Sleeping Dog Positions and What They Reveal

Dogs love to run and sniff around outside. They love outdoor activity so much, that it is tempting to forget how long they spend doing another activity – sleeping! In fact, it’s safe to say, that most of them get more zzzs than we do.

Being a curious pawrent, you have probably observed the way your dog lies, if this changes from time to time, and may have even wondered what this all means!

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Here are 5 common sleeping positions and what they reveal about your dog.

The Lion

The sleeping dog lies head to the ground, tummy to the floor with outstretched front legs, and back legs tucked close to stomach like a lion or a sphynx.

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In this position, your dog might be just hoping to have a quick snooze. He can lie like this, doze off a bit, and not get so far into sleep and be alert in next to no time. This is more of a resting pose, and the way your dog is poised, it is as if he could be back in action any moment.

Your dog is likely to be: On the go, alert, prepared, but up for a little snooze.


Doggy is lying on his side with legs extended. This is a common position, which suggests the dog is relaxed, generally in harmony with his environment. He has some of his belly exposed. He might start off in a lion pose and then go sideways if he gets further into the depths of slumber.

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Your dog is likely to be: calm, relaxed, and easy-going. Also could be hot – lying like this is a way of reducing the heat.


Otherwise known as ‘the donut’, he is curled up, maybe in a basket – legs tucked close to his body. This is how many puppies sleep. He is protecting his vital organs and also lying in a way that maximises heat. Pups that are insure of their environment, such as strays, often adopt this position.

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Your dog is likely to be: A little insecure, or trying to conserve heat.


Sleeping dog lies with his belly and lower carriage upwards. He is completely trusting of you and that feels safe in his environment Your dog apparently does not have a care in the world, and for sure – he wouldn’t be sleeping like this if he was out in the wild.


When he is lying like this, he is likely to bring you a big smile. How can a dog on his back, and with his paws in the air, fail to?!

Your dog is likely to be: Mega comfortable with where he is, and super-laidback!

Sprawled out on tummy – The Superman

While the Lion position is slightly perched and ready for action at any moment, this one is more routed to the ground. The belly is pressed to the floor with the hind legs behind and paws in front.


This suggests a pup that wants to play but is too pooped-out to, and adopts a pose – similar to Superman flying through the air, allows for a deeper snooze than the Lion but still enables your dog to get up if the occasion calls for it.

Your dog is likely to be: Energetic and playful.

Interested in something amazing for when your dog wakes up from sleepytime? Take a look at our themed monthly boxes of goodies.

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