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Many dogs like to sit, lean, walk, and weave between the legs of their owner, whether you’re in the comfort of your own home, or out and about down the local park.
But what does this behavior mean? And, how can you train your dog out of this frustrating habit?
In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at some of the common reasons why dogs like to go between their owner’s legs. We’ll also look to provide a few effective methods of preventing this behavior, as well as answers to some of the frequently asked questions.
A Call For Attention
There are few methods more effective for a dog to get their owner’s attention than to position themselves between your feet and nearly trip you up.
While this can be incredibly frustrating if you’re trying to walk somewhere or complete an important task, it’s usually a pretty sure-fire sign that your pooch is looking for attention.
This could be their way of telling you that they need to go to the toilet, or they might just be letting you know that they’re ready for some playtime.
With this in mind, if you give them a good amount of attention and plenty of exercise each day, the likelihood of them constantly weaving between your legs will significantly diminish.
Just remember, dogs require a sufficient amount of attention to remain happy. They want to feel love, companionship, and an important part of the family, so don’t lose your temper if they’re simply looking for attention.
Feelings Of Anxiety
Anxiety is another common reason why dogs often walk between their owner’s legs. This is a sign that they’re scared, and they want to be close to you because they feel safe. Dogs are similar to toddlers in this sense.
Some of the most common reasons for you pooch feeling anxious include other dogs, cars, and thunderstorms. By walking between your legs and standing close to your feet, they can receive much-needed comfort and protection.
If you have concerns about your dog being overly anxious, it’s a good idea to consult with your vet about some of the things you can do to help your dog stay calm in stressful situations.
Some research has shown that medium and larger dogs are more likely to demonstrate this type of behavior than smaller breeds.
Avoiding Physical Contact
If your dog often hides between your legs when you have visitors to the house, this could be a sign that they’re fearful and anxious, and trying to avoid them making any kind of physical contact.
Rescue dogs often hide underneath their owner’s legs because of a history of mistreatment and abuse. It’s vitally important to keep this in mind as you never know just how bad a dog’s previous experiences have been.
If you notice that your dog is demonstrating this behaviour, it might be a good idea to warn your visitors beforehand as the last thing you want is for your dog to bite someone out of fear. They’re looking to you for protection, so it’s your responsibility to keep them safe.
Relieving An Itch
If you suspect that your dog is hiding between your legs to relieve an itch, give them a thorough inspection for ticks and fleas. More often than not, the area that your dog is scratching against you is likely to be one of the difficult to reach places.
For those owners who feel super comfortable around their dogs, you can give your furry companion a helping hand and scratch the itchy area for them.
If, however, this is something that you don’t feel comfortable doing, the very least you can do is keep a close eye on the problem. This is because if your dog is constantly itching, scratching, and walking between your legs, there’s every chance that they might be suffering from a skin condition.
Dealing With The Issue
If it’s only the occasional thunderstorm or firework that causes your dog to seek protection between your legs, it might not be an issue that you have to deal with very often.
However, if your pet seems constantly anxious and hides between your legs whenever you meet someone or go anywhere new, you’ll probably need to come up with some alternate solutions.
One of the most effective methods of preventing this type of behavior is to train them to stop. You can do this by simply ignoring them when they try to hide and walk between your legs, and then reward them for sitting or returning to their bed.
In fact, every time your dog does what you want, it’s a good idea to praise and reward them. This will help to ensure that they repeat good behavior.
Another effective tool during training is to teach your dog to heel. You could get them to sit next to your feet instead of between your legs, and this would get them to focus on you instead of being distracted by other activities.
If you’ve tried to train your dog and you’re still struggling with the problem, you could always seek the help of a behavioral specialist on how to discourage the behavior. Just keep in mind that this will cost a fair amount of money, so it’s always recommended to try everything you can yourself first.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Does My Dog Sit Between My Legs When I Go to the Bathroom?
When your dog follows you into the bathroom, this is their animal instinct and pack mentality kicking in. They have a desire to be effectively attached to your side as they see you as their leader. This is why, even in the bathroom, they feel duty-bound to protect an important member of their pack.
Why Does My Dog Rub Against My Legs?
Dogs often like to rub themselves against their owners to transfer their scent. In other words, it’s their way of almost tagging you, to create a scent they can associate with their owner and protector.
Some dogs might even rub against your legs to pee on you. While this isn’t something any owner wants, it’s often a dog’s way of appeasing you – showing that you’re the boss, not them.
Having your dog constantly position themselves between your legs can be incredibly annoying, but it’s important to remember that dogs look to their owners for safety, reassurance, and comfort.
Therefore, instead of getting frustrated and losing your temper, it’s essential to understand the root of the problem. This will help you to provide your pooch with the suitable training and positive reinforcement methods to gradually discourage them from the behavior.