Let Sleeping Dogs Lie. 4 Different Types of Positions That You Might Find Your Dog Sleeping in Today.

Recently I have been taking a lot of pictures of the dogs sleeping.

I don’t know what it is. They are just so darn adorable when they sleep and I am amazed at how many different sleeping positions that they have.

Here a few positions that I can find Leroy sleeping in throughout the day:

Back. All private parts fully exposed and airing out?

Stomach. I have no idea how a 150 pound dog can make themselves look flat as a pancake

Curled up in a ball. Cute and cozy, but how do they bend that way?

Which got me to thinking:

Do these different sleeping positions mean anything to my dogs?

According to an article at lovetoknow.com , yes they most certainly do.

There are 4 different types of sleepers.

1. Side Sleeper & Belly

Flat as a pancake! How does he do that?

Most of the time when the dog is sleeping on his side, or sleeping on his belly with all four paws out, he is simply dozing – although, sometimes he can go into a deep sleep on his side.

2. Back sleeper – Four paws in the air

Leroy can be found in this position at night, in his crate. How this is comfortable I have no idea. I actually stared at him for 10 minutes the other night trying to figure it out.

 

This is the position where they go into a deep sleep. Certainly one of the funniest of all sleep positions, your dog is on his back with all his legs up in the air. There are two main reasons why this tends to be where the dog gets his most relaxed dream sleep. One, his stomach is exposed to the air so he is able to keep cool. Two, by not being all curled up in a ball, none of his muscles are tense, and so he is able to be completely relaxed. I never knew that!

 

3. Curled up in a ball sleeper

Leroy can be found sleeping like this on the couch all the time. I think his bones are made out of bendy straws.

 

At first, one would think that this would be the deep sleep position, but according to Wendy Ness at Love to Know,  this is actually a common napping position. A dog can wake up very quickly from this position. Versus at night in bed when they are all spread out, you can move up and down, and they don’t open a eye.

4. Lying back to back, or next too.

O.k., they’re not laying back to back but close enough.

This is not a common site in our house, but a welcome site now that I know what it means. Leroy’s like the annoying little brother that just won’t go away but Sherman is getting use to it.

When a dog sleeps back to back with its owner or next to another dog, they are bonding; they feel safe protecting each other and it’s a way of showing affection.

When there is a pack of dogs they tend to sleep all together, although sometimes the alpha dog will sleep apart or in a higher position.

Huh! Very interesting!

I wonder what it means when an owner falls asleep on her sleeping dog, next to her other sleeping dog?

photo courtesy of a very bad photographer

So tell  me about your dogs sleeping positions? What position can they be most found sleeping in?

 

 

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66 Comments on Let Sleeping Dogs Lie. 4 Different Types of Positions That You Might Find Your Dog Sleeping in Today.

  1. Nancy K. (and HERO)
    May 2, 2012 at 1:07 am (2 years ago)

    Well, I personally prefer sleeping on my side or belly when I’m “out for the night”. I do curl up in my awesome, LEOPARD STRIPED dog bed for naps during the day though. MUST keep up my image!

    ;-)

    Sable always sleeps on her back with her furbelly and all her fluff sticking out in every direction. We all like to snuggle up against Mom when she’s sleeping…

    Very interesting!

    Your Pal,

    HERO

    Reply
    • Jen
      May 2, 2012 at 8:33 pm (2 years ago)

      Side sleeper and a snuggler, love it!

      Reply
  2. Bassetmomma
    May 2, 2012 at 2:49 am (2 years ago)

    Love the pics! That first one Leroy looks like a puddle! Fred always sleeps on his back with legs splayed out. Gloria is always curled in a ball but closer to morning she reverts to her back. My late basset used to leap on his back until he broke his leg and after never once slept in that position again! We always wondered why. Love the last picture of you and the boys!

    Reply
    • Jen
      May 2, 2012 at 8:34 pm (2 years ago)

      Thank you!
      I can just picture Fred laying on his back with his paws all splayed out! That is hilarious!

