Experts Explain What Your Dog Sleeping Positions Really Means


Admit it. You love to play with your dogs, pet them and watch them sleep comfortably. But have you wondered what your dog's sleeping positions mean?

From curling up into a ball to laying on the back, you must have seen your dog sleep in so many positions. Sometimes, you would have caught yourself awing while other times, you would have worried because of the position your dog prefers to sleep in.

Your worries are completely normal, but now is the time to discover the truth about your dog's sleeping behaviors!

Your dogs sleep in different positions depending on their surroundings, body temperature, and trust in you. As pet parents, it is your responsibility to learn about dog sleeping positions. Only then can you figure out if your four-legged companion is in the pink of their health!

This article will walk you through the different dog sleeping positions, what they mean, and other necessary information. So, buckle up and keep reading!


Common Dog Sleeping Positions And Their Meaning

Like how your sleeping position changes every so often, your dog's sleeping position also varies. Your dog's sleeping habits can reveal a lot about how they are feeling.

Generally, dogs tend to shift their sleeping position based on where they are sleeping and with whom. Dog sleeping patterns can also give you an insight into your dog's health.

If you are yearning to know more about happy dog sleeping positions, here are the sleeping positions you need to watch out for:

Side Sleeper

Have you seen your dogs sleep flat on one side with their legs extended? If yes, they are side-sleepers.

Most probably than not, you have seen your dog sleep in this position, as this is one of the most common sleeping positions for furry friends.

When your dog is a side sleeper, you know that they are relaxed and comfortable in their environment. Your dogs love being around you and feel safe in your presence.

In this position, your dog's vital organs are out in the open, making them feel exposed. But the trust they place in you makes your dogs prefer this position.


The Donut

If your dog sleeps curled up into a cute little furball, then you have got yourself a donut-loving pet.

Of course, this is an adorable dog sleeping position. But it also tells you that your dog is feeling cold and anxious.

The donut position is a common sleeping position among dogs during the cold season. Your puppies have their limbs tucked close against their body to save up their body heat.

Alternatively, this position is also prevalent among wild dogs or dogs that have been recently adopted. These dogs seek protection from their environment, and the best way they can do that is to cover their vital organs in the donut sleeping position.


The Lion's Pose

The Lion's pose is one of the cutest dog sleeping positions. When your puppy sleeps in this position, they look like they mimic a lion's sleeping posture.

If your dog sleeps in Lion's pose, you can find their front paws tucked in and their heads on top of their paws. Your pup's hind legs are neatly placed on the side.

Usually, your dogs sleep in this position when they badly want a nap but are on alert mode. In this position, they do not get into a deep sleep and can pounce up at a moment's notice.

Most loyal dogs tend to fall asleep in this position by their pet parent's feet or front door. Suppose your puppies sleep in this manner; you have found yourself a watchdog!


The Superman Position

If your dog lays sprawled out on its tummy with its front paws stretched forward and back legs pushed back, it is in the superman position.

This dog sleeping position means your dog is a little exhausted but up for playtime. Superman is the favorite sleep position for high-energy dogs and very playful dogs.

Suppose your dog sleeps in this position and you feel like petting them; you can pick them up and do so without hesitation. Your dogs would adore it!

On the Back

Suppose you find your dog laying on its back with all paws up in the air; you are blessed! Your dog completely trusts you, and that's what this sleep position of your dog means.

Indeed, this might look like one of the weird dog sleeping positions. But it's not.

You must know that this is such a vulnerable position as all the vital organs of your pup are fully exposed. Yet, your dog sleeps like this, thanks to your love and affection for them.

Now, you might think about why dogs sleep in this position.

Dogs sleep with their tummy up to cool off their body. The pads of the feet are where dogs sweat the most, and their belly is their heat source. So, when both of these are in the air, they can reduce the body heat and feel happy and calm.

On the Belly

Have you ever noticed your dog sleeping with its tummy on the floor and arms stretched? Well, dogs sleep in this position mostly during summers or on days they feel hot. It is a position that helps the dogs to get a bit relaxed and enjoy the cold surface.

So, if you ever find your dog in such a position, you must find ways to make it more comfortable. You can bath it or try to feed it light food. You can also trim the fur if your pooch consistently lies down in this position.

