What Is Splooting and Why Does Your Dog Do It?

Golden Retriever lying on the floor

Dogs have a lot of strange and amusing habits, but people love them anyway. Splooting can be an example of one such habit. Many pet owners believe splooting to be something related to potty-training your dog or some other strange dog activity. Make no expressions just yet. Splooting isn’t a nasty term but is an endearing dog characteristic. Splooting is a brand-new term for a long-standing phenomenon. It’s likely that you already know what it is. However, you may not have realized that you know it as splooting.

Splooting: An Overview

Like friends and family, your pets can have their peculiarities. Although these odd behaviors can make pet owners laugh or provide people with cute photos, there is sometimes a reason for them.

If you’re playing with him and suddenly you observe that he lies down on his stomach while stretching out their hind legs in a similar position to a yoga pose, that’s a sploot. When a dog sploots, it lies flat on its stomach with its hind legs stretched behind it. It might look normal to some owners, as they might wonder if their dog is just exhausted and tired. Every dog can sploot, but some can do it more than others.

Your dog may stretch one or both of his legs behind when splooting. One leg gets tucked underneath the other leg in the one-leg sploot. Although dog owners may be familiar with this behavior, splooting is not unique to dogs. Cats can also do it occasionally.

A sploot is a position adopted by certain animals. It entails an animal lying on its stomach and stretching its legs in front and behind them. For example, dogs can lie down in various positions, most commonly leaning on their side to curl up and relax.

Splooting isn’t as common as it once was, and not all dogs will sploot. It’s possible that this isn’t because of their breed but preference. We can compare the way dogs sploot can be compared to when a person relaxes on a chair with his legs spread out or even in a cross-legged position.

Splooting is more common in puppies, regardless of breed, because their joints have not yet ossified. Puppies can’t help but sploot because they can’t lift themselves properly. It’s also a convenient position for sucking on their mother’s teats. So don’t feel disappointed if your dog used to sploot but then stopped as it got older.

Your dog is in a vulnerable position when it sploots. Therefore, it is risky to try to change that position when your dog sploots. Pulling its paws to stop it could cause physical and mental problems. In addition, you might risk dislocating your dog’s leg or ripping the tendons by mistakenly stretching them too far.

The bottom half of a bulldog laying full out in the grass, splooting

Types of Splooting

Splooting is a well-known phenomenon in animals, particularly dogs, but it has received little scientific attention. Many dog owners mention that it is vital not to restrict the dog to confined spaces for this purpose. Comfort and space play an important role. Although credit goes to the Corgi for popularizing the sploot, any dog or cat breed can do it. Each dog is different, and each dog will sploot differently. There are three significant categories of splooting:

The Full Sploot

The full sploot is the most common splooting position for a dog. You might notice your dog stretching both hind legs back in this position. Short-legged breeds like the Corgi and Chihuahua exhibit this trait and keep one leg under the body while kicking the other back.

The Half Sploot

They push one hind leg straight out while tucking the other beneath the abdomen. Some dogs, such as the German Sheperd, will do a half sploot since a full sploot may not be possible with their large size.

The Side Sploot

In this splooting position, the dog extends one hind leg to the side while keeping the other close to its body.

As dog splooting has grown in popularity, so has the number of different terms used to describe it. For example, frog dog, flying squirrel, pancaking, furry turkey, turkey leg, or drumsticks are all used to describe the position.

Why Do Dogs Sploot?

You might have observed pet owners sharing videos of their dog splooting just because they find it cute. Some people also think it’s a silly or comic pose and often share it in a fun way.

However, your dog won’t sploot to get a reaction from the owner or anyone else. It’s highly unlikely.

There is no particular scientific explanation for splooting if you look for it. Many dog owners aren’t even aware of or haven’t heard of it. Splooting is merely a natural bodily motion with no medical significance. Dogs sploot in the same way that humans stretch or cross their legs. Animals that Sploot include squirrels, dogs, rabbits, cats, polar bears and even pumas. They only require four legs, a stomach and a willingness to stretch.

A straightforward explanation for why dogs sploot is because it just feels good. In addition, your pet may find the position to be relaxing and even beneficial. The following are some reasons your dog may engage in this behavior.

