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What Your Dog's Sleeping Positions Tell You About His Health and Personality


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When your dog is lying in bed fast asleep, they probably look downright peaceful and adorable. They may lie completely motionless and mostly silent, apart from the odd peculiar sound as they dream about cheese, tennis balls, and never-ending walks. Many dogs lie in a variety of unusual positions when they sleep, and recent research has revealed you can tell a surprising amount about your dog just from the positions they sleep in. This article will run through the most popular sleeping positions and explain to you what that says about their health and their personality.

All Curled Up Like A Snowball

You may frequently see your dog dozing all snuggled up nose-to-tail. But why does your dog sleep like this and what does that mean? A 2010 article by Nicola J. Rooney & John W. S. Bradshaw uncovered some interesting dynamics from the behavior of dozing dogs. If your dog is sleeping all curled up it could well be to protect their vital organs. On top of that, it could be a sign that your pooch is cold and trying to retain as much body warmth as possible. If your four-legger does not normally lounge in this position and they have taken up the habit and also seem under the weather, consider taking them for a check-up.

This position could also illustrate that your dog does not feel totally safe. You may see your dog sleep in this position more frequently if you are staying in an environment they are not used to. Dogs that have a timid or anxious personality may typically sleep like this. When your dog feels totally relaxed and comfortable, you may see them sleep more like the next position.

On The Back, Legs Everywhere

When your pooch lays on their back, legs splayed, it is a particularly humorous position to see them dozing in, and certainly not the most elegant. But if your dog is flat out on their back with legs pointed here, there and everywhere, this is actually a reassuring sign. This illustrates how truly relaxed and comfortable they feel around you! Pups with an easy-going, playful personality may sleep like this as a signal that says, "I'm ready to play when you are!"

This position could also mean more than a chill, calm dog, though. The fur is thinner around the belly and the sweat glands are in the paws; exposing them in this way helps cool your dog when they are particularly hot. So don’t be surprised if you see your dog lounging around like this in the summer, they’re probably just trying to stay cool.

The Superman

Another popular and incredibly cute sleeping position owners find their dogs in is the superman position. Does your dog sleep on their front with all four legs outstretched as if they are a stalking cheetah? This is particularly common in puppies and that’s because they’re always looking to quickly jump up and play. This echoes the findings of the American Journal of Physiology, who started by looking at the significance of diet on the energy of dogs, and in their work uncovered some peculiar other factors too, such as sleeping habits.

If your dog sleeps in the superman, they are probably fit, healthy and raring to go. So stop reading this and go get your lead, because your dog is probably itching to go for a walk!

On the Side

A lot of canines are side-sleepers and that's because they have a relaxed personality. Lying in this lazy position relaxes the muscles and allows your pooch to enjoy the comfort they feel in the safety of your home. The fact that their stomach is exposed to the air means that they do not feel threatened in any way. 

This position can also signify a deep sleep, so know that your pup is most likely in dreamland, pondering their next romp at the park. Be ready to head out when they awake from slumberland!

The Night-Time Conclusion

How your dog sleeps can reveal a tremendous amount about how they’re feeling and their character. Dogs that sleep in a curled up, contained position, may be trying to retain warmth and protect their vital organs. In addition, it may be a sign they do not feel totally at ease. Dogs that sleep in a spread out position, such as on their back, usually feel safe and are healthy. 

Of course, you may have a pooch that loves to snuggle, and this is a sure sign of their connection with you. Enjoy the bond and share the love!

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© 2024 Wag Labs, Inc. All rights reserved.