By Robert Thomas
We all know everyone has their preferred way of sleeping. Some people prefer on their side and others on their back. Just like humans, each dog has its preferred way of sleeping. A Dog’s Favorite Poses Says Something About It.
Commonly you might see a dog laying on its side when sleeping. But then you come across a dog that sleeps on its back and you ask yourself “What’s it doing?”
The way your dog prefers to sleep can say a lot about your dog. Think your dog sleeps in a funny way? Or is its sleep nothing remarkable? Either way, each position has a meaning. How your dog sleeps can give hints on its personality, mentality and physicality. Here we’ll cover 5 different sleeping positions so you can learn a little bit more about how your dog thinks, feels, and expresses itself. We’ll also give suggestions on what are the best types of beds for your doggy to sleep in depending on its preferred position.
Five Common Types of Dog Sleeping Positions
- The Side Sleeper
- Description: Your dog lies on either its left or right side with its legs extended.
- Meaning: This is the most common sleeping position. The dog is comfortable with its surroundings because it is exposing its belly. It trusts you and its environment. Normally, dogs will start dosing off in the lion position. When their muscles relax, they slip to their side. Sometimes you can see dogs twitching to ‘sleep running’ in this position as they dream.
- Personality: Calm, care-free, trusting, loyal, strong-bond with family
- Bed: Pillow or mattress style to give your pooch room to stretch out.
- The Sphinx
- Description: Resembling the sphinx, dogs sleep with their head on their outstretched front paws and their back legs tucked close to their body.
- Meaning: It’s common to see working dogs like Border Collies or Australian Shepherds in this pose when they are just dozing or snoozing in between play sessions. They are not in deep sleep when they are in this position. Doggies who like to sleep in this pose are inherently protective and vigilant about their family’s safety. By sleeping like this they are able to be ready for the action at any moment.
- Personality: Protective, devoted, active
- Bed: A pad, bolster bed, or flat mat to your dog isn’t sleeping on the hard floor and soft something soft under it.
- The Donut Curl
- Description: The dog is curled up in a ball with all of its legs tucked close to its body.
- Meaning: This position serves to preserve body heat and keep all vital organs protected. Dogs that are still unsure of their environment use this position to make themselves smaller and feel less vulnerable. It is especially common in dogs newly brought home or strays. In the winter months, this position can also help keep the dogs warm.
- Personality: Caring but anxious, insecure (though happy puppies still curl up just to feel warm)
- Bed: A donut cuddler or nesting bed will be great for these dogs since it gives them that extra sense of security. If you think your dog is getting cold during the night, try a heated dog bed.
- Description: Your dog sleeps with its belly to the ground and its legs stretched out in front and behind it.
- Meaning: A common position for very playful dogs, especially puppies. These dogs are always anticipating the next playtime. With this position they can stand quickly from their slumber to get right back into the action. It also helps keep pups cool because their underbelly has less hair. If you see a dog sleeping like this on a tile flooring, it could be just trying to cool off.
- Personality: Playful, high energy, friendly
- Bed: An elevated bed that is sturdy and can withstand a dog ready to run and jump at any moment’s notice. It also helps keep the dog cool by providing extra air circulation.
- Belly Up:
- Description: The dog lies with its back to the floor and its belly to the sky. Its paws are up in the air.
- Meaning: Dogs who sleep in this position are incredibly trusting because they are in no way hiding their belly. They feel completely at ease with their family and surroundings. This preference can also mean that they easily get hot while sleeping so they’re trying to cool off. While it might seem weird to you the way your dog’s paws hang in the air, it is completely comfortable in this position. Older dogs tend to not sleep in this position because they generally have orthopedic problems like arthritis and they might have trouble getting into this position or it might cause them pain.
- Personality: Laidback, independent, trusting, loving
- Bed: An elevated bed that will help keep your dog cool by enhancing air circulation.
Conclusion: Reading Your Dog’s Sleep
How a dog sleeps can say a lot about its personality, feelings, and physical well-being.
When it comes to sleeping, we all have our favorite position, even dogs. While dogs can have a preferred position, it doesn’t mean that they only sleep in that one pose. They’ll move around in their sleep to whatever is most comfortable to them. Also, depending on its circumstances, feelings, time of day, and season a dog can choose to switch up the position it sleeps in.
A doggie’s preference on how it sleeps can say a lot about its personality, state of mind, and physical fitness. Each position has a meaning behind it, so by observing how your dog sleeps you can make some inferences on how it acts and how it feels about you and its environment. If you watch your pup closely, you can also determine which kind of bed type is best suited for it. Not only will it help them feel well rested and comfortable, the right bed can also help your dog feel safe and warm.