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Why Does My Dog Kick Me When Lying Down? (Answered)

Is your loving dog kicking while lying down? If yes, this can at times be frustrating as what can be more concerning than not knowing the exact reason for the kicking episodes that your dog is experiencing?

Whether voluntary or involuntary, dogs tend to kick while lying down and there are some defining causes behind this behavior. 

Why does my dog kick me when lying down?

Your dog can kick you while lying down for several reasons and some of the reasons are more common than you think. Dogs can kick while lying down due to over-excitement, seizures, dreaming, diseases, pain, territorial claim, and lastly, they also do this to grab attention as well. 

Kicking their owners or people in general while lying down is not something unusual for dogs. This is fine as long as the kicking is at a minimal pace, however, uncontrollable kicking may have some serious causes behind them. 

Over Enthusiasm:

Your dog can kick you when lying down if your dog is overjoyed or over-excited. They tend to kick their feet when they are very enthusiastic. 

In addition, it is not that common in all dogs but is visible in some dogs who like a happy dance, to kick while lying down. 

Claiming Territory: 

Dogs can be pretty territorial and one of the major reasons behind your dog kicking your while lying down is the fact that they like to mark their territory.

In addition, dogs have scent glands in their footpad which produces pheromones with which dogs when kicking like to show that the territory belongs to them. 

However, there are some dogs that kick their owners or others to show their companionship or closeness.  

Diseases or Pain:

When your dog is suffering from any kind of pain or has arthritis, chances are that this is the reason why your dog is kicking you while lying down. 


One of the most common causes for your dog to kick you while lying down is seizures. 

In addition, when your dog is experiencing a seizure, there will be involuntary spasms and bodily movements which can be very severe and uncontrollable. 

Grabbing Attention:

Dogs like to be the center of attention of their owners and sometimes, they like to kick while lying down to grab the owners’ attention.

In addition, when it is time for dogs’ playtime, they will let you know by kicking you. 

Instinctive Digging:

Dogs have an instinct to dig the place before lying down. They do it in the wild to make a place more comfortable to sleep in.

Nevertheless, house pets also do it even if there is nothing on the ground and in that process, they can kick you unknowingly. 

Why does my dog kick me when sleeping?

It is rather comparatively common for your dog to kick you when it is sleeping. 

Many reasons can contribute to this. However, these are for the most part involuntary movements that your dog is doing. Nevertheless, this can cause you to wake up at night. 


One probable reason why your dog is kicking you in sleep is because of the fact that your dog might be dreaming.

Although dogs do not dream in the same manner as humans but still just like humans, they can experience something in their dream or in a nightmare which in turn can cause them to twitch. 

In addition, when dogs dream about past traumatic experiences in nightmares, it can also cause them to involuntarily kick the person next to them. 


Another reason why your dog is kicking in sleep is related to the idea that your dog may be experiencing seizures in sleep.

In addition, there is no immediate prevention of seizure experienced in dogs while sleeping, rather you should wait for the seizure to wear off. 

Warm Temperature:

Hot and warm temperatures can also cause irritation for your dog which can cause the dog to jerk their leg in sleep occasionally. 

In addition, in an attempt to ease itself from the warmth, your dog will instinctively try to distance itself from the warm sources therefore, your dog may kick you to ease off the warmness. 

Rapid Eye Movement:

When your dog is in the REM stage of the sleep cycle, then your dog is highly prone to experience some muscle spasms which will eventually cause your dog to instinctively with great force kick you in its sleep. 

How to stop my dog from kicking me with his back legs?

There are so many ways with which your dog’s kicking can be stopped effectively. To be able to stop your dog from kicking you with his back legs, the first thing you need to do is to diagnose the reasons for the kicking. 

Releasing Excited Energy:

When your dog is over-excited, it can kick due to this excitement. But if you continue to allow this behavior, it may become a habit.

To erase this kicking behavior, you need to say “no” or “stop” whenever your dog starts kicking or you can give your dog its favorite toys to redirect that energy to other objects. 

Calming Your Dog:

Your dog can experience muscle spasms especially if your dog is doing too many exercises. If this is the case, you need to cut the exercise level to a minimum and provide initial warm-up exercises. 

In addition, another thing related to excessive exercise is that your dog may also suffer from dehydration which can cause kicking behavior. To eradicate this problem, you need to make sure that your dog is properly hydrated.

Contacting Veterinarian:

It is better to be knowledgeable about the reasons for the kicking behavior in dogs rather than being ignorant. 

Consequently, you need to call your veterinarian to know the reasons for your dog’s kicking behavior regarding whether they are severe or mild, and can work accordingly to that. 

Is kicking normal for the dog while sleeping?

It is normal for dogs to kick while sleeping if the kicking is caused by nightmares, dreaming, muscle spasms, over-excitement, and also if the kicking is prompted by the marking of territory by the dog. 

However, it is not normal if your dog kicks because of seizures. Dogs can also sometimes start kicking in sleep if they are in pain therefore, it is better to be alert about these things. 

How to tell if a dog is having a seizure while sleeping?

It is not unusual for your dogs to have seizures while sleeping however, if the seizure is severe, it may cause some serious damage to your loving dogs. 

In addition, it is rather very easy to mistake seizures with dreaming and being known to rightly categorize seizures can help you to take proper actions. 

Consequently, if your dog shakes uncontrollably, if the dog’s head is pulled back, and if your dog starts to urinate while sleeping, chances are your dog is having a seizure. 

Additionally, there will also be an uncontrollable movement of the body and the limbs will be stiff. If your dog is having a seizure then the seizure will last for a long time before it starts to ease off. 

After the seizure, your dog will be drooling and panting excessively which are other indications that your dog may have had a seizure while sleeping. 

Should I wake my dog up if he’s twitching?

Usually, dogs tend to twitch when they are dreaming. Twitching can also occur if your dog is having a seizure while sleeping. On the basis of the different patterns of twitching, you should take the necessary steps.

Consequently, when your dog is dreaming or having a nightmare, it is better not to wake them up if they are twitching. 

However, if the twitching does not reduce even after three or four minutes, then it is an indicator that your dog is having a seizure and, in that case, you should try to hold your dog so that it can calm down. 

What can trigger a seizure in a dog?

There are so many things that can contribute to causing seizures in dogs. Sometimes, seizures in dogs can be inherited and idiopathic epilepsy is one of them.

In addition, idiopathic epilepsy is the most common cause but although it is thought to be inherited, the exact cause is unknown for this type of seizure. 

Moreover, other things that trigger seizures in dogs is due to brain damage, kidney diseases, kidney failure, liver diseases, brain trauma, brain cancer, high blood sugar, low blood sugar, and brain tumor. 

Final thoughts:

To conclude, among so many reasons regarding dogs’ kicking behavior while lying down, prominent ones are related to seizures and nightmares. Although mild muscle spasms or kicking while lying down are nothing to be concerned about but severe ones should be treated accordingly.