Should Dogs Lay With Their Legs Behind Them?

By Ruth de

Your hyperactive fox terrier has finally laid down for some rest, his eyes closed, head on his paws -- and his legs behind him like a furry frog on the carpet. It looks like an abnormal resting position for a dog. Save yourself a call to the veterinarian. Unless Charlie is in pain, the frog-leg position is perfectly normal.

The Frog Position

Many dogs lie with their legs extended behind them--something that pet owners lovingly refer to as the "frog position" or the "sploot." (Check out our article all about the sploot!) Terriers, cocker spaniels, Corgis, and French bulldogs are known for lying in this position, although any dog may use it. However, if Charlie bunny-hops instead of using his legs in a normal walking or running motion, or appears to be in pain when walking or climbing onto the bed or limps, it may be a symptom of hip dysplasia. In hip dysplasia, the ball joint doesn't fit properly in the large hip socket. Treatment varies depending on the severity of the condition. The veterinarian may recommend surgery or careful monitoring, supplements and pain medication. While any dog may suffer from hip dysplasia, it's usually found in larger breeds, including German shepherds, Labrador retrievers, standard poodles and rottweilers.

By Ruth de Jauregui

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About the Author
With degrees in fine and commercial art and Spanish, Ruth de Jauregui is an old-school graphic artist, book designer and published author. De Jauregui also worked in the Napa Valley as a high-end catering assistant. She enthusiastically pursues creative and community interests, including gardening, home improvement, pet rescue and social issues.