Dogs have a lot of quirky and goofy mannerisms, but we love them regardless. One such habit is splooting. The word splooting sounds like it has to do with potty-training your dog or some other weird dog stuff. Don’t make a face yet. Splooting is not a nasty term. If anything, it is an incredibly adorable dog trait. Splooting is a new word for an old phenomenon. Chances are, you know what it is. You just didn’t know that it is called splooting. So what is splooting specifically and why do dogs sploot? Let’s discuss this.
Have you seen your dog lay on its stomach and stretch out its hind legs like it is doing a yoga pose? Then you’ve witnessed your dog splooting. Splooting is when a dog lies flat on its tummy with their hind legs stretched behind them. It looks like the dog had a long day and is stretching itself just like a human. Every dog is capable of splooting, but some more than others.
If your dog is a pit bull, bulldog or corgi, they are more likely to be frequent splooters. This is because these breeds have short legs and as such, can sploot with ease. It is difficult for long-legged dogs like Greyhounds to achieve that type of flexibility around the hip area. Therefore, they seldom sploot.
Splooting happens more in puppies irrespective of the breed as their joints are yet to ossify. Puppies find it hard to lift themselves properly and sploot because they can’t help it. Also, it is a comfortable position for suckling their mother’s teats. So don’t be disappointed if your dog could sploot as a puppy and suddenly stopped as it grew older.
When your dog sploots, it is in a vulnerable position. Do not grab your dog when it sploots as it is quite dangerous. Interrupting it by pulling its paws could lead to physical and mental problems. You could end up stretching the limbs too much, ripping its tendons or dislocating a leg.
Other terms for splooting are:
- Frog dog
- Flying squirrel
- Furry turkey
Types of Sploots
There are different types of dog sploots. Find out which one your dog is doing.
- The full sploot: This is the most popular dog sploot. It is when the dog stretches both hind legs behind it. This is seen in short-legged breeds like Corgi and Chihuahua.
- The half sploot: This is when the dog shoves a hind leg straight out while the other hind leg is put beneath the abdomen. Larger dogs such as German Shepherd who can’t do the full sploot, settle for the half sploot.
- The side sploot: This is when the dog sticks a hind leg out to the side while tucking the other in.
Why Do Dogs Sploot?
If you are looking for a deep or scientific meaning of splooting, there is none. Splooting is just a normal bodily movement with no medical relevance. The same way humans stretch or cross their legs is the way dogs sploot. Dogs aren’t the only animals that can sploot. Cats, rabbits, squirrels, pumas, and even polar bears sploot. All they need is four legs, a belly, and a willingness to stretch. If you see your dog splooting, it could be because of the following reasons:
- They want to stretch themselves
- It is a hot day and stretching on a lawn or cool pavement cools their body
- They just want to relax and splooting is a comfortable pose
Check out our guides on Dog Training Books and Dog Treadmills for more info.
When Should You Worry About Your Dog Splooting?
It is important to remember that dogs sploot just because they can. Therefore, as long as your dog is healthy, there is no need to worry when it sploots. However, sometimes a dog sploots because it has health issues or is in pain. They, therefore, sploot or stretch to reduce the pain. If your dog suddenly starts splooting after an injury or in its old age, it could be connected to:
- Trauma caused by an injury such as torn ligament or dislocation
- Hip dysplasia
These medical conditions are accompanied by symptoms such as:
- Decreased activity
- Sudden itchiness
- Limping and change in gaiety
- Loss of appetite
If you suspect your dog is splooting for any of these reasons, take them to a vet for a checkup.
Now that you know everything there is to know about splooting, do not put your dog in a confined space as it needs to sploot from time to time. When next you see your dog splooting, don’t panic. Just take out your camera and take cute pictures.