5 Dog Positions and the Meaning Behind Them

dog positions

Pet lovers love to see their dog at rest. However, one thing a pet owner should know is that dog sleeping positions actually mean something. Healthy adult dogs usually spend an average of 12 to 14 hours a day sleeping. Puppies and senior dogs and those with health problems require more rest.

Here are 5 different dog sleeping positions and what they could mean in dog psychology, according to PetMD.com.

The Lion Pose

This is done when your dog is sleeping with his head on top of his paws. When he’s doing this, chances are he is just resting, says Dr. Stanley Coren, professor emeritus in the Psychology Department at the University of British Columbia. This pose simply means that your dog is simply dozing and not in a deep sleep state.

The Side Sleeper

Any pet owner has probably seen this several times. This is one of the most common dog sleeping positions when a dog sleeps on his side with his legs extended. In dog psychology, this means that a dog is relaxed and comfortable and shows a level of trust with his surroundings.

Dr. Coren explains that dogs usually start to doze off in a lion pose and eventually moves to a side sleeper once he falls into a deeper sleep.

The Donut

Another common sleeping position would be when a dog curls up into a little ball. Dr. Katherine Houpt, professor emeritus of behavioral medicine at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, explains that dogs do this to make themselves as small as possible, and it also helps them regulate body temperature. This position makes them feel less vulnerable.

The Superman

This is when a dog stretches out his legs in front of his head and kicked back behind his butt. Although there has been no definite meaning as to why they do this position, Dr. Coren believes this may be due to temperature. He observed that a dog usually does this when the surface he is lying down on is cooler than the air around him.

The Cuddle Bug

If your dog is constantly snuggling up against you or towards other dogs and people, Dr. Coren explains that this tendency is simply a holdover from when they were puppies. Puppies have a harder time regulating body temperature so they would need another source of heat. As dogs mature, this position simply becomes a feeling of comfort held over from puppyhood.

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