What a dog’s sleeping position really means

What a dog’s sleeping position really means

If there’s one thing every good dog owner knows, it’s the complex personalities and expressions of their beloved pups. From a tail wag to a simple whine, owners know their precious pooches inside and out.

We already know that there are some very specific ways our dogs tell us they love us, but there are additional physical cues that we can explore to understand more about our dogs’ personalities and habits.

In the photos below, we look at some of the most common sleeping positions that dogs everywhere choose to adopt.

Very interestingly, “outdoor” and “indoor” pups assume very different sleeping positions. In addition, every dog will choose to rest in a different position that will allow them to do many things, from conserving body heat to jumping quickly into action.

Side SleeperIf your pooch tends to sleep on the side, it means that they’re incredibly comfortable with their surroundings, are secure with themselves, and are in no way high-maintenance. And though your dog may be guarded and alert when awake, she feels blessed to be in your home and company, and has an enormous sense of trust in you. Dogs that sleep in this position tend to be happy-go-lucky and fiercely loyal.

The "fox"The curled-up position is probably the most common. Their paws will be comfortably tucked away under their bodies, and the tail will wrap all the way round til it touches the face. By curling up, your dog is naturally conserving her body heat and protecting her limbs, face, throat, and all vital organs. Dogs that sleep in this position are gentle, easy-going, and have a naturally sweet disposition.

Super PupMany dogs sleep on their stomachs, but the “super” pups are probably the most adorable of them all. With all of their four limbs stretched out and heads level on the ground, they look like they’re flying through the air. This position makes it easy for pups to spring up and get moving, as soon as you call them, or as soon as they’ve woken up. Pups that sleep in this position are super high-energy and very easily motivated.

Crazy LegsEven though this position looks slightly odd, it’s nothing to be concerned about — this just means that they’re very confident and secure with themselves, and with their home environment. This makes sense especially since sleeping on the back translates into being the most vulnerable position for a dog. You’ll most likely never see wolves sleeping on their backs in the wild, as this sends a message of vulnerability and submission. Dogs who assume this sleeping position usually tend to be very laid-back and have an independent streak.

Tummy CurlDogs that sleep in this position may not be as relaxed, since the muscles are still too tense to enable them to drift into the REM stage of sleep. Don’t worry, though — this doesn’t mean that your pup isn’t relaxed in real life. In fact, they may even be the more energetic, adventurous ones in the pack, ready for action and fun at all times! Pooches who curl up on their tummies while they sleep tend to be very gentle, but slightly timid and shy.

Passed OutMany dogs that sleep indoors opt for this “passed out” position. A dog will lie on its back in order to help themselves cool down as quickly and efficiently as possible. Most of the time, dogs who have expended lots of energy during the day, or who are overheated, will sleep flat on their backs. In addition, really happy, secure, and relaxed dogs will tilt their legs in the air during their sleep.

Dogs that sleep in this position are highly confident in themselves, and they also tend to be very adaptable to different and new situations.

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