Why Does My Dog Sleep on My Shoes? (12 Reasons) 

“Why does my dog sleep on my shoes?” is a common question puzzling many dog guardians. 

This quirky behavior often leaves us wondering about the reasons behind our pups’ preference for resting on our footwear. 

While it may seem like a strange behavior, there are actually a few reasons why dogs sleep on shoes.

In this blog post, we’ll delve into the intriguing explanations behind this endearing habit and share 7 tips to discourage your dog from lying on your shoes.

a tan puppy is sleeping on red shoes. why does my dog sleep on my shoes

12 Reasons Why Your Dog Sleeps On Your Shoes

If you’ve ever found your dog snuggled up on your shoes, you may have wondered why they do this. Here are 12 possible explanations for this behavior.

1. Security

Dogs have an innate need for safety, and their highly social nature enables them to be attuned to the emotions of their human companions. 

When feeling anxious or uneasy, dogs tend to seek comfort from their owners and often choose to lie down near their feet, on top of their feet, or on their shoes.

Sleeping on your shoes provides a sense of security for your furry friend.

This is also one of the reasons why dogs sleep in the bathroom – it’s a safe haven.

a black puppy dog is lying on red sneakers

2. Your Scent

Dogs have a keen sense of smell and taste. They have around 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses, compared to around 6 million in humans.

This heightened sense of smell is integral to how they understand the world around them. Among the myriad scents that dogs can detect, yours is special.

Your scent is a symphony of familiar fragrances that evoke a sense of comfort and connection for your pup. 

When your dog curls up on your shoes for a nap, it’s more than just the physical comfort they seek.

The shoes, with your unique scent all over them, become a tangible link to you.

3. Seeking Comfort

Dogs seek comfort in various ways, and shoes can provide a soft and cozy spot for them to rest. 

They may find the texture and material of shoes appealing, making them an attractive place to catch some Z’s. 

Dogs just love being near their favorite humans? Sometimes they might take it to the next level and decide to nap right on our shoes or even lay on top of us.

It’s like their way of staying super close, even when we’re not in the same room.

They might even get so comfy that their eyes start rolling back when they’re snoozing away.

4. Prevent You From Leaving

Another reason why your dog lays on your shoes is to prevent you from leaving. 

They may associate your shoes with you leaving the house and want to keep you around for a little longer.

Dogs are social animals and often form strong bonds with their owners, so they may feel separation anxiety when their owners leave. 

By laying on your shoes, they are trying to communicate their desire for you to stay and spend more time with them.

a tan puppy is sleeping on shoes that are pink and have a buckle

5. Seeking Attention

Another explanation for why dogs sleep on shoes is that they are seeking your attention. 

Dogs are social animals and crave attention from their owners. 

This behavior is a way for your dog to get your attention and show you that they want to be close to you.

They might think that sleeping on your shoes will prompt you to give them the attention they seek since shoes are an item that you frequently interact with.

6. Anxiety

Dogs that suffer from separation anxiety may find comfort in sleeping on your shoes. 

Separation anxiety is a common issue in dogs, and it can cause them to feel anxious and stressed when left alone.

Dogs have an incredible sense of smell and are drawn to familiar scents, which is why your shoes may provide a familiar scent that your dog finds calming.

Sleeping on your shoes is a way for your dog to cope with separation anxiety and feel less anxious in your absence.

7. Affection

Dogs show affection in various ways such as headbutting you, licking your nose, sleeping between your legs, and wrapping their paws around you.

Sleeping on your shoes may be one of the ways your dog expresses their love and affection towards you. 

Dogs often seek closeness with their owners, and lying on your shoes may be a way for them to feel close to you and show their affection.

This behavior could also be a way for your dog to communicate their desire for interaction and affection. 

Dogs often seek out physical contact with their owners as a way to bond and show their love.

a black and tan puppy is lying  on a brown hiking shoe

8. Stress

Dogs can experience stress just like humans so this behavior is a way for your dog to cope with these feelings. 

Stress can be caused by various factors, such as changes in routine, loud noises, unfamiliar environments, flies, and brooms, and it can manifest in different ways in dogs. 

Some dogs may become anxious and restless, while others may become withdrawn and lethargic. 

Sleeping on your shoes may provide a sense of comfort and familiarity for your dog, which can help to reduce their stress levels and calm them down.

9. Cool Spot

Dogs love laying on shoes because they provide a cool spot for your dog to rest during hot weather

Some shoes are made of materials like leather that stay cool, which can be appealing to dogs seeking relief from the heat.

Dogs may seek out cool spots to rest during warm weather to regulate their body temperature and prevent overheating, so it’s a way for your dog to find a comfortable and cool spot to rest during summer.

They might even lay down to eat on a cool floor to stay comfortable on a hot day.

a tan puppy is sleeping on a black dress shoe

10. Territorial

Another reason dogs lay on shoes is that they are territorial and may view your shoes as their personal space. 

Sleeping on your shoes could be your dog’s way of marking their territory and claiming ownership.

Dogs have a strong sense of smell, and they use it to identify objects and mark their territory. 

By sleeping on your shoes, your dog also leaves their scent on them, which can signal to other animals that the shoes are their territory.

