The Top 5 Dog Sleeping Positions & What They Mean

Just like watching babies sleep, there is something that fascinates us all by our dogs when they sleep. Not only are our sleeping dogs cute to watch, but their sleeping habits can also reveal a lot about their personality as well as their health.

How much sleep does a dog need? 

Dogs on average will spend around 50% of their day sleeping! Puppies & senior dogs will spend & need much more than this to sleep through the day. Puppies can need up to 20 hours while seniors may need as much as The duration of nap-time your dog is also dependent on other key factors such as activity, age, play & diet. So don't be too alarmed if your dog has a long restful period after a stimulating morning at the dog park. Rest is important to recovery & supports a healthy immune system. REM sleep, which is the deepest stage of sleep, is the most restorative.


What's your dog's sleeping position?

There are many positions that a dog may favour. Here are the top 5 most common sleeping positions of dogs & what they mean.

1. On their side

The Meaning Behind Dog's Sleeping Positions-Side Sleepers

Dogs that are side sleepers feel a sense of contentment & trust in their surroundings. A supportive rectangular or hammock-style bed works best for these dogs. You may observe more movement & twitching as their legs are free & not tucked in underneath them. Twitching can indicate a dream state (your dog may dream that they are running)!



2. Curled up

The Meaning Behind Dog's Sleeping Positions-Curled Up

Interestingly, this is a common position that shelter dogs display. A behaviour from their wild dog ancestors that is still dominant today.

This position ensures that the dog is protecting its vital organs & can react quickly should it need to display a 'fight or flight' reaction. The curled-up sleeping position can often indicate that your dog is a little more cautious about its surroundings. These dogs benefit from sleeping in a circular, nest-style dog bed. These beds often referred to as 'anxiety beds' are designed to be a tight fit to provide comfort & security to dogs. This is also a position that dogs use to warm themselves in cooler weather.

3. On their stomach

The Meaning Behind Dog's Sleeping Positions-Superman Pose

Often referred to as the 'Superman' pose, this position is common in dogs who don't want to miss out on anything! Displayed by dogs who are playful, energetic & quick to respond. Some dogs favour this position as it allows them to 'react' if need be quickly on all four paws! This is also a comfortable position during hot weather when dogs are trying to cool their core body temperature on a cool surface such as tiles.

4. On their back with paws in the air

The Meaning Behind Dog's Sleeping Positions-Back Sleepers

If your dog sleeps this way, it can indicate a very chilled-out dog that feels comfortable & unthreatened. This carefree position leaves dogs in a vulnerable situation as it would take considerably longer to get to the four paws quickly.  An orthopedic rectangular shaped mattress is recommended for this sleeping style.




5. Cuddled up with you

The Meaning Behind Dog's Sleeping Positions-Cuddled up

This is the ultimate in our opinion for dog owners! Dogs who like to sleep snuggled up with their owners tend to be loyal & affectionate. Not only is this interaction warm for both owners & dogs alike, but this position also releases oxytocin, a hormone responsible for forming social bonds. 

While each & every dog is different, it is important to monitor their sleeping habits & positions. Often changes in normal patterns can provide clues to their health & general wellbeing.

If you have any concerns, discuss these with your vet.

For further information, call in & see us in the store, or email us:

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