Why Does My Dog Sleep Between My Legs (8 Reasons)

Why Does My Dog Sleep Between My Legs

You are at home, watching your favorite television show and you notice your beloved furry friend is sleeping between your legs. He is clearly comfortable and seems to enjoy it. But why? Why does my dog sleep between my legs? He has a comfy dog bed, so why on the legs? Is there something wrong? 

Well, dogs are being dogs and sometimes they do things that we might not understand. However, there are many reasons why dogs sleep between your legs as opposed to their comfy dog beds.

A dog may choose to sleep between your legs because it allows him to be close to you during his most vulnerable time. Your scent allows him to feel safe since he views you as the alpha. In addition, it provides warmth which helps regulate his body temperature.

Below are the top most common reasons behind their doggie psychology.

Why Does My Dog Sleep Between My Legs?

Why Does My Dog Sleep Between My Legs

8. They Are Being Loyal

In your furry friend’s mind, he views you as the leader. He has a sense of duty to protect you, and by sleeping between your legs, he is showing you that he absolutely cares for you. This is just one of his many ways of showing devotion. 

7. They Are Pack Animals

Canines are pack animals, no doubt. They work as a team and tend to always stay close to one another. It’s just in their DNA and one of their survival mechanisms. Your dog, as mentioned earlier, views you as the leader of the pack, hence by sleeping close to you can also help him feel safe and protected.  

6. Your Scent

A dog’s ability to smell is just marvelous. Your dog uses his adorable and powerful snout to identify you. This is also one of their ways to remember and recognize you if you are away from your precious pup for a while.

When he’s sleeping next to you (in this case between your legs), not only does it comfort him, but it also releases a feel-good hormone known as Oxytocin. This further strengthens the love and trust between you and your pooch.  

5. Feeling Jealous

Maybe you recently brought home a new pet? Dogs can be jealous too and he might be asserting that you are his human. This is likely a territorial situation. When he sleeps in between your legs, he’s claiming you to be his. However, once he realizes the new family member is not a threat, he’ll most likely return to his normal sleeping spot.   

4. Scared Of Storms

Another potential reason is Fido might be scared of the annoying thunder that’s making him feel fearful and anxious. Most dogs, in general, are scared of thunder because they don’t know what is and think it’s a threat. As his protector, this makes him want to be near you so he can be comfortable and secure. “Hekk you thunder! Doin’ me a scare!” 

3. Issues With His Bed

Perhaps you recently bought a new dog bed and your pooch doesn’t quite like it? The thing is, dogs are picky sometimes, and having a bed he deems uncomfortable can lead him to sleep on your lap instead. He could be doing it in protest to tell you the bed is not to his liking. “Hey, hooman, change bed plzz.”

2. For Warmth

Sleeping between your legs can provide warmth to your furry friend. There might not be enough blankets in his doggie bed so he insists on sleeping on you. This is also a reason why some dogs like to cuddle with us. What’s better than a warm and comfy snuggle?

1. Showing You Love

He’s just simply showing you his love. Dogs are a man’s best friend and your dog just wants to show how much he appreciates you and for all you have done for him. Being close to you will give him a sense of bliss. He’s thanking you for giving him the food, affection, and care that you provided. “I wuv you hooman!”

Should You Allow This Behavior?

This all winds down to personal preferences and scenarios. It wouldn’t hurt to let your furry family member relax between your legs if he’s not causing any discomfort or problems. However, you don’t want a massive St. Bernard sleeping on your legs, or worse yet if there are elderly loved ones and small children in the household. If you decide to cut this behavior, there are ways to train him to stop.  

How To Train A Dog To Not Sleep Between Your Legs

How To Train A Dog To Not Sleep Between Your Legs

If his behavior is bothering you, there are ways to break this habit. The method generally involves the use of positive reinforcement. Next time when he decides to do this behavior again, give him a firm “no” and reward him a treat when he listens. Eventually, through conditioning, he’ll learn that his hooman doesn’t like it and would stop the habit. 

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. There are a few ways to do this. 

  • Placing a favorite toy: Try placing your dog’s favorite toy in the bed so he can at least interact with it on the bed. This will encourage him to feel the bed if he seems disinterested in the first place. 
  • Lead your dog to the bed: Another method you can utilize is to carry/lead your dog to the bed. If he decides to leave, tell him to “Stay” or “Lay Down” if he understands those commands. You can also offer him a treat if he listens to you so next time he knows by staying in his bed, there will be yummy treats. Keep practicing until he remembers those commands. 
  • Sleep next to him: If nothing seems to be working, try joining your dog in his bed or next to it. Doing so will make him feel safe knowing his human is right beside him.

Final Thought

Each dog is different and there can be endless reasons why he wants to sleep in between your legs. Whatever the reason might be, dogs have their own doggie psychology we may not understand.

If this behavior bothers you, you can always condition him to not do it. It takes time, patience, and effort, but it is possible. On the flip side, if it’s the least of your concerns, cherish every moment as they are probably showing you love.