11. Habit

Dogs are creatures of habit and might sleep on your shoes simply because it has become a routine or habit for them. 

This behavior may have started during puppyhood, as dogs often form habits and routines early on in life. 

If your dog has been sleeping on your shoes for a while, it may have become a comforting and familiar habit for them.

a shiba inu is sleeping on a pink shoe with long laces

12. Bored

If your dog is bored, they may seek out new and interesting things to do like tipping over their water bowl, licking your bedsheets, or sleeping on your shoes.

Dogs are curious creatures and may explore their environment when they are bored or have nothing else to do. 

Your shoes can be an interesting and novel object for your dog to explore.

If your dog has a habit of chewing on objects, they may have even started chewing on your shoes and fallen asleep. 

Chewing, just like licking, can be a calming activity for dogs. It helps relieve boredom and stress and is a way for a dog to keep themselves occupied.

7 Tips To Stop Your Dog From Sleeping On Your Shoes

If you’re looking to discourage your dog from sleeping on your shoes, there are several tips you can follow.

a puppy is lying on a pair of sneakers in the grass

1. Don’t Encourage This Behavior

Dogs are creatures of habit and love routine. If you consistently allow your dog to sleep on your shoes, they will continue to do so. 

To discourage this behavior, direct your dog to a different spot or remove your shoes from beneath them when you catch this behavior.

This will help to break the association between your shoes and a comfortable sleeping spot. 

You can redirect your dog to their own bed or a designated sleeping area like a crate or pen.

2. Put Shoes Away

One of the simplest ways to stop your dog from sleeping on your shoes is to put them away. 

If your shoes are easily accessible, your dog may be tempted to sleep on them.

Keep your shoes in a closed closet or on a shoe rack where your dog can’t reach them. 

This will remove the temptation and eliminate the opportunity for your dog to sleep on your shoes.

3. Exercise and Mental Stimulation

Dogs need mental and physical stimulation to prevent boredom, so they don’t resort to lying on your shoes. 

Offering plenty of toys and activities can help redirect your dog’s attention away from your shoes. 

Provide your dog with interactive toys, chews, and puzzle toys, and take them on daily walks to keep them occupied.

If you need some ideas, here are 24 engaging games to play with your dog.

4. Lower Stress

Dogs who are anxious or stressed may seek comfort by sleeping on your shoes. 

There are several ways to create a calm and predictable environment for your dog. 

One of the most important things you can do is to stick to a routine.

Dogs thrive on routine and predictability, and a consistent schedule can help to reduce their stress levels. 

Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise, as this can help to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. 

Also, consider using calming aids such as pheromone diffusers, calming music, or a ThunderShirt.

5. Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is a training technique that involves rewarding your dog for good behavior. 

When your dog chooses to sleep in their own bed instead of on your shoes, it’s important to reward them with praise and treats. 

This will help to reinforce the behavior and encourage your dog to continue sleeping in their own bed.

Remember to be consistent with positive reinforcement and to reward your dog every time they exhibit the desired behavior. 

Over time, your dog will learn that sleeping in their own bed is a positive and rewarding experience, and they will be less likely to sleep on your shoes.

6. Give Your Dog Something That Smells Like You

Providing your dog with a blanket or toy that smells like you can be a great way to prevent them from sleeping on your shoes. 

Dogs are comforted by their owner’s scent, so having something that smells like you can help to soothe them and make them feel more secure. 

You can give your dog a t-shirt or pillowcase that you’ve recently used or worn.

7. Provide a Comfortable Bed

Dogs need a comfortable and cozy place to sleep in a quiet area. 

Providing your dog with a comfortable bed can help redirect their sleeping habits away from your shoes. 

Make sure the bed is the right size for your dog and has soft and comfortable materials.

If you have a Chihuahua, these are the 6 best beds.


Now you have your answer to “why does my dog sleep on my shoes.”

It’s a common behavior that can have various reasons behind it.

From seeking comfort and security to marking their territory, dogs have different motivations for sleeping or lying on shoes.

By understanding your dog’s behavior, you can better meet their needs and provide them with the comfort and security they crave.

Following our 7 tips, such as providing a comfortable bed, putting away your shoes, and using positive reinforcement, will help redirect your dog’s sleeping habits away from your shoes.


Why Does My Dog Sleep At My Feet?

One possible reason is that your feet provide a sense of comfort and security for your dog. Being close to you can help them feel safe and protected, especially if they are anxious or nervous. It’s also a way for your dog to bond with you and show their loyalty.

Why Does My Dog Love My Slippers?

Your dog loves your slippers because they have your scent on them. Dogs have a strong sense of smell and they find comfort in your scent. Your slippers are also warm and cozy, making them a comfortable place for your dog to rest.

Why Is My Dog Obsessed With My Shoes?

Your dog may be obsessed with your shoes because they smell like you. Dogs find your scent comforting, especially if you’ve left the house. Your shoes are also a familiar object that your dog associates with you.

Why Does My Dog Lay On My Clothes and Shoes?

Dogs are drawn to scents that are familiar and comforting. Your clothes and shoes carry your scent, so laying on them makes them feel closer to you. Laying on your shoes can also be an attempt to keep you from leaving the house.

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