My Chihuahua mix loves to sleep between my boyfriend’s legs. Other Chi owners report the same. This is why you might wonder why Chihuahuas sleep between your legs. Well, for various reasons.
These include bonding with you, protecting you, being near you, feeling comfortable, or warming themselves. Other reasons why Chihuahuas sleep between your legs are a need for cuddling, out of instinct, separation anxiety, fear, habit, or out of affection.
Why do Chihuahuas Sleep Between your Legs?
Chihuahuas are affectionate fragile little creatures. But, why do Chihuahuas sleep between your legs? Search no more! In this article, we’ll be covering 11 reasons for this behavior, as well as some tips on why they sleep so much.
1. Pack Bonding
There’s nothing more natural for a dog than to touch its pack members. Yes, that’s you. That’s also why Chihuahuas sleep so much.
While some Chihuahuas are more personal space-oriented, others fall into the category of expressive. As they’re lying between your legs, they can not only touch you but also feel their noses with your scent.
2. To protect you
You know how fierce Chihuahuas can be when they get jealous of another person or a dog approaching you.
By sleeping between your legs, they have the opportunity to spot any potential danger.
3: Likes to be near you
Sweet, isn’t it? Especially since you love to be near them too, this is one way your Chihuahua can do that.
It’s both comfortable, and they’re close to you. That’s what I call killing two birds with one stone.
4. Out of security
You’re more than just a dog owner to your Chihuahua; they could see you as their leader, best friend, and the ultimate resource for food and shelter. In short – you provide them with security.
What they can do to ensure you won’t leave it to stay between your legs. This way, the moment you leave, they will know and can immediately follow you.
Plus, your Chihuahua could feel more secure between your legs.
5. Due to being cold
This is a pretty straightforward reason. And it comes as no surprise considering how short the fur of your Chihuahua is.
An extra warmth provider might be what your Chihuahua needs. You and your blanket could do a perfect job.
6. Cuddles and oxytocin release
You probably know by now that while you’re cuddling with your dog, you and your Chihuahua release the oxytocin hormone.
That’s what makes the experience so great.
Curious fact: This is the same hormone that helps human mothers and their babies bond. And the best part is that it’s easy for small dogs to cuddle between your legs.
7. Out of instinct to burrow
Maybe your Chihuahua prefers to sleep lying between your legs because of their instinct to burrow under blankets.
Look at it like this – in the wild, dogs would sleep together with the pack’s other members and hide in dens.
Your blanket is your dog’s closest to a den in a domestic environment. While your Chihuahua is under the blanket, it could feel comfort and safety.
8. Due to separation anxiety
In other words – your Chihuahua can’t take being alone. The way you can figure out if that’s what’s causing your dog to lie between your legs is to look out for other behavioral signals.
For example, if your Chihuahua tends to get anxious when you leave, this is probably the explanation behind their sleeping position.
Some other symptoms to look out for are:
- Tail tucked between the legs.
- Being fearful around strangers.
- Urinating inside despite being potty trained.
9. Out of fear
Do you have a scared dog? If so, your Chihuahua will likely attempt to ‘hide’ between your legs.
This could happen while fireworks are outside or other loud noises your Chihuahua is not used to. They could also feel intimidated by a person they don’t like currently in the house.
10. Out of habit
Your Chihuahua could have the habit of sleeping between your legs. If they have done this once or twice and you haven’t stopped them, they likely started perceiving it as okay.
You could have even reinforced the behavior without even realizing it. All it takes is a few belly rubs and cuddles after your Chihuahua have positioned itself between your legs.
11. Out of affection
Besides showing affection by licking your limbs or jumping on you, your Chihuahua could express appreciation by lying between your legs. This is also a sign of trust.
Determining Why Chihuahuas Sleep Between Your Legs
1. Does your Chihuahua always do it?
If your Chihuahua always does that, it could be more of a habit than anything else. But what if your Chihuahua does it on certain occasions?
For example, when there’s a newcomer they might not feel comfortable with, they could curl up between your legs at night, and that’s their way of protecting you or themselves.
2. Has something in your lifestyle changed?
This could be a new baby, a new partner, or a new home – any drastic and significant change.
3. Have you reinforced the behavior?
Maybe the first time your Chihuahua lay between your legs, you rewarded them with something. It could’ve been a pat on the head, belly rubs, or scratching them.
If they’ve learned they’ll receive some benefit from your side as soon as they curl up between your legs, they’ll be only bound to do it more.
Should you Let your Chihuahua Sleep Between your Legs?
There’s no harm as long as you don’t move too much while sleeping.
However, if you tend to proceed, you better invest in a dog bed.
Then, make sure your Chihuahua gets used to it. This way, you’ll ensure they get a good night’s sleep.
How to Unteach this Behavior
1. Provide an alternative sleeping place
Does your Chihuahua have a bed? If not, get them a cozy warm dog bed that you can move around the house.
If you don’t mind sleeping in one room with your Chihuahua, you can place the dog bed near your bed.
The thing is that getting used to the new sleeping spot could require more time and patience, plus some training from your side.
Or, your Chihuahua could be more adaptable, try the bed and decide to sleep there on its own. You never know until you provide a dog bed for them.
Lissa, for example, would lie down on everything soft and fluffy. It could be a regular pillow, her blanket, or our bedroom.
2. Train your Chihuahua to lie down elsewhere
You can teach your Chihuahua to understand ‘NO’ or ‘DOWN.’
Use a firm tone but don’t raise your voice. Reward once your Chihuahua refrains from jumping on the bed or jumps off it. Use positive reinforcement only.
Several other things you could try:
- Ignore your Chihuahua if they go between your legs.
- If your Chihuahua refuses to go down, gently place them off the bed and ignore them.
- After they jump off the bed or lie in their dog bed, could you give them a small snack?
3. Work on the separation anxiety
It’s not a secret. Chihuahuas are one of the most anxious breeds in the world. No worries, though. You can treat separation anxiety.
One method is using CBD oil. It’s extracted from the Cannabis Sativa plant, and its effect on canines resembles how it affects people.
Some U.S.-based vets also recommend using CBD oil to treat anxiety in dogs. One of the most significant effects CBD can have on your Chihuahua is to cause sleepiness.
This reduces the intensity of the anxiety around triggers.
CBD oil could be given:
- In addition to the meal.
- As a snack when you buy dog biscuits that contain it.
- As drops in your Chihuahua’s mouth.