Cuddler Cutie

Humans love to cuddle, and so do dogs. You can sometimes find your dog cuddled up to you or other dogs. If your furry animal loves to sleep on top of you, you have found your true cuddler cutie!

If your dog sleeps in this position, it means your pet desire to bond with you. Your furry friend loves your company and wants to grow closer to you.

All you have to do for this affectionate furball is to pet them generously and show them how much you care for them.


Elevated Head And Neck

In case you find your dog's head and neck raised on its dog bed, pay close attention. This position is a hint that your dog might have health issues.

There are certain dog sleeping behaviors you need to look out for, and this is one of them. Dogs that sleep with their head and neck raised on any surface might have breathing trouble.

If such a scenario arises, pay attention to your dog's breathing rate. Suppose you listen to any irregular noise or think your pup's breathing rate is high, contact a veterinarian immediately!


The Burrower

You may have seen dogs curled up in a piece of fabric, a blanket, or pillows. Or you might have seen your dog snuggling below the mattress or something similar. Dogs who get cutely covered in fabric or cushions are referred to as burrowers.

All this isn't just a cute thing they do; it indicates their needs.

Dogs in the Burrower Bug position are looking for comfort and security. You might be aware that to fall asleep, they frequently require a lot of attention and affection. So, make sure that you make your dogs feel comfortable and give them an ample amount of love.

 Here is the graph to understand more:

What Is A Dog's Most Comfortable Sleeping Position?

Much like us humans, dogs undergo different emotions ranging from fear and insecurity to comfort and relaxation as well.

When we feel the most relaxed and comfortable, we tend to be carefree, and our bodylanguage echoes our feeling. Your dog does the same too.

Your dog sleeps the best when it slumps onto one side and stretches its legs. This position, as we discussed early, is called the side sleeper. It is one of the best dog sleeping positions. If your furry companion is in this position, it falls into a deep slumber, and its muscles relax.

If you closely observe, your dog might twitch, stretch its legs and move its paws while sleeping in this position. It is more so because the dog is dreaming. Sleeping on one side is also one of the common sleeping positions of dogs.

So, when your dog sleeps on one side, it means it feels safe, relaxed, and comfortable. This position is considered one of the most prominent and cozy sleep positions of dogs. Dogs that trust the people and environment feel at ease and drift to sleep in this position, extending their legs.

Other Comfortable Positions

Another comfortable sleep position is when dogs sleep on their backs with their paws up. It will be hard for the dog to get on its feet quickly in this position. They trust you and are comfortable in their sleeping environment.

Dogs also love snuggling up to you when they feel very loving and affectionate towards you. This position also makes them feel warm and cozy. Bet you love it when your dog is trying to bond with you!

Pro tip: The dogs that sleep on one side keep their legs stretched. They might kick and often twitch in deep sleep and dreams. Keep in mind to have extra space so your furry friend can feel more comfortable.


How Long  Does A Dog Sleep?

Most of the time, we find our dogs jumping around full of energy or barking, which makes us wonder about their sleep hours. Like do they get enough sleep?

Well, they do get a good amount of sleep and usually sleep when they feel like they don't have another job to do. So, they might not sleep in one go, but they do sleep for small intervals during the day.

On average, most dogs sleep for around half of their day or about 12 hours out of a 24-hour period. Small-breed dogs and service dogs may sleep less, whereas puppies, large-breed dogs, and older dogs may sleep more.

In short, the time for which different dogs sleep may vary based on their age, engagement, and routine. Ideally, dogs should sleep for at least 8 hours a day and not less than that. If your dogs sleep for less than the said time, they will suffer.

A dog deprived of sleep has a reduced immune system, making them more susceptible to illness and putting them in danger of serious illnesses. Sleep deprivation has a significant impact on mood. So, if you notice an abnormality in your dog's sleep patterns, you must consult a vet and get the issues resolved.

What Does My Dog's Yawn Indicate?

There are various reasons why your dog yawns, and not each of them is always a soothing indication. However, while the yawn is widely accepted as a relaxing signal in dog communication, there are other reasons to be concerned.

A yawn might also signal excitement or worry. Dogs yawn in anticipation of something pleasurable, like a walk, as a way of reining in their excitement. When your dog is frightened, it may yawn continuously while waiting at the veterinarian's office. So, you can see that yawning at different times indicates different reasons.

