9 Dog Sleeping Positions And Their Meaning: All About Dog Sleep Behavior

Curled in a ball, stretched out, or belly up, dogs often sleep in odd positions. The position your dog chooses for sleeping may be related to the room temperature, their activity level, and how much they trust you. But who doesn’t love a dog happily snoozing in a semi-contorted pose or snuggled against your feet? Let’s explore the mysteries of dog sleeping positions and doggie snoozing!

Table of contents

  • Dog sleeping basics
    • How many hours a day do dogs sleep?
    • How can I find out how much my dog sleeps?
    • Why do dogs sleep so much?
    • Sleeping patterns in dogs
    • Do dogs dream?
  • Common dog sleeping positions
    • The side sleeper
    • The lion’s pose
    • The donut sleeping position
    • Sleeping under the covers
    • Back-to-back sleeping position
    • The Superman sleeping position
    • Dog sleeping on back: bell-up sleeping position
    • The snuggle-bug
    • Sleeping with the head elevated
  • Dog sleeping behaviors
    • Circling and digging before sleep
    • Dog twitching in sleep
    • Dog seizures while sleeping
  • Where should your dog sleep?
    • Should your dog sleep in its own bed or in your bed?
    • What if I don’t want my dog to sleep in my room?
    • Should my dog sleep outside?
  • Sleep disorders in dogs
    • Sleep apnea
    • Insomnia
    • Narcolepsy
  • 5 dog sleeping facts
  • You and your dog deserve a good night’s sleep

Dog sleeping basics

How many hours a day do dogs sleep?

Being a dog is a lot of work. You have to go for walks, fetch sticks, and be alert for subtle changes in your people. As a result, dogs need about 10-14 hours of sleep per day. This includes nighttime sleep plus a few daytime naps. Not surprisingly, puppies need more sleep – up to 20 hours of sleep are needed per day for healthy growth and development. Senior dogs may require more sleep as they age. Larger dog breeds such as the Mastiff or the Newfoundland also tend to sleep more than 14 hours per day.

small dog sleeping on orange dog bed

Dogs in a quiet home may sleep more, while dogs in active environments will sleep less. However, dogs can adapt their sleeping behavior to their surroundings so that they can be awake when there is something to do, and asleep the rest of the time.

Some indoor dogs may sleep too much because they are bored. Help your dog develop healthy sleep patterns by providing plenty of stimulation during the day in the form of toys, companionship, walks, and playtime.

If your dog sleeps more than normal, this could be a symptom of disease. Contact your veterinarian if you suspect your dog is sleeping too much.

How can I find out how much my dog sleeps?

Using a GPS and activity tracker for dogs ($49) you can find out exactly how much your dog sleeps per day, how much physical activity they’re getting, etc. to keep your dog in tip-top shape. Not to mention, you’ll be able to locate your dog anytime, from your smartphone.

Why do dogs sleep so much?

Some pet parents wonder why their dogs seem to sleep so much. While humans sleep about a third of the day, dogs sleep half of the day or even more. The reason why? Their biology. Dogs are simply built to sleep this much – they sleep differently than us humans. Watch the video to learn more:



Enjoy this blog? Let's stay connected ;)