3 Reasons Dogs Chew Toys on Your Feet

A small dog chews her toy next to a shoe.

By: Dr. Fiona, a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best, a pet insurance agency for dogs and cats. 

Hi. I’m Dr. Fiona and I’m a veterinarian at Idaho Veterinary Hospital, and I’m answering questions today from pet owners for Pets Best. This question is, “Why does my dog always need to chew her toys on people’s feet. She never chews the shoes, just wants to chew her toy on top of people’s feet.”

This is a funny question. If only we knew what was going on inside our dogs’ heads, but here are three ideas as to why your dog might do this.

1. One could be, especially for little dogs, that feet tend to be a strong-smelling area. So it could be that she’s associating your feet with you and your smell and your shoes with you, and so it’s her way of kind of bonding with you.

2. Another possible idea is that it could have something to do with her bringing things to your feet kind of in a submissive way, sort of “You’re my pack leader” type thing. I suppose that could be part of it.

3. My own dog loves to use people’s feet to kind of brace to get the best squeak out of his squeaky toys. So it could just be purely mechanical too.

If you have comments or questions, feel free to post them below or on Pets Best Facebook page.


  • Marcelle

    Those answers are great! I also think when you sit down and they lay across your feet he/she will know when you get up, just in case they fall asleep!!! Your doggie, of course not your own feet!!! It has happened!! Thank you, m

  • Wendy

    Bringing toys to my feet for my dog is that she wants to incise me to play and you feel them at your feet therefore when they are noticed by you the play time can begin. It is there way of getting you to play with them.

  • Wendy

    Bringing toys to my feet for my dog is that she wants to entice me to play and you feel them at your feet therefore when they are noticed by you the play time can begin. It is there way of getting you to play with them.

  • Teresa

    Maybe they just want to be close to you because they love you. :-)

  • Dinah Fields

    I can let my dog stay out for over 30 minutes and he will wait until he is back in to do his bussiness on the pee pad if the carpet rooms are closed off. I have told him no and he will go and hide from me.

  • andi

    The will pee on pee pee pads, because they are trained at very young age to do so. They are treated with scent to entise puppies to pee there. This sounds crazy, but take the pee pee pad outside. You can’t expect a puppy to potty outside, unless they are taught. Please do not fuss at your pup for urinating as their instinct tells them. You need to take the solid poo outside, and when pup sees and smells it outside tell him good puppy!! I do not understand why people use pee pee pads anyway. Teach them, show them, and let then SMELL where you want them to go. Pet stores also have products to put in the area of your choice, to help them smell where to go potty. Best of luck. Remember take your puppy out after every time they eat, drink, or play. Not sure how old your pup is, but within a week of positive reinforcement, your pup should get it. They are merely a reflection of what we teach them to be. Make sure the area where peepee pad was, is cleaned well with vinegar water solution. There is a gold mine of tips in that popular place, rhyming with interest. Good luck

  • Norma Fahy

    I have the exact same problem. Mine is a Bichon and I have heard the breed is hard to train.

  • A. Edwrds

    Your pee pads are only teaching him to pee in the house. Get rid of them! Set a schedule and stick to it. The first couple of days, you may need to take him out every hour on the hour. Then gradually increasing the time between outings. I’ve trained four puppies using this method.

  • Christine Zangari

    They drop toys at our feet because to a dog, it’s like they are bringing you a kill. Toys are like prey. They are bringing you a gift. They are to be rewarded.
    A good predictor will catch it’s prey.

  • Bridget

    My dog doesn’t bring toys to my feet – she just sits on them. At the dogpark, she will paly with other dogs, but then comes back to sit on my feet. Doesn’t matter if I’m sitting or standing, she still wants to be on my feet.

  • shawn magargle

    I have a bench leg beagle and she try’s to bite people that come to my house. And she starts to growl at our other dogs and wine and one of our dogs will start to crawl back and then they will start to fight . Pulse she starts to shake while she is doing this. The only thing I found to calm her down is a bark collar for when people try to come in the houseI don’t know what else to do do you have any suggestions

  • bellscb23

    To the “pee pad” problem, I say it is ok to use them. Especially if you can’t have pup go out all the time. I taught my pup when she was barely 4 weeks old to use a tissue, then at 5 weeks the pad. I put tissue on the pad, so it is true that you need to put something they relate to on pad. Make sure it is away from carpet areas or frequented traffic areas. The pup needs to feel they don’t have “eyes” on them when doing business. She uses it all the time, even when going “poo”. You can teach a pup to use the pad but just be patient. At first, pup might go elsewhere but you make it clear that is not acceptable. If serious and patient about it, pup will learn no problem.


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