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Corgi Sploot Guide (What You Should Know)

Does your Corgi tend to lay down a tad differently than some of the other dogs you have encountered?

Does he tend to sprawl out with his front and back legs pointing in either direction?

If he does, you need not worry that you have a defective pet.

In fact, this laying style is completely normal at times for the Corgi breed—a style that is practiced by many other dogs of this type.

To illustrate this fact, below we will highlight and explain several potential reasons for Corgi “splooting,” show you exactly what the laying style is and how it is practiced, and outline a number of possible risks should this style of laying down become an oft-practiced habit.

The Corgi Sploot Explained

When most dogs lie down on the floor, the manner they employ to complete this act is very, very similar:  they tuck their backs legs underneath their bodies and either bend their front legs at the joint with the paws pointing outwards or lay those front paws flat on the ground.

However, this style of laying differs somewhat from that of a Corgi.

As we mentioned briefly above, Corgis also position their front legs like many other dogs, but their rear legs and paws are another story.

When a Corgi decides—or is commanded—to lay down, he might do so with his hind legs and quarters entirely flat, or horizontal in relation to the floor.

Because of this position, a Corgi is actually lying with his belly on the ground—a position commonly referred to as a “sploot.”

This genetic trait demonstrates the level of flexibility a Corgi has in its rear legs.

In fact, there are actually many different ways a Corgi might sploot like this—ways we will describe below.

The art of “splooting” is also known by a variety of different names, even though the term “sploot” is rapidly becoming popular across the globe.

These alternate titles include:

  • Frogging
  • Dog frogging/Frog dogging
  • Frog legs
  • Superman—with both the front and rear legs fully extended, the Corgi can resemble a super hero in flight.

Although there are a few other breeds of dogs—and several different types of animals—that are known to lay down fully splayed, the term “sploot” was first used in relation to Corgis, a trend that caught on when pictures of the breed performing this act were circulated on social media.

As we alluded to above, there are a few different ways that Corgis sploot.  Some of these styles are listed below.

  • The Common Sploot.  This is the type of splooting we highlighted above—both the front and hind legs flat on the ground, belly on the turf, and all limbs straight.
  • The One-Sided Sploot.  As you might guess, the one-sided sploot is defined as one rear leg stretched completely flat, and the other tucked neatly under the dog.
  • The Right or Left Side Sploot.  In further demonstrating its amazing elasticity, sometimes the Corgi is able to get both rear legs flat on the ground and pointing towards either the right or left side.
  • The Back Sploot.  When a Corgi grows tired of the belly-down sploot, he may reverse it with the back sploot—laying on his back with all limbs stretched straight out.

The Corgi Sploot:  Why They Do It

By now, you are probably wondering just why a Corgi would choose to lay down in a sploot position.

Well, according to those who breed and know these dogs very well, there may be many different reasons.

Some Corgis will opt for the sploot position as a way to stretch out and loosen up any kinks they may have developed in their legs.

Given their flexibility, this full-body stretch is probably very relaxing—a way, perhaps, to recover from a long day of walking, running or playing.

When very young Corgis choose to sploot, they may simply believe that the position is perfectly normal—the way they are supposed to do it.

They may have witnessed an older and more experienced Corgi laying in this manner, and the pup is therefore simply reacting to what he saw.

This type of “follow-the-leader” behavior is probably due to their pack mentality.

Many Corgis will only sploot on very warm days, and only on cool floors, such as tiled and linoleum-based floors and the cool cement of a darkened garage.

When the hot temperature is the reason behind the behavior, laying with their bellies flat on the ground is a way to cool down and lower their body temperature.

Just like humans will randomly flip their pillow in an attempt to find the “cold side,” so too do Corgis look for the coolest of surfaces to rest and recharge.

Lastly, some Corgis will sploot to merely get your attention.

For instance, if you have previously reacted to the Corgi’s sploot position (reacted positively, perhaps with a laugh), your dog may repeat the behavior, seeking the same type of response.

The Corgi Sploot:  Potential Risks

In most cases, the sploot position in your Corgi does not carry a lot of risks; he may just be doing it for one of the above-listed reasons.

However, if your Corgi begins splooting all the time, and he looks pained or uncomfortable, it could be a sign that he is hurting in some way.

For example, a dog that suddenly starts to lay down in this manner may be suffering from:

  • Injury.  If your Corgi looks extremely comfortable, perhaps favoring one leg or the other, be sure to check for any cuts, wounds, anomalies or injuries he may be nursing.
  • Canine hip dysplasia.  Although canine hip dysplasia—a painful joint condition that can severely limit a dog’s mobility—disproportionately affects large-breed dogs more than their smaller counterparts, Corgis can become afflicted with the condition.  This occurs more in older dogs.

There are other ailments and conditions that may also lead to “necessary” splooting.

For instance, older Corgis may develop arthritis in their joints, making it difficult to bend their “knees,” and more serious conditions, such as cancer or diabetes, can cause your dog pain and fatigue.

Finally, skin rashes or irritation on the belly may lead your dog to sploot on hard surfaces—surfaces on which he can get some cooling relief.

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National Canine Research Association of America