed, dogs who kick dirt after peeing or pooping, are thought to do so bereason they have actually special glands in between their toes that release pheromones. 


This leaves us wondering whether dogs might be using their paws to simply put their smell on us type of prefer cats usage their cheeks to note civilization or objects as safe. Until prcooktop though, we have the right to just really speculate about this at the minute. 

Now That You Kcurrently...

See more: What Are The Pros And Cons Of Such Democratic Principles Being Embedded In A State Constitution?

As watched, the factors dogs action on people's feet are for the many component innocuous, however, you may be wondering what you deserve to do to alleviate the actions. Perhaps you are wearing open up sandals and the habit annoys you or you are contending in some canine sport and also desire your dog to be less clumsy. Here are a couple of tips to produce even more "awareness."

When your dog actions on your toes, verbally note the behavior through an "ouch!" or "ops!" This is not to startle your dog, however just to raise awareness of what he's doing and indeveloping him that your toes are sensitive. When your dog sits on your feet, move your feet away from under him or ask your dog to move and also sit farther from your feet pelevating and rewarding himTrim your dog's nails so if you're wearing sandals or other types of open shoes, your toes won't hurt as a lot.
Adrienne Farricelli is a certified dog trainer and habits consultant, former veterinarian assistant and author of "Brain Training for Dogs."