Why Do Chihuahuas Sleep Between Your Legs?

why do Chihuahuas sleep between your legs

Why Do Chihuahuas Sleep Between Your Legs?

If your Chi loves to sleep between your legs at night or at your feet when you are sitting, then you might have wondered about this peculiar behavior.

You also might be worried of hurting your delicate pet or injuring it in your sleep.

Moreover, as a concerned pet parent, you also want your pet to stop this being overly clingy as it tends to increase your pet’s separation anxiety when you leave for work.

In any case, you’ve come to the right place.

In this guide, we will answer the question why do Chihuahuas sleep between your legs and what you can do about it.

12 Reasons Why Do Chihuahuas Sleeps Between Your Legs

So, why do Chihuahuas sleep between your legs?

The possible reasons have a lot to do with your pet’s psychology. Mostly, your Chi just wants to feel a ‘part of the pack’, or craves security and warmth.

Here are some reasons behind this peculiar trait:

1. It wants warmth

Chihuahuas tend to feel very cold. They definitely cannot withstand cold and rainy seasons well.

Also, they have very high metabolisms which tend to make them shiver nearly all the time.

This high metabolism interferes with their ability to regulate their body temperatures.

That is one of the reasons why your pet shows a desire to sleep between your legs.

They feel warm and snug between your feet and not as cold as they would if they slept in their own beds.

2. It makes your Chihuahua feel more secure

Your Chihuahua is a naturally clingy dog.

It might be born with anxiety and nervousness which can also manifest at any age later.

This means that, even if your pet might have always been a bold little dog as a puppy, it might start behaving slightly more nervous with age.

The birth of a child, bringing home another pet, or being left home alone for prolonged periods can also increase its insecurity.

Due to these reasons, whenever you are home, your Chihuahua shows sleeping habits such as it might sleep between your legs or at your feet when you are sitting up.

3. You might have encouraged the behavior unknowingly

In the beginning, when your pet sleeps between your legs, you might have loved it!

After all, it is quite an endearing little trait with a soft and warm furry body touching you.

Your might have treated or praised your pet when it first did that and that may have unknowingly encouraged the behavior.

After letting your chihuahua come back to your bed and sleep between your legs night after night, you have help reinforced your chihuahua’s sleeping habits.

4. For protection

Your Chihuahua is aware of its small size. When it sleeps, it craves security more than usual and looks up to its pet owner for its protection.

Your pet also looks up to you as a part of its pack or as its ‘alpha’.

Naturally, since the alpha always protects their pack members, your pet acts like a pack animal that expects the same protection from you.

5. To soothe its anxieties

Chihuahuas are sometimes high-strung, anxious little dogs. They are especially prone to separation anxiety and nervousness.

When you leave your chihuahua home alone all day, it wants you all for itself once you come back home. This is especially true if your chihuahua sleeps all day by itself at home.

That could be one of the reasons why your furry friend loves sleeping between your legs.

This position offers your little friend security and peace as it knows you are near it.

6.  To show affection

Sometimes, your Chihuahua might think s/he is the pack leader!

Resultantly, it might sleep between your legs for the simple need to want to protect you as though he is a big dog and show you some tender love and affection.

7. To deepen Its bond with you

Many Chihuahuas simply sleep by their parents’ feet because of that special ‘parent-child’ bond they develop with them.

Just like most humans feel that their dogs are their children, most dogs feel that their humans are their parents!

From being a tiny dog until they become an adult dog, they find comfort and warmth from their human parents!

Sleeping between your legs helps your Chi ‘strengthen’ this human-canine bond.

8.  To know your whereabouts!

Dogs rarely sleep very deeply. They are mostly very alert even in their sleep.

However, by sleeping between your legs, they can always know where you are and that can enhance their sense of security. They feel you as their security blanket!

Also, if your pet follows you all around the house, it makes sense that it sleeps at your feet all day and between your legs at night so it can be up instantly when you awake.

9. To face the door

There was recently a study conducted on couples that concluded that in a restaurant, men always choose the seat that faces the door.

This is an evolutionary trait in men that always lets them know when an enemy enters the premises so they can be ready to draw their guns.

In your home, it is your feet facing the door when you sleep and your Chi emulates you!

Like humans, dogs also want to face the door so they can know who enters.

Try changing your position with your feet facing the wall opposite to the door and see what your pet does!

10.  Territorial claims and canine instinct

This behavior also stems from the canine instincts of marking their territory and claiming ‘you’ as theirs.

Just as you feel that your Chihuahua is yours and yours alone, your Chi feels the same way about you.

