Why Do Dogs Sleep Between Your Legs?

So, why does my dog sleep between my legs? Possible reasons are that it is being protective, it makes it feel more secure, it has separation anxiety or that you have inadvertently trained it to do so.

There are actually a number of nuances that you can consider when trying to figure out why your dog does it. Each of the different reasons that your dog sleeps between your legs will likely come with a number of clues.

Comfort Most dog breeds were bred to be around their owners most of the time. The reason that your dog sleeps between your legs could be that it makes it feel more secure. This is because being between your legs will mean that it will know when you leave and it makes it feel less vulnerable when it is sleeping.

This would be more likely to be the reason if you tend to give it things that it wants when it does it such as belly rubs. It might be that going between your legs is a sign that it considers you a part of its tribe and that it trusts you. Below, I will mention some particularly helpful things to consider when trying to figure out why your dog does it.

You moved homes You rewarded it for going between your legs one time You got another pet If you notice that it tends to sleep between your legs before you leave for work then it would make it more likely that it does it due to separation anxiety. There are a number of things that you can do about your dog sleeping between your legs.

Positive reinforcement training is where you reward your dog for doing things that you want it to do. Petdogowner may be paid a commission from the companies mentioned in this post.

Why does my dog sleep between my legs at night?

This is both for warmth and pack bonding. Your dog sees you as a member of their ‘pack’ just as you see them as a member of your family, and they might want to bond with you. If your dog sleeps between your legs, it’s a sign that they love you and that you make them feel safe.

Why does my dog go between my legs?

Sometimes, dogs may go between their owner’s legs seeking comfort or safety. Some research has found that medium and large dogs are more likely to demonstrate this behavior than small dogs. A lack of confidence, anxiety, or excitement can cause dogs to seek the closeness or protection of their owner’s legs.

Do dogs understand when you kiss them?

Dogs don’t understand when you kiss them. Kissing is a human way to show affection. Dogs know no such way to show affection. Since dogs are not humans, they communicate in a manner different from humans.

Why does my dog sleep with his butt towards me?

It’s considered a complement. A dogs butt is vulnerable. With her butt toward you, she feels secure – you have her back, and she can keep an eye on the rest of the world.

– 9 reasons why your dog sleeps between your legs#1: Its warm and cozy between your legs#2: Your dog is scared, and they feel safe with you#3: Your dog sees you as something of high value#4: Your dog seeks safety and security#5: Your dog is acting on a pack instinct#6: Your dog needs emotional support#7: Your dog sleeps between your legs because you allow it#8: Your dog is a velcro dog or has separation anxiety#9: Your dog trusts you

The 7 simple but effective ways to stop your dog from sleeping between your legs. Your dog sleeps between your legs for the following reasons: they could be scared and in need of emotional support.

Loud sounds such as fireworks and thunder could send them running to you. In some cases, dogs sleep between your legs just because they see you as a member of the pack. Your dog sleeps between your legs at night because there they feel warm and cozy.

Your legs and thighs are fleshy, soft, and warm. Your dog loves sleeping between your legs for safety and security and trust. Dogs naturally gravitate to the person they trust to keep them safe.

Your dog sleeping between your legs makes perfect sense. Perhaps they feel like a baby wrapped in their mothers arms. Humans legs are fleshy and soft and warm.

Sleeping between your legs is the easiest, fastest way to get snug. Your dog will also seek warmth if their bed is cold and uncomfortable. When it was a chilly night, a dog in bed provided additional warmth.

They wont leave your side because they feel safe with you. Symptoms of fear A scared dog exhibits the following behaviors: Youll also notice a dog assuming the submissive posture:

Hes even dubbed the real life Scooby Doo. According to his owner, even the rustling sound that plastic bags make scares Presley. Sometimes, dogs are like children vying for their parents attention.

The use of avoidance, threatening, or aggressive behaviors by a dog to retain control of food or non-food items in the presence of a person or other animal. The results showed that neutered males and mixed breeds were more likely to display resource guarding (RG) aggression. In addition, dogs with high levels of impulsivity displayed RG aggression.

Dogs with high levels of fearfulness also showed RG aggression. Rover reacts by growling, snarling or lunging. He reacts like that because he considers you a high value property that hes not willing to surrender.

According to canine behavior expert Patricia McConnell, resource guarding between dogs is trickier. Your dog sleeps between your legs because its a safe and secure place. Remember, some dog breeds were bred to work alongside humans.

There are many predators and threats that its essential to stay with their pack. A pet owner shares on a forum how her rescue dog loves sleeping with her on the bed. Another pet owner believes that sleeping between your legs is reassuring for dogs.

