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8 Common Dog Sleeping Positions and What They Mean

Updated by Sheryl on Nov 16, 2021

Have you ever thought what my dog's sleeping position mean? Just like humans, dogs sleep in a variety of positions. From sleeping on their side to sleeping on their back with their paws in the air, dog sleeping positions and habits reveal a lot about your furry friend's overall health and personality.

To understand the meanings behind the cues of sleeping position in dogs, we have gathered some dog expert's opinions in this post. So, read on to get insight on what are the dog sleeping positions meaning. In this way, you can easily guess the feelings of your pet.

dog sleeps
8 Common Dog Sleeping Positions
1. Laying on the side
2. The Superman position
3. Curled up in a ball
4. Cuddler or snuggled up
5. On the back, legs up in the air
6. The Sphinx pose
7. The burrower
8. Head and neck elevate
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Final Thought
Here are the common sleeping positions of dogs and their meanings. Have a look to understand more:

The most common and favorite sleeping position of dogs is when they sleep on their side with legs extended. It is, by far, the most relaxed, safe, and comfortable position.

Meaning: The side sleepers are loyal and trusting dogs. They can take rest anywhere but mostly prefer their bed. Canines mostly prefer this posture when they are in a deep sleep. Their extended paws are free to move if they dream. In addition, you'll see more muscle twitching and legs kicking in a side sleeper during a nap.

dog laying on the side

Often, you might have seen your dog sprawled on the ground with its belly pressed on the flour, front legs stretch forward, and back legs extend behind them. It looks funny and awkward at the same time. But, mainly, young dogs and puppies prefer this position when nap time comes in between playtime. 

Meaning: The superman sleeping position exhibits the playful personality of pups. It shows that puppies are taking a nap since they are too tired after a play session. But they don't want to miss a chance of fun making and are ready to hop up again after refreshing.

dog sleep with Superman Position

It is the most common sleeping pose that wild animals prefer in the fall and winter months. They curl up in a ball and tuck all their limbs close to their body to conserve warmth. Plus, such a pose allows them to get up quickly if they need. It is also known as "the donut."

Meaning: This position means that a dog wants to ensure a sense of protection to itself. In addition, it needs to prevent warmth in a cold environment. However, it doesn't mean that a dog sleeping in this way is uncomfortable in its surroundings.

dog curled ip in a ball

If your dog likes to sleep cuddled up on another furry friend or the top of you, they want to get closer to you. A cuddler is completely comfortable when it is napping since it feels more secure in your company.

Meaning: This sleeping pose reveals that your dog wants to show its bonding, love, and affection with you. Mainly, puppies adopt this position in their early weeks. However, it should be discouraged since sleeping with your pets can lead to sleep troubles. Instead, encourage your pet canine to nap in its own dog sofa bed.

dog sleep cuddled up

The funniest and cutest dog's sleeping position is napping on their back with the tummy exposed and legs up in the air. It may look uncomfortable, but your furry friend is in a relaxed mood.

Meaning: Dogs prefer this position to keep them cool in a warm environment. They show a loving and trusting personality. Unfortunately, aged canines can't sleep on their back due to arthritis. However, it doesn't mean that they don't love you.

dog sleep on the back

This sleeping position is also known as the lion's pose. In this position, your dog sleeps with its head on top of its paws. Some dogs adopt a posture with the front feet tucked in and back legs on one side.

Meaning: When your dog is sleeping in the sphinx position, it means it is not in a deep sleep and just resting. It will be ready to play if it gets a chance. The dogs that adopt this position are more loyal, protective, and devoted. They love to nap near your feet and by the front door.

dog sleep with sphinx pose

When your dog sleeps under the pillows, blankets, and clothes, it is a burrower position. In the wild, most canines dig the ground to make holes or tunnels. They live and sleep in these holes. That's why most pet canines have the same habit.

Meaning: The dogs that like to sleep in burrower positions are comfort seekers. To ensure extra security, they prefer to sleep under covers. In addition, they have affectionate personalities.

dog sleep with burrower position

Most dogs prefer to sleep in a raised head and neck position. They place their head on an elevated surface such as a cushion or a pillow.

Meaning: The dogs that adopt this position have breathing issues. The raised head allows them to get more air and eases breathing. As a result, they sleep comfortably.

dog sleep with head and neck elevating
Dogs love to sleep in the posture in which they feel comfortable. Mostly, it keeps changing based on:
The place where your buddy is taking rest
The temperature of the sleeping place
The individual who is closer to him
The health condition that they are.

However, certain body injuries and inflammations also result in a change in the sleeping posture of your furry friend. So, keep an eye if you notice anything unusual and contact your vet as soon as possible.

What does it mean when a dog sleeps next to you?
When a dog wants to sleep next to you, it means it loves you and wants to ensure its affection by staying closer to you.
What does it mean when a dog sleeps at your feet?
Often, submissive dogs want to sleep at your feet if they are fearful of something. They want the reassurance of security from you. Some dogs exhibit such behavior to mark their territory to other dogs.

Whether your dog loves to sleep on its back or next to you, make sure to provide a comfortable environment for your furry friend. The sleeping area should neither be too hot nor too cold. Also, keep a closer look at your pet's sleeping habits; if it is uncomfortable and keeps changing positions, it might be suffering from a health problem. 

Sheryl is an editor from iPetor, owns extensive pet care experience. As a professional writer, she can provide useful pet care tips for all "parents".
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