11.  Clingy Chihuahua

Chihuahuas are known to be a Velcro dog and many of them grow up to be clingy and overly attached to their owners. If you are new chihuahua owner, you may have asked yourself this question: why are chihuahuas so clingy?

Very often, chihuahuas will identify one person in the household as their favorite person. If this person is out of sight, their chihuahua will get upset and suffer from separation anxiety. Because of this, Chihuahua will follow their owners everywhere and would want to sleep between your legs to make sure that you are always present with them.

12.  Chihuahuas Like To Burrow

Chihuahuas are instinctual burrowers, much like other small dog breeds such as the miniature Dachshund and Yorkshire terrier. The act of burrowing is similar to denning, a habit that is retained through evolution as a way to create a secure and safe place to rest.

By sleeping between your legs, your chihuahua feels the same warmth and security without having to burrow or create a den for itself. The space between your legs is its “den” and as long as you permit your chihuahua to stay there, it will happily come back night after night to its safe “nest”.

Checklist: Why Did Your Chi Start This Peculiar Behavior?


Has it always been the case that your Chi sleeps between your legs?

Or is it something that has only recently begun?

In such cases, you might want to think back to what triggered the behavior?

Did you go away on a prolonged trip that caused separation anxiety?

Did some recent incident trigger the behavior?

Is it a One-Off Thing?

Is there a time when your pet does not behave in this way? What is different when it does not?

Perhaps, some nights, it prefers sleeping in your kids’ room?

Maybe it is just a one-off thing.

Again, you might want to think back to the time the behavior first started. This could give you a clue as to why your Chihuahua sleeps between your legs?

How to Make Your Chihuahua Stop Sleeping Between Your Legs?

A.  Consider whether you really want your pet to stop!

First of all: ask yourself if you really want your Chihuahua to stop sleeping between your legs.

Many pet parents love lap dogs and ‘Velcro Breeds’ that are always clinging to them.

Why do chihuahuas sleep between your legs can mean different things to different peopel. Carefully consider if you find your pet’s behavior ‘normal’ or ‘overly clingy’.

You can even speak to your vet or a canine behavior specialist to find out if this is a breed-related behavior they got from their wild ancestors or something that might reduce over time.

B. Train Your Chi to sleep in a crate

Crate training is best done when your Chihuahua is still a young puppy.

It is also very useful for house training and prevents accidents and messy cleanups at home.

Crate training can make your pet very independent and help it understand that your bed is off-limits for them.

The best time to start crate training is from day one when you first bring home your Chi.

A crate also provides a secure, den-like atmosphere to your sleeping dog.

Please make sure that you select a high-quality crate that your pet will find comfortable and secure. Place warm bedding inside the crate so your pet is nice and cozy.

Dog Crate | MidWest ICrate XXS Folding Metal Dog Crate w/ Divider Panel, Floor Protecting Feet & Leak Proof Dog Tray | 18L x 12W x 14H Inches, Toy Dog Breed, Black

Make sure it doesn’t feel the floor when you put him in a crate. You can put an orthopedic dog bed to prevent joint problems too!

You must use treats and positive reinforcements to get your Chi to use the crate daily. Repeat often until your Chihuahua realizes that there is a reward when it sleeps inside the crate. Like other domestic dogs, your Chi can get used to this sleeping habit.

Start slow – in the beginning let your pet in the crate for a few hours at a time. Slowly increase this duration as your pet starts getting more and more comfortable in it.

Soon your Chihuahua will sleep through the night in the crate. You can even place the crate in your room so your pet can still see you.

C. Provide a comfortable bed

You cannot teach an old dog new tricks for sure.

In case your older Chihuahua is suddenly clingier than normal, then you cannot expect it to start sleeping in a crate all of a sudden.

However, it might take an interest in a snug and cozy dog bed.

If you haven’t already, now is a good time to invest in comfortably, warm, and plush dog beds that no Chihuahua can resist.

We recommend this great bed from Best Friends by Sheri because it is an anxiety-calming donut-shaped bed which your Chi can dig and burrow into all it likes.

Best Friends by Sheri The Original Calming Donut Cat and Dog Bed in Shag Fur, Machine Washable, for Pets up to 25 lbs. - Small 23"x23" in Taupe

You can also check out our comprehensive guide on the Best Dog Bed for Chihuahua where we have 5 amazing dog beds recommended by real Chihuahua parents.

D. Avoid encouraging the behavior

There will be times when your pet still shows the clingy behavior and might insist on sleeping at your feet.

If it does so, you must ignore the behavior. You can get up and leave the room so your Chi understands that you don’t like the behavior and its clinginess.

You can firmly ask your Chi to sleep on its bed or go to its crate. Then sit back down.

Repeat these commands as often as needed until your pet understands what you want it to do.

