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Why Does My Dog Sleep Under the Covers Between My Legs? 7 Likely Reasons

Written by: Grant Piper

Last Updated on April 29, 2024 by Dogster Team

dog sleeping between his owner's legs

Why Does My Dog Sleep Under the Covers Between My Legs? 7 Likely Reasons

There are many dog owners around the world who get into bed every night only to have their dog follow close behind. When they get under the covers, the dog gets under the covers. These needy dogs will press into your side or even climb between your legs.

Some people like this kind of affectionate behavior. Other people think that this behavior is annoying and overbearing. But why do dogs do this in the first place? Why do dogs sleep under the covers between the legs of their owners? There are numerous different reasons.

Here are seven reasons why your dog likes to sleep under the covers between your legs.


The 7 Reasons Your Dog Sleeps Under the Covers Between Your Legs

1. To Show Affection

Dogs can be incredibly affectionate. Dogs can show affection in many different ways. One way is by getting in close and snuggling. If you have an affectionate dog, they will try and show affection in whatever way they can. One such way is by sleeping with you. If you sleep in bed with your dog, it is only a matter of time before they try to get under the covers when they are cold.

Before you know it, they will likely be between your legs, trying to get comfortable. Dogs will only try and do this with people that they like or feel secure with. They won’t sleep under the covers with strangers or people that make them feel anxious.

brown cavapoo puppy dog lying on the bed
Image By: Roberto Nickson, Unsplash

2. To Get Attention

Dogs can be avid attention seekers. Anything that can get them some attention is something they will try. If sleeping between your legs gets them any type of attention, including cuddles, sweet talk, or pets, they will continue to do it.

If you have multiple dogs or sleep in bed with multiple pets or people, the dog looking for attention might climb under the covers and sneak between your legs in order to soak up what little attention they can in a crowded field.

3. For Comfort

Some dogs find it comfortable to snuggle up under the blanket. Your dog might simply be cuddling you under the blanket because they find it comfortable. It might not look comfortable to us, but your dog could be extremely comfortable splayed out between your legs.

The only thing that might disrupt your dog’s comfort is the heat. Dogs can get too hot after laying under a blanket with you for an extended period of time.

4. For Security

People can act like a security blanket for their dogs. The closer the dog gets to a person, the more secure they feel. That can cause your dog to get up close and personal with you in bed. Even confident dogs can feel safer near their person.

They might also be protective of their owners, and being close to them makes them feel secure knowing that their person is safe and close by.

dog standing on a man's chest in bed
Image By: Tatyana Vyc, Shutterstock

5. People Encourage It

Many doggy behaviors are encouraged and nurtured by humans. Everything from begging behavior to puppy dog eyes to sitting is encouraged by people. The more you encourage a behavior, the more your dog will partake in it. That is why you should ignore bad behaviors and encourage ones that you like.

If you have ever invited your dog into bed or curled up around your dog when they climb under the blanket, you have encouraged the behavior unwittingly or not. Your dog might not even particularly enjoy sleeping under the covers with you, but you might have encouraged them to do it, and they do it because they think you want them to.

6. The Bed Is Too Small

Your bed may be too small for both you and your dog. If you have a small bed or a large dog, you might find your canine companion climbing between your legs at night simply because there are no better places for them to sleep. Dogs rarely like to sleep near the edge of the bed, so they usually congregate in the middle of the mattress, whether you are there or not.

If you are short on space in your bed, you could find yourself with your dog all over you as they try and get comfortable.

7. Separation Anxiety

Some dogs suffer from severe separation anxiety. That means when you are gone, your dog feels anxious and is eagerly awaiting your return. When you get home, the first thing your dog is going to want to do is be close to you. The closer some dogs get to their owners, the better they feel.

That can cause some dogs to sleep under the cover between their owner’s legs, even if they don’t really want them to sleep that way. Dogs that suffer from separation anxiety are more likely to press themselves into you at every moment they get, even during bedtime.

woman using laptop beside a sleeping brown dog
Image By: bruno emmanuelle azsk, Unsplash

divider-dog paw

How to Get Your Dog to Stop Sleeping Between Your Legs

The easiest way to get your dog to stop sleeping between your legs is to discourage the behavior. Move your dog when they climb under the covers. Do not encourage the behavior. When your dog climbs under the covers, do not pet them, do not reward them. Gently move them out of the way and go back to doing what you are doing. It might take some time, but if you move the dog and ignore their attempts to get your attention by going under the covers, they will find new behaviors to try that you are more open toward.

The best way to break dogs of bad habits and redirect their behavior is to ignore bad or unwelcome behaviors and encourage good ones. When your dog settles down to sleep somewhere other than between your legs, reward them.



Dogs of all sizes and personality types will try and sleep under the covers between your legs. Some dogs do it because they have anxiety. Other dogs sleep under the covers because they find it comfortable. Whatever the reason that the dog dives under the covers, some people find this behavior annoying. Other people find it endearing.

If you don’t enjoy this type of behavior, you can work to break this habit by ignoring this behavior and trying to redirect your dog.


Featured Image Credit: Dogxstudio, shutterstock

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