Animals are different from humans, and one important thing to know is that animals do not change completely despite the change in the environment. Dogs, for example, tend to display some behaviors their ancestors exhibited in the wild, although it might be subtle. One of the cutest things a dog can do is sleep between your legs, although it can be annoying sometimes.
Dogs sleep between their owners’ legs for various reasons, including to show love, acceptance into the pack, for comfort and warmth, to protect their owners, fear, for emotional support, separation anxiety, for protection, it trusts the owner, the dog loves burrowing, and training.
You should know that no dog behavior is mystifying or weird to dogs; they are only weird to humans. So, dogs will do a lot of gross things without feeling ashamed; however, when you yell at them, they see that behavior as wrong.
Why Do Dogs Sleep Between Your Legs?
It is normal for you to assume that some of the things your dog does are cute, and sometimes you will think they are annoying. Although these actions can look innocent, they can be pointers that there is something wrong. So, you must be able to highlight some possible reasons why your dog does some things.
If you wake up to find your dog sleeping between your legs, the first thing that will most likely come to your mind is that something is making the dog scared. Sometimes, this can be the reason, but there are other reasons, and you must know them. Some of the reasons your dog sleeps between your legs are;
To Show You Love
As the saying goes, “Dog is man’s best friend,” and they will do anything to show that they are man’s best friend. One of the most prominent ways a dog displays its love for its owner is by sleeping between his legs; the dog does this to show appreciation for all the care and attention it has received.
Dogs are affectionate and snuggly animals, a unique feature that makes them the most popular pet animal worldwide. We mentioned earlier that no matter how domesticated a dog is, it will display inherited traits and behaviors inherited from its parents that lived in packs in the wild.
When dogs lived in packs, they often slept together in groups, always cuddling up to one another. This is one of the ways they bond; so, by sleeping between your legs, the dog shows that it loves you and that you are family. You will never find a dog sleeping between the legs of a stranger.
For Warmth And Comfort
If you notice that your dog comes to sleep between your legs in winter, it means that the dog is not getting enough comfort and warmth. Most times, the dog will try to climb into your arms, spoon you, or even sleep back to back with you, in addition to sleeping between your legs.
Dogs also reminisce about the good times they have had; one of the best periods in a dogs’ life is growing up with its mother. So, the dog tries to recreate what it experienced with its mother with its owner. Also, humans have warm and soft legs, so we radiate heat that acts as a heating pad, helping the dog relax.
You should expect your dog to sleep between your legs more often in winter, especially puppies, small breeds, and hairless breeds. These three cannot regulate their body temperature properly during the cold seasons, and at night, so they need to be close to something or someone that can cool them down.
For Emotional Support
All creatures require emotional support when they are ill, tired, anxious, unwell, insecure, and injured. As a pet owner, you must know this so that you can know the best thing to do to help your dog. You should know that dogs and humans have similar brain structures, and dogs can feel emotions like humans.
According to Coren, a psychology professor who talked about dogs in her book, “The Intelligence of Dogs,” dogs can express and feel emotions like disgust, anger, joy, fear, and love. However, they are not able to feel emotions like guilt and shame.
Nevertheless, when a dog needs emotional support, it will come to its owner; if this happens at night, it will find its way between its owner’s legs and sleep there. You should watch for these signs to know your dog needs emotional support, lethargy, loss of appetite, lack of interest in social activities, and difficulty sleeping.
Why Does My Dog Like To Sleep Between My Legs?
It is one thing for your dog to sleep between your legs once in a while, and it is another thing for your dog to like sleeping between your legs. There are different reasons why your dog likes sleeping between your legs; you should know them before dealing with them properly. Some reasons your dog likes sleeping between your legs are;
It Wants To Protect You
This might sound weird, but if your dog senses that you might be exposed to danger, it will come to your room and sleep between your legs to protect you. Remember, dogs have heightened senses than humans, so they can hear and perceive things that we cannot hear and perceive.
By positioning itself between your legs, the dog can know and feel where you are while being able to face any incoming threats. You will notice that if a visitor that the dog is unfamiliar with comes to the house, the dog will sleep in your room, between your legs, to protect you.
It Is Experiencing Separation Anxiety
Dogs that experience separation anxiety always want to be by their owners, the same thing with Velcro dogs. When you are not around, dogs with separation anxiety display symptoms like growling, restlessness, pacing, whining, and sometimes destructive behaviors like scratching and tearing.
So, they do not want you to leave them when you are around, and they will do anything it takes to be by your side. When it is bedtime, the dog will try to sleep between your legs because they do not want to be alone. On the other hand, Velcro dogs follow their owners everywhere without regard for privacy.
You Trained The Dog To Sleep Between Your Legs
Most dog owners are unaware of how dogs learn; they learn through positive reinforcement. This means that you are teaching the dog that something is good by praising it or rewarding it and discouraging negative things. So, yeah, most dog owners unconsciously train their dogs to sleep between their legs.
When your dog sleeps between your legs for the first time, and you do not do or say anything, the dog is unsure if it is acceptable. It will try it again; if you do not say or do anything again, the dog will continue to sleep between your legs. However, if you tell the dog to sleep on its bed the first time and reward it for sleeping on its bed, it will not sleep between your legs except when necessary.
Dog Sleeps Between My Legs
Your dog sleeps between your legs because it trusts you and accepts you as a member of its pack. Sometimes, instinct makes your dog sleep between your legs. Your dog could also be scared of people, unfamiliar environments, and loud noises like thunder.
Before you encourage or discourage your dog from sleeping between your legs, you must first consider what the dog is currently going through. If your dog is experiencing separation anxiety or any form of serious illness, it is best to take it to a veterinarian for analysis and treatment.
- Why Does My Dog Stand on Me [BEHAVIOR EXPLAINED]
- Why Does My Dog Sleep With His Tongue Out? [BEHAVIOR EXPLAINED]
Shawn Manaher is a serial entrepreneur but when he isn’t working, he loves dogs. He’s owned different pets over the years, and always gives a part of his heart to each pet.