Dogs sleep in a variety of positions, much like people. Dog sleeping positions are like little indicators of how they are feeling, both physically and mentally.
Dogs sleep between their owner’s legs to express their love for their owners or protect themselves from fear, anxiety, and the cold. It also gives warmth, which aids in the regulation of their body temperature.
Sleeping between the legs of their owner is a common behavior for dogs. It usually shows trust and devotion. It’s one of the most common puppies and adult dog behaviors. It could be one of your dog’s favorite spots if you share a bed with him.
While many owners are unconcerned about where their dogs sleep as long as they share the bed with them, others who aren’t so fond of the notion may begin to wonder why their pets pick this location, especially in large beds with plenty of space.
Even if it appears to be a trivial and harmless act, it is essential to understand its motivations. As a result, it’s important to consider why my dog sleeps between my legs.
The Reasons Why Your Dog Sleeps Between Your Legs
We all enjoy cuddling with our four-legged companions, and some people choose to share their beds with their dogs to feel more connected to them. But the position of having your dog sleep between your legs is unusual and inconvenient for various reasons.
Dogs are typically friendly and loving, and they may attempt to sleep next to you or your family members. Small dogs prefer to sleep between your legs, but larger dogs will be comfortable for them.
While sleeping between your legs is normally due to a desire for cuddling, it could also be a sign of anxiety. Here are several reasons why your dog sleeps so often between your legs.
Dogs are generally cozy and affectionate animals, which is one of the reasons we adore them! Keep in mind that dogs are herd creatures. Puppies frequently sleep in packs and snuggle up to one another. It is for warmth as well as pack bonding.
Your dog perceives you as a member of their “pack,” just like you do, and they may desire to form a bond with you. If your dog lays down between your legs, it could be a sign that he loves you and expresses his affection in this way. That’s a good indicator in general!
They are Being Protective
Another cause your dog sleeps between your legs is this. Its motives are sometimes to protect its master. They require proximity to one of their family members to care for and protect them.
Your dog’s overprotective behavior may be due to the presence of other animals or people nearby. They want to make sure you’re not in any danger.
It Has Become a Learned Behavior
You might not realize it, but you’ve unintentionally encouraged your dog to nap between your legs. Try to recall what you did when they went between your legs the last time. Did you give them a pet? Did you give them a belly rub? Did you offer them something to eat?
If you praise your dog for doing something, they will do it again, and it will develop a habit over time.
Warmth and comfort
In the cold, your dog may become more snuggly. We all do, don’t we? If your dog snuggles up to you a lot, especially when it’s cold outside, it could be a sign that they’re not getting enough warmth. They may attempt to cuddle you, climb into your arms, or sleep next to you. They might try to sleep between your legs as well.
Most of us don’t mind dog cuddles in the winter, but if you don’t want your dog sleeping between your legs or if snuggling them while they sleep is uncomfortable for you, you can keep them warmer.
Consider getting them a warm canine jacket, moving their bed closer to a heater, and adding more blankets to their bed or kennel to make them more comfortable.
Perhaps you just got a new pet? Dogs can be jealous as well, and he could be claiming you as his human. Most likely, this is a territorial dispute. He’s claiming you as his when he lays in between your legs. He’ll most likely go back to his usual sleeping spot once he understands the new family member isn’t a threat.
A dog sleeping between its owner’s legs could be suffering from worry. If your dog insists on laying between your legs and becomes angry if you refuse, he may be uneasy. They’ll feel safest in your embrace if they see you as their guardian.
Separation anxiety causes dogs to desire to be near their humans at all times, even while they’re sleeping. If your dog has undergone a terrible incident, they may insist on snuggling.
While resting between your legs isn’t necessarily a sign of anxiety, it could be a clue that your dog needs extra care, especially if they’re exhibiting any anxiety signs.
Anxiety has an impact on your dog’s mood as well. It can also impact sleep, produce behavioral disorders, and impair their digestive system. If their fears keep them from exercising, eating, or grooming, it might have a negative impact on their overall health.
When dogs are insecure, hurt, exhausted, sick, or anxious, they, like humans, require emotional care. For emotional comfort, they prefer to lie between your legs. Dogs may be depressed or sad, according to Coren, a psychology professor who wrote the book The Intelligence of Dogs.
They have similar brain architecture and experience emotions in the same way as humans do. Coren also believes that dogs are capable of feeling emotions including fear, joy, love, wrath, and disgust. They are not, however, capable of more complicated feelings like shame and remorse.
Furthermore, individuals may experience hunger loss, difficulties sleeping, tiredness, or a lack of interest in social interactions when sad or depressed.
What You Do If Your Dog Is Sleeping Between Your Legs?
You have a few options for dealing with your dog sleeping between your legs. The reason for its behavior will determine the best alternative for your dog. There are a few different ways to stop your dog’s habit of sleeping in between your legs if it’s becoming an issue and affecting your sleep.
Train It To Get Comfortable Sleeping Alone
One way is to learn your dog to lay somewhere other than between your legs so that you can tell it to do so anytime it tries to lay between your legs.
I’ve written about how to teach your dog to obey the order “down” here. You may teach it to go down at a specific location whenever it tries to get between your legs and reward it for doing so.
