In a place you’re not familiar with, you might find your dog sleeping. Does something mean it?
Dogs sleep in a number of places, much like humans. From lying on your side to sleeping on your back with your hands in the air, through their sleeping positions and behaviours, we will learn a lot about our furry friends.
Dog sleeping positions are like little hints that can provide insight, both physically and mentally, into how they are. We tapped the brains of dog experts to reveal what 10 common dog sleeping positions mean, to better understand the significance behind common dog sleeping positions. To learn more about the cute sense behind these sleeping positions, read on, plus insight into typical sleeping patterns for dogs and puppies.
- A Side Sleeper
Like people, dogs love to sleep with each other. One of the most prevalent sleeping positions for dogs is to lay on their side with their legs extended. In puppies and older dogs who may suffer from stiff joints, this sleeping position is particularly prevalent.
Meaning: It ensures they feel comfortable and safe in their surroundings when your dog sleeps on their side. According to Dr. Jennifer Coates, DVM, who serves on the advisory board for Pup Life Today, “dogs will sleep in this position when they are feeling comfortable with their surroundings and are at a comfortable temperature.”
It’s also when the deepest sleep is likely to come. This place is also where you can sometimes find ‘sleep running’ and twitching during the dreams of your dog, as their paws are loose and free to move,” says Jen Jones, a professional dog trainer, behaviour specialist, and founder of Your Dog Advisor.”
- The Pose of The Lion
The sleeping posture of the lion’s pose (also called ‘the sphinx’) is when your dog rests on top of his paws with his ears, close to statues of lions you may see outside of large buildings. With their front paws tucked in and their back legs on one side, your dog may also fall asleep in this position.
Meaning: This means that when dogs sleep in this position, they relax, but do not sleep deeply. Dogs will always start out in this role if they feel like they will need to get up quickly,” according to Dr. Sarah Wooten, DVM, CVJ, and the vet expert at Pumpkin Pet Insurance.”
When your dog lies sprawled out on the ground with their belly pressed to the floor, their back legs behind them, and their front legs extended forward, the superman pose is. Among puppies and very playful dogs, this is a common position.
Meaning: When your dog in the superman pose rests on their back, it means that if the opportunity arises, they are exhausted but ready to play. Jen Jones says that “this position enables dogs to snooze quickly, but be prepared to hop up to play at a moment’s notice.” This is a typical daytime sleeping position for high-energy dogs.
- The Doughnut
When your dog sleeps curled up in a ball with all of their limbs tucked close to their body, the donut position is. They may occasionally touch their hind legs with their nose, and they may even drape their tail over their body.
Meaning: This position holds all the vital organs of the dog tucked and concealed. When a dog sleeps in this way, it means that they are trying to defend themselves or that they are still getting used to their surroundings while sleeping. This is particularly common in stray dogs or in new dogs.
For dogs, this is often a favourite place when they are cold. They are trying to retain their body heat by curling up in a ball. A veterinarian and veterinary consultant for ThePets, Dr. Linda Simon, says that this is a common place “when the weather is cold and/or windy, as when they slept outside, it would have protected dogs from the elements.”
- The Cuddlers
The cuddler position is one of the most cute sleeping positions for dogs. This is when the dog wants to sleep cuddled up on top of you or another dog. For those who love to let their dog sleep with them in bed, this is a perfect place.
Meaning: Peter Laskay, Petworshiper’s pet expert and pet care writer, says this position is a strong sign of bonding and “that the dog wants to get close to you or other dogs.”
- The Burrower’s
Have you found that your dog is searching for pillows to sleep on, clothes, or blankets? If so, in the burrower’s place, your pooch likes to sleep.
Meaning: When dogs sleep in the role of a burrower, they are looking for warmth and protection. To fall asleep, they also need plenty of attention and affection.
- The Up Belly
The belly up position is probably one of the cutest dog sleeping positions, just as it sounds. This posture is when the dog lies in the air with its belly up and paws on its back. This is a sign of true comfort and relaxation in dogs, as awkward as this posture may appear.
Meaning: For a few reasons, dogs who sleep with their tummy on their back and paws in the air do so. Holding calm is one of them. Dogs sweat through their paws and their bellies are a source of heat,” Jen Jones says.” When they sleep with their belly in the air on their back and paws up, they try to stay calm.
