LifestyleUnraveling the mysteries behind your dog's sleep positions

Unraveling the mysteries behind your dog's sleep positions

Adult dogs often sleep in the Sphinx position.
Adult dogs often sleep in the Sphinx position.
Images source: © Adobe Stock

12:48 PM EDT, May 5, 2024

The positions dogs assume during sleep can be amusing and intriguing. Observing a dog's sleeping posture can reveal more than just whether they are comfortable or not; it may also provide signals to their owners.

Dogs are fond of sleeping, dedicating more time to it each day than humans. A short observation reveals they don't only sleep at night but also nap frequently throughout the day. On average, dogs sleep for 12-14 hours over 24 hours, with young or old dogs sometimes sleeping up to 20 hours.

Like humans, dogs experience different phases of sleep: REM, shallow, and deep. Sleep is crucial to their health, aiding in relaxation and regeneration. But can the positions they sleep in tell us more?

The preferred sleeping position of adult dogs

Adult dogs often adopt a pose similar to the statue of Sphinx, also known as the lion's pose. This involves tucking the hind legs under their bodies, stretching the front legs forward, and resting their heads calmly on them. This position indicates short-term resting, allowing quick regeneration while remaining alert to potential dangers.

Conversely, when a dog curls up into a ball, bringing its paws and tail close to its body, this usually signifies that the pet is settling into a deeper, longer sleep. This position helps retain warmth and provides a sense of security. It is a common sight among stray dogs as well.

Adult dogs often sleep in the Sphinx position.
Adult dogs often sleep in the Sphinx position.© Adobe Stock | Anna Fotyma

The sleeping habits of puppies

Puppies can fall asleep almost instantly, and their chosen position can seem entirely random at first glance. However, these young dogs' positions carry significant meaning.

A puppy that feels safe and loved might sleep in an open position, exposing its belly, indicating trust and a readiness for deep sleep. On the other hand, a puppy that feels threatened might protect its vulnerable belly as a defense mechanism, not necessarily against humans but potentially other animals as well.

Puppies can fall asleep in the weirdest positions.
Puppies can fall asleep in the weirdest positions.© unsplash.com
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