      Reply
  3. bichonpawz
    May 2, 2012 at 4:17 am (2 years ago)

    Chloe loves to sleep with all four paws up in the air…in her crate…and she is in a deep “coma” sleep!!

    LadyBug curls herself up into a little tiny donut hole so small you can barely see her!

    I love all the pics of your boys…the one of Leroy staring at Sherman is pretty funny!!

    Reply
    • Jen
      May 2, 2012 at 8:36 pm (2 years ago)

      Thank you Jeanne!

      That is so funny that Chloe sleeps like that too!
      Love that LadyBug looks like a donut hole!
      Sherman never sleeps on his back, it’s either his side or flat as a pancake!

      Reply
  4. We three doxies
    May 2, 2012 at 6:06 am (2 years ago)

    Leave it to us to be da odd ones. I Puddles ALWAYS sleep curled up in da donut position…and boy does I ever love to sleep or lay next to someone under da blankie. My brudder NEVER EVER sleeps on his back, always laid ou on da side. And my sissy will do da back sleepin’ or da puddle lookin’ method.
    And even though Albert be da alpha him lets me sleep withs him. I likes to use him as pillow.

    Puddles
    PS: loves da fotos!

    Reply
    • Jen
      May 2, 2012 at 8:37 pm (2 years ago)

      Ha-ha! I love that you use Albert as a pillow! I bet he is soft!

      Reply
  5. Daisy
    May 2, 2012 at 6:06 am (2 years ago)

    Love the upside down one in the crate. Daisy, sleeps flat, or on her back. Bella sleeps on her side most of the time and Roxy curled up in a doughnut.

    XXXOOO Daisy,Bella & Roxy

    Reply
    • Jen
      May 2, 2012 at 8:37 pm (2 years ago)

      So you have one of each! That is great!

      Reply
  6. Mango Momma
    May 2, 2012 at 6:17 am (2 years ago)

    I’m sure Mango would sleep on his back if he could balance, but he is just too tippy to get there, so normally he is in pancake or curled up touching something mode. Dexter does that all out flopped over thing.

    Very interesting. Now I am going to watch their positions more closely and then observe how alert they are to various activities of mine.

    Mango Momma

    Reply
    • Jen
      May 2, 2012 at 8:38 pm (2 years ago)

      LOL! I am trying to picture Mango sleeping on his back airing out his goods!

      Reply
  7. Finn
    May 2, 2012 at 6:20 am (2 years ago)

    SO interesting! Finn can be seen doing all four as well!

    Reply
    • Jen
      May 2, 2012 at 8:39 pm (2 years ago)

      Finn is versatile then! Way to go Finn!

      Reply
  8. 2 brown dawgs
    May 2, 2012 at 7:59 am (2 years ago)

    My doggies almost never sleep on their backs once they are no longer puppies. Believe me they still sleep…lol. Lately Thunder and Freighter have been curling up together. Yep my big “bad” intact male Chessie is really a cuddlier. :)

    Love all the pictures of the sleeping Newfs. Very cute!

    Reply
    • Jen
      May 2, 2012 at 8:40 pm (2 years ago)

      You know Sherman never sleeps on his back, and he only snores when he is laying on his side, that is how I know he is in a deep sleep.

      I love that Thunder and Freighter curl up together. I though intact males didn’t do that:) lol!

      Reply
  9. tylersat99
    May 2, 2012 at 8:38 am (2 years ago)

    Lexie always goes to sleep on bad with legs up and sprawled out at night, during day she usually sleeps on stomach. Mica sleeps flat out on side at night and half the time during day, she is really in deep sleep ’cause if you walk over and touch her she will startle. The rest if the day she sleeps curled up to be ready to jump and go :)

    Reply
    • Jen
      May 2, 2012 at 8:42 pm (2 years ago)

      Ha-ha! I hear you, during the day Leroy is never on his back it is only at night, usually after 10pm:)
      Sherman is usually on his stomach too, except at night he is on side and snoring!

