Are you interested in quickly unwinding the folds in your dog’s personality? Just start observing its sleeping position; yes, you heard it right. Different dogs have variant sleeping positions, the ones in which they feel comfortable.
Your dog’s sleeping position is beneficial in knowing about your dog’s mental and psychological condition. Some of these are cute, some are interesting, and some are very strange, but it all depends upon the comfort level of your furry friend.
These sleeping positions reflect your dog’s choice and comfort, so observe them now. Here is a detailed guide covering the ten typical dog sleeping positions and what these positions say about your dog.
Ten Dog Sleeping Positions And What They Mean
To read about the ten most common positions for sleeping dogs, go carefully through this section.
1. Sleeping on the Side
Sleeping on one side is the most common position for any dog. Most commonly, you will see this thing in little puppies and older dogs who feel hard and tired to bear the weight of their body.
A dog lying on one side is always a good indication. This represents the dog’s comfortable, easy, satisfied, and happy condition.
It is always a good sign when a dog lies on one side. Dogs in this condition are comfortable, easy, happy, and satisfied.
2. Lion’s Pose
In the lion’s pose, dogs sleep with their heads on their paws and extend their paws forward. You will also see these dogs hiding their front feet under their chest with the back legs in the same direction.
According to researchers, this pose is a sign that your dog has to make a quick move within no time for the sake of protection. They might go for this position when they are alert of their family or friends coming over.
For the sake of protection, this pose indicates that your dog must move quickly.
3. Superman Position
The Superman position refers to someone napping very freely. It is when your dog is lying on its belly with the front legs in the forward direction while the back legs are spread backward.
This position is common in young puppies who can sleep anytime, anywhere. Also, many dogs who feel tired after playing or running a lot usually sleep in this position so that they can anytime get up and start playing again. This position indicates that your dog is comfortable and feels free and relaxed.
When puppies are young, they can sleep whenever they want while doing anything they want.
If you love your big dog friend, you will always cuddle with him. So when they get into your couch or your bed and sleep hugging you, this position is known as cuddling. The meaning of this position is just love and affection, and it represents your bonding with your pet.
You can see this position in any dog type, even if it is your little pup or your giant dog, which is why it is the most common. Remember to comfort and cuddle your little friend, rubbing your hands over it gently to make them feel secure and loved.
Your bond with your pet is represented by this position, which represents love and affection.
5. Propped Head
You might feel uncomfortable if you see a dog with its head propping up on something. But you will be shocked to know that this is one of the most likely positions to find in your sleeping dog.
This position is rare in dogs, so always make sure that you check on your if you see it sleeping this way.
An important thing to ensure is that its heartbeat is normal without any noise. Remember to consult a trusted vet to get your dog checked to prevent any further complications.
You should always keep an eye on your dog if you see it sleeping in this position.
Some dogs love to hide under soft things like their favorite toy, comfy blankets, or anything. It usually happens when your dog wants to stay protected and secure from the outer environment. It is also common in dogs who feel anxious or nervous about anything, but this is not something to worry about.
To add extra comfort to your dog lying in this position, add another layer of blanket. You can also go for a nice dog bed to provide your friend with a comfy place to sleep, which already has a burrowing area to hide under.
There are some dogs who love to hide under soft things, like their favorite toy or a comfy blanket.
Do you want to know why your dog loves resting in a curled and rolled-up way? It is because it has a great love for the donut sleeping position. It can tuck its limbs and get into a ball-type shape which is why this is known as the donut position. This position is common in dogs who want to stay protected and safe, usually for two main reasons.
First, they might feel cold and want to get their body some natural heat. The other is that they want to adjust to a new environment. To make your dog more comfortable in this position, make sure to add something warm and confuse it and give your new friend proper time to adjust.
A dog in this position usually wants to stay protected and safe for two main reasons.
8. Sleeping on Back
Sometimes your dog likes to lie on its back with paws in the upper direction. This shows its love for the sleeping on-back position. It’s common in dogs who want to stay cool in response to the heat getting out of their paws.
This position is good because it indicates that your dog feels secure and protected from all sorts of dangers. So far, this is why many pet lovers try to make this sleeping position a part of their dog’s routine.
In this position, your dog feels safe and protected from all sorts of dangers.
9. Back to Back With Someone
Another typical dog sleeping position is when it sleeps next to another pup or with someone else very closely. It is also an indication of your dog feeling loved and comfortable.
However, according to some researchers, this position also represents the intimacy desire of your dog. The next dog or person or dog is always someone your dog trusts blindly. Also, your dog’s intense feelings of love and affection are a must for the next. So, do feel happy if you are this significant other.
