Is it normal that when my dog lies down on its stomach it keeps legs wide open? I mean is this a good behavior? I've seen this behavior in a couple of dogs but not sure about is good or bad.

EDIT: Does this behavior have any meaning? (is something my dog trying to express?)

  • My Staffie cross lab has done that since she's been a pup. I think she's more comfortable like that. She's also very happy like that. I wouldn't worry.
    – user5850
    Oct 3, 2015 at 6:33
  • This is also a sign of good joints! No need to worry here.
    – Dupree3
    Oct 5, 2015 at 14:08

3 Answers 3


I immediately had to think of our Siberian Husky, who loves doing that, too.

For example, during summer he loves lieing down in some water or on marble surfaces. The increased surface contact clearly helps cooling off:

Rocky taking a cooling bath. (He has his fourth leg below his belly since he's lacking space in there.)

As far as I'm aware there's no special meaning attached, unless his behind is still in the air (= "Play with me!"):

Rocky wanting to play.

As long as he's not showing any other behavior (like being nervous, doesn't let you close, etc.) I wouldn't worry about it and it's mostly just comfortable in some way or another.

Since you also mentioned trimming the fur: This might help, but it might actually hurt the dog as well. This heavily depends on the actual race as well as his environment (like temperatures).


Some dogs do. Nothing wrong with it that i'm aware of. If you're really worried, you could ask your vet to check next time you have an appointment, but I think it's just how that particular dog is most comfortable .

  • Ok, I was kind of worry because only few dogs do that... I mean if that means something is happening... I just wasn't sure thanks Dec 27, 2014 at 12:44
  • 1
    Perhaps it has something to do with the dog's flexibility. I'm sure some dogs are more flexible than others, just like humans. Less flexible dogs might not be able to lie like that, or it is more straining and less comfortable for them to lie like that.
    – Kai
    Dec 31, 2014 at 16:00

Mine does that to cool down her body when it's a hot day or when she exercised too much.

Specially because we trim down the belly fur during hot weather.

She just likes the contact of her skin directly with the cold floor.

  • I was thinking the same, but in that case doing it all the time would mean over exercised or need of trim down some fur? Dec 30, 2014 at 13:47
  • We used to have a dog that lay like that in summer, but would change to having her legs underneath her during winter. So, at least for some dogs it is a temperature regulation thing. Oct 4, 2015 at 1:36

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