LifestyleDecoding your dog's sleep position. What sleeping curled up communicates about their mood and character

Decoding your dog's sleep position. What sleeping curled up communicates about their mood and character

Does your dog often sleep curled up into a ball? You should know that this doesn't happen without a reason.
Does your dog often sleep curled up into a ball? You should know that this doesn't happen without a reason.
Images source: © Getty Images | Halfpoint Images
11:37 AM EST, January 19, 2024

Even though many pet owners believe they understand their pets better than anything else, few interpret what their dogs are trying to convey through their sleep positions. The "curled up" position is one such posture that reveals much about the dog's current mood and temperament.

What does a curled up sleeping position mean for a dog?

If your dog often sleeps curled up, know that there's a reason behind this behavior. Dogs relate this sleep position to their wild ancestors - wolves. They adopt the 'curled up' pose to protect themselves, notably their neck and stomach, from potential danger. Despite appearing asleep, they remain on high alert. This position also helps them maintain a comfortable body temperature.

Homeless dogs also frequently sleep curled up. So, don't be surprised if a dog you've adopted from a shelter favors this sleep position for a while. This posture is often chosen by dogs who are shy, timid, or fearful. Such dogs need extra patience and love, but over time they will gain confidence.

Pay attention if your dog sleeps in this position

The position in which your dog sleeps deserves your attention. Numerous sleep positions could suggest that your pet feels uncomfortable or is stressed. The "curled up" position and stomach sleeping position are two such examples. Even though sleeping on the stomach may seem natural, it isn't always comfortable.

Why? Because sleeping on the stomach can be uncomfortable for dogs. Besides requiring constant muscle tension, it also means the dog remains on alert, even during rest. This is a position they often use for napping, but it's not typical for nighttime sleep.

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