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Why Does My Dog Sleep Like That?

Dogs Posted May 19, 2020
Did you know that the way your dog sleeps can actually tell us something about how they're feeling?

Just like humans, dogs all have their preferred sleeping position. Some of us are side sleepers, back sleepers, tummy sleepers or even foetus-position sleepers - the same goes for our furry friends!

The side sleeper:

When a dog sleeps on its side, it means it feels comfortable and secure in its environment. This behaviour developed when dogs became domesticated; they would never sleep like this in the wild because this position exposes all of their vital organs! You might notice your dog tends to sleep like this when they’re next to you or in the house, but when outside or in a new environment, they may sleep curled up. This just means your dog feels safe!

The curled-up sleeper:

That brings us to the curled-up sleeper. This is how dogs slept before they were domesticated; this position hides their vital organs and also keeps them warm. Sleeping like this often follows the dog walking in circles and scratching before eventually curling up and lying down; another habit retained from their wolf ancestors. They did this to flatten the earth and fend off any bugs or snakes that might be around. If your dog sleeps like this, they could be a protective sleeper, or they may just be a bit chilly!

The snuggle sleeper:

Snuggling up to you is one of your dog's ways of bonding with you. This position shows that your dog is very comfortable with you and feels reassured and safe in your presence. They may also do this with other pets for the same reason.

The back sleeper:

This hilarious position shows the ultimate level of comfort and vulnerability. All sensitive areas are completely exposed and the limbs are either up or sprawling to the sides. A dog sleeping like this feels extremely safe. This position is also a great way to cool down on a hot day to expose the belly.

The tummy sleeper:

Sleeping sprawled out on the tummy is ideal for short naps. This position isn't comfortable enough to have a deep sleep, and your dog is able to spring into action if need be. This is another way your dog might be trying to cool down if they’re lying on a cool surface like tiles or concrete.

Want to learn more about why your dog acts a certain way? Brush up their doggy skills with an RSPCA School for Dogs class!

Jen Lofgren
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