Source: Your Tango (Extract)
Posted: November 03, 2023

If you’re a pet parent, you’ve most likely seen your dog snoozing in various positions, whether it be on their back, curled up with their nose pressed against their back paws, or even nuzzled up in your bed sheets and clothes.

Believe it or not, your dog’s sleeping position reveals a lot about their personality, how they feel in the moment, and how they even feel about you.

Here are 7 common sleeping positions you can find dogs in — and what the way they like to snooze says about their personality.

1. Sleeping in a curled position means that they are protecting themselves.

This sleeping position is also known as “the doughnut” since your dog will often resemble the sweet treat while curled up. It’s the most common position dogs doze in.

When you find them sleeping this way, they are most likely attempting to conserve body heat and protect their vital organs. You may find them in the donut position during the fall and winter months when the weather gets colder. Drawing their bodies inward not only keeps them warm but offers them control over an unknown space.

Pups who prefer this pose are gentle and have sweet dispositions, but can oftentimes be wary of people and surroundings they are unfamiliar with.

“They curl in a donut shape for some type of protection,” professional dog trainer, behavioral consultant, and the founder of “The Mannerly Dog,” Nancy M. Kelly, told Sleep.com. “They’re protecting their warmth or because they feel safe in that position.”

2. Sleeping on their back means they feel safe and secure.

If you catch your dog snoozing away on their back with their paws up in the air, do not be alarmed! This means that Fido is totally relaxed and doesn’t have a worry in the world, especially since he is exposing vulnerable areas of his body like his belly.

“Sleeping on their back is a very vulnerable position and shows trust/comfort in their surroundings,” Dr. Travis McDermott, a vet at Durango Animal Hospital in Nevada told Southern Living.

Dr. McDermott adds that our furry friends might prefer this position in the summer to help cool down by exposing their paws to more air.

3. Sleeping on their tummies allows them to rest, yet get up at a moment’s notice if needed.

This position is also called “Superman,” because of your dog’s front and back legs being outstretched, resembling the superhero.

You might notice that your pup prefers sleeping like this near the front door. Should the mailman dare to stroll by or a squirrel run across the yard, the “Superman” position allows your dog to quickly jump into action.

If this is your canine companion’s favorite way to nap, chances are you’ve got a pooch with a lot of energy who can also get into some trouble now and again! And that also means they aren’t afraid to stretch the limits a bit with their owners.

4. Sleeping on their side means they are the most comfortable.

When your dog rolls onto their side and stretches their legs out fully, this means that they are completely relaxed.

Mary R. Burch, a certified applied animal behaviorist and the AKC family dog director, told Newsweek, “These dogs are often having ‘sweet dreams’ where you can see the paws moving. We often assume the dog is dreaming about chasing a rabbit or is running through a field in the dream.”

So if you catch your dog sleeping on their side, don’t bother them! It is likely the best rest they will get.

5. Sleeping on your clothes means they want to feel closer to you.

The sight of your dog fast asleep curled up in one of your favorite sweatshirts or pair of pants will most definitely melt your heart. But when you learn the exact reason why they do this, you will be reduced to a puddle of tears.

According to experts, dogs will snuggle up and fall asleep on your clothes to feel closer to you. If you are not physically present, the scent of your clothes will comfort and make them feel safe, especially if they suffer from separation anxiety.

It conveys the secure attachment and unbreakable bond our dogs form with us.According to Kristi Benson, a certified dog trainer, if you find your dog sleeping on your clothes in the middle of the day, it means that you’re most likely their favorite person, she told The Dodo.

You also may find your favorite loungewear in their usual sleeping spot. “Our clothes might also end up in piles in places where dogs like to make a bed for the night, [like] our bedrooms, as many dogs like to sleep in the same room as their human family,” Benson added.

6. Sleeping up against you means they are seeking comfort and security during sleep.

In the wild, dogs will often fall asleep in their packs, with their backs and faces pressed up to close to one another. They do this to seek comfort and security, and to demonstrate a sense of trust with one another. It is no different with a dog’s human owners, and if they feel especially safe and connected with them, they will have no trouble falling asleep right up against your body.

Your dog also may want to get physically closer to you while they sleep so they can bond with you. After all, you are their whole world, as their protector, caregiver, and companion.

It might make changing position in the middle of the night difficult (who wants to disturb their favorite furry companion), but knowing that they are happiest snuggled up next to you is worth it.

7. Sleeping under blankets means your dog views it as a shelter.

Just like us, some of our dogs love to snuggle up underneath the bed covers after a long day. The blankets and covers actually mimic a den and provide them with a safe space to sleep in since they are surrounded by fuzzy warmth.

“When your dog is tucked away under the sheets, she feels surrounded, even swaddled, and feeling firm pressure has been suggested to improve brain chemistry for anxious dogs,” Dr. Kathryn Primm, a veterinarian, wrote in a blog post on I Heart Dogs.

“The pressure of the sheets snug around your dog probably makes her brain release happy chemicals that give her a sense of security and well-being and maybe even fun.”

Like us, dogs need their sleep, and we can find them dozing off pretty much anywhere in the house. Even if they prefer one of the above sleeping positions, chances are they contort themselves into countless different pretzel poses for comfort.

A dog’s sleeping position all depends on where they are, who they are near, and how they feel. But if there is one thing we can all agree on, no matter how our dogs sleep, the sight of them dreaming away is probably the most wholesome thing we will ever witness.