This cuddled position is a highlight of the fact that your pup is in love with you and considers you as a close ally.
10. On a Cold Surface
Some dogs have a strong likeness for cold surfaces such as tiled floors. This is one of the dog sleeping positions which is very easy to understand; obviously, it happens when your dog feels very hot and wants something to cool down.
Dogs assume this position after they spend tiring time in the hot weather, for example, walking or playing in the sun. In this situation, give them more water to keep them hydrated. You can also get some nice dog cooling pads to lower your dog’s heat.
A dog assumes this position after spending time in the sun or walking in hot weather.
Sleeping Behaviors of Dogs
There are different sleeping behaviors of dogs mostly adapted from their ancestors. Below are some common sleeping behaviors that dogs follow:
1. Digging and Circling Before Sleep
Dogs have special preparations to take care of before going to sleep. They circled, walking in circles with their paws on the ground. Dogs also dig before bedtime to make enough space to lie down. These behaviors are from the ancestors of dogs, particularly related to their nesting activities.
The wild ancestors of your dogs used to sleep outdoors without any comfortable and fluffy dog bed. The purpose of cycling before sleeping was to flat in the vegetation and the tall grasses on the ground in their specified sleeping spot.
It also helps move aside small rocks and sticks to smooth out the sleeping area of the dogs. On the other side, the primary purpose of digging was to help with better sleep, especially in hot weather. Digging results in making a shallow hole in the ground to expose damp and cool soil to sleep upon.
Circling and digging behavior by indoor dogs will not help make their bed smoother or flatter. But this is their instinct that brings satisfaction to the dog. So even if you have a pet dog who already has a comfortable bed and does not need to set a sleeping nest, you will still see these behaviors in your dog.
2. Dog Twitching While Sleeping
Dog twitching or running is a typical behavior that dogs follow in their sleep. It also includes wagging their tail. Some dogs show this behavior by whimpering or barking softly in their deep sleep. This behavior has a strong association with dreaming and is common in dogs.
3. Dog Seizures During Sleep
Seizures are also something that dogs suffer from in their sleep. This is different from the ordinary dreaming or twitching behavior of dogs. The symptoms of seizures include the dog falling on one side and stiffening of the body.
Moreover, some dogs also urinate, drool, or defecate when experiencing seizures. During these seizures, dogs move all four legs. The time duration of a seizure is about 1 to 2 minutes. But even this short duration is very disorienting and frightening for your dog.
You can also record a seizure video of your dog and then show it to the vet to determine if it is something to worry about. Certain medications can treat this neurological disorder. So it is essential to visit your veterinarian as soon as possible if your dog experiences seizures.
Sleep Requirements of Different Dogs By Breed
One thing to remember is that dog breeds have different sleep requirements. Moreover, the breed’s size is another crucial aspect affecting the time of sleep your dog needs. Here are some instructions related to the sleeping duration of the dogs depending on their size or breed:
Smaller dog breeds require a sleeping duration of 14 to 16 hours a day. In contrast, this sleeping duration changes to 10 to 14 hours daily for medium dog breeds. In the case of larger dog breeds, we see high sleeping demand, and their duration is up to 18 hours. The reason is that they need solid rest for the day.
Another important aspect that changes the sleep duration of your dogs is their breeding type. If your dog’s breed is specified for carrying out essential activities, then their sleep duration is less compared to the other dogs.
There are different variations when we talk about the sleeping duration of dogs per day. Consider all the aspects mentioned in this guide and see your dog type to find a suitable sleeping duration.
Factors Affecting the Sleep of Your Dog
The age of your dog, as well as the type and size of the breed, there are still other factors that affect your dog’s sleep. Some of these crucial factors are discussed below:
Your dog’s activity level is also an essential factor that decides how much sleep your dog should get. It is easier for highly active dogs to fall asleep because of their hard work throughout the day. If your dog does not do enough exercise, there are chances that your dog might have to face sleeplessness and restlessness at night.
Make sure to monitor the activity of your dogs as well as their rest levels to keep track of their exercise routine. You can also get a GPS or activity tracker for this purpose.
2. Health Problems
Your dog’s health condition will also change its sleep duration. For overweight and cogs, the sleep requirement is considerably more than that of healthy dogs. If you have an unusual sleeping pattern in your dog, this might be a dire condition indicating a health problem.
Different help risks related to dogs include diabetes, Parvovirus, Kennel cough, or poisoning. Other conditions might consist of hypothyroidism, anemia, distemper, and leptospirosis. Certain liver, kidney, or heart problems can also affect your dog’s sleeping pattern.
