Why Does My Dog Sit with His Back Legs Splayed

In the past, your dog would sit upright with his feet neatly tucked underneath his legs. However, his sitting position has recently changed, and he now sits slackly on his feet and walks with his legs spread apart.

That makes you wonder if he’s experiencing joint pain or if there’s more to it?

Let’s discover more from this post.

Your dog is sitting with his back legs splayed because of hip joint discomfort. He had learned this sloppy sitting posture from another dog during his stay at a boarding facility. He is trying to get your attention by doing something unusual. You have encouraged him to perform this “frog” posture unintentionally.

There Is a Possibility That He Has Hip Dysplasia

If your dog is reaching his golden years (more than 10 years old), he could be suffering from a hip joint disorder known as “Hip Dysplasia”.

This condition occurs when the hip joint is not properly formed and the leg bones are not aligned correctly. 

Hip dysplasia can cause severe pain and lameness in older dogs. It is important to have your dog’s hips evaluated by a veterinarian, as this condition can be treated if caught early enough.

Ideally, when your dog is sitting, his front legs should be straight and back legs should be parallel to the ground. This helps to keep him steady and well-balanced.

When your dog has hip dysplasia, he will not have normal leg movement and will have a bent or splayed back leg. He will also have trouble standing or sitting. 

Your veterinarian can diagnose this condition by looking at your dog’s hips and coming out with a treatment plan.

He Learned How to Sit in This Sloppy Manner Somewhere

Have you noticed that your dog’s sloppy sitting style began shortly after you picked him up from the boarding facility after your vacation?

During his stay at the facility, he may have picked up this behavior from another dog and found this new sitting posture to be interesting.

As long as you do not correct your dog for this behavior, he will believe that you are also delighted with his newly developed sitting habit and will continue to practice this sitting posture.

Do not let your dog adopt this undesirable sitting posture as a habit. It is possible to teach him the correct sitting behavior with the aid of a clicker. 

Clicker training is a positive reinforcement method for training dogs. 

By using a clicker or marker, you can communicate with your dog at the precise moment he has achieved the desired action.

There must be a reward for every click, and the timing of the click is crucial.

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Here are the steps to follow:

1. Set up a clicker and put some treats in your pockets.

2. Give him the command to sit.

3. Make sure he is sat in the correct position before pressing the clicker.

4. If he sits with his legs splayed and his hocks extended out to the side, instruct him to stand up and tell him “No”.

5. Once he has sat in the correct position (and after pressing the clicker), reward him with a small treat. The aim is to make him associate sitting in the correct position with a positive experience.

6. Continue with this training until your dog sits naturally in the right posture without getting any reward.

He Is Trying to Catch Your Attention by Doing This

Sometimes, dogs will act irrationally just to get their owners’ attention if they feel that they have been neglected.

That is why there are times when dogs will eat poop, chewing on bedding, wrapping their paws around their owners, standing over them or even sitting with their back legs splayed just to get their attention.

So, it is important that you spend sufficient time with your dog so that he will feel your love and care for him. This also helps to foster his trust and bond with you.

Make sure that you have fulfilled all his basic needs. 

A dog’s needs are simple: food, water, shelter, exercise and affection. If you can meet your dog’s needs and provide a safe and loving environment for him, he will be a happy and obedient dog!

You Have Encouraged Him for This Sitting Posture

Did you burst into laughter when you saw your dog sitting in a “frog” posture? This might have inadvertently made your dog associate sitting in this posture with gaining your happiness.

And as you know, dogs like to please their owners and will do what it takes to make them happy.

This will definitely make your dog learn that he should routinely do this behavior if he wants to get your affection.

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He Had An Injury On His Joints Lately

Your dog had a bad fall after he had climbed up the table or chair and that led to an injury to his joints and hips.

This injury causes him great pain and discomfort whenever he moves or sits. He will therefore sit slackly on his legs to avoid causing further pain.

You may also notice that he has difficulty getting up from the floor, standing up straight, and walking around.

In fact, he is limping around in a manner that seems to indicate he has some kind of problem with his leg or back, and he seems to be in pain most of the time.

He does not like to move around and will only walk for a short period of time, and then lies down again.

You should perform a physical inspection on your dog and look for any signs of swelling in his body, in particular, the areas near his joints and hips.

Bring him to see a vet for a more detailed examination if he is showing any signs of pain or discomfort when you touch these areas.

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