Our Dogs World 101

9 Amazing Dog Sleeping Positions and Their Meaning

Dogs often sleep in strange positions, such as lying down, belly up, or in a ball.

Your dog’s choice of the sleeping position may depend on the temperature, how active they are, and how trusting you are.

Who doesn’t like a dog snuggled up against their feet or in a semi-constrained position while they sleep? Let’s look at the secrets of dog sleeping positions and doggie snoozing.

Dogs can have strange sleeping habits, just like humans. This post will explain how to help your dog sleep better.

Why Do Dogs Sleep so Much?

Pet parents often wonder why their dogs sleep so well. Dogs sleep up to half the time, whereas humans only sleep for about one-third of the day. Why? That is because dogs have evolved to sleep longer than humans.

Do Dogs Dream?

During REM sleep, dogs may bark, whine, or jerk their legs. Researchers believe this is a sign that they are dreaming. It may occur several times per night, depending on how your dog cycles through sleep stages.

How do I Determine How Much My Dog Sleeps Each Night?

You can track your dog’s activity and sleep habits with a GPS and activity monitor for dogs. You can also track your dog from anywhere, anytime, with your Smartphone.

Dog Sleeping Basics

Puppy development and healthy growth require more sleep than usual. Puppies can sleep up to 20 hours per night.

Senior dogs need more sleep as they get older. Giant dog breeds like the Mastiff and Newfoundland, for example, tend to get more sleep than 14 hours per night.

It is hard work to be a dog owner. Dog owners must take their dogs for walks, train them, feed them along with many other things that only responsible dog owners know .

You also need to be aware of subtle changes. Dogs need between 10-14 hours of sleep each day. That includes both nighttime and daytime sleep.

Indoor dogs can fall asleep too often because they feel bored. Your dog needs stimulation throughout the day. That can help them develop healthy sleeping patterns.

Dogs that live in quiet homes may be more comfortable sleeping, while those living in active environments tend to be restless throughout the day.

Dogs can adjust their sleeping habits to adapt to their environment, so they are awake when there’s something to do and asleep when not.

Your dog may be experiencing excessive sleep, which could indicate a severe condition. If your dog seems to be sleeping excessively, consult your veterinarian.

Sleeping Patterns in Dogs

Dogs have different sleeping patterns that are similar to people.

Dogs fall asleep in the quiet stage when breathing slows down, blood pressure drops, and heart rate decreases.

They move their eyes quickly under closed eyelids in the active phase. That is called REM (Rapid Eye Movement).

REM sleep is a state in which dreams can occur. Studies on humans have shown this to be true.

Common Dog Sleeping Positions

Here are the 9 dog sleeping positions.

The Snuggle-Bug

You have the snuggle-bug position if your dog jumps on your lap when he snuggles up to you while you are sitting down. These cuddlers can be affectionate, loving, and sometimes a little needy. Cuddling your cuddler with a large dog can prove challenging, but it is worth the effort.

Sleeping Position: Back-to-BackGirl sleeping out with dog on red blanket

Your dog may be sleeping back-to-back when he sleeps with you or another dog. That is a sign that your dog is trusting and intimate. It could be a reminiscence of the ancestral pack behavior where entire families would sleep in a den. It may also remind you of your puppy’s first weeks of life when it rested in a fluffy pile with its litter mates.

Your dog will choose you to be his only relative, so you’re the one he trusts most. You should be grateful that your dog trusts you so much and cherish the relationship that you share with him.

The Donut Sleeping Position

Dogs that adjust to a new environment or make significant life changes might sleep in the donut position. Donut sleeping positions offer comfort and safety.

A dog sleeping in a donut position may curl up into a ball and rest its nose on its hind leg. You may drape the tail over your dog’s body to look like a scarf. To conserve heat, dogs may choose to lie in a donut position. This position is often seen more frequently in colder weather.

If they are feeling anxious or vulnerable, some dogs prefer to sleep in a donut position. Instead of exposing their stomachs, they are protecting their vital organs. That is an example of the wild ancestor’s instinct to protect their dogs from predators, especially while sleeping.

