Why Does My Dog Sleep Between My Legs?

Your dog is your best buddy, and you know what that means – closeness!

It’s a great feeling knowing your dog always wants to be close to you, it tells you he loves you just as much as you love him. But have you ever wondered why he loves sleeping in between your legs?

Well, dogs have lots of funny behaviors. They sniff each other’s crotches, they sniff the floors looking for pee and poop spots, and they steal one leg of your shoes.

Sleeping between your legs is one of such funny behaviors[1], and in this article, I’ll be looking at the reasons why some dogs do this.

Keep reading, as I enlighten you along the way!

Usually, it’s the smaller sized dogs that are fond of this habit, some big dogs might do it too. This is not to say that size is the main factor here, because it’s not.

Dogs are cuddly animals, so it’s not strange they want to cuddle with their owners. Anxiety could be another reason your dog sleeps between your legs.

Below are some of the major reasons why your dog sleeps between your legs or under the covers.

1. Affection And Cuddles

This is one of the main reasons why your dog is fond of sleeping between your legs.

Dogs are pack animals, and as a pack, they cuddle up to show affection and strengthen bonds. The way you see your dog as a member of your family, is the same way your dog sees you as a member of the pack.

If your dog sleeps between your legs, it could mean he loves you and that’s his way of showing affection.

2. Warmth And Comfort

During the winter, your dog is very likely to cuddle more than he normally does. If your dog snuggles up to you more often than usual or sleeps under the covers, it could be a sign that he’s not as warm as he’d like to be.

Sleeping in between your legs or under the covers is a good option for your dog when he seeks warmth. He finds that area cozy and warm, your legs will also give him the feeling of being embraced.

3. Anxiety

Anxiety is another reason why your dog sleeps between your legs. An anxious dog would feel safest around its owner, especially when other people are around.

Dogs that suffer from separation anxiety would not react well when you try to push them away. They may resist and start to cry. Anxiety may be caused by a past traumatic experience.

To be sure anxiety is the reason your dog sleeps between your legs, then check for these other symptoms.

  • Consistent trembling
  • Keeping tail tucked in between his legs
  • Limited activity
  • Frightened reactions to loud noises
  • Urinating​​​​ inside even though he’s trained to urinate outside
  • Licking or biting their skin
  • Fearful when strangers are around

There are many traumatic events that can make a dog anxious. For instance if he was hit by a car in the past, he’d be scared of crossing the road.

Also, if one of your friends has been cruel to him in the past, then he may be scared of strangers and would seek refuge and comfort in between your legs.

How To Get Your Dog To Stop Sleeping Between Your Legs

We know you love your dog, and you enjoy those cuddly moments, but the truth is you also need your personal space, especially when you must’ve had the toughest day at work and you just want a good night’s sleep.

So, what do you do if you want your dog to stop sleeping in between your legs?

There are so many approaches to this, and they all depend on why he sleeps between your legs in the first place.

Let me drop a few tips here.

1. Understand And Treat Their Anxiety

Anxiety is a major reason why dogs sleep between their owner’s legs. For them, the space between your legs is the safest place they can possibly be.

If you understand why your dog is anxious, then you’ve made good progress which will lead to his treatment.

To understand what causes your dog to be anxious, you have to first check for the triggers. If he runs between your legs when a visitor comes in, then he’s scared of people. This may be due to a bad experience he has had with a stranger in the past.

Don’t worry, there are several treatments to dog anxiety. You can talk to your vet about treatment options.

CBD oil is one of the many treatments for dog anxiety.

CBD oil is derived from the plant Cannabis Sativa, and it has pretty much the same effects on dogs as it has in humans. This is because dogs also have an endocannabinoid system, which is an intricate system that affects tissues all over the body.

The endocannabinoid system can affect the following:

  • Eyes
  • Hair
  • Salivary glands
  • Stomach
  • Pain perceptions
  • Muscles
  • And in this case, mood and brain function

It has been proven that CBD oil can treat anxiety in humans, and a recent study has also proven that it can treat anxiety in dogs too!

A recent survey of U.S veterinarians showed that many vets recommend CBD oil for the treatment of anxiety in dogs, with 77% of them rating its effectiveness as “positive”.

Sleepiness is one of the many effects of CBD oil on dogs. It helps them relax better, even around factors that trigger their anxiety.

How To Administer CBD Oil To Your Dog

There are different ways to give your dog CBD oil.

  • You can drop the oil directly into their mouth
  • You can buy doggie biscuits that contain CBD oil
  • You can put it in their food

Be sure to give your dog the right dosage of CBD oil. If you don’t know the dosage to give them, you can consult your vet for directions.

CBD oil helps your dog sleep better at night, whether he is between your legs or not!

2. Provide An Alternative Warm And Cozy Sleeping Environment For Your Dog

This is a no-brainer in my opinion. If your dog likes sleeping between your legs for the sake of keeping warm and cozy, then what better solution than to provide him with a warmer, cozier spot to sleep.

If he’s already used to sleeping between your legs, then getting him to sleep in his new spot may require some training, and of course patience.

When you prepare his new spot, make sure you spend some time with him there so he’ll get used to his new comfort zone.

The first time may be tough, since he’s bound to follow you when you leave, but you can reward him with treats whenever he stays put. Use simple commands like “stay” when you’re leaving. If he obeys, drop a treat for him and leave. Do this several times and he’ll get used to sleeping there.

A thick, soft blanket and some comfy pillows should do the trick! If he finds the new spot more comfy than your legs, then he’s bound to take the option.

The new space may be right there in your bedroom, but if he’s making slow progress, you can go the extra mile and set up his new sleeping space in another room.

Over time, he will become very comfortable there, and without being told, he’ll head right there when it’s bed time.

3. Provide An Alternative Item He Can Show Affection

As I mentioned earlier, your dog may sleep between your legs because he loves you and that’s his way of showing affection. You can divert his affection by providing an alternative item that he likes.

The challenge here is finding that item. As his parent, it is up to you to discover that item.

Dogs love playing with toys, so that might be a good option. A life-size stuffed dog may be that item.

At first, your dog may be curious, but when he realizes that it’s just a toy, he’ll get used to it and play as much as he can with it. He wouldn’t mind sleeping on it (or beside it).

For this tactic to be effective, you need to first create a new warm and cozy comfort space for him, then place the stuffed dog there.

You could also place an item of yours which he’s familiar with at his new space. It could be your T-shirt or extra towel. These items will have your scent, and it will give your dog the feeling of your presence, even though you aren’t there.

To sum it all up, your dog sleeps between your legs for the following reasons:

  • To show affection
  • Warmth and coziness
  • Anxiety

I hope the tips I provided in this article will be of help.

If you’ve had this experience with your dog in the past and managed to overcome it, then kindly share your experience with us via the comment section. Someone might need it!

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