10 Dog Sleeping Positions

Jul 28, 2022 | Pet Health, Pets, Tips and Tricks

Happy Monday everyone!  I love watching Jake and Maggie sleep.  They look and feel so safe and content and I love that.  Are you like me and do you wonder what their sleeping positions actually mean?  Did you know that your dog’s sleeping position can actually mean something? It can provide important information on how your dog may be feeling both physically and emotionally.  Here are 10 Dog Sleeping Positions and the meaning behind the positions.
10 Dog Sleeping Positions
10 Dog Sleeping Positions


1.  Sleeping on their sides.
If your dog sleeps on their side a lot, good news! This body language typically means they are relaxed, comfortable, and trusting of their environment. 

2.  Lion’s Pose/Sphinx
In this pose, dogs sleep with their paws out in front of them and their head resting on their paws. Sometimes they’ll tuck their front paws in under their chest and have their back legs off to one side, but that doesn’t always happen.

Dogs usually sleep in this position when they are feeling protective or feel like they will have to jump up at a moment’s notice.
3.  Superman
Affectionately also known as the “sploot,” the Superman sleeping position has your dog sleeping on its belly with front legs stretched forward and back legs stretched backward.

If you’ve ever watched a young pup plop over and fall asleep in the middle of playing, it’s likely in this position! Dogs who tire themselves out from playing usually fall asleep in the Superman – and are ready to pop up for more playing at the drop of a hat.

4.  Cuddling with a person or another animal
Cuddling to sleep means exactly what you think it does for your dog. It means they’re showing affection and bonding with whoever they’re snuggling up to. This really is just one of those “dogs are so pure and we don’t deserve them” moments, so enjoy it.

5.  Burrowing
Some dogs find pillows, blankets, laundry piles, and toys to bury themselves under before going to sleep. When they do this, they’re seeking additional comfort and security. 

Sometimes this is a sign of anxiety and needing attention to fall asleep, but sometimes it’s not a serious issue. Try adding some more blankets to your dog’s sleeping area or getting a dog bed with a built-in burrowing area to see if that comforts them to sleep.
10 Dog Sleeping Positions
10 Dog Sleeping Positions


6.  The donut

Has your dog ever curled up so tight they rival a Sunday morning cinnamon bun? When they curl up into a ball with all their limbs tucked in, that’s known as a donut. This position usually occurs when a dog is trying to keep themselves tucked and protected, usually for two reasons

• They’re cold and want to preserve internal body heat
• They are anxious or adjusting to a new environment

If your dog is sleeping in this position, make sure they are warm and cozy – and if they’re new in the home, give them time to adjust.

7.  On their back

When a dog lies on its back with its paws up, it’s not just a fun “play dead” trick – it can be a common sleeping position too! 

Dogs most commonly use this sleeping position to stay cool, since dogs release heat through their paws. But it’s also a sign that they fully trust their surroundings and don’t sense any danger, so if a dog sleeps like this around you, then you can take it as a compliment! 

8.  Back to back with another person or animal
If your dog sleeps back to back with another dog or a person, it’s very similar to other cuddle styles in that it’s a sign that your dog is comfortable and showing affection.

But some dog behavior experts believe that back-to-back cuddling is a sign of intimacy. Dog behavior specialist Jen Jones has observed that dogs tend to sleep back to back with those they feel safest with and trust the most. 

If your dog snuggles up with its back towards you, consider it a badge of honor.

9.  On something cold
Some dogs like to layout on a tile floor or another cool surface. This sleeping position is pretty straightforward: your dog is hot and is trying to cool down.

You’ll most likely see your dog sleep this way after a walk in warm weather or an intense play session. Just make sure your dog has access to water and does not appear to be overheated. Cooling pads for dogs can also come in handy during the hot summer months.
10.  Head propped up on something
Your dog propping their head up on something when they sleep can range from “aww, how cozy!” to “how on Earth are you comfortable?” 

While sometimes it’s nothing more than your dog being silly, if you notice your dog often sleeps with their head propped up on something then you should pay attention. In some cases, it could be a sign that they are having issues breathing properly. Keep an eye out for fast breathing rates, noisy breathing, or getting out of breath easily – contact your vet if you see any of these signs in your dog.

10 Dog Sleeping Positions
Dog Sleeping Behaviour 

You may come across different behaviors of dogs or dog sleep patterns. Although it has nothing  to do with their personality, it can tell you a lot about their sleep quality. 

1. Dreaming: Just like us humans, dogs also dream. Generally, they imagine what happened during the day.

2. Barking: Dog Barking in sleep is entirely normal and nothing to worry about; it might be because of a weird dream.

3. Twitching: Dogs twitch during their sleep. According to experts, the main reason that dogs twitch in sleep is that they are dreaming. There is nothing to worry about if your dog is twisting and running in his or her sleep.

4. Snoring: It’s common for dogs to snore. It could be because of the breathing issues they could be facing or because of that short little nose of his.

5. Running: Don’t worry the next time you see the legs of your dog moving while they are sleeping on the side. They might be running a marathon or catching a thief in their dream.

6. Digging: We simply love to see our dogs circle and the extra mud, grass, or snow. But have you ever imagined why? Because of their ancestors- wolves, who used to clear the excess soil to sleep comfortably.
10 Dog Sleeping Positions
I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I did.  Jake and Maggie have most of these sleeping patterns except burrowing.  They have never done that even when they were puppies.  They don’t like closed in or tight spaces either.  I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.  We had a delicious dinner of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, corn/broccoli mix, and homemade rolls from Half Baked Harvest.  I’ll be posting the recipe later.  My mom brought her famous pumpkin pies and I made a Pistachio cake (see recipe in my Sit, Stay, Eat 3 cookbook).  I made the icing a bit different by using cream cheese instead of cool whip.
Stay tuned for a new post this week on “How To Make A Bow” including a video which is a special request from one of my readers.  I’ll be creating a new post every day for the 12 Days Of Christmas so be sure to get your ideas over to me if you want me to research a topic or create a recipe!
More Pet Related Posts From Two Adorable Labs:

I’m Bobbi Jo, a lab-lover who took my passion for animals and dogs and turned it into something bigger.  When I adopted Jake and Maggie, my love for them became the driving force behind Two Adorable Labs, and my blog was born.  My hope is to not only share them with the world, but to help educate others on the importance of animal health and well-being. 

I love hearing from all of you and do my best to respond to each and every one of you.  I always enjoy your comments, feedback, and suggestions so keep them coming!  If I’ve posted a recipe (for our human and our furry friends) and you try it, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @twoadorablelabs and use #twoadorablelabs​.

If you do try and love my recipes, I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating.  I read every single one and respond to them.  It also lets Google know that the website contains quality content.  The more comments and 5-star ratings, the more Google will show my blog in search results!  Thank you so much! 

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What Do You Think? Let Us Know!


  1. Sharon Crnko

    I really enjoyed reading about sleeping and sleep patterns. I am looking forward to how to make a bow just in time for Christmas! Thank you!

    • Two Adorable Labs

      Awh so glad you enjoyed the post! I hope my bow video helps you. It’s super easy. I promise :-).

  2. Barbara Bolduc

    Very interesting read. Milo does about half of them regularly. It makes me feel good that it means he’s relaxed, secure, and loved. Can’t wait for the bow video cause I’ve never been able to master it. Looking forewarn to watching! Good job Bobbi Jo! ❤️????????

    • Two Adorable Labs

      So glad you enjoyed the post. I’ll try to research more topics like this. I hope my bow video helps you. It’s coming out tomorrow morning in your inbox :-).


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