I just became aware of the term splooting recently. You’ve probably seen your dog or another animal do it. But, like me, you called it either Frog Dog or Superman Dog. That’s what we say when our corgi sploots.
Here she is, our corgi, in a sploot position.
Table of Contents
So what is splooting?
According to the National Park Service:
Sploot like nobody’s watching.
What the sploot? “Splooting” is when an animal lay spread-eagle, usually face down with all arms and legs spread out. Why sploot? It could be that an animal wants an all-body stretch, or it’s simply a comfortable and relaxing position, or stretching out on a cool surface may help lower their body temperature.
There are different types of sploot. Who knew?
There’s the full sploot, where both hind legs are splayed behind the animal. Then there is the side sploot when one hind leg sticks out to the side while the other leg is tucked in, and finally the half sploot where one back leg sticks straight out and the other is tucked underneath their belly. Be bear, squirrel, or even tortoise, it’s officially sploot season.
What is a dog sploot?
A dog sploot is when a dog lies on their stomach, with all four legs stretched out. I don’t know who came up with the term splooting. And I was unable to find a reliable reference online.
You can see from how our dog is laying, why we previously called it Frog Dog or Superman.
Why does my dog sploot?
Well, it’s comfortable for them. Maybe they enjoy the stretching. Or maybe it’s the cool tile or cool floor on their belly on a hot summer day.
An animal sploots because it is comfortable for them. Most animals tend to only sit or rest in a position that is comfortable and appealing to them. Unlike humans who may force themselves to sit in an uncomfortable office chair, or stadium seat, because the activity requires it, you will generally not find an animal that does that.
They are truly “creatures of comfort” and would not rest that way if it didn’t please them.
This photo of a French Bulldog splooting on a bed is from Earthwise Pet.
They say: “Did you know this nifty maneuver is actually called “splooting?” While the reasons for it aren’t quite clear, it’s a great way for your dog to stretch his or her hips, and might even help them cool their bellies down. We think they do it just to make us laugh.”
What other animals sploot?
Lots of other animals sploot or lay down in this fashion. I follow a bunch of National Parks on Facebook, and they post all kinds of wild animals splooting out in the forests and our National Parks.
Does splooting mean my dog’s hips are bad?
Not at all! I’ve been among groups of dog owners, and as soon as a dog lays down in the sploot position, there is no shortage of opinions. You may hear things like “that dog has great hips!” or “That dog must have hip dysplasia!”
Fact is, without x-rays, we have no idea how healthy that dog’s hips are. You can find dogs with hip dysplasia or arthritis who find this position comfortable. And, dogs with perfect hips who do not like to rest this way.
And everything in between. There are different kinds of hip dysplasia, and different areas of the ball and socket joint can be affected.
If you have concerns about your dog’s hips, contact your vet. And, one of the most important things you can do is keep them at a healthy weight. Excess weight is bad for a dog’s hips.
Is splooting bad for a dog?
Usually, no. A dog generally will not stay in a position that is uncomfortable for them. They will only remain in a place where it is too hot, too cold, or not enough water, if they are not given access to other options.
In other words, if you see your dog splooting out in the yard on a hot summer day, they may be trying to cool themselves. Make sure they have ample access to water and shade. But the splooting itself is not dangerous for a dog.
Just make sure that wherever your dog or cat is laying in this crazy, fun position, that it’s clean or safe. If they are outdoors, make sure you check for ticks and things like that.