Dog owners usually have all sorts of questions about their dogs. We are trying to provide as many answers as possible. Why does my dog sleep between my legs? This will be the question we are going to answer right now. As always, there is more than just one reason why dogs do this. Let’s reveal all of them.
Why Does My Dog Sleep Between My Legs?
He is warm and comfortable
Yes, this is the first reason and one of very common explanations. Some dog breeds that are very small such as Chihuahuas become cuddlier during the winter. They want to get warm and stay cozy. Why does my dog sleep between my legs? He feels warm and comfortable there. Your legs provide him support and will keep him warm. This reason is usually presented during the cold months. In the summer, if your dog still sleeps between the legs, there is another reason why.
You have a Velcro dog
A Velcro dog is the pet that will follow you literally anywhere. He will even go to the bathroom with you. Some, smaller dog breeds are just like that. Others will follow you in order to keep you safe. Shepherds are usually considered Velcro dogs.
Being able to follow you all the time and to sleep next to you, it’s no wonder why he would want to sleep between your own legs. After all, a dog will enjoy sleeping here and he already must be next to you. It is a win-win situation for him.
He seeks emotional support
Dogs have similar brain patterns and chemical processes when it comes to emotions as humans. They cannot feel shame or guilt but they can feel sadness! When a dog is feeling unwell, anxious, tired, or is just tired, he will need emotional support. This is one of the ways he can get it. It works well and there are a lot of less-known perks dogs get when doing this.
An interesting fact is that dogs act similarly as humans when depressed. They can get anxious as well. Of course, they won’t show it in the same way as we will but there will be signs. This behavior can be one of those signs.
Your dog is scared
Dogs can get scared easily. Some of the more common causes of fear in dogs are loud noises (thunderstorms, fireworks etc.), other dogs, unknown people, and even hats for some dogs. He will sleep between the owner’s legs simply because he feels safe and secure there. It is like you are hugging him.
A scared dog will show all sorts of signs. More common ones are hiding, barking, trembling, lip licking, whining, etc. Dogs will display submissive behavior as well. This includes keeping the head down, tail between the legs, and also ears pinned back.
You taught him to sleep there
If you allow your pet to sleep between owners legs, he will do it all the time. Most dog owners make a mistake in the form of petting the dog or giving him treats. For example, if you cuddle with your dog when he lies down between your own legs or you scratch his belly, he will consider this a positive behavior. He will want to get belly scratches again and again. In his mind, every single time he lies down there, he will get a reward.
Yes, smaller dogs are not a big deal when they want to sleep here. They are small so they can make you feel warmer and more comfortable as well. But, what if your pet is a Great Dane? He will crush you. As such, you may want to change your behavior and make your dog stop sleeping here.
Due to separation anxiety
If a dog has separation anxiety, he will show certain signs. He will scratch the carpet, chew your furniture, and sleep between owners’ legs. This happens when you change your home, get a baby, have another dog or you just don’t have time to spend with your dog. You will need to react quickly and to find the cause and start spending more time with your pet.
Your pet trusts you completely
If your dog really loves you and trusts you, he will want to sleep next to you. Some will sleep at the bottom of the bed while others will sleep between owners’ legs. They feel extremely safe and secure there so they will want to sleep as long as possible. It is an excellent and nice action for some owners. It can be annoying for others.
In the wild dogs live in packs. Today they live in homes with us. But, their pack mentality is still present. One of the reasons and explanations why a dog will sleep between its owner’s legs is this one. In the wild, they usually sleep together. It is great to stay warm and connected with pack members. So, if your pet sleeps between owners legs, it is a good thing. He considers you as a pack member. But, always try and stay the alpha. It is important in your relationship.
A dog will want to protect their property of high value
Believe it or not, dogs usually want to protect something of high value to them. This can be a toy or you. In most cases, they consider your legs, chest, and your lap as their own property. Sleeping between owners legs simply means a dog wants to keep what’s his.
This usually happens when there is a massive change. For instance, you may get a baby or you adopt a new dog. An old dog will want to keep what’s his. Other, common things dogs will want to protect are their bed or a crate and food bowl.
Things you can do to stop this behavior
Luckily there are a lot of things you can do in this scenario. The best one is to give your pet a warm and comfortable bed. It is likely that he will want to sleep there instead of with you. When it is cold, give them an additional blanket. Dogs want to stay warm as well.
You also should train your pet not to sleep between owners’ legs. Try to prove to him that this is not acceptable behavior and don’t encourage it. Never cuddle with your pet or give him a treat when he tries to sleep between owners’ legs. Instead, teach him to sleep on his own spot, somewhere where he feels secure and comfortable.
In more severe cases you can even ban your pet from entering the bedroom. This is something that obviously works but not all owners want to use it. If your pet has separation anxiety, you will need to deal with it as soon as possible.
Why does my dog sleep between my legs and what I can do about it? We have revealed all the possible reasons. Some are more common than others. Find the cause why your dog is doing this and react fast. If you like this behavior, there is no need to change it. It can be appealing. But, if you don’t like it, now you know what to do in order to resolve the issue.
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