      Reply
  10. kari
    May 2, 2012 at 9:08 am (2 years ago)

    Haylie is a big sleeper on her back, Fred couldnt hardly get on his back with all his loose skin ha.

    Reply
    • Jen
      May 3, 2012 at 9:29 am (2 years ago)

      Ha-ha! I didn’t think of that with all the loose skin!

      Reply
  11. Mary, Roxy and Torrey
    May 2, 2012 at 9:30 am (2 years ago)

    That was a great insight into sleepy dogs. Torrey lays flat on her back too and it cracks me up. Roxy mostly sleeps curled up, like a cat. Don’t tell her I compared her to a cat.

    Reply
    • Jen
      May 3, 2012 at 9:30 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you!
      I promise I won’t tell Torrey that she looks like a cat when she sleeps:)

      Reply
  12. Eva or sometimes Priscilla
    May 2, 2012 at 9:47 am (2 years ago)

    It’s so interesting! Eva does the top 3 sleeping positions! I especially love to see when all her 4 paws up in the air. She usually does it at night with us in the room. Whenever she does it, she always looks so sweet and it also gives me a feeling that she feels safe and relaxed.

    Reply
    • Jen
      May 3, 2012 at 9:30 am (2 years ago)

      Yep, I hear ya. When I see Leroy on his back it makes me feel good that he can feel so content!

      Reply
  13. jan
    May 2, 2012 at 10:35 am (2 years ago)

    Wouldn’t it be nice to have so few worries and responsibilities?

    Reply
    • Jen
      May 3, 2012 at 9:31 am (2 years ago)

      Why yes it would:)

      Reply
  14. Jen
    May 2, 2012 at 10:46 am (2 years ago)

    4 paws in the are is frequently the most adorable, I feel!

    Reply
    • Jen
      May 3, 2012 at 9:31 am (2 years ago)

      I agree!

      Reply
  15. Remington
    May 2, 2012 at 10:55 am (2 years ago)

    I lay like that too!

    Reply
    • Jen
      May 3, 2012 at 9:32 am (2 years ago)

      All 4 paws up?

      Reply
    • Jen
      May 3, 2012 at 9:32 am (2 years ago)

      Ha-ha! Of curse they sprawl when they are bed, they have to take up the whole bed:)

      Reply
  16. Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning
    May 2, 2012 at 11:28 am (2 years ago)

    Very interesting. All three of us except Phantom sleep belly up most of the time, and we prefer the doggy bed, carpeting, or a sofa. Phantom sleeps on his side and always chooses the hardwood floor or the pad in his crate. He is all skin and bones – one would think he would like some cushioning but nope, he is the different one here when it comes to sleeping. In the winter we all go into the siberian donut mode:)

    Woos – Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

    Reply
    • Jen
      May 3, 2012 at 9:33 am (2 years ago)

      Ha-ha! Siberian donut mode! Love it!

      Reply
  17. Peggy Frezon
    May 2, 2012 at 11:55 am (2 years ago)

    Kelly usually sleeps all curled up. Sometimes she does sleep on her back with her legs in the air and I think it is the funniest sight. She likes to sleep with lots of pillows and blankets too.

    Reply
    • Jen
      May 3, 2012 at 9:34 am (2 years ago)

      That is so cute that Kelly likes to sleep with lots of pillows and blankets!

      Reply
  18. Stefanie
    May 2, 2012 at 1:24 pm (2 years ago)

    Blueberry sleeps on her side, curled up – or with her head hanging off the couch, with her head on my shoulder, with her back to my back or even sleeps on top of me. Thankfully – she only weighs 45 pounds otherwise she would crush me if she were Newfie sized!

    Reply
    • Jen
      May 3, 2012 at 9:35 am (2 years ago)

      Oh, the head off hanging off the couch one! Leroy does that sometimes too, how in the world can that be comfortable?:)

      Reply
  19. Amy @ LifewithDoxies
    May 2, 2012 at 1:39 pm (2 years ago)

    First of all, I love your new blog design – I haven’t visited your actual blog in a while – just reading your posts through Google reader. Anyway, I love this post! My doxies usually sleep with their back against my chest, though. I wonder if that’s the same as back-to-back. They also love to cuddle next to each other (as you can see from my wordless Wednesday post today!).