Undercover Sleeping Position

Do you own an “undercover” sleeping bag? It could be a sign that your dog needs companionship when sleeping. In cold weather, it is more common for dogs to crawl under the covers. Even humans like to be warm and cozy.

Belly-up Sleeping Position for Dogs: Dog on His/Her Back

Your dog may sleep on his back with its legs up, but why does he do this? Dogs that sleep on their back with their legs pointed up to the sky are very trusting. The dog might be able to cool down quickly by exposing his tummy.

Baring the belly reveals vital organs and makes the dog more vulnerable. If your dog lies in this adorable position, take a photo, and you will know that he is very comfortable around you.

The Side Sleeper

This deep sleep allows your dog to choose a place away from busy areas. Side sleeping is a sign that your dog trusts you and feels at ease in its surroundings.

Dogs that sleep on their backs with their legs extended are getting deep sleep. If your dog is in this position, you can leave it alone for an extended period of restorative sleep. Your dog may prefer to sleep on your bed or in a dog’s bed.

Superman’s Sleeping Position

It may remind you of Superman flying. Your dog will likely be exhausted from a long day of active play. Don’t let this fool you – your dog will be ready to jump into action if needed. This furry Superman does not require a costume change!

Your sleeping dog might be lying on his back with his front legs in front, his back behind, and his stomach pressed against the floor.

Sleeping With the Head-Raised

Be aware of dogs that have their neck and head elevated when they sleep. Pay attention to any noises or rapid breathing, or inability to exercise. Report any symptoms to your veterinarian.

Some dogs like to have their neck and head raised above the body. It could indicate that your dog is having difficulty breathing or could be suffering from heart disease.

The Pose of the Lion

Your dog may appear to be in a lion’s pose, but it is likely that it is sitting near your front door or at your feet. It allows your dog to be close to any action and sneak in a quick nap.

Your dog will sleep with its head on top of its front paws when it is in a position called lion’s pose. This sleeping position will make your dog sleeping, ready to jump into action in a split-second.

Dog Sleeping Behaviors

Dogs are serious about getting ready to nap. They will run in circles, dig, and paw at the ground before they lay down. These behaviors are reminiscent of dogs’ old nesting habits.

Although walking around in circles and pawing on an indoor dog bed
will not make it flatter or smoother, this behavior fulfills an instinct within your dog. These powerful ancestral behaviors can still be found in your dog, even though he doesn’t have to build a nest.

Pawing could be used to move sticks and other small stones around the nest. Your dog’s ancestors may have dug a small hole in hot weather to provide excellent soil for sleeping.

Dog Seizures During Sleep

It is a good idea to take a video of your dog’s seizure and send it to the vet to confirm the event. You can treat this neurological disorder with medication. Contact your veterinarian immediately.

Although seizures can occur when a dog falls asleep, they are far more common than simply dreaming or twitching.

A stroke causes the dog to fall onto its side, stiffen up, urinate, and move its legs.

Although seizures in dogs only last a few minutes, they can be very frightening for both you and your dog.

Dog Twitching During Sleep

Dogs that are deep asleep may twitch or run in their sleep.

Deep sleep may cause dogs to wag their tails, bark softly, or whimper.

This behavior is quite common in dogs and could be associated with dreaming.

Where Can Your Dog go to Sleep?

Some people prefer their dogs to sleep in their beds.

Some dogs sleep better when they are on the ground in their dog beds. You can decide what is best for you, and you can gently enforce boundaries to ensure your dog is as comfortable as possible.Dogs snout close to camera

Find out the pros and cons of letting your dog sleep in a bed.

It doesn’t matter where your dog sleeps. As long as both of you get enough rest, it’s okay.

You and your dog may prefer to sleep in the same room, so long as both your pet and you can get enough rest every night.

Your dog’s size will play an essential role in choosing between your bed and the floor.

If your dog attempts to climb onto your pillow or another prohibited area of your bed, you will need to physically move him. Your dog’s habit of snoring could make it difficult to join you in your bed.

