Why Do Dogs Sleep at the Foot of the Bed?

Do you let your dog sleep in bed with you? If so, have you ever wondered why they always end up at your feet? It’s normal for dogs to want to be close to their owners, and most dogs prefer to sleep in the same room as their human companions. In this article, we will explore the reasons why dogs like to sleep at the foot of the bed.

You Are Their Pack Leader

Dogs are social animals, and they naturally want to be close to other members of their family, including their leader. In the wild, wolves sleep together in dens for warmth and protection. Your dog may see you as its pack leader in a way, so it makes sense that it would want to sleep close to you. 

Dogs feel safer when they are close to others, and they may feel more secure sleeping at the foot of the bed where they can keep an eye on things, which we’ll talk more about later.

They Like to Be Near You When They’re Sleeping

Many dogs simply like to be near their owners when they sleep. Whether they’re overly attached or not, dogs have been man’s best friend for thousands of years, and this bond won’t be breaking anytime soon, if ever. 

You provide them with food, shelter, and love, so naturally they just want to keep you close by. Many dogs find a sense of safety and security when at the feet of their owners. It’s actually a sign of true affection from your dog when they lick your feet — however gross that may seem to you!

They Want to Protect You

Dogs are loyal and can also be very protective. They have a natural instinct to defend their own. Not all dogs make the best guard dogs, but no matter the breed, their love and devotion runs deep to their core, so sleeping at your feet may just be an unconscious way of ensuring you are protected. Dogs whose owners are older might become even more protective when the sun goes down and decide its best to stay close to your feet while you sleep.

They’re Keeping Watch Over the Door

Many bedrooms simply have the foot of the bed closest to the door. If you notice your dog is sleeping at your feet while you’re in bed, there’s a good chance that it’s just keeping watch to make sure nobody else comes in and disturbs you. 

Dogs don’t really understand that you can lock the door to your house, so they’re always on the lookout. Sleeping at the foot of the bed is the best place for them to do that because they stay close to you, and have the best view of the door. 

They’re Trying to Stay Cool

Not all dogs have protective instincts in mind when sharing a bed with their humans. Sometimes they may be sharing a bed to stay cool while they make sure you don’t go anywhere during the night (which is sad, but overly affectionate owners train this into their dogs). 

Sharing a bed is great for staying warm, but sleeping closer to your torso might just get too hot for them — they do have a fur coat after all. The majority of your body heat stays right around your core, so if your dog sleeps by your side, it’s going to be uncomfortable. Sleeping at the foot of the bed gives your dog a little bit more room to spread out and stay cool.

They’re Trying to Stay Warm

Smaller dogs might prefer to sleep by your feet because they’re trying to stay warm. If you have a big bed and offer lots of space, your dog may feel lost and cold in the middle of the night. Staying close to you (and your body heat) will help your dog sleep better and feel more comfortable.

You Move Around a Lot in Your Sleep

This one is more for the human companion than it is for the dog. If you move around a lot in your sleep, it might be disruptive or even dangerous for your dog to sleep next to you. Dogs can get kicked or stepped on by accident, so it’s much better for them to stay at the foot of the bed where they are less likely to get hurt by your tossing and turning.

Should Dogs Be Allowed to Sleep in Your Bed?

The decision of whether or not to allow your dog to sleep in bed with you is a personal one. Some people love it and wouldn’t have it any other way, while others prefer their dogs to sleep elsewhere. 

There are pros and cons to both sides, so it’s really up to you to decide what works best for you and your dog. If you do decide to let your dog sleep in the bed with you, just be aware of the reasons why it may choose to sleep at your feet instead of next to you. It’s probably not because it doesn’t love you — more likely, it just wants to be close to its pack leader!

Sharing a bed with your dog may create attachment issues with your dog — it may become overly attached, which creates undue stress whenever you’re not around. That means that your dog won’t be having a good time whenever you’re not at home with it. 

On the other hand, sharing a bed with your dog may help calm its anxiety in certain situations such as during thunderstorms or holidays when the neighbors shoot lots of fireworks. 

A good middle ground is having your dog sleep in the same room. Set your dog’s bed somewhere in the room, close to your bed, and even facing the door. That way, your dog can stay close to you, have its space, and keep watch all at once!


There are many reasons why dogs sleep at the foot of the bed. Some reasons are instinctual, while others are due to personal preferences or habits. No matter what the reason is, as long as your dog is comfortable and happy, there’s no harm in letting it share your bed! Just be aware of why your dog may choose to sleep at your feet instead of next to you, so that everyone can have a good night’s sleep.