What Does Your Dog’s Sleep Position Mean? Find Out Here!

labrador retriever puppy sleeping

Our little furry friends are more members of our family, than pets. The term “man’s best friend” should more accurately be “man’s oldest friend”.

Since the dawn of time, humans have looked to the companionship of canines. They have helped us hunt, kept us company, and even protected us for thousands of years.

It’s no wonder that when we come home from a long day at work, our little friends are always there to warm our hearts, and provide the smile and companionship we need.

Watching our dogs sleep can be one of the cutest and most wholesome things we will ever see. We can find ourselves scrambling for the phone to capture the moment of cuteness overload, and share it with the world.

But did you know that sometimes there can be more to their sleeping methods than meets the eye?

Besides being innocent and adorable, the way that our dogs choose to rest can tell a lot about how they are feeling.

You can also pay attention to their behavior during sleep, to see if they are getting the quality of rest they need.

Some of the most common sleeping positions are actually indicators of the quality of rest they are getting, and how your dog feels about their environment.

1. On their side

This is perhaps the most common sleeping position for your dog.

If your dog is sleeping on their side, this is actually a good sign! It means that they feel completely at ease with their environment. They trust you, and their surroundings enough to leave their vital organs, and weak underside exposed.

You may notice your dog doing this a lot at home if they are completely adapted to their living space.

However, dogs that are introduced to new members of the family, or an unfamiliar environment may choose not to sleep this way.

So you should feel happy if you see this is the position your little buddy chooses to catch some rest in.

dog sleeping comfortably

ALSO READ: 10 Tips to Get A Puppy to Sleep through the Night

2. On their backs

This position usually indicates a high level of trust in their environment as well.

Dogs who sleep in this position are usually carefree, and fun loving with plenty of trust to spare.

However, it is not just an indicator of trust. It can also indicate that they are trying to cool off. As their undersides are typically the least fur-coated area of their bodies.

Exposing this to air can be a great way for them to get cooler while resting. So if you see your dog sleeping on their back, maybe they are simply overheated.

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3. On their belly

When you catch your dog sleeping on their belly, with their legs spread out, it usually indicates they might just need a quick nap.

This position is most common in puppies who love to play often, and like to only take quick naps between play sessions. This position allows the dog to get up quickly, and get back to their fun activities.

You may also see this in your dog after an intense exercise session, and they simply can’t be bothered to find somewhere more comfortable to sleep. They just want to sleep right then and there!

dog sleeping on belly

4. Curled up

This position can mean a variety of things. It can commonly mean that the dog is not feeling safe.

As this position protects their vital organs, and allows them to make a quick escape if needed. Most dogs in the wild will sleep this way.

However it can also mean that your dog is simply cold, as it helps keep all of their core heat inside.

So if you see your dog sleeping this way, don’t assume it means that they don’t trust you. They could just be feeling chilly, or maybe ill.

Keep an eye on them if you see them sleeping in this position too often.

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5. Cuddling up

When your dog chooses to come to you, or one of their friends and curl up. This can mean that the dog is trying to bond, or show affection.

They are trying to show that they love and trust you completely. Make sure to give them that love and trust back!

These moments can be a great opportunity to build an even deeper trust and connection with your furry friend, in a way that they can understand!

puppy sleeping in cuddling position

So, What Your Dog’s Sleeping Position Says About His Personality?

Just like humans, our dogs will also often dream, or take light naps. These are perfectly normal.

If you find your dog doesn’t seem to be getting a good nap during the day, it’s OK.

Some high energy dogs will often enjoy simply laying down for a rest rather than getting a deep sleep nap. This may mean they are bored, or simply waiting for something exciting to happen.

puppy sleeping at night full guide

You may also notice that your dog is making funny noises, or soft barks in their sleep. As long as your dog does not seem to be in any distress, this is OK too. They are most likely having a very active dream, and can be a sign of a deep REM sleep.

However if it does seem that your dog is in distress, they may be having a nightmare.

While this is not dangerous to your dog, you may want to try cuddling up to them, or gently touching them to make them feel more safe.

How to Get A Puppy to Sleep through the Night


Our dogs will often sleep in some funny, and interesting positions, just like we do.

Most of the time it is just a cute, and interesting way for them to show their comfort in their environment. But your bond with your dog will be the best indicator of how much rest they are getting.

There isn’t much in the way of scientific research into dog sleeping patterns. But through your emotional bond you will be able to discern best what your dog is trying to express when they catch some rest.

So enjoy their cute little sleeping position, give them lots of cuddles, and keep an eye out for any signs that they may not be comfortable. In the end your little furry family member is sure to give you plenty of heart melting sleepy moments.

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Passionate lover of dogs and proud owner of a friendly, mischievous and energetic golden retriever named Beethoven! I’m incredibly excited to share my experiences on how best to care for your beloved pet. The more we know, the happier we and our canine friends will be!

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