When puppies are born, they gravitate toward a heat source. Coren is a psychology professor who wrote the popular 1994 book The Intelligence of Dogs . For one, dogs and humans have the same brain structures producing emotions.

But Stanley believes that the emotional ranges are not the same for dogs and humans. Joy, fear, anger, disgust and even love. But dogs are not capable of more complex emotions such as guilt and shame.

Conversely, pet owners observe that dogs react like humans when sad or depressed. For instance, your dog is a giant like a Great Dane. But sleeping between your legs for a long time can make it uncomfortable for you.

Theres a tiny bit of difference between velcro dogs and those with separation anxiety. A plastic bin making noises from a concealed speaker. A puppy was paired with either their mother or a human partner.

Eight out of 10 puppies took emotional cues from their mothers and human partners. Also, puppies were more likely to explore something new if their mother was relaxed around the object. The same observation was made on puppies with human partners who encouraged them.

If you dont like your dog sleeping between your legs, get them a comfortable bed. During the cold months, put their bed away from drafts and doorways. For the life of me, I cant figure out why a big dog likes a small bed.

If theyre allowed in bed but not between your legs, show them where you want them. During the cold nights, give them extra blankets for additional warmth. When your dog willingly goes to their bed, reward them with attention and praise.

But as a dog owner, its your responsibility to help them cope with your absence. Put on your shoes, get your scarf, bag or keys. Stay outside for a minute, then get back inside and sit on the couch.

Note: Dont forget to reward your dog if they behave accordingly. Resource guarding can easily turn to aggression. Teach Rover that feeding Fido leads to him getting fed.

This is one way of teaching your dogs to patiently wait for their turn. This prevents instances of you waking up in the middle of the night, to a dead weight across or between your legs. Other owners are not comfortable having their canine friends in bed with them.

Though a dog benefits from early socialization, its not too late to start now. Socialization exposes them to people, animals and experiences. Enrolling in obedience classes can help them build their confidence.

You might be wondering, why does my dog sleep between my legs? Well, perhaps it is just protective, or it feels safe between your legs. Whatever the reason, it is typical for a dog to sleep between its masters legs.

A dog is mans best friend, and sleeping between your legs is one of the best ways to show how much they care and appreciate your company. If the dog is not causing any problems or discomfort, it wont hurt to allow them to enjoy the comfort of relaxing between your legs.

It might also be because human legs are soft and warm, making you an instant heating pad where they can relax. They tend to do this more in cold seasons, which means they are not warm enough and sleeping between your legs is the fastest and easiest way to heat up. Note that puppies or small breeds such as chihuahuas cant regulate their body heat properly, especially during the night or cold seasons.

Besides, they will also assume a submissive posture such as ear pinned back, head down, or tail tucked between the legs. Like humans, dogs need emotional support when they feel insecure, injured, tired, unwell, or anxious. Whats more, Coren also believes that dogs can feel emotions such as fear, joy, love, anger, or disgust.

Whats more, when they are sad or depressed, they can experience appetite loss, difficulty sleeping, lethargy, or lack of interest in social interaction. When you leave without them, they tend to show signs of anxiety such as whining, growling, pacing, or restlessness. The best way to reduce separation anxiety is to leave it for short periods and reward it when you get back.

Besides, a study by Claudia Fugazza of Eotvos Lorand University reveals that even puppies trust humans as if they were their mothers. One of the best ways to stop them from sleeping under the covers and between your legs is to enroll them in a dog training program.

Sleeping between the owners legs is one of the most popular habits among puppies and older dogs. If you share a bed with a dog, this may be one of his favorite places.

Dogs sleep between their legs to show their affection to their owners or to gain security from fear, anxiety, and cold weather. For example, the old pup may decide to lie between your legs at bedtime to prove who is boss and to make sure he gets some attention from you as well.

Sometimes a dog may fall asleep in another part of your bed, but move to the space between your legs after waking from a nightmare. The trembling sounds of thunder and lightning, for example, can frighten dogs so much that they will move to the owners lap for safety and reassurance. When temperatures drop in the winter or other cold periods of the year, the space between your legs can be one of the warmest places on a bed for dogs .

If the new puppy you just brought home has been trained to sleep between its owners legs, its only a matter of time before it solidifies that spot in your bed. You may need to inquire about the puppys sleeping habits to make sure it meets your preferences before proceeding with the adoption process. Separation anxiety is a common condition that occurs in dogs that have been trained to always be in the company of their owner.

Therefore, such dogs may decide that sleeping between your legs provides maximum closeness while ensuring as much physical contact as possible. Burrowing can give such dogs a sense of comfort and security, and what better way to do that than to lie down between their owners legs? Burying under blankets also allows dogs to snuggle up to their favorite owners, whether its shivering outside or the room temperature is chilly.

