Why Does My Dog Stand Between My Legs?

Last Updated on January 17, 2022 by Fabiola L.

If you’re wondering “Why does my dog stand between my legs?”, know that this is one of dog behavioral patterns. This, just like all other dog behaviors, is actually a sign of something. By doing this, your dog is trying to send you a message. In today’s article, we’ll be taking a look at this particular behavior, as well as some other behaviors, and learn what do they all mean!

What Does It Mean When A Dog Goes Between Your Legs?

The reason behind this practice can be twofold. Vets concur that dogs usually stand between their owner’s legs if they’re seeking protection or attention.

With your Rottweiler, however, it’s more likely that it’s looking for attention! Rottweilers are courageous dogs that usually aren’t afraid of a challenge, so it’s unlikely that your Rottie will hide between your legs for protection. However, it’s not impossible, since all dogs are unique. Dogs are typically frightened of sudden and loud noises, like thunder and firecrackers. This would, for example, be a normal reason for your dog to hind between your legs.

It’s Also Possible For Your Dog To Hide Between Your Legs When It Finds A New Person Or A New Animal Intimidating. 

The other most likely reason for your dog to stand or walk between your legs is for attention! Rest assured, your dog knows that you can’t walk with a dog between your legs. That’s why it will try to find a place there, so you can’t move until you give them some positive attention. Dogs will do this when they want to spend time with you, but also when they feel anxious. Anxiety is common amongst dogs, and if your dog is standing between your legs, it could be looking for comfort!

If you’re sitting down, for example, your dog will often lie down under the chair you’re sitting on! They find that spot safe and sound.

Amongst other, more rare reasons for your dog between legs, it’s possible that it just needs to scratch an itch or something else as minor.

Why Does My Dog Walk Between My Legs?

The reason for your dog moving between your legs when you’re walking is no different that the reason it moves between your legs when you’re standing! It’s still most likely looking for attention.

Interestingly, some dogs, especially military and police dogs, are actually trained to walk between the officer’s or the soldier’s legs during active combat to minimize the chance of getting hit!

Dog Body Language And Its Meaning

Aside from your dog standing between your legs, there are many body language behaviors that have their specific meanings. Even though dogs are often vocal by barking, growling, or whimpering, they actually tell us more by using their body! In order to understand your dog, it’s important to be able to read their body language!

dog between legs

Tail Movements

Your dog will convey a lot by the use of its tail! Reading the tail can be the most effective tool you can use to understand your dog’s mood! For example, we all know that your dog will wag its tail side to side when it’s excited. This, however, isn’t the only movement of the tail.

If your dog tucks its tail between its legs, it can usually mean two things. Firstly, your dog could be submissive – this can happen if it did something bad and you scolded your dog. Additionally, your dog could feel frightened! This is typically accompanied by the dropping of the head and the ears.

Then, we have tail pointing up – this is the sign of your dog being on high alert. This happens when it spots another dog or a person near their territory (presumably their yard) and they’re suspicious of them. When your dog accompanies barking to this behavior, that’s a clear sign that it’s ready to fight!

These are the three most common tail movements – the wagging, the tucking between the legs, and the pointing it up. They’re usually combined with other body language signs, and together they form a single message.


Your dog’s posture is another telltale sign of what’s going on in its head. If your dog is relaxed, then you’ll notice it in its posture. However, this quickly changes when your dog is alert, defensive, or frightened.

When a dog is getting ready for a fight, usually with another dog, it will try to make itself appear as large as possible to intimidate the opponent. However, the rules are a little different if it’s attacking a target from behind. If you notice your dog stalking a cat or sneaking up to another dog – you’ll see that it’s trying to keep its body low to the floor. This isn’t without reason – your dog is trying not to get spotted!

When your dog is feeling frightened, you’ll usually notice a droop in its posture, as the body drops lower to the floor!

Facial Expressions

Similar to humans, dogs have their own facial expressions and their coded meanings! A yawning dog usually isn’t bored – it’s more likely stressed. Lip licking is a sign of anxiety, while a small grin where they show their front teeth is a welcoming sign! However, a smiling dog is a dog that’s showing your teeth. And when a dog decides to show you its teeth, it’s actually serving you a warning.

Another facial expression is the dropping of the ears – dogs do this when they feel fear (or if you’re petting them over the ears)!

In conclusion, your dog walking between your legs most likely means that it’s afraid and looking for safety, or it just wants attention. However, given that Rottweilers aren’t really a frightful breed, it’s more likely the latter reason. This isn’t the only type of body language that your dog will display. You should learn to read the typical signs dogs show with their tails, posture, and face to know exactly what your dog is trying to say all the time. The combination of these will usually give you a clear understanding of what your dog is trying to say!