10 Dog Sleeping Positions and the Meaning Behind Them

10 Dog Sleeping Positions and the Meaning Behind Them

Written by Nectarsleep editorial team

Last Updated on Apr 27, 2022

In this article:

    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.

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    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.

    Dog lying on the side with its legs extended

    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.

    dog sleeping on its stomach with all legs stretched

    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.

    dog sleeping with its head on top of its paws

    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 sleeping curled up in a ball

    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.

    dog sleeping while cuddling up with a person

    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.

    dog lying with its head and neck raised

    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.

    dog spleeing on its tummy

    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 position 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 sleeping belly up and legs in the air

    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.

    dog sleeping against the back of person

    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.

    dog sleeping on a bed under knitted blanket

    Dog Sleeping Behaviour

    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.

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    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.

    person cuddling up with a dog

    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.

    This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.
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