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10 Dog Sleeping Positions and Their Meaning

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Update: June 20, 2023
7 min read

Written by

Rahul Upadhyay
Content Writer
Dog Sleeping

It’s time to hit the sheets, and your cuddle bug is sleeping next to you or on its bed, all rolled up, ready to call it a day. While it is an adorable sight, have you ever wondered if dog sleeping positions have a hidden meaning? Well, fret not! We are here with all the information you need. Read ahead to learn everything about dog sleeping positions.

10 Dog Sleeping Positions and Their Meanings

Each position your dog takes may give you subtle cues about its feelings. Yes! This is how they can communicate with you. The positions dogs take differ from one another. So, let’s take a look at the dog sleeping positions meaning.

The Side Sleeper

The Side Sleeper

Are you a side sleeper? Well, chances are your puppy is too! Now, when you see your dog lying on side, beside you, it means he trusts you and is super comfortable with you. Both puppies and older dogs can sport this position. 

Meaning: If your canine baby’s favourite dog poses is sleeping on its side, it means your dog is extremely comfortable with you and is overall relaxed. It also means that they trust their owner fully. These dogs usually like to nap on their own beds. 

The Lion’s Pose

Dog Sleeping In Lions'S Pose

The lion’s pose sounds powerful, and in fact, it is also known as the Sphinx pose. Well, this is when your dog rests his head on the paws, almost similar to a lion’s resting pose. They usually don this pose because it can be comfortable for them, and help them fall asleep faster. However, a dog may take this pose when he is sick and feels extremely tired to move. 

Meaning: This position means that while your cuddle bug is resting, he may pounce when the time comes. So, any intruders? Beware! These dogs are also said to have a protective instinct and may usually prefer sleeping by your foot.

The Superman

Dogs Sleeping In Superman  Position

The superman pose is super adorable. It is when your dog stretches out his legs and paws with his belly touching the ground. It is a very common position amongst flexible dogs. But even otherwise, most dogs tend to take this position once in a while. It is also a sign of your furry baby being playful. 

Meaning: If your dog tends to sleep in this pose, which can be one of the funny dog sleeping positions, it means he is hyperactive and lives to play. So, it’s always essential that you match his energy.

The Donut

Dog Sleeping In Donut Position

One of the common dog sleep patterns is the doughnut. This is when your little one gets rolled up like a ball. Most dogs love this one and tend to take this pose frequently. Here, his face is closer to his tail and resembles a cuddly doughnut. Sometimes, your canine baby may also rest their nose on their legs. 

Meaning: When your dog takes the doughnut position, he may try to preserve some body heat. He may be slightly cold. These dogs are usually very caring but may feel anxious too.

The Cuddler

Dog Sleeping In Cuddler Sleeping Position

Does your dog love sleeping with you, snuggled together? Well, you have a cuddler. Your pooch finds his comfort beside you. Your dog does wherever you go because he feels incomplete without you. They may also feel comfortable inside a blanket. It’s time for some warm hugs!

Meaning: There is no love purer than this. Your dog loves you and needs you, all the time! These dogs are always affectionate and super-loving. You are lucky to have this cuddle bug in your life! 

The Burrower

Burrower Dog Sleeping Position

As the name suggests, the dog sleeping positions chart shows that the borrower loves to snuggle inside the blankets, heaps of clothes or anything and everything he can find. 

Meaning: Burrowers are happy dogs who want more of your love and affection. They usually shower you with all their love!

The Belly Up

Belly Up- Dog Sleeping Position

Belly up is one of the weird dog sleeping positions where the back is on the ground and the belly is up in the air. Here, your dog is vulnerable and trusting. It is commonly seen in younger dogs. 

Meaning: They choose this position as this offers them complete comfort. Dog splooting is a sign of complete trust and can easily enjoy a shut-eye anywhere in the house. 

Back to Back

Back To Back Dog Sleeping Position

Do you have a back-to-back sleeper in the house? These dogs need support and have their back up against you or another pet as they sleep.

Meaning: It is an intimate position where your dog gives you all his love, affection, and trust.