As mentioned above, a common reason could also be the introduction of a new pet in the house, or perhaps you accidentally gave a treat after your dog slept between your legs once. If the little guy has slept between your legs from day one, it may be a sign that he finds this spot more comfortable, even if there is plenty of room in other areas of the bed. However , if the pooch suddenly moves into the space between your legs after a change of apartment or house, it could be a sign that the little guy isnt exactly comfortable in the new environment.

The last thing you need in a heat wave is a dog trapped between your legs, as this can restrict the circulation of minimal amounts of air in your bedroom. Have you been diagnosed with restless legs syndrome or another condition that makes it impossible for you to lie still all night? First, it can limit your ability to move effortlessly from the supine to the side or prone position without physical contact with your four-legged friend.

Going to bed knowing that your dog is stuck between your legs can also mean that the subconscious part of your brain is trying to keep you in a fixed position throughout the night . Although this solution sounds good, it may not be easy to implement if you love the idea of sharing the bedroom with your furry friend. As mentioned earlier, separation anxiety may be the reason why your dog curls up in the space between your legs at night.

Remember that separation anxiety may have been caused by the loss of an important person in the dogs life in the past.

Why your dog sleeps between your legs

Each of the different reasons that your dog sleeps between your legs will likely come with a number of clues.Below, I will mention a number of reasons why your dog might be doing it and what would make them more likely.

It is being protective

The reason that it sleeps between your legs could be that it is being protective. This would be more likely if it does it more when other people are around and if it gets overly protective when other people or dogs are around.Related: Why does my dog growl at nothing?

Comfort

Most dog breeds were bred to be around their owners most of the time. The reason that your dog sleeps between your legs could be that it makes it feel more secure. This is because being between your legs will mean that it will know when you leave and it makes it feel less vulnerable when it is sleeping.Related: Why does my dog lay down to eat?

Separation anxiety

It could be the case that your dog has some separation anxiety. This is where it does not like being left alone and being left alone causes it to become anxious. This would be more likely if it gets anxious when you are about to leave by doing things such as pacing or crying.

Fear

The reason that it sleeps between your legs could be that it is fearful of something. This would be more likely if it does it in situations where it might become fearful such as when someone is around that it does not like, there are fireworks or loud noises outside.

It’s being affectionate

It could just be the case that it does it because it is being affectionate. It might be that going between your legs is a sign that it considers you a part of its tribe and that it trusts you.

Things to consider

Below, I will mention some particularly helpful things to consider when trying to figure out why your dog does it. Once you have a better idea of the cause it will be easier to take the appropriate action.

If it always sleeps between your legs

It would help to consider the timing of when it started doing it since there could have been an event that triggered it.Things that might have happened could include:If it has always slept between your legs then it would make it more likely that it does it because it makes it feel more comfortable or secure.

Give it a comfortable place to sleep

One option you have is to train your dog to lay somewhere else so you can tell it to lay there whenever it tries to lay between your legs.I have written about how you can train your dog to learn the “down” command here. Whenever it tries to go between your legs you could tell it to go down at a certain location and to reward it for doing so.You could also use positive reinforcement training to get it to learn not to go between your legs. Positive reinforcement training is where you reward your dog for doing things that you want it to do.To use positive reinforcement training to get it to stop going between your legs you would:

Reduce its separation anxiety

It would help to train it to get used to being left without you by leaving it for longer and longer periods. It would be important to start out by leaving it for a very short period so that it does not get anxious and then to reward it for not being anxious each time you do it.It’s important that you leave it for a period where it will not start to get anxious so that you can reward it for not being anxious. You might find that you will have to start by not even leaving the room and by simply making it seem like you are preparing to leave.This post may contain affiliate links. Petdogowner may be paid a commission from the companies mentioned in this post. This has no effect on the price that you pay and we are very grateful for any support.

#4: Your dog seeks safety and security

Your dog sleeps between your legs because it’s a safe and secure place.They are right next to you and they feel protected this way.Remember, some dog breeds were bred to work alongside humans. They feel safer when they are near their owners.Even dogs in the wild sleep together. Not only for warmth but also for security. To survive.There are many predators and threats that it’s essential to stay with their pack.But why feet and legs?One explanation could be wanting to be alerted when you move. And sleeping between your legs is the perfect way to know if you’re getting up.You know how dogs can be. They want to know all that happens to you.Even if you’re just going to drink water in the kitchen. Or going to the bathroom.A pet owner shares on a forum how her rescue dog loves sleeping with her on the bed. She has an assumption about it:When she wakes up, her dog can come with her and not be left alone on the bed.She also thinks her dog feels safe being with her.Another pet owner believes that sleeping between your legs is reassuring for dogs. Particularly for puppies or for small breeds of dogs.

