Your dog’s body language says a lot. If our pups were poker players, their tails would be their number-one “tells.” They say a lot about their feelings during social and/or stressful engagements. Whether you’re their pet owner or a stranger, many of us are very familiar with their joyful tail wagging, or their fearful positioning of the tail between their legs.
But did you know, that when our dogs take a nap, their sleeping positions can tell us as much or more as to what’s really on their minds?
Mike Clark at the Dogtime.com actually determine 7 of our dog’s “tells” which make a lot of sense.
“Your dog’s favorite sleeping position might change based on where he’s snoozing, who he’s sleeping near, or if he’s feeling a certain way.”
Contributing writer at Animal Channel, Inno Asuncion added to Clark’s findings by creating some ’telling’ artwork do elaborate on the descriptions. From the “Superman Pup” to the “Tummy Curl,” his caricatures illustrate how dogs don’t lie when their snoozing. Whether it’s cat naps [pun intended], power breaks or those in a deep REM sleep, our dogs can speak volumes without ever uttering a word . . . or bark for that matter.
Today we’ll look at what I determined as the Top 5 of Dogtime.com’s 7 sleeping positions.
The Superman Pup
Perhaps not able to leap tall buildings with a single bound [particularly when snoring up a storm], the Superman position is nonetheless one of most identifiable. When your pooch is sleeping on their belly with all four paws stretched out and their head at ground level, they appear to be taking flight à la Superman. According to DogTime.com, this position is preferred by a lot of puppies. Why? Because from sleep to wakefulness, it's easy and quick for them to resume their playful mode of jumping about and sending love signals to their pet owner. As a result, the Superman position is definitely an indicator of a healthy, energetic young pup!
Curly Sue [aka The Fox]
When a dog is sleeping with their paws tucked beneath their belly and their tail wrapped all the way around to their face, they are partaking in what Dogtime.com refers to as ‘Curly Sue’ position. This is a protective type of position. It is the most common napping retreat for wolves and wild dogs, according to Dogs Best Life. If your best friend is doing the Curly Sue, it likely means they are either trying to create some body heat warmth, or they are apprehensive about something, like predators or strangers in their midst. But not to worry — fun-loving canines often sleep like this too — as it’s analogous to be treated to some comfort food.
The Tummy Curl is similar to the Curly Sue, except the dog’s body isn’t as tightly bound. When a dog does the this curl, they may not be experiencing the best level of sleep. According to Dog’s Best Life, this position does not allow for a dog’s muscles to relax enough to enter the deep, REM stage of sleep they should be getting each evening. Dogs that do the Tummy Curl tend to be gentle and shy.
The ‘Passed Out’ sleeping elongation of the body is similar to Crazy Legs, except in the Passed Out position, a dog’s front paws are laying over their chest while their back legs are extended slightly upright. In this position, a dog can be lying on either their back or their side. DogTime.com says this position may be a result of overheating. This is due to a dog’s sweat glands, where their belly has the least amount of fur on their body, ultimately providing the pup with ts own built-in cooling system. Be aware, however, Dog’s Best Life says if your dog has their paws curled over their chest while ‘Passed Out”, they are telling you they don’t want to be bothered. Be cautious if you choose to wake them, as you may startle them into unknowingly nipping at you.
When a dog sleeps on their back with all four legs pointing upwards, it’s referred to as the ‘Crazy Legs’ sleep position. According to Wide Open Pets, dogs that sleep like this are displaying both submission and vulnerability at the same time. With all four legs in the air, a dog’s stomach and organs are completely exposed. If this is one of your dog’s favorite positions, they are probably independent and super laid-back. When a dog is doing the Crazy Legs, they are letting their family know they feel 100% comfortable and safe. So this position definitely signals a “good crazy” — something pet owners should be happy about.
For others descriptions, let me refer you to Dogtime.com’s additional sleepy-time positions. Hopefully this post has provided you with some additional input into understanding your dogs's inner-most thoughts and emotions. Let us know if was 'telling' enough for you you in the comment section below. Or if your dog displays yet anther position not covered today?
Primary Source: Dogtime.com