13 Reasons Why Does My Dog Kick Me When Lying Down?

There are many reasons why dogs may kick their owners while they are lying down Why Does My Dog Kick Me When Lying Down is a common question that people often ask.

And the common reason behind this is that the dog is trying to get comfortable. When they are lying down, they may feel uneasy or restless, and so they will instinctively start kicking their legs in order to find a more comfortable position.

However, can be difficult to answer without first understanding the context of the situation.

This blog post will explore some possible reasons for this behavior, as well as how you can prevent your dog from kicking you when you are trying to rest!

So, let’s get started!

Why Does My Dog Kick Me When Lying Down?

You’ve probably seen this happen before. Your dog is lying on the ground or bed and then starts kicking you with their hind legs as if trying to get up but can’t quite make it by themselves yet (or maybe they’re just being stubborn).

This may seem frustrating for both humans and pets alike! But why does my pup do this? Although it’s a natural instinct according to some animal experts I’ve spoken with so far, there are several reasons behind these types of dominant behaviors in dogs.

Dogs can be very territorial during sleep, so keeping your dog close to you when they are sleeping will make them feel more secure.

They consider themselves part of our family and should always receive love from us regardless of their position in bed!

In addition, there’s also the fact that many dogs have different styles for how best suit their needs while napping. This includes sprawling out on all fours or curling into a ball with only one leg sticking out at an angle (similar to a dead cockroach position). 

Some dogs may kick you when they are dreaming. So there’s also the possibility that your pup is having a fun dream about chasing after prey or playing with other dogs.

Dogs can kick their owners when they are lying down for a variety of reasons. Some of them include

1. Your Dog Wants You To Move Locations

You can’t really tell without asking your pup directly (which would probably be pretty difficult), but they may be simply kicking you to encourage you to move locations.

If your dog is a cuddler, this would be an example of behavior that’s completely normal and natural for them. But if your dog is a bit of an independent spirit, they may simply want more room to stretch out and lie down comfortably.

If your dog is kicking you to encourage you to move locations, you must let this happen. This may be a sign of separation anxiety (which is very common among dogs) or that your pup simply wants more room to stretch out while napping.

Why Does My Dog Kick Me When Lying Down

2. Your Dog Thinks Of You Like A Blanket Or Pillow

Some dogs will see their owners as a blanket or pillow if they are familiar with them. If your dog typically sleeps near you, they may be simply trying to get comfortable again. Your dog may also be using you as a pillow or blanket if they are sick, injured, or have arthritis in their legs and backs.

It can take some time for dogs with pain issues to find the most comfortable position in which to lie down when resting, but if your pup is constantly kicking you, it’s possible that they are simply trying to find the best or their favorite position for sleeping.

3. Your Dog Wants To Be Petted

It’s a sign of dominance, and they are trying to get you to move from your spot. They may also see you as a toy or another dog they want to play with, which is their way of showing it.

If your pup thinks of you as another dog, they may be simply trying to initiate playtime with you. If your pup is constantly kicking at you and showing signs of aggression, this is not normal behavior, and you should probably consult with a professional dog trainer.

4. Your Dog Wants To Play

If your dog is constantly kicking you, showing sign of submission, and seems to be in good health, then there’s a possibility that they may simply want something from you. This could be a toy, food, or just some attention and affection. Or maybe your pup may simply want a form of exercise, or they might be trying to initiate playtime with their favorite toy.

5. Scratch Reflex

Some dogs will react to the stimulus of being scratched by kicking out or scratching at their owners.

A scratch reflex is that some pups have, and it’s typically not anything to worry about. A notable exception will be if your pup did this because of pain (although some dogs may do this as a form of pain relief) or if your pup is constantly scratching you.


6. Dreaming

Some dogs will dream about chasing prey or other things, which can cause them to kick out while they are sleeping.

If this is the case and your dog is constantly kicking at you, they may be dreaming about chasing something. If this is the case and your pup seems to be in a deep sleep, it’s probably best not to wake them from that stage of sleep.

7. Marking Territory

Some dogs will kick out when they are trying to mark a specific area as their territory as they have scent glands on the bottom of their paws that secrete a distinct pheromone.

Additionally, this is also typically the case if your dog has been previously neutered/spayed. It can be challenging for some pups to resist this urge even after being fixed.

8. Degenerative Joint Disease

As dog’s age, they may start to lose feeling in their legs and backs. This can cause them pain when trying to move around or stretch out, which is why your dog might be kicking at you with his hind legs while sleeping.

