Why Does My Dog Sleep Between My Legs?

There are many reasons why a dog might sleep near you, but one of the most common is that they simply like the closeness.

It’s not unusual for a pet owner to find their dog nuzzling up against them while they sleep.

But there are some breeds of dog that prefer to sleep on top of you rather than next to you.

If your dog has been snuggling up against your feet, it could be because he enjoys being in your bed – or perhaps he likes the warmth of your body!

The Benefits of Dog Sleeping Between Your Legs

While sleeping with your head supported by your arm can cause back pain in humans, it doesn’t seem to affect dogs too much.

This is likely due to the fact that dogs have shorter necks and smaller bodies as well as larger heads compared to humans.

In general, this isn’t something we should worry about.

1. Benefits for Dogs

If you have a dog who often sleeps at your feet, there are several benefits to doing so.

Here are some of the main ones:

  • It provides extra support for your dog’s spine.
  • It keeps your dog warm when you fall asleep.
  • You can give your dog the comfort of knowing that she is safe.
  • You can rest easier if your dog is nearby, especially if you suffer from insomnia.
  • It allows your dog to keep an eye on things around the house.
  • It helps your dog get used to new environments.
  • It gives your dog a chance to “catch up” with you after a busy day

2. Benefits for Humans

As mentioned above, there are plenty of benefits for both you and your dog if you choose to let him sleep at your feet.

However, there is another reason why people choose to sleep with their dogs close by – it makes them feel safer.

Even though there are no known health risks associated with sleeping with your dog, there is still a chance that your dog will try to protect you during the night.

So if you want to sleep peacefully, it’s best to make sure that your dog is always within reach.

Why Dogs Sleep at Our Feet

Dogs do have different personalities and preferences, so there is no reason to assume that every dog will always want to sleep near you.

However, when your dog does choose to curl up between your legs, there are several possible reasons why this might happen.

1. They Enjoy Being Close To You

It’s perfectly natural that a dog would want to be close to his owner, especially if they are sleeping.

The affectionate nature of dogs means that they enjoy being around other people and having their attention.

This can make it easy for them to relax and get a good night’s sleep.

If your dog is used to sleeping with you and is happy to curl up next to you, then it’s likely to keep doing so even when you go to bed.

If your dog is content to sleep by you, then you shouldn’t need to worry about it getting cold or uncomfortable.

2. They Like Feeling Protected From Wind And Cold

Some dogs enjoy feeling sheltered from the wind and cold.

In colder climates, this can mean that they may choose to sleep near you even when you are awake.

As long as you give them plenty of exercise, they should be fine.

However, don’t think that all dogs appreciate being wrapped up in blankets and pajamas – some of these breeds are actually quite sensitive to heat, and could end up overheating if they spend too much time under blankets.

3. They Are Trying To Stay Warm

You may occasionally find that your dog wants to sleep in front of a radiator or heater.

Although this can be useful if you are looking to keep your dog warm during the winter months, it can also make them hot and uncomfortable.

Your dog may also try to stay warm by curling up next to you.

If you have a particularly large breed of dog, then you might find that they choose to rest on your chest or stomach instead.

4. They Want Protection From Predators

Many dogs are naturally wary of predators, and this can make them nervous when left alone in a strange environment.

If you have a dog who is afraid of the dark or any other animals, then they may seek out a safe place to sleep where they know they won’t be disturbed.

This makes them more likely to curl up next to you, which keeps them safe until morning.

Of course, if you live somewhere where there is a risk of wild animals, then this is something that you should discuss with your vet before allowing your dog to sleep in your bedroom.

How to Get Your Dog to Sleep Between Your Legs

If you want to get your dog to sleep between your legs, there are several things you can try:

  • Make sure you have plenty of fluffy blankets to keep him warm.
  • Try letting him know how much you appreciate him by giving him the occasional treat when he does something good.
  • Offer to rub his tummy gently if he seems happy and relaxed.
  • If he doesn’t seem content with any of these things, then it’s time to start looking into other solutions.

Dogs That Don’t Sleep Between Your Legs

It’s quite normal for dogs to want to curl up under blankets or even lie down on top of you when you’re asleep.

One reason why this happens is because your dog knows that if she gets too hot, she can crawl underneath your covers and cool off with you.

This is especially important during winter months.

However, there are some breeds of dog who don’t seem to enjoy lying beside you.

They may even try to sleep on top of you instead.

These dogs will likely get quite agitated if you try putting your arms around them to keep them from jumping onto your chest.

In fact, some dogs won’t even let you pick them up if they’ve decided they don’t want to lie on your chest.

Instead, they’ll choose to rest between your legs.

This makes sense if you think about it – if your dog is curled up between your legs, then she can use her back as a cushion to keep herself warm.

This doesn’t mean your dog doesn’t love you – far from it!

She’s just making sure she’s safe and secure, so that she doesn’t fall out of bed.

There are a few breeds of dog that don’t like to sleep between your legs though, and we’ll look at these later in the article.

The Disadvantages of Dog Sleeping Between Your Legs

It can be very comforting for both humans and pets when they fall asleep in each other’s arms.