#1: Get your dog a comfortable bed

If you don’t like your dog sleeping between your legs, get them a comfortable bed.By comfortable, it should be dry, clean, and soft. They should feel safe whenever they’re in their beds.During the cold months, put their bed away from drafts and doorways.And make sure they fit in their bed. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why a big dog likes a small bed. Or a small dog hogs the big bed. Silly furbabies.You can also teach them commands so that they stay in their bed. For example, point to their bed and say ‘bed’ and ‘stay.’

#3: Reduce your dog’s separation anxiety

It can be challenging to have a dog with separation anxiety.But as a dog owner, it’s your responsibility to help them cope with your absence. Trust me, it’s going to be beneficial in the long run.The trick here is to get them used to being left alone. Do it a little at a time so as not to shock them.For starters, do the usual stuff you do before leaving. Put on your shoes, get your scarf, bag or keys.Then sit on the couch as though you’re not leaving.Do it several days. Then progress to going to the door.If your dog follows you, go back to the couch. Again, do it until your dog gets used to it.Only then attempt to step out of the door. Stay outside for a minute, then get back inside and sit on the couch.Eventually lengthen the time you’re outside.

#4: How to solve resource guarding

Resource guarding can easily turn to aggression. Prevent such incidents from taking place.Patricia McConnell has a clever suggestion:Teach Rover that feeding Fido leads to him getting fed.Here’s how it works. Make sure your dogs are sitting.Call Fido’s name then give him a treat. Immediately give Rover a treat.If you have more dogs, give them treats one at a time. When the last dog is given treats, start again with the first dog.If one dog lunges at you to get their turn, block them off. Or wait for them to calm down.When calm, give them a treat then move on to the next dog.This is one way of teaching your dogs to patiently wait for their turn.

#5: Don’t reinforce the behavior

As long as you do nothing, your dog will keep on trying to sleep between your legs.If it makes you uncomfortable, tell your dog ‘no’ even before they make an attempt. It helps to also teach them ‘down’, which comes handy in these instances.Ask them to lie down on the floor. Or take them to their bed and say ‘down’ and ‘stay.’You may allow them to sleep between your legs from time to time. But make sure it’s on your terms.Your dog should learn to respect and obey you when you tell them ‘no’ or ‘off.’

#6: Ban your dog from the bedroom

One option is to ban your dog altogether from your bedroom.This prevents instances of you waking up in the middle of the night, to a dead weight across or between your legs.This is certainly not a punishment for your dog. As you know, some owners are light sleepers. Thus, they might have difficulty sleeping with a fidgety dog in the bed.Other owners are not comfortable having their canine friends in bed with them.Besides, dogs can have their own uninterrupted sleep in their own bed. Everybody gets a good night’s rest.

2. Showing You Love:

Technically, dogs are pack animals. They tend to stay close to others and work as a team. Besides, they also view you as the leader — hence lying down and sleeping between your legs makes them feel safe.There are several ways to get them to stop sleeping under the covers or between your legs. Some of these methods include:

3. They are Being Protective:

This is yet another reason why your dog sleeps between your legs. Sometimes, its intentions might be to protect their master. They need to be close to one of their family members to care for and provide protection.If your dog appears overprotective for some reason, it might be because there are other animals or people nearby. They want to ensure you are free from danger.

4. Warmth and Comfort:

One of the main reasons your dog sleeps between your legs is for warmth and comfort. Perhaps they feel like a baby in their mother’s warm embrace. It might also be because human legs are soft and warm, making you an instant heating pad where they can relax.What’s more, it is also a warm mutual benefit. Your dog also lends their body heat when in contact with each other. They tend to do this more in cold seasons, which means they are not warm enough and sleeping between your legs is the fastest and easiest way to heat up.Note that puppies or small breeds such as chihuahuas can’t regulate their body heat properly, especially during the night or cold seasons.

6. Emotional Support:

An unfamiliar environment, people, thunder, or loud and sudden noises can scare your dog. In such an event, they won’t leave your side because that’s where they feel safe. Here are some of the behaviors of a scared dog:Besides, they will also assume a submissive posture such as ear pinned back, head down, or tail tucked between the legs.