If this is the case of joint disease, it’s important that you pay close attention to how often your pup leg kicks and whether or not they seem to be in pain.

If your pup is constantly kicking and appears to be in a lot of pain, you must speak with your veterinarian as it could be a sign of a severe joint disease or other some medical issues.

9. Feeling Threatened

If your dog is feeling threatened by another animal or person and they see you as a threat, it’s possible that they will kick out at you as a way of protecting themselves.

This is not typically the case with dogs, but it’s possible if they are feeling threatened and don’t know how else to react.

10. Digestion Issues

Some dogs will have bad gas or other digestion issues that cause them to kick out when they are lying down. This means that your dog may not be kicking because they are trying to move away from you, but that the stimulus of being a pet makes them want to kick out.

In this case, it’s essential to closely monitor your dog and pay close attention to whether or not they are kicking out because of pain. If so, then it’s important to speak with a veterinarian as soon as possible.

11. Feeling Hot

If you have a short-haired dog, it’s possible that they are hot and kicking out at you to cool down as their paws have sweat glands that make their paw hot.

If this is the case, they may also start to pant excessively, and you must give them space. It can be helpful to place fans in front of windows or run cold water on your pup’s paws to help them cool down.

12. Feeling Cold

Dogs with thick coats may be trying to keep warm. If this is the case, then you may notice your pup curling up and covering their paws with the rest of their body. It is important to keep an eye on your dog to see if they are kicking or showing signs of pain.

If your dog doesn’t seem to be in any pain or discomfort, it’s possible that its not a health issue and they are simply trying to keep warm.

13. Dog Might Be Hiding Something

If your pup is kicking at you, it may signify that they are trying to hide something. This is typically the case if your dog has been acting out of sorts for an extended period of time and you haven’t been able to figure out why.

If this is the case, your dog might be trying to cover their smell with their own scent, so you can’t track it. This is typically a sign that they have been rolling around in something and want to cover up the smell.

What Are The Common Lying Positions Of Dogs?

A few common position dogs sleep in are:

Curled up in a ball, often with their head tucked between their legs. This is the most common position for dogs to sleep in and is often seen as a sign of comfort and security.

Splayed out on their side with all four legs stretched out. This position is often seen as a sign of relaxation and is often seen in dogs who are comfortable in their surroundings.

Lying on their back: Some dogs will lie down in a position where their belly is facing up with their vital organ exposed. This typically means that they are not feeling threatened and aren’t trying to protect themselves from anything.

However, some pups like this common sleeping position because it helps them cool off or warm up if they have thick coats. Dogs might also lay on their side with all fours outstretched hiding their vital organ.

This typically means they feel threatened and want to use all four of their legs as a defense mechanism.

Some dogs may also lay with one leg stretched out or curled up under them, which is typically a sign of hip dysplasia, pain in the back, or joints/bones.

When your dog isn’t feeling well, it’s important that you play the role of a curious dog owner and pay close attention to their body language and how they are lying.

If your dog is constantly moving around, it might be a sign of pain or discomfort in its body.

How To Stop My Dog From Kicking Me With His Back Legs?

If your furry friends are kicking at you while lying down, you mustn’t run to them. This will only cause neurological issue such as stress and anxiety, which can make the behavior worse.

Instead, you should give them space and let them calm down on their own before moving forward with training. You can stop your dog’s unnecessary kicking by following the steps mentioned below.


If you want to stop your dog from kicking out while laying down, it’s important that you observe their behavior. This is typically the first step to take when working with dogs, and it can be helpful if you want to stop their kicking.

You may also notice a change in your dog’s aggressive behavior at this point which will allow you to move forward with training.

Identify The Behavior You Want To Change

Once you have observed your dog’s behavior, it’s time to identify the specific behavior for dogs that needs to be changed. You might notice that your pup kicks in a particular position or when they’re trying to sleep.

If this is the case, you must identify which behavior needs to be stopped. You can do this by identifying the reason behind your dog’s typically stress or anxiety-related behavior.

Address The Root Cause

Dogs sleep in odd positions for a reason and their sleeping style could tell a lot to pet parents if they pay attention to body language and note their movement during sleep.

It could be that your dog is trying to avoid being kicked when they’re asleep, and if you notice this happening, then try staying calm while playing or interacting with the pet less often than usual-especially alone at home!

