Have you ever wondered why your dog sleeps between your legs? It’s a question that many people have asked themselves time and time again.
There are many reasons why your dog wants to be as close to you as possible. It may seem odd, but it is the most comfortable place for them when they sleep between your legs. It’s warm and cozy there!
But why do dogs sleep between our legs in the first place? There are many reasons why a dog will choose this spot. Some of these include that your dog wants to be close to you, they want safety and security, or they’re acting on pack instinct.
We all know why they sleep on our furniture, under the dining room table, and in front of the fireplace. However, why do dogs like to cuddle between your legs? There are many reasons why dogs like this spot, so let’s look at some of them below.
Reasons Why Your Dog Sleeps Between Your Legs
1. It’s Warm and Cozy in this Spot!
You should not be surprised on why your dog wants to sleep between your legs. The heat from the body makes it a cozy spot for them, and often they will lean against you too, which feels good! Some dogs even put their paws on top of yours when they are snuggled up in this position.
Human legs are very comfortable for dogs. It is soft, warm, and fleshy. It serves like an instant heating pad that envelops them.
But it is not just dogs that benefit from it. Body heat is shared as your dog lends their body heat to your legs too.
You will notice your dog’s preference for sleeping between your legs during wintertime. Smaller breeds tend to do it more than the larger breeds. They are more cuddly during colder months, and it means that they are not warm enough.
Some dogs will get cold easily because they have less body fat and hair. They will find a warm place between your legs if they feel cold and uncomfortable in their bed.
2. To Show Some Love
Another answer to your question on why my dog sleeps between my legs is simply because they want to show you some love.
They want to stay close to you because they love being near you and giving you all of their attention.
Dogs are known for showing affection with physical contacts, like licking or cuddling up next to someone! So why not sleep right in the middle of that loving space? They will always be there for you, even when it’s time to sleep.
3. Your Dog Sees You as Someone of High Value
A dog may feel comforted by your presence and consider you as their leader. It is why they sleep near to or even on top of you.
There are also instances when they want to have your attention, especially if other dogs are in the house.
They may also be resource guarding because they consider you as something or someone of high value. Your dog may growl or snarl when another pet approaches while they are lounging between your legs.
4. They’re Scared of Something!
Another possible reason is that your dog might be scared and want to sleep close to you. Maybe there is a thunderstorm outside, or your pet has had an unpleasant experience in the past.
Check your pet if they are showing signs of fear. They may try to hide, pace, bark, growl, tremble or whine.
You may also notice a submissive stance in your dog, such as holding their head down or tail tucked between the legs.
Many things scare off even the largest dog breeds. Aside from loud noises and thunderstorms, children, stranger dogs, hats and vacuum cleaners scares them too.
5. Your Dog is Acting on a Pack Instinct
Dogs are pack animals, and they will want to sleep near you because it’s natural for them. There is safety in numbers, which is why we sometimes see more than one dog sleeping together or cuddling up next to each other.
If you are the only one in your household, then there is a possibility that the dog misses their pack. Dogs will want to sleep with someone who can give them attention and warmth.
6. Your Dog Has Separation Anxiety
If your dog is a Velcro dog or has separation anxiety, then there are high chances that they may sleep between your legs all the time.
Velcro dogs follow you around, even in the bathroom. But they don’t mind when you leave them, because they’re always happy to see you when you return.
On the other hand, dogs with separation anxiety may not be so easygoing. They may find themselves in a state of panic when they are left alone. These dogs show signs of anxiety in some cases, such as whining, crying, pacing, and restlessness.
Whichever your dog might be, they will always opt to sleep between your legs whenever there is an opportunity.
7. Your Dog Needs Emotional Support
Some dogs may need emotional support from time to time. There could be instances where they are grieving over the loss of a loved one, teething, or just feeling lonely.
Dogs need emotional support just like humans do. They may see you as their closest friend or family member and want to be close to you for that reason too. Sleeping on your legs provides them with a sense of security which they are seeking from you.
They may gravitate to your lap and sleep there because they know that you will comfort them. A dog would want to be with someone who can provide emotional support when they need it most!
8. Your Dog Sleeps Between Your Legs Because You Allowed It
Your dog may have learned to sleep between your legs because they have been allowed to. Your dog may have been sleeping in your lap or near to you since they were a pup.