3. Changed Surroundings and Routine
Changes in your surroundings and your dog’s routine can also affect your sleeping pattern. Same as you have a problem adjusting to a new home, dogs also face the same issue. They need time to adapt and acclimate to the new environment to continue their regular sleeping pattern.
Also, an environment with a lot of noise leads to anxiety and fear in dogs, making it difficult for them to sleep. This is why well-rested dogs do not sleep well when you have fireworks or parties around. Your dog’s routine is also essential to decide the sleeping duration.
Changing the dog walker or the sleeping spot significantly impacts your dog’s sleeping pattern.
Temperature also plays an essential role in maintaining the regular sleep pattern of your dog. It brings them restlessness and makes it difficult for them to sleep. So make sure you take care of the sleeping environment if you want your dog to sleep correctly.
Take appropriate measures for maintaining a cool environment for your dog to help in a better sleep routine. Also, a hot environment makes your dog lazy and increases sleep duration. So it is better to avoid extremely hot temperatures for your dog.
What is the Average Sleeping Duration for Your Dog?
We all want to know how much sleep is sufficient for your dog. Sometimes your dog keeps sleeping for hours, making you concerned. On average, a dog should sleep about 12 to 14 hours a day. It is not a good sign if your dog keeps sleeping all day.
But there are fluctuations in the average sleeping duration of the dog due to different factors. These include the age, the type, the body, and the daily activities of your dog. The sleeping duration of dogs is even higher in puppies. Small dogs can sleep for up to 20 hours a day.
Why Does Your Dog Sleep A Lot?
It is the most critical concern of dog owners, making them worried about why their dogs sleep that much. Expert studies have shown that a dog sleeps multiple times during the day. The dog sleeping positions and frequency vary with the type and age of the dog.
On average, dogs’ most typical sleeping time is between 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. Dogs have long sleeping hours because of the loss of their rapid eye movement, also called REM. So, you see your dog jumps suddenly upon any disturbance, even during sleep.
How To Improve Your Dog Sleep?
If you are wondering how to improve a dog’s sleep, consider different factors. Dogs’ sleeping habits let you know about their physical and mental health. If you see your dog sleeping in an unusual position, it might be a symptom indicating an illness.
Moreover, if the sleeping duration of your dog is higher or lower than the average sleeping time, this is also alarming. In both cases, you must contact your vet as soon as possible to seek medical help for your dog. These are some of the most significant steps that you can take to improve the sleep of your dog:
1. Comfortable Bed
Indoor dogs have a habit of living a comfortable and luxurious life. They are different from outdoor dogs, who can easily sleep on the ground without discomfort. You have to provide indoor dogs with a comfortable bed so they can enjoy a sound sleep.
2. Soft Toys
Keeping different dog toys with your dogs will help them engage in playful activity before they sleep. It will require energy usage, which will help them sleep even better. A tired dog will sleep much better and be less interrupted by disturbances during sleep. But make sure that the twice you keep with your dog are fluffy and not sharp or hard.
3. Cold Temperature
A cold temperature is a thing dogs love the most for their sleep. For outdoor dogs digging is a behavior that they follow to expose the inner soil of the ground and get a cold environment for sleep. Indoor dogs cannot dig inside the house. So you have to ensure that you provide them with cold temperatures so they can sleep better.
4. Water and Food Supply
You should always ensure that your dogs have sufficient water and food supply before putting them to sleep. Even if you have fed your dog correctly, there still are chances that your dog will feel hungry or thirsty during sleep. If the food and water are close to the dog, it will be easier for your dog to consume them and go back to sleep quickly.
Otherwise, your dog will be restless after waking up from sleep due to thirst or hunger. It will make it difficult for your dog to go back to sleep.
Dogs love to sleep for almost half a day, specifically in a comfortable position. Dog sleeping positions help you understand its mind, comfort, likeness, and other things. These sleeping patterns and functions differ based on breed, food, exercise, health, and environment.
Good sleep is an essential requirement for your dog, no matter what position it is in. So make sure you never compromise on this to keep your little friend healthy and active.
Jen Jones is a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist with more than 25 years of experience. As the founder of ‘Your Dog Advisor’ and the ‘Canine Connection’ rehabilitation center, she applies a holistic, empathetic approach, aiming to address root causes rather than merely treating symptoms.
Well known for her intuitive and compassionate approach, Jen adopts scientifically-proven, reward-based methods, encouraging positive reinforcement over punishment. Jen specializes in obedience training, behavior modification, and puppy socialization. Her innovative methods, particularly in addressing anxiety and aggression issues, have been widely recognized. Jen has worked with many of the world’s leading dog behaviorists and in her free time volunteers with local animal shelters and rescue groups.