Why do dogs sploot? Veterinarians explain the cute canine behaviour
Our pups have a knack for expressing all kinds of dog behaviour through facial and body language, including their dog sleeping position. One of the cutest things they do is the dog sploot. Although adorable, seeing your dog in this unnatural position is kind of strange – so you might wonder if dog splooting is normal. “Most dogs sploot because they are keeping cool, stretching out and relaxing,” says veterinarian Linda Simon. Well, that’s a relief.
Still, there are times when splooting could be a sign that something is amiss, which is why learning more facts about dogs can help us understand them better.
What is splooting?
‘Splooting’, or ‘frogging’ is defined as the posture a dog takes when their belly is flat against the ground and their hind legs are stretched out behind them,” says veterinarian Jamie Whittenburg. But where did the word sploot come from?
Who coined the word is a mystery, but Dictionary.com says that lexicographer Grant Barrett suspects sploot may stem from ‘splat’, to describe the appearance of the pose. The word sploot may be part of a growing vocabulary of doggy slang that uses cute, deliberate misspellings to lovingly describe our dogs’ quirks and physical appearances.
Is splooting OK for dogs?
Overall, splooting is harmless and doesn’t cause pain. Though it’s important to know that every dog is different, and while splooting may be the ultimate way to stretch and relax for one dog, it might not ever be another dog’s thing. “Certain dogs may have physical limitations or conditions that make splooting uncomfortable or even painful for them,” says Dr Beach. Additionally, dogs with joint issues, muscle strains or injuries may find certain positions, including splooting, uncomfortable.
Why might a dog sploot?
Most dogs lie on the ground this way to feel good. While it’s not common, a splooting dog may have certain medical conditions too. Here are a few reasons why dogs do it.
To stretch and relax
Dogs know splooting feels good, but you might be wondering why it does. This cute doggy pose can relieve tension or pressure on their lower back and hips and stretch and help align their spine. “Splooting requires flexibility of the hip joints as well as the muscles in the hind legs,” says Dr Whittenburg. “Dogs tend to [go into] this position when they are relaxed and comfortable.” Usually, puppies and younger dogs have an easier time sprawling out into a sploot, but you might see older dogs doing it too.