8 Dog Sleeping Positions & What They Mean

Are you curious if your dog is the only one that sleeps in weird positions? It's actually quite common for dogs to have strange sleep positions like these. Why do dogs sleep so much in these funky positions? 

The sleeping positions of dogs usually varies with their mood. We've all heard that a dog's body language says a lot. Sometimes, your dog’s sleeping position can reveal a lot about their personalities, too. 

Dreaming can impact a dog's sleep, too. Read about what dogs dream about to learn all about it. We’ve compiled a list of dog sleeping position meanings here for your entertainment. 

#1: The Fetal Position

What it looks like: Your dog is curled up with their tail near their head and paws tucked in.

What it means: They may seem tough to the everyday passerby but they are actually quite shy and sensitive. This position provides the greatest amount of security to your dog. These dogs may require some extra care or affection. Physically, they may just be cold and trying to conserve their body heat. Hit the snooze button, they need 5 more minutes! 

#2: The Yearner

What it looks like: Your dog is laying down on their side with all four paws reaching outwards.

What it means: These dogs are the most easy-going, laid back dogs who are very comfortable in their environment. They are usually friendly towards strangers or other dogs. Even when they are sleeping, they are showing their love and loyalty towards you by reaching their paws out. Many owners have even seen their puppy dream and run around in this pose. Dogs experience REM just like humans, and this is a stage of sleep just before they fall into a deep sleep.

#3: The Freefaller

What it looks like: Your dog has their front paws straight out in front of them and they back paws stretched out straight out behind them, like in a superman position. Their heads are usually sleeping on their paws.  When your dog sleeps with legs straight out it is also called “flooping” and is very common among certain breeds like Corgis.

What it means: These dogs usually are exceedingly high in energy. If your dog sleeps like this, you have probably witnessed them falling straight into sleep with a *thunk* in the middle of playing. In the free falling sleeping position, these dogs don’t have to waste any of their playing time to walk to and from their bed. After their nap, these fun-loving dogs can easily spring up and get back to business.

A pet door lets your high-energy dog get their kicks out by running into the yard whenever they please. Check out our collection of dog doors for doors. We recommend the Endura Flap Pet Door, it's great for active dogs and keeps your home insulated.  

#4: The Cuddler

What it looks like: Your dog always prefers to cuddle up with a friend when they sleep. These are sometimes side sleepers or stomach sleepers, but generally the back legs are splayed out and they have one paw over their dog bed companion.

What it means: These dogs are usually very affectionate but can be quite needy because of it. This usually means that your dog loves you and you make them feel happy and safe. Physically, your body heat may make you the most comfortable bed. If they are cuddling with other dogs or animals, they may feel closely bonded with them. Or they are just friendly. Or there are not enough beds. Spot the kitty in the second picture? Find out why cats sleep so much here.

#5: The Spoon

What it looks like: One dog back is against another dog’s belly. Sometimes there is a paw in a hugging position.

What it means: These dogs are usually have a very close relationship to each other. The “big spoon” dog usually offers feelings of comfort and safety to the “little spoon” dog. While the “little spoon” dog may be having a bad day, they can trust that the “big spoon” will be there. In this position, they are not just showing their affection but great loyalty to one another as well.  Beds for very huge dogs come in handy if you have a couple of spooners, even if you have small or medium size dogs. Figuring out sleeping meaning is easy when dogs sleep like us humans!

#6: The Burrower

What it looks like: These dogs usually sleeps with blankets, pillows, your clothes… Anything that covers them up.

What it means: These dogs usually require a bit more affection than usual. When they are tucked away, the blankets gives them feelings of comfort and security. Sleeping with blankets or sheets is a great way to calm down anxious dogs. In the wild, some dogs would sleep in close quarters in a den, these may be residual feelings from that time.

#7: The Anywhere Sleeper

What it looks like: These dogs can sleep anywhere at any time, in any position. This usually occurs after a long day of play or tearing everything apart.

What it means: These dogs are usually extremely high in energy but are also easily exhausted. This may also mean that they are incredibly confident in the environment that they are in, whether it is the familiarity of the location or the people that they are with. These dogs can be a bit of a troublemaker but that is just one of the ways they show their love. Oof, being a pet parent is hard!

#8: The Zombie

What it looks like: You look over and what do you see? Dog sleeping on back. These dogs are usually sleeping on their back with their paws in the air, like they just don’t care.

What it means: Why do dogs sleep on their backs? These dogs are generally very relaxed and trusting towards their environment. By exposing their belly, a dog’s most vulnerable area, they are proving that they are secure in their relationship with you. This may also mean that your dog is feeling a bit too warm; this position allows them to cool down quickly.

We laugh when our pets get crazy legs and go tummy-up when they sleep. (P.S. find out if dogs have belly buttons here). Who knew that these were such common sleeping positions?!

We all love to watch our puppers do the cutest things. Take a look at these 5 embarrassing things other pet lovers do with their pets! How do your dogs sleep? Comment your thoughts below.

Stephanie Wong

Written by

Stephanie Wong

The Team is dedicated to providing the highest quality pet doors. As dog and cat lovers ourselves, we aim to write about the topics that matter the most to you and your furry friend. If you have any questions, please contact our customer service team. 🐶🐱

The Team is dedicated to providing the highest quality pet doors. As dog and cat lovers ourselves, we aim to write about the topics that matter the most to you and your furry friend. If you have any questions, please contact our customer service team. 🐶🐱


  • Hi Aiden!

    Sometimes when dogs are asleep they have involuntary muscle jerks that resemble running (known as myoclonus). This actually happens to people, too!

    The foaming could be the result of excess drool, perhaps your dog is dreaming of their favorite yummy treat! However, if it is excessive or if your dog is displaying any signs of distress, it’s best to contact your veterinarian to determine the cause of this behavior. I hope this helped answer your question!

    Happy holidays!

    Elizabeth (Staff)
  • What does it mean when my my dog acts like its running upside down but is blind and foaming from the mouth

    Aiden p
  • Nice article. I’ve always wondered. I have two boarder collies sisters two years apart. Matilda Jane and Mercedes pure light brown and white. Matilda usually sleeps on her back legs in the air and highly active when dreaming. Mercedes sleeps like in a curled up fetal position and she’s a big boarder almost eighty pounds. She sleeps with her tongue out of her mouth all the time. Not sure what that indicates. Sleeping Mercedes curls into herself. Matilda is a horrible snorer.

  • Anyone have an idea y my puppy sleeps with his belly close to the sofa or belly against a wall? I think he misses his mom or siblings to snuggle against. Ideas 💡?

    Sue Hoffkins
  • Why does my dog sleep with her legs against the back of the couch like she’s running up the wall?

  • Lately my dog has been laying with her back towards us she’s never done this before

  • Thats adorable

  • What about one front leg straight up in the air!

    Sharon Fridley

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