On a Cold Surface

Cold Surface- Dog Sleeping Position

Well, if your dog sleeps on a cold surface, it means he may be hot. Here, he could take the lion’s pose or turn into your furry superman. This is usually the case when you live in hot and humid places. 

Meaning: This position is related to the temperature. So, you can do a few things to ensure complete comfort. 

  • Turn on the AC or the fan 
  • Make sure you fill his bowl with clean cool water
  • If the city you live in is sweltering, a cooling mat can help

Head and Neck Raised

Head And Neck Raised -Dog Sleeping Position

While some pooches may sleep with their neck or head raised because they like it, it can also be a sign of difficulty in breathing or cardiovascular issues. 

Meaning: If you notice any breathing issues or symptoms like breathing from the mouth, get in touch with your vet today. 

These were the meaning for the different dog sleeping positions. 

Dog Sleeping Behavior

You must have noticed how your dog moves in his sleep or him snoring in the middle of the afternoon while you are busy with work! Well, let’s understand more about common dog behaviours. 


Your dog’s dreams. Yes, as per a research, it was seen that animals can have REM sleep like humans too. Now we can only guess what they may dream of but it can be something that would have happened during the day, such as chasing a squirrel.


Like us, dogs twitch in their sleep. It usually occurs between their sleep stages. 


Dog barking in sleep? Don’t be startled. It is quite common. They bark in their dream as a reaction to something that’s taking place in their dream.


Have you ever noticed how your dog sometimes makes these running actions when in deep sleep? Again, it is a reaction to whatever is happening in the dream. Maybe he is running towards his favourite ball.


Do you have a snorer? Well, it is quite common in brachycephalic breeds, such as pugs.

Circling and Digging 

Sometimes dogs circle or dig before lying down to sleep. This behaviour is passed down from wolves, which was done to eliminate excess leaves, waste, and more before resting and circling to ward off any wild animal attack. 

How Long Do Dogs Sleep?

One of the things dog owners wonder about is why do dogs sleep so much. Well, don’t worry. There is nothing wrong if your dog sleeps all day. They tend to sleep a lot. So, how long do dogs sleep? On average, a dog can sleep up to 14 hours. Their routine mainly involves sleeping, eating, walking, playing, and repeating. Infact, some dogs stay awake during the day and sleep at night; some do the opposite. And sometimes, they don’t sleep but it’s just your dog laying down with his eyes closed. Some things you must know about dogs and sleep are;

  • Puppies may sleep for about 16 to 20 hours but it may change as they grow up. 
  • Large dogs usually sleep for 18 hours a day. However, the amount your dog sleeps also depends on his daily routine.
  • Old dogs will need about 18 to 20 hours a day.

How Can You Help Your Dog Sleep Better?

Some of the things you can do to enhance your dog’s sleep include;

  • Have a proper routine in place. Try to maintain a time consistency regarding his walks, meals, and sleep. 
  • Give your dog the right amount of exercise as per their breed and size. 
  • Always watch your dog for any symptoms and speak with your vet. 
  • Provide them with enough mental and physical stimulation so it helps them sleep at night. 

Dogs are incredibly adorable. They are even showering you with love even as they sleep. Now you know what each dog’s sleeping position means. 


What do dogs’ sleeping positions tell you?

Take a look at the above blog where we bring you all the details on what dogs’ sleeping position means.

How can I tell if my dog is comfortable sleeping?

The above sleep positions indicate that your dog feels comfortable as he sleeps. 

What is the most common dog sleeping position?

The most common dog sleep position is sleeping on the side. 

What is the most comfortable way for a dog to lie?

Dogs find it comfortable to sleep on their side. 

Why do dogs sleep on their back? 

Generally, dogs sleep on their back in order to cool down. 

Why do dogs sleep with their bum facing you?

Dogs may sleep with their bum facing you because they feel secure in your company. 


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Written by

Rahul Upadhyay
Content Writer
10 years of experience as a content writer Previously worked as a copywriter for a health journal Ability to write in a variety of formats, including articles, white papers, and clinical trial summaries

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