Because this is such a vulnerable place to be in, when dogs sleep with their hands in the air on their back, it also indicates that they trust you and their environment entirely. “Dr. Sarah Wooten says, “Since they’re revealing the world to their belly and vital organs, you have to know that they feel very comfortable in this place to fall asleep.
As dogs mature, you’ll note they don’t sleep as much on their backs anymore. This is due to arthritis, according to Steffi Trott, a certified dog trainer and the owner of SpiritDog Training, and you can not believe that your dog does not trust you any longer.
- Return to Back
When a dog likes to sleep back to back, similar to the cuddler sleeping position, it means they prefer to cuddle up and get as close as possible by putting their back next to either you or another dog. In the simplest form, this position is a symbol of love and comfort.
Meaning: A feeling of intimacy suggests sleeping back to back. They show you love and trust when a dog sleeps in this place. Dogs can prefer to sleep this way with one person in the home with whom they feel happiest, according to Jen Jones.” This can include additional family members or other dogs and cats.”
- On a Field of Cold
Whether it is lying face down on the floor of the kitchen or sprawled out on the pavement, when they are warmer, dogs prefer to sleep on a cold surface. The superman pose may take the form of this type of stance or may be similar to the pose of the lion. Whatever it is, your dog will probably make sure that the cold surface is touched by its tummy.
Meaning: The temperature is directly related to this location. Dogs may be hot if they sleep on cool surfaces, especially when they are stretched on their bellies with legs increasing the amount of unhaired skin that touches the cold floor or ground,” says Dr. Jennifer Coates. “Dogs may be hot if they sleep on cool surfaces. Do your best to cool them down and give them some water if you find your dog searching for cold surfaces to sleep on.
10. Raised Head and Neck
Some dogs search for a sleeping position where they lift their head and neck. The side of their dog bed or a sofa cushion would typically be leveraged.
Meaning: If your dog wants to sleep in a place where their head and neck are elevated, it may mean that they might have trouble with proper breathing, something that is often seen in chronic heart disease and other health problems.
If your dog sleeps in this place, according to Dr. Linda Simon, “keep an eye out for worrying symptoms such as quicker breathing rate, noisy breathing, or a reduced ability to exercise.” Be sure to call your veterinarian if you find any of these symptoms.
Dog Sleeping Habits and Conducts
You can hear them beginning to snore, bark, or even twitch when your dog is fast asleep. Such sleeping habits are common and can also give you insight into the sleep quality they receive.
Dreaming: Yes, dogs can even dream! Though it’s hard to discover just what dogs dream of, we know that during sleep, the brain processes their daytime activities. And we might presume, like a stroll around the street or chasing a squirrel, they are dreaming of what happened during the day.
Twitching: Like humans, while they dream or switch between sleep phases, dogs can twitch in their sleep. It’s a totally natural part of the period of sleep.
Barking or squeaking: Don’t worry if your dog barks (or squeaks) while sleeping. This is totally natural and could mean that they are responding to something in their dream that’s happening.
Running: When your dog is lying on her side and her paws start moving in unison, you can note this. Usually, this is in reaction to a dream your dog may have.
Snoring: Some dogs snore almost as much as humans, but not all dogs snore at all. In dogs with respiratory difficulties and short noses, such as pugs, bulldogs, and boxers, snoring is most common.
Circling and digging: Before settling down to sleep, dogs will often circle or dig. This conduct, according to Peter Laskay, comes from the ancestors of the dog—wolves. Peter says that by digging to make their sleep area more comfortable, wolves did this to get “rid of excess leaves, earth, and snow.”
There is no need to worry if you find your dog showing any of the above sleep habits! The sleeping patterns of any dog will be different and will be perfectly normal.
Habits of Puppy Sleep
Daytime and nighttime sleep patterns that are peculiar to puppies are specific.
Sleeping habits during the day: Puppies appear to sleep a lot more during the day than dogs. This excessive sleeping allows them to mature, create, and process the variety of data they have acquired. During the day, you could even find your pup napping many times. Every hour, some puppies can even sleep.