Your dog may be bored and trying to get rid of the problem by kicking you while sleeping.

Try playing with them, going for a walk outside, or doing other activities that will help keep their mind occupied.

So they don’t have time to find themselves waking up from an unpleasant dream or a bad dream only because there was no one around!

Establish A Proper Bedtime Routine For Them

If you want your dog to stop kicking you while sleeping, it’s important that you establish a proper bedtime routine for them.

This includes making sure that they have a comfortable place to sleep, such as a dog bed or crate. So that their body during sleep is not in an awkward position that might cause them to start kicking.

You should also avoid letting your dog sleep on the couch or bed because this can lead to anxiety and restless nights.

Make sure that you establish a routine for your dog so they know when it’s time to sleep and when it’s time to wake up. This will help them stay calm and avoid kicking during the night and learn proper bedroom behavior.

Create A Positive Sleeping Environment

It’s important that you create a positive sleeping environment for your dog if you want them to stop kicking while sleeping. This means making sure that their sleeping area is quiet and dark.

You might also want to consider using a white noise machine to help them sleep through the night. This can be helpful if your dog is anxious or stressed.

Moreover, you should know that at least 10-12 hours of sleep are necessary for a dog’s health!

You should also make sure that their sleeping area is comfortable and free from anything that might cause them to kick, such as a hard surface or a pillow.

Help Them Have A Restful Sleep In A Comfortable Temperature

It’s important that you help your dog have a restful sleep in a comfortable temperature. This means making sure that their sleeping area is not too hot or too cold.

Colder temperatures or cooler temperatures may also be a cause of behavior issues. Because due to chance of body temperature the control of body movements are out of their hands.

So, it is better to keep the temperature at a comfortable level for your dog.

You can do this by using a dog bed that has temperature control or by using a blanket to keep them warm or cool.

Make Sure They’re Getting Enough Exercise

One of the most important things that you can do to help your dog stop kicking while sleeping is to make sure that they’re getting enough exercise. Exercise is important for dogs because intense exercise helps them stay calm and relaxed.

You can provide your dog with exercise by taking them for walks, playing fetch, or going to the dog park. It’s important that you find an activity that they enjoy so that they’re more likely to stay active.

Additionally, you should make sure that they’re getting enough mental stimulation. This can be done by teaching them tricks, playing with puzzle toys, or providing them with chew toys.

Mental stimulation is important because it helps to tire them out mentally and prevents them from getting bored.

Vet Appointment

If you don’t notice any signs of stress or anxiety, your dog may be experiencing some form of pain and discomfort. If this is the case, then you may want to consider a vet appointment.

Your pup might have arthritis, electrolyte disturbances, nerve damage, leg muscles spasms, heart pain, or another medical condition or a progressive disease that can be causing their discomfort and leg jerks.

If you notice that your pet hasn’t been behaving normally, then it’s time to take them for a vet visit.

Praise Your Dog

You must praise your pup for good behavior. If they are lying on the ground without kicking out, be sure to praise them for staying calm and relaxed.

You can also try giving them a treat to help motivate positive behavior in the future. Sowing affectionate behaviour will let your pup know that they are behaving in the way you want them to.

You can also give them a belly rub or a belly scratch to show your appreciation for their good behavior.

Reinforce The Behavior You Want To See From Your Dog

If your pup is laying down calmly without kicking out, then reinforce that kind of behavior by giving your dog praise or a treat.

This will teach them that calm and relaxed behavior is the best way to go, which can help if you want to stop them from kicking out in the future.

It’s crucial that you reinforce your dog’s good behavior with positive reinforcements like praise or a treat.

This will help not only lower their blood pressure but also help them learn that calm, relaxed behavior in his daily routines is the best way to go, which can cut down his behavioral issue on kicking out in the future.

Don’t Punish Your Dog

Your pup is probably kicking out because they are feeling anxious or stressed, and if this is the case, then punishing them won’t help.

Punishing your dog can cause stress and anxiety, which will only cause the behavior to get worse over time. Instead of punishing them, pet owners should focus on reinforcing good behaviors like laying down calmly without kicking out.

Don’t punish your pup for their actions-instead try rewarding calm behavior with praise or a treat, so they learn that good behavior is the best way to go.

This will help cut down on natural instinct kicking out in the future and will also develop a strong bond between you and your dog.

Use A Spray Bottle

Another option to teach the dog that it’s not okay for him to show dominance behavior is by using a water bottle or spray bottle.

