How your dog sleeps can tell you what they’re feeling

How your dog sleeps can tell you what they’re feeling

According to a recent article in the Mirror, how your dog sleeps can tell you a lot about how they are feeling whilst also giving us an insight into how they have evolved from wild wolves to man’s best friend. Expert Lynne Fisher suggests that dogs have five main sleeping positions and they can all tell us something about how they are feeling.

1. Stretched right out

This is probably the most common dog sleeping position and according to Lynne, it shows that your dog completely trusts you as they are leaving their belly exposed. Your dog may lie on their side with all four legs stretched out in front, or - if they’re really comfy – on their back with their legs sticking up in the air.

Often they won’t start sleeping in this position but may gradually stretch out as they become more relaxed. This is a sign that they are in a deep sleep and should not be disturbed.

Sleeping boxer photo by Danny Avila on UnsplashSleeping boxer photo by Danny Avila on Unsplash

2. Curled into a ball

Before your dog settles down for a nap you may notice them circling round first. This is a throwback to their wolfish past when they would have checked for threats before settling down.

If your dog sleeps curled up, with their belly covered and legs pulled in, this makes them feel protected and safe. It also helps them to retain their body heat. Curling up is an instinctive position for most mammals and we all like to snuggle up and get cosy if we’re feeling the cold. so it could be a sign that they are feeling a little bit of a chill. You might want to throw a blanket over them or move their bed somewhere less draughty if you suspect that they’re trying to get warm. 

Sleeping Saluki photo by Chewy on UnsplashSleeping Saluki photo by Chewy on Unsplash

3. Splayed on their front

Just as your dog might curl up if they are cold, you might find them splayed out on their belly on a cold floor with their kegs stretched out in front of them in order to cool down. Depending on the breed and their structure they may also splay their legs out behind them like a frog, if they are able to bend that way.

You may find your dog does this when you get back from a walk. They won’t often go into a deep sleep in this position, it’s just a temporary fix in order to regulate their body temperature and they’re more likely to be dozing gently.

Beach dog  photo by Ruel Madelo on PexelsBeach dog photo by Ruel Madelo on Pexels

4. The lion pose 

Another pose where your dog is laid on their belly, this time they will have their legs tucked in closer to their bodies, in a sphinx or lion pose and they may rest their head on their legs too. If your dog is lying like a lion then they are likely to be resting rather than sleeping deeply and it won’t take much to get their attention.

Sleeping Dalmatian photo by Anna Kumpan on UnsplashSleeping Dalmatian photo by Anna Kumpan on Unsplash

 5. Cuddled up with you

If your dog just wants to cuddle up with you, Lynne suggests that you should feel very honoured as this demonstrates that they have a very close bond with you and are very affectionate.

You may find that they also enjoy snuggling up with any other dogs you have – or even your cats. Sometimes this is out of love for their fellow animals but they may also be trying to keep warm too!

Dog nap photo by Jep Gambardella on PexelsDog nap photo by Jep Gambardella on Pexels

How does your dog sleep and what do you think they are trying to tell you? Have we missed your dog’s favourite nap position off of our list? As always, let us know in the comments section below!

Main photo by Agustin Fernandez on Unsplash


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