    Reply
    • Jen
      May 3, 2012 at 9:36 am (2 years ago)

      Thank you for the kind words Amy and thanks for stopping by.
      That is so adorable that they all cuddle next to each other!

      Reply
  20. Nichole
    May 2, 2012 at 2:24 pm (2 years ago)

    We have endless sleeping positions over here… curled up, doubled up, on the back, legs in the air, froggy style, … Love the pics!

    Reply
    • Jen
      May 3, 2012 at 8:51 pm (2 years ago)

      LOL! You have one of each! Love the froggy style sleep!

      Reply
  21. Fallah
    May 2, 2012 at 2:58 pm (2 years ago)

    Thor usually sleeps flat on his side. And forget the nice foam dog beds, he prefers to sleep on the hardwood even in the deep of winter. I’ve seen him dreaming in this position but I think he saves the deep sleep for when we’re gone all day. When he was younger he would occasionally sleep on his back, up against the sliding door. It was pretty funny to see! He will occasionally doze lying flat on his belly with his chin either on the floor or propped on one foot, seems to be a pretty common GSD snoozing/napping position. He does a loose curl-up with his chin on his paw when he’s waiting for us (like in the morning when I’m showering etc).

    Agnes was always a side-sleeper. In fact she was so stiff that she always had her legs straight out, sort of disconcerting until we got used to it. She rarely barked when awake but she almost always “boofed” with her mouth closed when she was dreaming, and she would “run” in her sleep too.

    Reply
    • Jen
      May 3, 2012 at 8:51 pm (2 years ago)

      I just love when they run in their sleep! I wish I knew what they were running after or for!

      Reply
  22. Kristine
    May 2, 2012 at 3:24 pm (2 years ago)

    I never knew any of this before! Despite having spent a great deal of time watching my dog sleep I had no idea different positions may mean different things. Most of the time Shiva sleeps curled up in a tiny ball. Which makes sense given this analysis – she wants to be ready to go at a moment’s notice. The times we’ve caught her dreaming with full leg-kicking mode, she is sprawled on her side, taking up the entire couch.

    I love your photos! Don’t dogs make for the best pillows?

    Reply
    • Jen
      May 3, 2012 at 8:53 pm (2 years ago)

      I never knew any of this either! It makes me wonder if there is a meaning for the way humans sleep too! I bet there is but it’s not as interesting!

      Thanks for the compliments on the photos! Dogs do make the best pillows!

      Reply
  23. Pip
    May 2, 2012 at 4:28 pm (2 years ago)

    I am a back and side sleeper myself!

    Your pal, Pip

    Reply
    • Jen
      May 3, 2012 at 8:53 pm (2 years ago)

      So your a sound sleeper I take it?:)

      Reply
  24. Bailey
    May 2, 2012 at 4:36 pm (2 years ago)

    Great shots. Mama cannot resist a sleeping dog. The rule in this house is do not fall asleep in a postion you wouldn’t want your dog friends to see, because it will hit the Internet.

    Reply
    • Jen
      May 3, 2012 at 8:54 pm (2 years ago)

      LOL! That is a great rule, but don’t tell it to Leroy:))))

      Reply
  25. Dachshund Nola and her Mom
    May 2, 2012 at 9:26 pm (2 years ago)

    Nola sleeps in all of those, but my favorite is probably unique to her. Her bottom half is belly up, her top half laying on her side, head craned back and tail curled into a J shape. How do they do that?
    Nola’s Mom

    Reply
    • Jen
      May 3, 2012 at 8:54 pm (2 years ago)

      OMG, that sounds so cute! You have to get a picture of that!