7. Separation Anxiety:

Unless your dog is not a velcro, they can get separation anxiety. They will even sleep between your legs when it’s sleeping time. When you leave without them, they tend to show signs of anxiety such as whining, growling, pacing, or restlessness. They sleep between your legs to ensure you don’t leave their side.The best way to reduce separation anxiety is to leave it for short periods and reward it when you get back. Repeat the process and increase the duration of time you leave them alone until they get used to it.

8. They Trust You:

This is perhaps one of the most enduring things about dogs. They will relax or sleep between your legs because they trust you. Technically, they see you as their master or one of their toys. Besides, a study by Claudia Fugazza of Eotvos Lorand University reveals that even puppies trust humans as if they were their mothers.One of the best ways to stop them from sleeping under the covers and between your legs is to enroll them in a dog training program. You can also place them where they can rest and be calm. Also, ensure the dog has pillows or blankets to keep warm in the cold seasons.

1. Competing For Your Attention

Has a new pet come into the house? If so, that could be why an old dog is sleeping between your legs. If the habit has popped up all of a sudden after a new pet, it could be the old dog’s way of protecting his territory.For example, the old pup may decide to lie between your legs at bedtime to prove who is boss and to make sure he gets some attention from you as well.

2. Fear

A dog may settle between the owner’s feet when he is scared. This can be due to internal or external factors. For example, if you have always slept with the lights on, the decision to suddenly turn off the lights may cause the dog to become anxious.He may respond by moving between your legs to protect himself from the uncertainty in the dark. Sometimes a dog may fall asleep in another part of your bed, but move to the space between your legs after waking from a nightmare.

3. Cold

Cold weather can be just as brutal for dogs as it is for humans. We all love to snuggle up to someone or something warm to raise our body temperature in extremely low temperatures, and dogs love to do the same.When temperatures drop in the winter or other cold periods of the year, the space between your legs can be one of the warmest places on a bed for dogs.This position not only allows for contact with the owner’s body, but also with other warm bedding he or she may be sleeping with.

4. Part of Their Training

Whether you intend to adopt a homeless puppy or obtain a puppy from another provider, keep in mind that the puppy may have been trained to behave in certain ways. If the new puppy you just brought home has been trained to sleep between its owner’s legs, it’s only a matter of time before it solidifies that spot in your bed.If you love the idea of a puppy sleeping between your legs, there should be no problems. However, if you absolutely loathe the idea of sharing a bed with a puppy or prefer a place in your bed other than between your legs, you have a decision to make.

5. Your dog Trusts you

Dogs really are man’s best friend, and any dog owner can attest to the special bond that can develop between man and pooch. Sleeping between your legs can be a sign of the strong bond the dog has formed with you.Remember: dogs avoid contact with people they perceive as shady. Your puppy can only feel comfortable between your legs if he has absolute trust in you.

6. Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is a common condition that occurs in dogs that have been trained to always be in the company of their owner.Therefore, such dogs may decide that sleeping between your legs provides maximum closeness while ensuring as much physical contact as possible.If you share the bed with a partner, the dog may choose to lie between the legs of the one with whom he feels more comfortable.However, in the absence of the preferred partner, the dog may choose to lie between the legs of the other partner.

7. Natural Burrowing

Burrowing is one of the earliest characteristics of dogs, as the first generation of dogs were not domesticated. They survived by burrowing in the woods to find food and other essentials in the wild.
Burying under blankets also allows dogs to snuggle up to their favorite owners, whether it’s shivering outside or the room temperature is chilly.

1. Excessive Heat During Summer

Dogs’ body heat can rise during the summer or other high-temperature periods of the year. The last thing you need in a heat wave is a dog trapped between your legs, as this can restrict the circulation of minimal amounts of air in your bedroom.The dog’s body temperature can also heat up your bed and make it difficult to sleep.

3. Restricted Movements

If you are a combination sleeper who switches between different positions throughout the night, a dog sleeping between your legs can be detrimental to a good night’s rest in many ways. First, it can limit your ability to move effortlessly from the supine to the side or prone position without physical contact with your four-legged friend.

1. Kick It Out Of Your Bedroom

Although this solution sounds good, it may not be easy to implement if you love the idea of sharing the bedroom with your furry friend.Therefore, you may have to resort to one of the alternative solutions listed below:

4. Move to The Sofa

While some furry friends may follow you to the sofa to continue laying on your lap, others will stay on the bed.Dogs can be intelligent animals that watch your reactions to determine how to behave in certain situations. The dog may be hesitant to move to the sofa to lie on your lap if you move away every time he snuggles up to you in bed.

5. Lock Him In A Crate

Do you hate the feeling of a dog laying between your legs in bed? Why not just lock him in a crate and put him in the bedroom? Dogs who are used to sharing your bed may resist, but if you’re determined, it’s not impossible.