A brown and white Welsh Corgi cardigan is lying on its stomach on the floor, with its hind legs spread out

It Provides a Full-Body Stretch

Dogs, especially active dogs, require the ability to stretch their limbs and bodies. They, like humans, must keep their muscles limber to avoid cramping and becoming weak. In addition, they can stretch their entire body as much as possible by splooting. Thus, splooting is excellent for dogs enjoying a full-body stretch that extends their legs and hips.

It’s Relaxing and Comfortable

Splooting is also a way for a dog to unwind. A dog will stretch to relax as we do in bed. Some dogs may sploot out of tiredness or exhaustion. Maybe they’re too tired.

It Cools Body Temperature

The weather is another factor that causes dogs to sploot. On a hot day, dogs frequently dig into the ground to reach the cooler layer beneath the topsoil. They will then lie down on top of it to cool down. The act of splooting can also give the dog a similar result because whether they do it for a full sploot or any other stretching position, it will help regulate your dog’s body temperature. For instance, if your dog is feeling cold, they may snuggle and shift to a position that will conserve body heat. The impact of splooting is opposite it.

It’s Easy and Natural

The hips and legs of some younger dogs may be highly flexible. You might also refer to splooting as a natural stretching activity.  

Corgi puppy splooting in the grass

When Is Splooting Cute?

The internet makes a buzz out of anything cute or funny, and dog owners equally promote these stretching poses of their dogs which they find incredibly adorable. They have also come up with hundreds of terminologies to describe the ‘cute poses,’ actually known as splooting. 

Most pet parents spend their days gushing over a new adorable or funny thing their pet did and photographing it.

You’ve probably seen your dog, if you have one, in this amusing position. If you don’t, expect many cute corgi sploots to appear in your timeline. Instead of tucking their hind legs underneath them lying down, they stretch them out flat, like a doggie pancake.

In most cases, splooting is neither harmful nor cause for alarm. The splooting position may also help your dog feel comfortable while relaxing its joints and other body muscles. It can also be a great way to cool down, especially in the summer.

Can All Dogs Sploot?

They developed dog breeds for a variety of purposes. For example, a Greyhound has long, wiry legs which can be hard to lie on but are fantastic at sprinting. Others have tiny legs for ratting or hunting other vermin, keeping their prey closer to the ground to strike.

A dog’s leg type determines whether it can sploot. The long legs of a greyhound make it difficult for them to take this stance. A shorter-legged dog will have an easier time because they can comfortably sploot. We recognize Corgis for their splooting ability. Corgis splooting appears more natural than other breeds, as observed more frequently, though this is difficult to measure. Splooting is probably an easy way to rest for this breed because of their long bodies and short legs.

Large breed dogs may find it challenging to sploot, compared to some breeds that find it relaxing and fairly simple. Typically, puppies lack the strength to lift themselves when young and will sploot because they have no other option. Puppies who are breastfeeding may sploot next to their mother’s teat to make it cozier for her. Puppies will walk as they mature and may sploot as they become accustomed to being upright.

They do not limit dogs who prefer to sploot to Corgis. Like the French bulldog or chihuahua, most short-legged dogs will appreciate lying down in this manner. Larger dogs like it as well. These dogs may wish to stretch out but find it challenging to do so, resulting in a half-sploot like a German shepherd usually does.

little puppy bullmastiff lying on her stomach, legs splayed

When Splooting Is Concerning?

Dog splooting can be a concerning activity sometimes, signaling that your dog is suffering from hip or joint problems. The sploot method of dog stretching may assist in the relief of discomfort. It can happen when a dog begins to sploot unexpectedly after an injury or as it ages. If your dog starts to sploot suddenly, it could be because of various factors.

Arthritis

Arthritis is a painful, uncomfortable, and stiffening condition that affects many dogs. It happens when the cartilage within a joint change or gets damaged in dogs with arthritis, causing it to be less smooth and forcing the bones to rub together. This rubbing can irritate or be painful, further damaging cartilage.

