Golden Retriever Splooting – A Sign Of Bad Hips?

Does your golden sometimes remind you more of a frog than a dog?

If so, your pup is probably into what’s known as “splooting”.  

Along with pawing at you, the splooting posture is one of the more adorable acts goldens are known for.

While this posture can be incredibly cute, it also causes worry among dog moms and dads who want to be sure it’s not harmful.

In this guide, we’ll bring you up to speed on what splooting is, why your golden does it, whether or not it’s something to be concerned over, and what it is and isn’t usually a sign of.

Quick Summary:

  • Splooting is a golden’s adorable stretched-out position that resembles that of frog legs.
  • Your golden is likely splooting due to his or her flexibility and comfort.
  • Splooting is generally okay for goldens and is not linked to hip dysplasia.

What Is Splooting?

Splooting is the slang term used to describe a specific posture that many goldens, and many other breeds for that matter, sometimes assume. 

Your pup has assumed a splooting position when lying down with its legs stretched out behind, resembling a frog-like position. 

Your pup’s front legs will remain extended, while the hind legs are spread out like they’re swimming the breaststroke.

Why Do Golden Retrievers Sploot?

Golden retrievers are known for their love of stretching out and being comfy, whether on their backs, sides or bellies.

Splooting allows them to fully stretch their muscles and joints, which helps them to relax.  

The position also helps relieve pressure on their lower backs and hips, as well as stretching and helping to align their spine.

Not only that, but this cute posture provides a cooling effect as it exposes their entire belly to a cool surface – which is enjoyable on warmer days with all that fur.

You’ll likely notice that when your golden sploots, they usually stretch out on a surface such as a wood and tile floors, or in shady grassy areas.

This helps them to drop their body temp and limits the need for panting.

Is Splooting Okay for My Golden Retriever?

Splooting is generally okay for golden retrievers and other dogs. 

It’s a natural and harmless way for them to relax and stretch out. Some potential benefits include:

Muscle Stretching: Splooting can help stretch and relax the muscles.
Comfort: It can be a comfortable resting position for your golden retriever to relieve stress on their lower backs and hips.
Cooling: Spreading their belly on a cool surface can help regulate body temperature.

If for some reason you see any signs of discomfort or pain from your golden during or after a little splooting action, you should probably get them over to your vet to be checked out.

Additionally, if your golden is older and begins to take up a splooting position after having never done it before, this could indicate arthritis or an issue with the legs, so it’s probably best to consult your vet.

Does Splooting Mean Hip Dysplasia For My Golden?

Splooting is often mistakenly associated with hip dysplasia, a genetic condition where the hip joint doesn’t fit into the hip socket properly. 

While hip dysplasia is an issue that affects golden retrievers more than most other breeds, your dog’s splooting itself is not an indicator that it will affect your dog at any point.

Dogs of all sizes and breeds may sploot, and it’s usually just a matter of comfort and preference.

Some actual signs of hip dysplasia that may give you cause for concern are:

  • Bunny hopping while running
  • Stiff walking or movement
  • Difficulty rising, running, jumping or going up stairs
  • Not wanting to play as they have before
  • Loss of muscle mass in the thigh areas

While splooting can very rarely indicate hip dysplasia, the signs above are more common indicators.  Check with your vet if you’re seeing these signs in your golden and are concerned.

Does Splooting Mean Healthy Hips?

Some folks believe that splooting, the adorable stretch-out posture of dogs like golden retrievers, might indicate healthy hips. 

But according to veterinarians, this is more of an old wives’ tale than a medical fact. Splooting is not a definitive indicator of healthy hips. 

The good news for your golden is that it also doesn’t suggest the opposite – unhealthy hips. 

Splooting is usually simply a sign that your pup is flexible in the muscles surrounding the hips and finds comfort in this particular position.

Will My Golden Retriever Grow Out of Splooting?

The simple answer to this question is both yes and no, which is all dependent upon your dog.

The splooting posture isn’t so much something goldens necessarily “grow out of” as they age.  

But some folks do find that as dogs get older and naturally stiffer, the position becomes less comfortable and they do it less often or stop splitting altogether at some point.

This could happen around anywhere from one year of age up to some point in their golden years at 10+ years of age, it all just depends on your dog’s preference and how much comfort the position continues to bring them.

Final Word

Splooting is one of the cuter things goldens do, and your dog assuming this position regularly shouldn’t be concerning to you.

In almost all cases, your golden retriever simply finds it to be a comfortable and relaxing position that also helps them cool down.

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