But as they grow bigger, there are disadvantages to allowing them to sleep between your legs. For one, they can be quite heavy, and their weight will be uncomfortable for you to hold.
Your dog might think it’s okay to continue sleeping near you because of the little encouragement that you give them. It can be that quick belly rub or scratch behind the ears.
It is possible that if there are other pets at home, their siblings will sleep nearby too. It could be why the pet has taken up this habit as well!
9. Your Dog Trusts You
Your dog may trust you very much because they have been around you since the day you got them.
Some have been rescued from the streets or abandoned, and they need time to trust you as their new owner. Whenever your dog sleeps between your legs, it is a sign of complete trust in you! They know that with you by their side, nothing bad will happen to them.
Dogs and puppies trust their humans in the same way that they trust their mothers. So if your dog is relaxed and comfortable around you, it means that they trust you completely.
10. Your Dog seeks Safety and Security
Your dog may also feel safe and secure with you because they see you as their protector. It is why your pet wants to sleep near to or on top of you.
They want the assurance that if something happens, such as a fire alarm or intruder, then you would be there for them immediately! Your pet believes that it is your job to keep them safe from any dangers.
Should You Allow Your Dog to Sleep Between Your Legs?
In general, it is not recommended that you allow your dog to sleep between your legs. Some pet parents may not notice or as to why my dog sleeps between my legs. If it is a small dog breed, they won’t cause any discomfort even if they sleep on your lap for long periods.
But there are also disadvantages to allowing your dog to sleep in this spot.
It is common for dogs to gravitate towards your lap and sleep there because they know you will comfort them when they need it most!
However, their weight may become too much of a burden. Likewise, it may lead to resource guarding and aggression with other pets in the household.
MUST READ: 7 Most Effective Dog Training
How to Discourage Your Dog From Sleeping Between Your Legs
A dog that has been sleeping between your legs can be difficult to stop. As mentioned, why does my dog sleep between my legs is probably because of dependency or separation anxiety?
If his behavior is bothersome, there are ways to stop the habit. Use positive reinforcement to train them away from sleeping between your legs. Please give them a firm no and reward them when they listen.
Eventually, he’ll learn that his human doesn’t like this sleeping arrangement through conditioning and repetition.
Here are some other tips to help your pet ease out of your legs into sleeping on their own:
Get Comfortable Bed
The first solution is to provide the dog with a comfortable bed. It should be away from your bedroom so they can’t sneak in at night and curl up on it. You can also place blankets around it for extra security.
If Fido decides to sleep between your legs due to him not liking his bed, it’s time to train him unless you want to try and find a spot or another bed that he approves of.
Get Them a Toy
Another way to stop why does my dog sleep between my legs is by giving them a toy. If they have something that they can occupy themselves with, it will be more difficult for them to crawl into your bed and nestle up in the crook of your knees.
Help Them Get Over Separation Anxiety
One way to stop why does my dog sleep between my legs is by helping them get over separation anxiety. They might be worried about being left alone or getting lost. To help them with this, give them a toy to play with when you are gone or spend some time playing outside before bedtime.
You may also work with an animal behaviorist to address the underlying reason for this behavior. Help your pet work through his feelings of abandonment or loneliness will lead to a happier, more content pet that behaves well.
Don’t Encourage the Behavior
It sounds counterintuitive, but you need to stop giving your pets little rewards when they come and try to dog sleep between your legs. If they get what they want every time he decides to snuggle up into your bed or in-between your knees, then the behavior will continue with this habit. Try to give them a firm no, or try to move them away from the spot. You may also lead them to their bed each time they try to position themselves between your legs for a nap.
Resolve Resource Guarding Between Pets
A dog sometimes sleeps between your legs as a form of resource guarding. They are unsure if they will get enough attention or food, so they make sure to take up all the resources to avoid being left out.
The best way to stop this behavior is by resolving their resource guarding habits. If you give your pet enough attention and food, they will be less likely to guard these resources and ease away from sleeping between your legs.
There are many reasons why your dog may sleep in the bed between your legs. It could be an endearing behavior or indicate a problem that needs to be resolved with training and patience. If this is something you want to change, don’t encourage them by cuddling them when they do so and train using positive reinforcement rather than punishment.
If you want a happy, healthy dog that sleeps comfortably in its bed and not between your legs, there are many things you can do to change this behavior. Don’t be afraid to consult experts for help if necessary!
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