Ataxia

Ataxia is a condition in which a dog continually stumbles, loses its balance, or appears uncoordinated. It’s a sign that the brain isn’t interacting with the body adequately. Various factors involving the inner ear, brain, or spine can cause ataxia in dogs.

Canine Hip Dysplasia

Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD) is a health condition that your dog may gradually develop as they mature. This condition results in laxity or instability of hip joints. You can also connect laxity to other symptoms, such as limb dysfunction, hip discomfort, and progressive joint alterations.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most frequent type of arthritis in dogs, which affects about a quarter of the population. It is a chronic condition in joints marked by additional bone development surrounding the joints (osteophytes) or the loss of joint cartilage, leading to limb impairment.

Trauma

Trauma is physical damage, a wound produced by violence, or an external source in your dog. Traumas are usually unanticipated and necessitate veterinary attention. For example, if you’re walking your dog, it gets loose and hit by a car.

Golden Retriever lying on stomach with legs out behind

Itchiness and Rash

Severe itching and redness can make your dog sploot to scratch its underbelly. A variety of factors can cause rashes and skin problems. Look for red spots, lumps, or skin inflammation on your dog’s underbelly. If your dog shows any of these symptoms, you should immediately take it to the veterinarian.

Lethargy

If prolonged weakness and lethargy follow splooting, something might be wrong. Your dog is likely simply tired. However, if this lasts for several days, accompanied by a loss of appetite, there could be an underlying condition.

The recommendation would be to visit the veterinarian to determine whether your dog is splooting for fun or to diagnose an underlying problem. Be wary of common symptoms of the illnesses such as a change in gait, hunger or decreased activity, sudden rash, or itching.

You can also watch for indicators of joint discomforts, such as bunny hopping while jogging or walking on the front legs because of an inability to place weight on all four legs. In addition, over-grooming in specific places, walking more slowly, resting more frequently, and standing or reclining in unusual positions to relieve discomfort might cause them agony.

What To Do If Concerned

If you are worried about your dog’s health, you can always take an opinion from an experienced vet for a wise option. It can help identify any underlying issues and provide a strategy. In addition, you can do other extra steps to help support healthy joints while also improving your dog’s overall quality of life.

The first step is to relieve joint aches and pains. A proper treatment would be helpful for your dog and will decrease the impact of symptoms and pain. It may also encourage your dog to become more active, which aids in reaching a healthy weight. If you entirely focus on your dog’s weight and properly manage it, it will increase the lifespan of your dog and in helping them stay healthy. Regular exercise appropriate to your dog’s age and ability is essential for keeping it in shape.

You should not try to pull them along with their paws if you see your dog splooting. It can sometimes harm dogs because it causes them to stretch their limbs excessively, potentially even dislocating a leg if done improperly. In addition, interfering with a dog splooting puts it in a vulnerable position, resulting in physical and mental difficulties.

By calming, mending, and supporting optimum joint mobility, high-quality dog supplements can help improve joint health. If you want to ensure you’re doing everything to keep your dog’s joints, muscles, ligaments, and tendons healthy, look for active components like glucosamine and chondroitin when searching for the best dog supplement for your pup.

High-quality dog supplements improve your dog’s health and assist them in managing several health issues mentioned above, such as arthritis and hip dysplasia. Healthy joints will lead to a healthy lifestyle for your dog. 

Staffordshire Bull Terrier dog lying flat on his stomach

Final Thoughts

Splooting is a cute dog behavior in which particular cats and dogs participate. There’s probably nothing to worry about if you notice your dog splooting. Most of the time, your pet only tries to make itself feel better. However, seek medical attention immediately if your dog gets injured, sick, or shows signs of the above disorders.

Even though splooting is a prevalent behavior among dogs and cats, it does not occur in all of them because not all other dogs can sploot. Some owners also find it strange that their dog prefers to sploot on a hard and cold floor rather than on a dog bed. Dogs that sploot love to be comfortable and lazy because stretching out feels good. Many dog owners obsess over their dog’s sploot, and it’s not a breed-specific position. It’s something everyone loves to watch and finds cute. If you think your dog’s splooting may be for any other reason, discuss it with your vet. 

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