Have you ever wondered what role sleep plays in your dog’s life? Its impact is tremendous. Well-slept dogs learn faster and are gentler in their interactions with the world. In addition, during proper sleep, cortisol and stress levels are reduced in a dog’s body. Lack of rest, on the other hand, leads to increased nervousness and impatience. That’s why it’s essential to provide your pet with a calm and pleasant place to rest.
And did you know that the quality of sleep is also affected by the way your dog’s body is positioned? The position your pooch takes influences whether they will be rested, and thus calmer and less reactive.
By analyzing your pet’s body positioning during sleep recovery, you can assess their mood and disposition towards their surroundings. It is precious knowledge! Based on it, you can improve your four-legged friend’s comfort.
There are several basic sleep positions that dogs adopt. What do they look like, and what do they mean? Let us explain!
Dog Sleeping Positions
1. Side Position
This is one of the most comfortable resting positions. For your dog to enter the REM (deep sleep) phase, they must lie relaxed, comfortably on their side with their paws stretched out. The neck and paws are then completely relaxed, which allows complete rest. When it’s cold, the dog will tend to curl up in a ball, which will prevent them from entering the REM sleep phase and getting a full night’s sleep. That’s why it’s worth taking care of the right temperature in your dog’s rest environment.
In this position, your dog rests, regenerates, and reinforces everything they have learned throughout the day. When your pet lies like this, they feel safe and comfortable in your presence.
2. The “Fully Relaxed” Position
It is relatively not common for wolves or wild dogs to sleep in this position. This position exposes all sensitive areas, and you know… survival is all that matters to them. This position is most often seen in a dog after a very intense day. Exposing the belly allows the body to cool down quickly. A fully relaxed position also implies that the canine feels safe, at ease, and content. Dogs that have a close relationship with their parents and trust their surroundings often fall asleep this way during the day. And… don’t they look adorable?
3. The “Superhero” Position
The dog positions their body like a sky-rocketing Superhero. They stretch out their front and back paws, lying on their stomach. As expected of a hero, the dog sleeps alertly in this position. The positioning of the limbs is unnatural, and strong body tension prevents complete relaxation. In this way, your pet will rather lay down for a short nap. Usually, this position is adopted by dogs who want to rest and control their surroundings.
4. The “Down” Position
In the classic “Down” position, the dog lies straight, their head between or on their paws. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean rest. In this position, the dog’s muscles are tense, and they remain constantly alert. Deep sleep is impossible. Dogs rarely sleep in this position. More likely, they do not fall asleep but simply lie down to control what is happening in the environment. This position is often seen in highly agitated dogs who do not want to miss important events in the environment.
5. The “Curled up” Position
Wild dogs usually sleep in a group. They wrap their bodies around each other. This way, they keep each other warm and provide a sense of security. In the ” curl up” position, the dog rolls up. It’s a safe pose because it covers all internal organs and strategic points like paws or tail. Dogs usually fold themselves in this manner when they have little space when they are cold or feel insecure. Unfortunately, the neck is often tense in this position, preventing the body from regenerating fully. Nevertheless, in this position, your pet can sleep soundly and deeply.
Time for a Nap?
You already know what your dog’s sleeping positions mean. Now you can look at your pet, analyze how they feel, and consider what you can do to improve their resting comfort.