Positive reinforcement training could also be used to teach it not to go between your legs. Positive reinforcement training is when you give your dog treats for accomplishing what you desire.
There are a few options for accomplishing this.
Putting a favorite toy in the bed: Try putting your dog’s favorite toy in the bed so he can engage with it. If he appears uninterested in the first place, this will encourage him to feel the bed.
Carry or guide your dog to the bed: If he decides to depart, Tell him to “Stay” or “Lay Down” if he understands. You can also give him a snack if he listens to you; he learns that he will be rewarded with delicious treats if he stays in his bed the next time. Continue practicing until he recalls the commands.
Sleep in the same room as him: If nothing else seems to be working, consider sleeping close to or in your dog’s bed. As a result, he will feel secure knowing that his human is around.
Buy a Dog Bed
If your dog doesn’t have a designated dog bed, you should consider purchasing one. Giving your companion canine his own safe and pleasant sleeping area could be the answer. Consider Paw, an award-winning dog bed company with patent-pending technology that offers a warm, snug, and good line of dog beds.
Address Other Issues
You should also address other issues that may harm your dog in addition to positive reinforcement training. For example, you should provide them with more blankets and pillows in the winter and ensure that the sleeping area is warm, comfortable, and soothing.
Understand And Treat Their Anxiety
Anxiety is one of the most common reasons dogs lay between their owners’ legs. The space between your legs is the secure location on the planet for them. If you know why your dog is worried, you’ve made significant headway toward his treatment.
You must first look for the triggers to figure out what makes your dog anxious. When a visitor comes in, he will run between your legs, indicating that he is afraid of people. It could be the result of an unpleasant encounter with a stranger in the past.
Don’t worry; there are several options for treating dog anxiety. You can discuss treatment choices with your veterinarian.
Natural Treatment For Anxiety
CBD oil is a natural cure for anxiety in dogs. CBD is derived from the Cannabis genus of plants. CBD is used to treat various human diseases, and it can also be utilized on pets. Dogs, like people, have an endocannabinoid system, which is a complex system that affects tissues throughout the body.
The endocannabinoid system can have an impact on:
- Skin and hair
- Mood and brain function
- Pain perception
- Salivary glands
CBD is well-known for its ability to treat anxiety in humans effectively, but new research shows that it can also be used to help dogs with their anxiety.
Hire a Dog Trainer
If everything else fails, consider hiring a dog trainer to assist in developing a new behavior that will encourage your pet to sleep in his bed rather than between your legs.
If the source of the behavior is a recent move, a new family member, or a phobia of fireworks and loud noises, don’t panic; once they get to know the new member of the family or have adapted to your new home, they’ll cease lying between your legs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is It Normal for My Dog to Sleep Between My Legs?
Yes, that is normal because they are at ease in their surroundings. Your dog will appreciate the warmth, closeness, and security that your legs provide. When your dog rests between your legs, it offers them a sense of security, allowing them to sleep all night soundly.
What’s The Best Way To Get Your Dog To Stop Laying Between Your Legs?
Here are some tips for you to stop your dog from lying between your legs:
1. Begin by refusing to reward or provide anything while it is in that position.
2. It is best not to touch it.
3. Move it to a more comfortable and close location where it can take a nap. If it lays for a long time, reward it.
How Do You Assist Your Dog In Dealing With Separation Anxiety?
Here are some tips to assist your dog in dealing with separation anxiety:
1. Before leaving, take him for a walk or allow him to jog beside you. The goal is to exhaust him so that he can rest when you depart. He will not experience separation anxiety in this manner.
2. When you’re about to leave, try feeding him. It’s in the dog’s nature to sleep after a meal. So you can go once the dog has taken a snooze.
3. Begin by leaving it alone for a few moments. You can start with five minutes and work your way up. It will gradually learn how to cope with anxiety in this manner.
Is It Okay to Let Your Pet Dog Sleep Between Your Legs?
It all usually comes down to your own personal, subjective preference in the end. I don’t mind if my dog rests between my legs now and again.
However, some individuals may find this behavior irritating, especially if your dog is a big Alaskan Malamute weighing over 180 pounds.
No one enjoys having their feet become numb, especially if it happens frequently.
If you feel it’s too much for you, above are some suggestions to help you stop.
Q5: Do you know the sign of anxiety in dogs?
Some signs of anxiety in dogs are:
- Fear of strangers
- Unexplained phobias
- Licking or biting their skin
- Running away (either from your house or from a room of your house)
- Reduced activities
- Having a fearful reaction to loud noises
- Urinating inside, despite training
- Tucking their tails between their legs
Dogs frequently sleep between their owners’ legs. Although it may appear to be a common occurrence, it is critical to understand why to either encourage or discourage the habit.
The essential question now is: how do you stop this behavior? Here are some suggestions for preventing your dog from laying between your legs: First and foremost, do not promote this behavior; instead, teach him to lay down somewhere else, provide him with a comfortable sleeping environment, and then work on reducing separation anxiety.
Make sure you examine the following elements mentioned above the next time your dog sleeps between your legs, and you’ll no doubt that you’ll get great results.