You find it adorable when your dogo snuggles for a quick snooze on your legs. As he keeps your feet warm while you read a book or watch a movie, one thought goes through your mind. Why does my dog sleep under the covers and between my legs?
Dogs seek comfort when they snuggle close to your legs. Also, your dog sleeping on your legs could be a sign that he is anxious, fearful, and wants to feel more secure. A pup sleeping on your leg could also be out of habit.
As cute as your fur baby looks sleeping on your legs, it is always good to know why he likes to do so. If he looks peaceful and contentment, then there is nothing to worry about. But there are instances when your dog sleeping on your leg could mean something else.
A dog desires affection more than its dinner. Well almost
Dog lying between your legs, and wearing that goofy smile of his, is just a show of affection. It could also be because your dog feels;
It’s his usual spot
Your dog is feeling protective
It is natural for your pup to want to protect his owner. We see it in the movies all the time when army dogs snuggle right next to their handlers; for comfort and bodyguarding. When your dog lies on your legs, he wants you to know that you are safe and there is nothing to worry about.
But there is a thin line between being protective and overprotective. A dog will be overprotective of you out of jealousy. This will normally happen if there is another pet in the same house vying for your attention. Because he does not want you to share affection, your doggo will always sleep on your laps to get your attention at all times.
Toy breeds like the chihuahua are notorious for this habit. Because of their tiny bodies, they can easily curl into a ball on your lap much to the envy of Charlie, the Labrador who has to sleep on the floor all the time.
Your dog feels secure on your laps
Maybe your legs assure your dog that he is in a safe space. Dogs that are bred for companionship tend to exhibit this behavior more. If you have a golden retriever, a Labrador, or labradoodle at home, no doubts you have seen him snooze on your legs a couple of times.
It is the same for toy breeds like the Chihuahua and Poodle. These dogs thrive on affection and attention. When the little mutt snoozes on your legs, he feels secure because his owner is around.
Also, sleeping on your legs assures the dog that you are not going anywhere. If you make the slightest movement, the dog will get up and follow you wherever you go. Sleeping on your legs makes the dog feel less vulnerable especially in new surroundings.
Your fur baby is anxious
Separation anxiety in dogs manifests in many forms. It can be as subtle as your dog sleeping on your legs or as worrisome as him chewing on his paws. It is good to spot those cues that come with your dog constantly sleeping on your legs.
Other signs of separation anxiety to watch out for include;
We know the last symptom is disgusting but it can happen when your pup feels uneasy when left alone.
Your dog is afraid
Even the toughest dog breeds like the Black Cur German Shepherd can develop a habit of fear if not well-trained. Fear stems from the dog not recognizing new faces or sounds in its environment.
The loud bang of fireworks can send a fearful dog to your lap whimpering. A dog that is not used to seeing people will develop uneasiness around guests or large crowds. Fear may also stem from being bullied by another pet. And cats can bully dogs too.
If that is your dog, sleeping on your leg or hiding under the covers is a way of seeking refuge. They will hold that position until what they deem as a threat is eliminated.
Your dog loves to sleep on your legs because he likes it. It is probably a habit he picked up as a puppy. If you do not mind that furry warm head resting on your legs or lap, then your fur baby won’t mind carrying the habit to adulthood.
Why does my dog sleep under the covers and between my legs, can I stop him?
If your dog loves to sleep on your legs and he looks happy, then it is no cause for alarm. This is a way to bond with your pet more as you both enjoy each other’s company. But if fear, anxiety, or jealousy is what compels your dog’s habit, then you have to seek help for him;
Socialize your dog — introduce your dog to people and new sights while they are puppies. Sensitize your dog on loud noises to ensure they do not get spooks during festive celebrations. Your dog should meet as many people and animals as possible to grow their confidence.
Always spend time with your dog — this is the only way to end separation anxiety. While some dogs can enjoy their company for a whole day, toy breeds like the Chihuahua will only cope with an hour or two. If your dog is prone to separation anxiety, never leave them on their own for long. Pet sitting services will come in handy here.
Train your dog on how to share — if you are bringing a new pet home, you will have to slowly introduce it to the existing dog. Keep both dogs separated until they are used to each other’s scent. Also, try and divide affection equally between the two dogs. It helps quell any form of pet rivalry or bullying.
Does your pet love to sleep under covers and on your lap? Well, they don’t mind being your hot water bag if you let them share this intimate moment. But if your dog sleeps on your legs out of fear, anxiety, or jealousy, you have to address that problem in advance.
Dog licking your feet is a sign of submissiveness. The dog acknowledges you as its master and is by your fit to receive its next order. Dogs with dominant behavior are less likely to do this unless they consider you the alpha.
As weird and funny this sleeping position looks, it helps your pooch to cool down. Dogs sweat through the hairless parts of the skin. Since the belly has minimal hair, sleeping with the belly up is a quick cooling mechanism.
In the canine world, dogs follow each other around for protection and companionship. So, your pup considers you a member of the pack and will keep an eye for you while you do your business. The dog may lay at your fit in the bathroom as a sign of affection.
The space between your legs is large enough for a Chihuahua’s small body to fit in. Also, you are less likely to notice his light body, which grants him a perfect long-term snooze. Chihuahuas are creators of comfort and companionship too so every minute spent with you is bliss to them.