A dog is resting in a white bed and wearing pink glasses for sleeping

10 Dog Sleeping Positions and the Meaning Behind Them

Have you ever closely monitored your dog’s sleeping position? They, too, have different sleeping positions, just like us humans. The way your little furry ball rests can tell you a lot about its behavior, personality, and a lot more.

Dog sleeping positions are cute, pleasing to the eyes, and, more importantly, informative about a dog’s mental and physical state. Curious to know what these dog positions mean? We have covered everything you need to know about your beloved pet in our detailed guide. Let’s get started with the meaning of different dog sleeping positions.

Dog Sleeping Positions With Their Meanings

We all come across some weird dog sleeping positions. The section below describes the various sleeping positions of dogs.

1. The Side Sleeper

The side sleeper is the most popular sleeping position in dogs. In this position, Dogs lie on the side with their legs extended. Dogs feel very safe and comfortable in this position as their vital organs are exposed.

Meaning:

This position means that the dogs are safe, relaxed, and easygoing. It also means that the dogs are in familiar surroundings and are at a comfortable temperature.

A small dog lies down on a fluffy rug on the floor

2. The Superman

This position refers to the dog sleeping on its stomach with front legs stretched forward, and back legs stretched behind. This position is widespread with puppies who are energetic and playful.

Meaning:

Dogs who sleep in this position are tired but ready to play in a blink of an eye. Puppies tend to take a nap during their play session in this position.

A Dog sleeping on the doormat by the door

3.  The Lion’s Pose

This position is also known as ‘the sphinx.’ The Lion’s pose sleeping position means that your dog sleeps with its head on top of its paws. The dogs can also sleep in this position by tucking their paws and resting their back legs on the side.

Meaning:

This position means that the dog is sleeping but is ready to take off immediately if required. Experts suggest that dogs use this position when they want to sleep but want to be prepared to jump at a moment’s notice.

young cute dog is sleeping outdoors

4. The Donut

The Donut is possibly one of the cutest dog sleeping positions. The dog sleeps curled up in a ball in this position, with legs held close to its body. At times their nose even touches the back legs, and the tail also curls over the body.

Meaning:

A dog sleeping in this position means protecting themselves from the surroundings and adjusting themselves to the temperatures. This position is common to stray dogs and dogs who are new to their surroundings.

Dog curled up sleeping on a comfy bed

5. The Cuddler Bug

The Cuddler bug is the most adorable dog sleeping position. The dog prefers to sleep on top of a person or another dog cuddled up in this position. If you want to cuddle with your dog, this position is for you.

Meaning:

This position is a sign of love, affection, and bonding and that your dog wants to get closer to you or another dog.

A young woman sleeping with her puppy in bed

6. Head and Neck Raised

This position refers to a dog lying with its head and neck raised. Dogs use the side of the bed or cushion for this position.

Meaning:

This position means that the dog might have breathing issues, which allows them to get more air.

A Cute Puppy taking a nap on couch

7. On the Tummy

Dogs sleep on tummy on a cold surface when they tend to feel hot. This position is similar to Lion’s pose.

Meaning:

This position means that the dog is feeling hot and adjusting the temperature by sleeping on a cold surface, whether it be a kitchen surface or a pavement.

A dog sleeping next to the mini electric fan

8. On the Back

The back position refers to your dog laying down on its back with its belly up and legs in the air. This position might seem uncomfortable or a funny dog sleeping position, but it is one of the most comfortable positions for the dogs.

Meaning:

The dogs sleeping in this position suggest that they trust you and are familiar with the environment. This position also means that dog body heat is more and this position allows maximum air passage to all the body parts.

Dog relaxed from spa procedures on face with cucumber, covered with a towel

9. Back to Back

This position is similar to the Cuddler position. In this position, the dog places its back against the back of another dog or you.

Meaning:

When a dog sleeps in this position, it means that they are showing love and affection. This position indicates a sense of intimacy in the dog.

A puppy lying on top of young woman its owner on the sofa

10. The Burrower

You might have come across dogs snuggled in a piece of cloth, blanket, or pillows. The burrower refers to dogs who get cutely draped in fabric or cushions.

Meaning:

The Burrower Bug position means that dogs are searching for comfort and security.

A cute dog is sleeping on a bed under a white knitted blanket.

Dog Sleeping Behaviors

You may come across different behaviors of dogs or dog sleep patterns. Although it has nothing to do with their personality, it can tell you a lot about their sleep quality. 

1. Dreaming

Just like us humans, dogs also dream. Generally, they imagine what happened during the day.

2. Barking

Dog Barking in sleep is entirely normal and nothing to worry about; it might be because of a weird dream.

3. Twitching

Dogs twitch during their sleep. According to experts, the main reason that dogs twitch in sleep is that they are dreaming. There is nothing to worry about if your dog is twisting and running in his or her sleep.

4. Snoring

It’s common for dogs to snore. It could be because of the breathing issues they could be facing or because of that short little nose of his.

5. Running

Don’t worry the next time you see the legs of your dog moving while they are sleeping on the side. They might be running a marathon or catching a thief in their dream.

6. Digging

We simply love to see our dogs circle and the extra mud, grass, or snow. But have you ever imagined why? Because of their ancestors- wolves, who used to clear the excess soil to sleep comfortably.

Check out our blog on Should you Be sleeping with your dog, to understand the different aspects of sleeping with your best friend.

How Long Do Dogs Sleep?

Whether it may be kids or adults, one question that rings in everyone’s mind is how long they sleep? Do dogs sleep all day? Adult dogs sleep 12–14 hours a day. However, the hours of sleep vary based on their type of dog, age, daily activity, and built.

You might be wondering why do dogs sleep so much? 

According to experts, “Dogs take naps several times a day depending on the dog; they sleep the most between 9 pm to 6 am.” Extended or long sleeping hours in dogs is due to their lost REM (Rapid Eye Movement) because they tend to jump on alertness. The smaller ones or Puppies sleep a lot more, up to 20 hours a day. 

Check out our blog on How Much Do Dogs Sleep to understand our little furry friends’ normal and abnormal sleeping patterns.

How Can You Help Your Dog Sleep Better?

Your dog’s sleeping habits can tell a lot about their mental and physical well-being. Experts suggest that a dog sleeping more or less than usual or in an unusual position might be an indication of an illness, and you need to consult your vet immediately.

The sleeping habits of your dog also depend on the type of environment you provide them for sleeping. Ensuring a good dog bed, some fluffy toys, cold temperatures, and some food and water nearby can help your dog with a fantastic sleep.

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The Final Word

By now, you might have understood various dog sleeping positions, patterns, and behaviors. As a Dog lover, it is significant for you to help your beloved pet get a sound sleep. A dog’s rest depends a lot on the type of environment they get while sleeping. You need to build a perfect setting by choosing the right bed, lights, temperatures, toys, and food to get your dog the best sleep possible.

FAQs

Why do dogs sleep on their back?

A dog sleeping on its back is a dog pose depicting comfort and security. Although it is a vulnerable position and there is no protection to a dog’s body in this position, it primarily indicates that they feel safe.

Why does my dog sleep on his back with his legs in the air?

Dogs sleep on their back with their legs in the air when they feel hot and want maximum air to pass through their body to keep themselves cool.

Do puppies sleep a lot?

Just like human babies, puppies too sleep a lot. They sleep between 18-20 hours a day. Sometimes even more than that. However, as their age increases, their sleeping time decreases.

Do dogs like sleeping with their owners?

Yes, dogs like to sleep with their owners when they feel the most secure, comfortable. Dogs sleeping with owners is also a sign of care, love, affection, and a never-ending bond. 

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