As a result, start paying attention to when and how often they yawn. For example, if your child stretches out and yawns, they are sleepy or tired. Doing so will help you understand your pooch, its habits, and sleeping pattern in a better way.


Some Common Dog Sleep Patterns

Now that you know what dog sleeping positions mean, you must learn about the sleep patterns of your furry friends.

You may encounter typical dog sleeping habits like barking and twitching when your dog dozes off. Do not worry; these sleeping habits are usual among dogs. These sleep patterns will help you find out about your dog's quality of sleep.

So, what are these sleeping patterns?



If you find your dog twisting and turning in their sleep, it is because they are dreaming. It is usual for dogs to twitch when they move between sleep stages. So, chill out and let your dog’s dream!



Yes, dogscan bark during their sleep, and it's not wrong. When your dog barks during its sleep, it is due to a crazy dream your pet had.


Dogs snore too! While it might be because your pet has a tiny nose, it could also be due to breathing issues, in which case you must get your dog checked by the vet.

Sometimes, odd sleep positions can also cause your dog to snore. Try waking up your dog and letting them go back to sleep in another position. If the snoring stops, you have your answer!

Lastly, it is hard to confess. But if your dog is obese, then its snoring is common. Excessive weight can cause pressure around the airways and lead to snoring.



Of all sleep patterns, this might startle you more. Your dogs could be moving their legs rapidly, as if they were running, during their sleep.

This behavior can be witnessed mostly when your pup sleeps with its legs stretched on the side. And when a dream strikes your furball.

Think of it as your dog chasing a ball or running a marathon. Exciting, right? Now, please stop trying to wake them up from their excellent sleep.


Circling and Digging

If you have seen your dog lying on a cold surface and sleeping, you would have also seen them circling and digging the ground in a while. This pattern is a dog's natural way of making their surroundings more comfortable.

Also, they picked up this behavior from their ancestors - the wolves. But you do not have to get frightened by that; your little pet is just recollecting some memories during sleep.


Where Should Your Dog Sleep?

There is no thumb rule regarding where your dogs can sleep. However, if you are looking at some suggestions for a good night's sleep for your dog, here it goes:


In your Bedroom

Two things can decide if your cute doggie can sleep in your bedroom:

  • You love it when your dog sleeps curled up with you.
  • Your dog loves to snuggle with you.

There is nothing else that matters. Unless you or your partner do not have pet allergies, you can make a dog bed for your pet. Especially if you often see your dog seeking comfort from you, having them sleep in your bed will help you bond better.


In a Crate

If you do not want your puppy in your bedroom, you can always let them sleep in a crate. A crate protects your furball from a cold surface, and if your dog is crate-trained, a crate can feel like heaven! It will be cozy and safe for your pet.

Moreover, letting your dog fall asleep in a crate is an excellent idea if you want to avoid house accidents. You can also carry them with you during travel.


Dog bed

Dog beds are one of the most comfortable places for your dogs. They are easier to sleep in when compared to a crate, as your pup can get up and move around quickly.

Puppies sleep cozily with their legs extended happily. Plus, beds protect your furballs from sleeping on a cold surface. So, buying a bed for your dog is a beautiful idea!


How To Help Your Dog Get Better Sleep?

Your dog can sleep well only if it is happy. So keeping your dog happy is the first step in ensuring it gets better sleep. Here are a few tips to help your dog sleep better.

• Set up a comfortable space; it could also provide the dog with its own bed.

• Limit the amount of water it drinks before going to bed.

• Make potty break a mandate just before bedtime.

• Don't let the dog take any breaks in the middle of the night.

• Keep your sleeping habits under check to help your dog sleep better.


Bottom Line

Dogs are man's best friends. Taking care of their sleep routine and understanding their sleeping habits are important.

Dogs follow a polyphasic sleep cycle - they sleep round the clock. The amount of time your dog’s sleep varies mainly with their age, personality, and the environment they grow up in.

From making a comfy dog bed to understanding their emotions with their sleeping style, we have got to understand the needs and feelings of our dogs better.

It would be best if you cared for your four-legged friend's habits to keep their sleep cycle and health under control. Once you start understanding why your dogsleeps the way it sleeps, try altering different things to help your buddy lead a healthier and more comfortable life.

Since you now know what your dog's sleeping positions mean, keep an eye out on their postures and find out if they are happy with you!


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