If he starts kicking while you’re resting, make sure there is enough distance between the two of you so that the water doesn’t hit your skin directly.

The dog will learn that kicking you while he is in his favorite sleeping position is not okay if he gets sprayed with water for doing so.

Don’t punish the pup by using punishment such as yelling at them or putting their nose in it; instead, try to get the attention and praise when they’re laying down without kicking out.

Why Does My Dog Kick Me With His Back Legs?

There can be a variety of causes for this behavior, and the root cause will depend upon your dog:


This seems to be the most common cause for this type of behavior.

Try to reduce stress by playing games with them less often, not leaving food down unattended or static objects such as remote controls near them when they might accidentally bump into it.


If there are other pets in the house that may unintentionally mistreat your dog, you should speak with your vet, who can advise appropriate measures, which could include neutering if appropriate.

It’s tough to see someone we love hurt themselves, and it is understandable that we want to protect them at all costs, but sometimes we need their cooperation and understanding as well; otherwise, things end up going from bad to worse.

Medical Condition

If your dog has a medical condition, such as arthritis, neurological damage, electrolyte imbalance, or other discomforts that makes it difficult for them to move, they may be kicking out in an attempt to relieve the pain and this wouldn’t just go away on its own as it requires proper medical attention.

If you notice this behavior taking place consistently or suspect that there might be an underlying medical condition, it’s essential to visit your vet for a check-up.

Why Do Dogs Kick Their Back Legs When They Are Awake?

There are a few reasons why dogs might kick their back legs when they’re awake:


If your dog is lying down and starts to wiggle or shake its back legs, then it’s possible that he may just be playfully kicking out.

This is most common with younger, more energetic pups who require lots of playtimes to burn off some energy.


If a dog is lying down and suddenly starts kicking out with their back legs, they may be experiencing excitement due to something in the environment, such as another person, animal, or object.

For example, if you see your pup start to kick when you return home from work, this could be due to the dog being excited about your return.


If a pup is laying down and starts kicking out with their back legs, they may be experiencing anxiety or stress due to something in the environment such as loud noises, people they aren’t familiar with, another animal, etc.

For example, if you see this behavior occur when your pup is left alone for an extended period of time, it might be due to the dog feeling anxious about being separated from you.


If you see this type of involuntary movement take place right after they have been injured, then the injury may have caused them pain. They are trying to stretch out their contractions of muscles or move around in a more comfortable position.

You should speak with your animal veterinarian to determine if there is any treatment that can be done for the injury, which could include medication or surgery depending upon its severity.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why does my dog kick me when I pet him?

It’s a puzzling behavior, but there are actually a few possible explanations. One is that your dog is simply trying to scratch an itch that he can’t reach with his front paws.

Another possibility is that your dog is experiencing a sudden burst of energy and is seeking an outlet for it by playfully kicking at you.

It’s also possible that your dog is feeling anxious or threatened and is using his kicking as a form of self-defense.

Why does my dog kick at night?

While there can be several reasons for this behavior, one of the most common is simply boredom. Dogs are active creatures, and if they are left alone for long periods of time, they can become restless and anxious. Kicking is often a way for dogs to release pent-up energy, and it can also be a way of getting attention from their owners.

Should I wake my dog up from a dream?

No, it’s generally best to let them sleep. Dogs usually dream during the active REM cycles or stage of their sleep cycle, which is when they experience rapid eye movement.

During this time, their bodies are relaxed and their breathing is slow. Dreams help to promote brain activity and support learning and memory function.

Therefore, it’s important to allow your dog to experience REM sleep in order to stay healthy and sharp.

It’s a common dog behaviour in which he lives active dream life so it’s best to let him be.


Why is my dog so mean when they sleep? And why does he kick me in the stomach when I lie down or right next to his face.

Well, it’s important to know that it’s a part of sleep cycles other than that it could be because of digestion and excitement, which are two common reason dogs show this involuntary response that we covered briefly above! Along with those answers, you also get advice on solving these problems.

No matter what the cause is, try to remain calm and positively approach this canine behaviour. We want our canine friends to trust us when they are in pain or experiencing discomfort, so we should avoid yelling at them if possible, as this will only make things worse.

I hope now you have a better understanding of why does my dog kick me when lying down and this guide proves helpful for you and your cuddly friend.

If there is anything that we forgot to cover, or you still have a question about something, please let us know in the comments section.

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