But if your dog chooses to rest his head on your lap instead, there are several disadvantages to this practice.

Some dogs prefer to be able to see out of the room, so they might choose to sleep between your legs for safety purposes.

Others might feel safer if they have their own space from you during the night.

And still others may enjoy feeling protected from the cold by nestling up against you.

So what should you do if your dog prefers to rest his head on your lap?

Is it safe for my dog to sleep between my legs?

If your dog sleeps between your legs, then you will need to make sure that you are aware of how much space is available around you.

This will ensure that your dog does not feel crowded or uncomfortable.

You should also consider whether or not you’re in a position where you can easily reach your dog while you sleep.

For example, if you have a pillow under your knees, then you might wake up with your hands above your head.

You won’t be able to reach down and pat your dog without waking yourself up as well!

You should also keep an eye on your dog while you sleep.

If you’re having trouble getting comfortable, then you should try putting your dog on the floor beside you so that you can stretch out a little bit further.

You shouldn’t leave him alone though, as he could get into dangerous situations.

Does my dog need to sleep on my lap for health reasons?

Many people think they know what’s best for their animals, but sometimes we don’t realize that our actions could actually harm them.

A good rule of thumb is that if your dog is healthy and happy, then you should let her sleep wherever she wants to sleep.

However, there are circumstances where you may need to monitor your pet closely.

When to Worry About Your Dog Sleeping Between Your Legs

If you have ever had an experience where your dog has found himself in this position, you know how uncomfortable it can be.

However, when do we need to worry about our dog sleeping between our legs?

Generally speaking, if your dog sleeps between your legs every night, then there isn’t much cause for concern.

But you should always check with your vet before making any changes to your lifestyle, especially if you think your dog is showing signs of illness.

1. Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH)

This condition causes high cholesterol levels in both humans and animals.

Dogs who have FH are at increased risk of developing heart disease, so your vet will want to test your dog for this disorder.

There is currently no cure for FH, but your vet can discuss treatment options with you.

2. Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas.

Dogs who suffer from pancreatitis often vomit blood and become weak.

They may also lose weight and have difficulty eating. If your dog has these symptoms, see your vet immediately.

3. Liver disease

Liver disease can affect both humans and animals.

The most common form of liver disease is hepatitis.

Signs of liver disease include vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy, and jaundice. In severe cases, your dog may also develop diarrhea.

4. Kidney disease

Kidney disease can affect both humans and animals.

The most common form of kidney disease is nephritis.

Signs of kidney disease include vomiting, decreased urination, and weakness.

Your dog may also show signs of dehydration, such as dry skin and sunken eyes.

5. Heart disease

Heart disease can occur in both humans and animals.

The most common forms of heart disease are atherosclerosis and cardiomyopathy.

Signs of heart disease include fatigue, weight loss, coughing, and breathing problems.

Your veterinarian will perform a physical exam to determine whether your dog needs further testing.

6. Epilepsy

Epilepsy occurs when nerve cells in the brain stop functioning normally.

Although epilepsy is rare in dogs, it is possible for your dog to develop it at some point in his life.

The most common form of epilepsy in dogs is idiopathic epilepsy.

Symptoms of this type of epilepsy include seizures lasting less than five minutes, staring spells, and excessive drooling.

An electroencephalogram (EEG) can help diagnose this disorder.

7. Neurological disorders

Neurological disorders can affect both humans and animals.

The most common neurological disorder in dogs is degenerative myelopathy.

Signs of this disease include stiffness, paralysis, and tremors.

A neurologist will perform a full neurological exam to determine whether your dog needs treatment.

8. Cancer

Cancer can be deadly for both humans and animals.

The most common types of cancer in dogs are lymphoma, mast cell tumors, and osteosarcoma.

Signs of cancer include vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss.

Your vet may recommend additional tests to determine whether your dog has cancer.

9. Diabetes

Diabetes affects both humans and animals.

The most common form of diabetes in dogs is Type I diabetes.

Signs of this disease include vomiting, excessive thirst, and weight loss.

Your vet will perform a glucose tolerance test to determine whether your dog has diabetes.

10. Chronic gingivitis

Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums.

It is very common in dogs and can lead to tooth decay, gum infections, and even abscesses.

Signs of gingivitis include bad breath, loose teeth, and bleeding gums.

Your vet will perform a thorough dental examination to detect abnormalities.

These are just some of the conditions that can cause your dog to sleep between your legs.

You should consult your vet if you notice any signs of illness or discomfort in your dog.

They may be able to suggest ways to avoid your dog from sleeping between your legs.


Dogs have different personalities and preferences when it comes to how they want to sleep.

There are some breeds of dog who prefer to sleep with their heads at your feet, and others who prefer to sleep on top of you.

The way your dog sleeps can tell you quite a bit about his personality and what he likes best.

  • He will often curl up under your legs and follow you around throughout the night as well.
  • They will usually sleep on top of you so they can protect you from any danger lurking outside.
  • So if you have two German Shepherds, you may find that they both like to sleep together.
  • One of them will likely take over the role of “guardian” and keep watch while the other rests peacefully nearby.
Megan Turner

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