      Reply
  26. houndstooth
    May 2, 2012 at 10:44 pm (2 years ago)

    Well, right now Bunny is sprawled out on the couch with her head on my hip. I thought she was just telling me that I was lucky to have this last little corner of the couch! lol At night she sleeps pressed up against my back or my husband’s, though.

    Reply
    • Jen
      May 3, 2012 at 8:55 pm (2 years ago)

      Awwww…..Bunny loves you so much! That is great!

      Reply
  27. Two French Bulldogs
    May 3, 2012 at 12:14 am (2 years ago)

    Oh do we love the positions
    Benny & Lily

    Reply
    • Jen
      May 3, 2012 at 8:55 pm (2 years ago)

      LOL!

      Reply
  28. Julie
    May 3, 2012 at 12:44 am (2 years ago)

    Cali sleeps upside down at night when we are watching tv . .but most of the time during the day she is in what we call “puppy position” which is on her side, legs straight out :) Love the pics and I LOVE snuggling up to one of my fur kids!!

    Reply
    • Jen
      May 3, 2012 at 8:56 pm (2 years ago)

      Cali has got to look adorable sleeping upside down!

      Reply
  29. lauren
    May 17, 2012 at 3:16 pm (2 years ago)

    hmm… this is all VERY interesting. desmond does all of those positions, and when he comes to bed with me at night while i read for a little while, he will either plop himself down right on top of my legs or he will stretch himself out so his back runs along my leg. he almost never sleeps upside down in our bed at night (only on the couch or when he’s in his own bed, during normal waking hours), and he does frequently wake up and change positions.

    VERY interesting, indeed.

    Reply
  30. jennifer
    January 19, 2013 at 4:12 pm (2 years ago)

    Ok I have two pugs AND THEY ARE A COUPLE EACH CAME FROM DIFFERENT LITTERS…LOL .. ok sothey absolutely in love ………….they actually kiss…well during the day daisy will sleep flatout ontop of Taz …..who is usually curled up in the cornor…..even when they sleep on the flour..lolthey follow me into th ebathroom every time i go ….my guests are not welcome to this but my bathroom door does not lock………..they wiill sleep curled up under my feet when i am doing dishes……oh so much more but thats enough for now I LOVE MY PUGS

    Reply
  31. Kara and Harley (my Yorkie)
    February 10, 2013 at 4:29 pm (2 years ago)

    My dog likes to sleep in 2 positions, firstly with all four paws in the air, belly up, we know he is very relaxed and it cools him, the other position is a little stranger, He likes to sleep with his butt and hind legs either on a person or an arm of a chair and his head lower than that either on the chair or hanging off the chair…

    Any thoughts would be great

    Reply
  32. kirsty and billy
    May 13, 2013 at 9:06 pm (1 year ago)

    when my dog goes to sleep he can normally be found lying in a ball with his head on my tummy or lying on his side along the front of me like we spooning when i first get into bed, he has the nickname shadow for he follows me everywhere and cries if i leave him behind even if i just go to the bathroom

    Reply
  33. HEATHERBEAN.BABER@GMAIL.COM
    May 28, 2013 at 9:41 pm (1 year ago)

    My dog sleeps in back of me some times.but he a speaily fills a sleep in my arms.

    Reply
  34. Whiskey_bent
    August 23, 2013 at 6:20 am (1 year ago)

    I have a heeler who sleeps upside down every single night in his crate, and the yang to his yin, a boxer, becomes a puddle donut every night in her crate but she never sleeps upside down.

    Reply
  35. Ivy
    March 3, 2014 at 5:57 am (7 months ago)

    I end up in ll different positions but one of my favorite is my bf having his leg over my side ( some how it helps my back and helps me breath) with one dog laying vesude me another curled up somewhere on the bed ( free to lay however they want as long as it doesnt hurt us or bother us) with my 2 cats somewhere on the bed with me my bf and my dogs

    Reply
  36. Laurel
    June 22, 2014 at 1:11 pm (3 months ago)

    When ever I lay on my side with my legs bent, my dog curls up behind my knees!

    Reply

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