Why Does My Dog Kick Me When Lying Down
Dog Care Tips · Dog Behavior

Why Does My Dog Kick Me When Lying Down? – Reasons and Solution

Last Updated/Info Checked on October 17, 2023 by Scott

It’s a dog thing if your dog is kicking you when lying down.

Dogs have body language that you can decipher to know what’s going on in their brains. I have owned two Huskies and boy, even when they were behaving, they would kick me when lying down near me. 

Here are the reasons why your dog kicks when lying down:

  • Dreaming about chasing a deer. 
  • Scratching or petting triggers
  • It wants to play with you. 
  • It wants to tell you to stop what you’re doing. 
  • Muscle spasms. 
  • It wants more space. 
  • Just saying, “Hey, what’s up?”
  • It digs into space. 
Why Does My Dog Kick Me When Lying Down 8 Reasons - Infographic

8 Reasons Why Your Dog Keeps Kicking Back Legs When Lying Down Awake or Asleep

Knowing the reasons why your dog’s randomly kicking you might help you cope better with its show of emotions.

1. It’s Just Dreaming 

dog kicking back legs when lying down

Most intelligent animals dream as we do. You might have seen your dog twitch and turn whilst asleep. That’s when it’s dreaming, probably about chasing a deer, fetching a game, or just playing tug of war with you.

The kicks are a by-product of dreaming. When my Husky would lie down with me and catch on his Zs, he’d kick like he was lunging a sled behind him. 

2. Scratching Or Petting Triggers

When the dog isn’t asleep and you scratch or pet it on his back, it may kick. That’s just a normal reaction and it may equate to us being tickled. You see how we kick and twist when someone tickles us.

The same could be said about a dog or a cat. 

So, if your dog is kicking you when you’re petting him and lying next to you, it’s you, not the dog. 

3. Attention Seeking 

I would deliberately let my Huskies ask for attention. I loved it when they did. One of their ways of doing that was kicking me when they were lying with me or near enough to reach me.

That’s when I knew they wanted to play, hang out, walk, or just cuddle. 

Related: Do Huskies like to cuddle?

Remember though, these kicks are subtle, not as if it’s trying to break something in you. Subtle kicks coupled with whines or puppy dog eyes are recipes for attention-seeking. 

4. It Wants You To Stop What You’re Doing 

“Why does my dog kick me when I pet him?” is another issue I hear from owners.

One of the body signs that tell you that they don’t like something is kicking. Huskies have free souls. They want to roam around, chase things, and run wild into the unknown without you or anyone stopping them.

That’s how my huskies were. So, whenever I’d come to take them to the vet or whenever they’d see shock collars in my hand, they’d lie down on their backs and start kicking haphazardly. 

That’s when I realized that they wanted me to stop and kicking was their language along with other vocal protestations, of course. 

5. Muscle Spasms – Dog Leg Twitching While Lying Down

Muscles are muscles and they twitch when there’s something wrong with them – probably dehydration. My muscles twitch and go through spasms when I work hard but don’t pay attention to hydrating myself enough. 

I realized that this could be the case with dogs that can’t help but involuntarily kick you when lying down.

But it’s not limited to that pose only. Their muscles could twitch even when they are standing. It’s just lying down that makes up a good case for it. Ask my relentless leg syndrome about that. 

Make sure that your dog is getting enough liquids after activities. That may help with the kicking. But how would you know that it’s kicking because of dehydration?

Well, the kick’s gonna tell you itself. It will be brutal and your pooch would be like what just happened?

6. Marking Territory 

Has your dog been kicking you slowly while stretching out when lying next to you? That’s how it marks its territory.

You are its territory. It’s like it wants to lay its paws over you as a kid does when it wants to convey, “Mine, mine, mine!”. 

These may not even qualify as kicks but rather stretching to lay their paw on you. 

7. Saying, “Hey, wazzup?”

You may complain “My dog pushes me away when lying down” and I’d say that I wish dogs could talk. Since they can’t, we’ll have to rely on the kicks to know when they want to say, hey what’s up?

That happens especially when they lie next to you. They want to check in on you, talk to you, and develop their relationship with you. 

When one of my Huskies would do that coupled with a low-pitched whine, I’d pet him and say, “It’s going good, pal. How’s my good boy?” He’ll close his eyes. Rest in peace, Neil, I still remember you!

8. Digging Behavior 

Dogs and digging go hand in hand. They dig when they’re excited. They dig when their prey drive gets the best of them. They dig when they want to make the place comfortable for their naps. 

These kicks come into action when they are making up their minds to sleep next to you. They’ll walk around the place, and start petting or digging into it to make it comfier. In the meantime, you may receive a kick or two, but trust me, the dog doesn’t want to kick you. It just doesn’t have any control over certain things.

Here are other ways in which dogs show you their love:

Why Does My Dog Slap Me When I Pet Him?

What you’re calling a slap is a harmless kick that has the same reasons as the ones I mentioned above. However, it may also mean getting your attention toward something very important.

Mostly it’s always the immediate need. For example, a delay in its feeding time could trigger it to get your attention, or a flee may be irritating its back. To stop the dog from slapping as such, make sure that you cater to its immediate needs.

That’s a guesswork, I know, but you have to start somewhere.

  • See if the water bowl is filled.
  • Examine the dog’s fur for ticks and other pests.
  • Look for any physical damage to the skin anywhere.
  • Take the dog to the vet if the slapping or kicking intensifies with growling, barking, or whining.
  • Sometimes its brother or sister pet may be causing problems for it. Keep an eye on their interaction when they least expect to observe things in real time.
  • Such behaviors also vary from breed to breed. Some dogs will slap or kick you out of an impulse while others will softly take your hand in their mouths and try to pull you.

A dog’s slapping or kicking is one of its ways of interacting with you. The situation only becomes serious when there’s slight aggression or other wayward behavior involved that warrants professional help.

Frequently Asked Questions

Answering some faqs that may help you in understanding the dog’s kicking.

Why Do Dogs Lay On Their Back And Kick?

They kick to tell you to back off or stop doing what you’re doing to do to them. It is their language to convey their dislike for the activity that they’ll witness. That could be before ear cleaning, taking to the vet, baths, or anything they dislike.

Why Does My Dog Push Me With His Paws?

Cats and dogs push their owners with their paws to tell them how much they love them. The action betrays the meaning behind it. However, that’s what’s going on. They stretch and push you in an apparent attempt to get your attention and possibly, a treat or pets.

Why Does My Dog Kick Me When Lying Down – Final Thoughts

Your dog kicks you when it’s lying next to you because it wants you to play with it. It may also try to mark you as its possession, just check on you, or it could be muscle spasms.

Sometimes, it may dig into the place and kick you involuntarily because that’s how they roll. It may also kick when it wants to convey its dislike for something. But all in all, the kicks don’t mean at all that your dog hates you.

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