Why Do Dogs Sploot?

why do dogs sploot

Dogs do the funniest things, and one of them is that weird one where they lie on the floor with their back legs stretched out behind them and their front legs stretched out at the front. It’s kind of like a frog when they flop down on the floor, and it even has a name: splooting.

I love seeing my dog sploot like a frog, so wanted to explain to readers today why dogs do it, whether it’s bad for them, and what dog breeds can sploot and some don’t. Here’s why dog’s sploot…

Dogs sploot for different reasons. Dogs will sploot relax, to get comfortable and flexible, when trying to cool down, and other reasons shown below. But sometimes, splooting could be a sign of sickness; it’s not always fun and games.

Understanding when it’s bad for dogs to sploot could help you identify the early warning signs of illness… but I don’t want to panic you. Most dogs will sploot so much because they like it. Here’s those reasons in more depth, and towards the end when to possibly worry.

Why does my dog sploot so much in the frog pose

Think of the last time you had a long day, walked to your room, and threw yourself on one side of the bed. Your stomach down, and legs hanging on the edge of the bed, almost touching the floor.

That lazy position isn’t far off the sploot position that dogs love to much. If you own a dog, you will have seen it at times, and can’t fail to be amused – especially when they start to drag themselves along the floor, flattened out in the sploot pose.

dog sploot on the carpet
This dog will often sploot to scratch an itch.

Let me describe what it means when dogs sploot in the simplest terms, but first what a sploot position is.

Dog splooting refers to the pose dogs take when they lie flat on their belly, chin on the floor, and back legs stretched out like a frog. Their whole body will lie flat to the ground.

Truth be told, dogs look hilarious (but adorable!) doing a sploot.

Our four-legged friends sploot in four different ways:

  • The side dog sploot: When your dog does the side sploot they’ll lie flat on their belly, but with only one back leg extending behind — not both. And that one leg (either left or right) will be stretched to the side, with the other tucked beneath their body.
  • Classical or half dog sploot: In this case, they’ll be lying belly-down with one back leg on the floor (but isn’t stretched to the side). The other leg will be under their belly.
  • Full dog sploot: This is the type of dog sploot we often see. A dog will lie flat with both back legs spread straight. They’ll look as though they’re imitating a frog. When your canine friend assumes the full sploot position, just know they’ve decided to let loose completely!
  • The backwards sploot: This is when they sploot but on their back. It will most happen in hot weather and (or) when the dog is absolute exhausted and can’t be bothered to get into a different position.

Whichever sploot position your dog takes, best believe they’re enjoying every bit of it. It might not look that comfortable or painless to you, but to your dog, they wouldn’t have it any other way.

Why dogs like to sploot

It’s not bad for dogs to sploot since this pose meets their needs. So, if you see your dog splooting, let them be. And no, their legs aren’t fractured. It’s their flexibility showing off!

Your dog is perfectly okay when splooting. Plus, they won’t have joint pain later simply because they’ve been splooting for hours.

Just admire them in their impressive frog-like position and take lots of snaps to share with other dog lovers! The only time you should be concerned is if your dog exhibits distressing symptoms while splooting.

So, why does your dog sploot so much? Let’s see:

1. It’s a relaxing stretch

Splooting, especially a full sploot, is the dog version of yoga. Like us, our canine friends sometimes need to relax. And to them, splooting is the first relaxation tip that comes to mind.

So, when you grab your favorite book and a hot mug of cocoa to unwind, your canine friend has other plans.

Dogs enjoy a nice body stretch as they get to release any tension in their body. And if your dog could talk while doing this froggy stretch, they’d probably tell you how great that feels.

2. They want to cool off

When it’s hot outside, your dog doesn’t have the option of spending their entire day in the pool. And what will they do instead? Sploot on the coolest surface in the house.

Splooting on a cold surface like cement or tiles allows dogs to experience a cooling (and refreshing) effect all over their body – one our French Bulldogs loves to do this in the summer (also see the photo at the top of the page).

dog sploot
Our Frenchie likes to sploot outdoors and indoors in the summer months.

Also, remember dogs sweat through their paws. So, while splooting, they’ll expose their paws in the air, making them sweat more and cool down.

Your dog loves the frog pose because they know what it does to their body temperature when the heat is unbearable.

3. They enjoy sunbathing while splooting

When the sun feels right, your dog will want to soak in all that sunny goodness. Dogs resort to splooting when they want to sunbathe.

They might find the perfect sunspot to sploot from while having their usual afternoon nap.

4. They find the “frog posture” comfortable

Your dog may sploot because there’s no other comfortable position to take than this. It’s simply a matter of preference.

They’ve probably tried different postures, but none felt as good as splooting. If you didn’t know our canine friends also value comfort, now you know!

dog sploot
Two of our dogs splooting because it’s comfortable.

5. Flexibility exercises, maybe?

Dogs also enjoy splooting because it’s the best way to stretch any stiff leg muscles. Our four-legged pals are naturally flexible, hence why they sploot effortlessly.

The more a dog stretches their hips and legs, the more flexible their joints become. That’s a good thing because flexible dogs are better off participating in various challenging but fun activities involving movement.

Experts will often advise that dogs need stretching exercises to keep them fit. So, by splooting, your dog is simply trying to save you the trouble of taking them through these exercises.

6. They are in a playful mood

Other times, dogs choose to sploot because they can do whatever they like when feeling playful. Your canine friend may sploot when you’re playing with them because, why not?

They have no meaningful reason to do so. But they’ll still go ahead like these dogs here just to crack you up. It’s all for fun’s sake.

What dog breeds can sploot?

Almost all dogs can sploot. But the greatest dog breeds known as splooters are the likes of Corgis, Chihuahuas, and French Bulldogs (as you can see in the photos on this page).

In simple terms, some dogs sploot and some don’t, but those breeds above are more likely to lay out flat like a frog.

Is it bad for dogs to sploot?

No, it’s not. As long as a dog is healthy, splooting means no harm.

While it might look like a downright painful pose, your dog is flexible enough to sploot and not have any issues afterwards.

But you should worry if your dog seems uneasy when splooting. Not all dog sploots happen for the right and fun reasons.

If you notice your dog’s splooting sessions are new and accompanied by unusual symptoms such as limping, rashes beneath the belly, lack of appetite, little-to-no involvement in daily activities, and overall moodiness, be sure to contact your vet.

Your dog could be splooting out of pain, not pleasure.

Painful splooting indicates a dog is unwell and is trying to ease the discomfort by splooting. They might also be having a joint problem. Only a vet can rule out the real cause of your dog’s suspicious splooting behaviors.

What does it mean when dogs sploot?

When a dog sploots, it simply means they’re lying flat on their belly with one or both back legs loosely stretched backward. They almost end up looking like a stretching frog.

Why does my dog lay down with his back legs out?

That pose you’ve just described is called a dog sploot. It’s perfectly normal for our furry pals to sploot. There are different reasons why your dog takes this posture when lying down.

It could be that they want to do a relaxing stretch, cool down when it’s hot, do flexibility exercises, sunbathe, or simply because they feel comfortable lying that way.

Why does my dog sploot on me?

Dogs will sploot on their owners as a form of greeting or invitation to interact with them. Dogs will sploot around you in a number of settings, and it should be viewed that the dog is communicating directly with you, in a relaxed and confident manner

Conclusion

You should no longer view your dog sploot as being a thing of mystery.

But, if your dog has not splooted like a frog before, and has suddenly started doing it, then I would recommend speaking to vet in case it’s due to a pain they have.

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Marc Aaron

I write about the things I've learned about owning a dog, the adventures we have, and any advice and tips I've picked up along the way.

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