Dogs will often choose to sleep at the bottom of your bed rather than at its top. It could be that there is more space to spread out and get comfortable.

For a sense of safety, your dog will almost always find a place to rest with a portion of his body against you.

You can add a set of steps to help an elderly or small dog move into your bed quickly.

Can My Dog go Outside to Sleep?

Your dog may be exposed to nocturnal wildlife, bright light, or other dangers. Pet owners should ensure their dogs have an indoor sleeping area or a well-constructed Dog House if they must sleep outside.

Some dogs are more suited for cold temperatures than others. Some can handle the heat better than others. Even the most challenging outdoor dogs should not be forced to endure extreme heat or cold night after night.

What if my Dog Doesn’t Want to Sleep in my Bedroom?

You don’t have to keep your dog in your bedroom at night.

You can let your dog sleep in the morning to get some rest, but it’s unlikely that they will. You’ll be more energetic to play and bond with your dog throughout the day if you prioritize your sleep health.

Dogs can sometimes wake up in the middle of the night and disturb your sleep, so if you are a light sleeper I would recommend having them sleep in another part of the house from day one.

Sleep Disorders in Dogs



To diagnose sleeping problems in your dog, consult your veterinarian.

Narcolepsy causes your dog’s nervous system to go to sleep. It can cause your dog to fall asleep suddenly. If you pet your dog or make loud noises, the dog may wake up. You can manage Narcolepsy with medication prescribed by your veterinarian.


Dogs that are bored or inactive during the day may feel tired at night. To relax your dog, you can include vigorous play in the evening or a long walk.

Your dog may not be able to sleep if he is experiencing chronic pain, itching, or frequent urination. These cases can be treated to improve your dog’s sleeping habits.

Sleep Apnea

It is characterized by loud snoring, frequent waking during sleep, and reduced airflow.

Sleep apnea can affect dogs and can cause serious health problems. Sleep apnea can be a severe condition of overweight or flat-faced dogs.

Five Dog Sleeping Facts

Just like us, dogs experience different stages in sleep (REM and NREM).

  • Close up of dog sleeping on floor Older dogs and puppies dream more than their middle-aged counterparts.
  • Both you and your dog deserve a restful night’s sleep
  • Dogs tend to walk in circles before lying down. That is an ancestral behavior, which is a way for them to feel secure and comfortable.
  • Dogs spend between 12 and 14 hours of sleep each night.
  • It’s probably a good idea for sleeping dogs to lie down, as the old saying goes. Children are responsible for 60% of dog bites when they attempt to wake dogs up from deep sleep.

Conclusion To a Good Nights Sleep

You and your family should make sure your dog’s sleep habits are compatible with yours. Do not sacrifice your health for your dog. You and your dog will only be able to bond and play together when he is well-rested.

Did you find this article useful? Feel free to share your thoughts. We would be happy to hear from you!

Stay tuned for more posts on dog care and much more!

“May Your Home Be Filled With Love And Dog Hair”


Founder of Our Dogs World 101

6 thoughts on “9 Amazing Dog Sleeping Positions and Their Meaning”

  1. i see your website is about dog,  This is actually a good article. Not many people will think to write an article like this. I am going  to be honest with you. I actually like the looks of your website i also like the images on the other side  it will be extremely to people to read and understated everything. great work and good website about dogs

  2. Thank you for this informative post about our furry pets sleeping positions and the meanings behind them.  I had no idea that some of the sleeping problems that affect humans can also affect dogs and indicate a possible health problem.  I have a dog that snores and sleeps with its head raised.  I’m calling the vet right now to have him checked out!

  3. This was an interesting read.  I have two dogs myself, one is a rescue.  And he sleeps with his belly up, sometimes his feet stay suspended in the air.  It says he is very trusting, and that is probably an accurate statement.  My other dog is a dreamer.  He definitely whimpers, and makes noises with twitches while he sleeps.  Sometimes I think he is having a bad dream, so I wake him and then he goes right back to sleep 🙂


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