E.  Distract your pet

Sometimes, your pet might show some cues when it wants to lay at your feet: it might whimper or cry or beg for attention.

When you know it is about to do so, you can ignore the behavior or distract your pet with some toys.

It is a good idea to invest in assorted toy sets like this one. There is plenty of variety in the set and your pet can even use the chew toys to temporarily rid itself of anxiety.

Dog Chew Toys for Puppies Teething, Super Value 14 Pack Puppy Toys for Small Dog Toys Squeaky Toys for Dogs Rubber Ball Dog Rope Toy Durable Pet Toys for Dogs Interactive Plush Dog Toys

Also, check out our guide on the Best Toys for Chihuahua where we have recommended many interesting varieties of toys for mentally and physically stimulating your Chi.

F.  Reduce your Chihuahua’s anxiety

You can speak to your vet about your Chihuahua’s sudden anxious behavior.

In most cases, it stems from the fact that you have to leave your pet home alone for prolonged periods.

If your pet isn’t used to this from puppyhood, it might be more difficult for it to adjust to this prolonged separation in its adulthood.

These days, there are many effective, natural medicines and daily chew supplements to calm anxiety in Chihuahuas.

We recommend these hemp-based calming treats from Premium Care. They are known to relieve anxiety in 99% of dogs – including anxiety stemming from thunder, fireworks, separation, and car rides, etc.

Hemp Calming Treats for Dogs - Made In USA - Helps With Dog Anxiety, Separation, Barking, Stress Relief, Thunderstorms and More - Natural Calming Relaxer for Aggressive Behavior - 120 Chews

Also read: Best Vitamins for Chihuahua

G. Exercise your Pet

The best way to reduce any sort of unwanted behavior from your Chihuahua is to tire it out.

Agreed that Chis are small dogs, but that does not mean that they don’t need exercise.

In fact, they are very smart dogs and need mental and physical stimulation on a daily basis.

Without these, your pet might indulge in unwanted behaviors like chewing furniture and slippers, digging and burrowing the sofas or your beds, biting, barking, etc.

So, tire your pet out by taking it on walks two to three times a day. You can keep the walks short-about 15 minutes at time. This way, your pet won’t be over-exhausted.

Also, let your pet outside to pee before you leave for work and just before you put it down in the crate or in its bed for the night.

Then firmly say goodbye/goodnight, so it understands that it is time to be away from you for a while.

Be consistent in following these steps so your pet soon learns to sleep away from you without being anxious.

FAQs on Why Do Chihuahuas Sleep Between your Legs

1.  Why are Chihuahuas always so attached to their owners?

Chis are one of the Velcro Dog breeds. They are extremely attached to their owners and always by their side.

They become so attached to one person in the household that they pledge their fierce loyalty to that individual.

So much so, that they even become aggressive towards kids and other pets that show their affection to that individual.

2. Should my Chihuahua sleep next to me in my bed?

Your vet is the best person to guide you in this aspect.

In most cases though, if you and your pet are both healthy and parasite-free, there should be no issue in co-sleeping.

However, if you suffer from allergies then it is best not to let your Chihuahua in your bed as its dander and hair can aggravate your allergies.

 Also, if you kick or roll over in your sleep, you must take care not to injure or crush your tiny pet. And now that you know why do Chihuahuas sleep between your legs, you will be prepared for it!

3.  Do Chihuahuas bond to one person?

Yes, Chis usually bond to one person in the family.

They don’t make very good pets for kids and normally prefer older parents/owners. Chis are also great pets for elderly people.

4.  Can Chihuahuas be left alone?

If you love dogs but have to travel or go to work daily, then a Chi might not be a great pet for you.

This breed is prone to separation anxiety and they hate being left alone for prolonged periods.

If you want, you can bring two Chihuahuas so they can give each other company while you are away during the day. Chis do well in pairs.

5. Why Does My Chihuahua Sleeps All The Time?

This is normal for small breeds like Chihuahuas. They are generally the smallest in size and body weight, so they get tired more easily.

The truth is, there is no “ideal” number of hours to sleep each day- as long as your little one seems comfortable and alert during the day, that’s all that matters! If a big change in sleeping patterns occur (for example going from sleeping 7 or 8 hours per night to 12 or more), talk with your vet. It could be a sign of an underlying problem!

Conclusion – Why Do Chihuahuas Sleep Between Your Legs?

Why do Chihuahuas sleep between your legs? The answer could be because they want warmth, security, and protection or simply wish to show you their affection.

Nevertheless, a proper dog sleep pattern and habits can be developed when you start them at their very young age.

We hope this guide gives you an insight into your pet’s behavior.

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