All dogs have their cute and hilarious quirks. But there’s a growing obsession taking over the interwebs that has pet lovers drooling with cuteness-overload – the sploot. Nope, that’s not a made-up word. It may just be one of the most adorable stretches our pooches pull, and we can’t get enough of it. So if you’re wondering what on earth the endearing sploot is all about, read our handy guide below. (Warning – Cute pup pics will follow!)
What is a sploot?
A sploot is a stretch dogs perform while relaxing. If you’ve ever seen your dog lay flat on their belly with their back legs stretched out behind them, that’s a sploot. Rather than tucking the legs underneath their body like a standard sit or lying down pose, you could be forgiven for thinking they’re about to soar across the sky like a doggy superman. Sometimes known as frog-legging, this sweeter-than-candy pooch pose even has its own entry in the Urban Dictionary. It’s the likes of Redditers we have to thank for the DoggoLingo-worthy name to describe this comical pose.
Although the full sploot requires both sets of legs stick straight out, there are two additional variations of this smirk-inducing pose. The first is a half sploot where your pooch only sticks one leg straight out, and the other is a side sploot where your pup’s legs are stretched out to the side. But however your dog prefers to sploot, we can all agree that our pup’s goofy antics never fail to make us smile.
The Side Sploot
The Half Sploot
Origins of the sploot
According to the Urban Dictionary, the definition of “sploot” is “When a corgi lays flat on its belly with his/her legs spread out.” We originally saw splooting as exclusive to the adorable Corgi. But since dog lovers have stormed the web with their shots of fido, we now see this goofy pose in all breeds.
As the glory holders of the sploot, there’s little known reason why splotting is traditionally associated with Corgis. Perhaps they frog-leg more often than most, or maybe owners felt those teeny legs sticking out from under all that floof was too cute to go unmentioned. But really, who can blame them!
Why do dogs sploot?
There’s very little scientific explanation as to why dogs sploot, but we can make a couple of guesses:
1. To stretch
After a long day at work, who doesn’t love unwinding on the sofa, with our feet up and legs stretched out. And just like us humans, dogs love to put the brakes on and get some well-earned rest and relaxation. They get into all sorts of positions to take the load off after a busy day exploring, sniffing and running, so the sploot could be your dog’s way of giving those muscles and hips a good stretch after exercise. Just think of it as your dog’s warm down session after a long day of doggy adventures.
Younger pooches and puppies may sploot more than older dogs simply because they can – their muscles and joints are more flexible, so it’s easier for them to stretch out fully. That’s fabulous news for new puppy parents, there’ll be more adorable puppy moments to gush over.
2. To cool down
If it’s a particularly hot day or your dog has played a few too many rounds of fetch, your pooch may sploot to cool themselves down. When dogs become overheated, they’ll sometimes find a cool surface to spread themselves out on. Dogs only have sweat glands in their nose and paw pads. That’s very little surface area to sweat and release body heat to cool down – dogs regulate their body temperature through panting instead.
If panting alone doesn’t cool them down sufficiently enough, a tiled floor or similar can be the perfect spot to sprawl out. That’s why you’ll see cooling mats available in warmer months to help our dogs regulate their body temperature. For more information on how to help keep your dog safe, comfortable and healthy in warmer weather, check out our article on how to keep a dog cool in hot weather.
Should I be worried about my dog splooting?
In the majority of cases, splooting is perfectly normal behaviour – you can continue to shower friends and family with your pooch’s adorable antics. Every time your dog sploots, they’re stretching the hip and leg muscles which can help improve the strength of their joints, muscles and flexibility. It’s a bit like you or me doing a spot of pilates or yoga to build core muscle strength, so it’s really nothing to worry about. Feel free to lap up all those goofy poses.
However, if your dog appears to be in physical pain while splooting this could signal a health issue and could be a warning sign of hip dysplasia. This is a genetic condition and will usually become apparent in puppyhood during 6-12 months of age. It’s when the ball and socket joint becomes loose and no longer fits together properly. This is a serious condition and can be very painful for dogs if left untreated. Take note of any additional warning signs such as walking unusually, limping, struggling to climb stairs or jump up. If you suspect your dog has hip discomfort get them booked in for a check-up with your vet.
The sploot Hall of Fame
So now you know the ins and outs of the hysterical sploot, sit back and enjoy these ten frog legging treasures we found scouring the web.
1. The Classic Splooter
2. The “I can do it, too!” splooter
3. The happy splooter
4.The “This is the dog’s life” splooter
5. The pupper sploot
6. The “Please feed me” sploot
7. The “Is it Friday yet?” sploot
8. The escape artist splooter
9. The superman splooter
10. The floofy splooter