From side sleeping to lion’s pose, our dogs love to adopt different sleeping positions depending on their mood – and now you’ll know exactly how they feel during naps
Image: Getty Images/Tetra images RF)
You may have seen your pup adopt strange positions during his nap and wondered how comfortable he could be.
But the way our dogs fall asleep tells us a lot about how they feel, and it may even give us insight into their ancestry.
Lynne Fisher, of the Dog Training Insurance Company Clivertondecoded all the different ways your dog sleeps and what that means on his mood, temperature, and behavior.
So you’ll never wonder why their paws are close to their head or why their legs are so far apart.
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sleep on the side
Lynne said: “Chances are you’ve seen your dog lying on its side with its legs spread.
“It’s one of the most common positions dogs sleep in, and that’s good news for you as an owner – it means they’re comfortable enough to expose their stomachs to you, which which shows that they trust you.
“Sometimes dogs don’t start their nap in a side sleeping position.
“They may start out in a sphinx or lion position and then bask in a side sleeping position.
“Side sleeping is a sure sign that your dog is sleeping well and soundly – so it’s best not to disturb him.
“If you find them lying in this position while awake, be sure to give them a few belly scratches.”
“If you’ve ever seen your dog circling before settling into a curled up position, it’s reminiscent of his historical habits,” says Lynne.
“It used to be that dogs checked for threats before settling into a safe position. Curling up makes them as small as possible, which can make them feel safe and protected.
“The same way a dog shows its belly when it feels comfortable, curling up means it is protected.
“Curling up is also the most comfortable sleeping position for our four-legged friends, as it helps them retain body heat.
“It’s a position that’s instinctual for a lot of mammals – even humans, when you think about it. We tend to curl up more when we’re trying to sleep and we’re cold.”
On their belly
“On the other hand, if your dog is lying on his stomach with his legs extended, he may be trying to calm himself down,” Lynne explained.
“This is a common position for dogs returning from a walk – it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re exhausted, but it does mean they’re regulating their temperature by exposing their bellies to cooler surfaces.
“This is another position that doesn’t suggest your dog is in deep sleep.
“You may find that they doze slightly to recover from a walk or to cool off on a particularly hot day, but they come to life if you call them or move from room to room. .”
Lynne said: “It’s the next step up from prone dogs. Lion pose, also known as sphinx pose, sees dogs lying on their stomachs.
“Instead of their legs being spread out in front and behind them, they will have them closer to their body and resting their head on them.
“If you see your dog in this pose, he’s likely resting but not fully asleep. This means if he hears you moving, chances are he’s moving.
“They’re also ready to play anytime, so if you fancy having a lively interaction with your pet, now’s a good time.
“If your dog’s favorite sleeping position is this pose, you can be sure he’s a particularly playful pup!”
“Finally, if your dog loves nothing more than snuggling up to you, be honored – it shows how close the bond he feels for you is!” Lynne explained.
“It’s no surprise that dogs who like to snuggle up to us are the most affectionate personality types.
“Dogs that like to be close to your other dogs or pets are also affectionate and can be protective of their siblings.
“Some puppies have trouble keeping warm, so they may curl up with you, other dogs or their mothers for that extra warmth.
“As they grow and get better at regulating their temperature, snuggling up to you is a habit they’ll love!”
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