Why Do Dogs Sleep With Their Bums Facing You

Dogs sleep with their bum facing towards you as a sign that they trust you and that they feel safe and secure. It may also just be that it is the most comfortable position for your dog. Your dog may also do this because they are trying to mark you with their scent. A dog sleeping in this position is a good thing. 

Dogs certainly can sleep in many different and often comical positions. Read on to learn more about what your dog’s sleeping positions mean and why it is important to know!

Why Does My Dog Sleep With Their Bum Facing Me?

While it may seem odd to you to have your dog present his rear end to you,  in the world of dogs, it is a very socially acceptable thing to do. There are several reasons a dog may present his bum to you.

Safety and Secure

The main reason that your dog will sleep with his bum facing you is when they feel safe and secure with you. It is a signal of trust and comfort. They are saying that they know you “have their back” and that they can keep an eye out for danger in the other direction and protect you.

Marking Their Territory

Some dogs may turn their bum towards you to share their scent and mark you as their territory. Dogs have scent and pheromone glands near their tails, releasing their unique aroma to “mark you.” 

Wants Affection

Some dogs may present their bum to you because they want a good scratch on their bum! It is one of their most favorite place to be scratched. This is a great way to show your love and affection to your pup. 

Allergies and Infection

Some dogs may have gotten infested with fleas or have other parasites infection their gastrointestinal tract. If they have fleas, then the saliva from the bites will be very itchy. They may put their bum towards you to show you that they are experiencing discomfort. 


Some dogs may turn away from you because they want some space. They may not want you to bother them while they are sleeping. It may also be a strategy to avoid making eye contact with you.


A dog may simply sleep like this because it is comfortable! It may just be a cozy position for them, so they prefer to sleep that way!

Why Does It Matter How My Dog Sleeps? 

How your dog sleeps is essential because it tells you about its personality and health status. It can tell you if the dog is feeling safe and secure or worried or anxious. Their position may also be a sign that they are sick.

Pay attention to the positions your dog usually sleeps in. It can help to keep a log of their sleep habits for a week or so. Logging the information will give you have a baseline of what is normal for your pup. If anything changes from their baseline, then you will know something is wrong.

Why Does My Dog Sleep Curled Up In A Ball?

There are two reasons your dog will sleep curled up in a ball. The first is that it helps to keep themselves warm. The second reason is that they are not feeling safe, so they protect themselves from danger by curling up in a ball.

Most of the time, when your dog sleeps curled in a ball, it usually means they are trying to get warm. This position helps them to conserve heat when they tuck their nose to their tail. It will be a common sleeping position in the winter months or cooler environments.

If they are sleeping this way as a means of protection, your dog is anxious and on alert. They protect all of their vital organs from being easily attacked when they are curled in a ball. Furthermore, when they are in this position, it is easy for them to get up quickly.

Why Does My Dog Sleep Flat On Their Side?

When your dog is sleeping in a flattened position on their side, this means they are comfortable and ready for some deep, restorative sleep. Dogs who prefer this position are content pups and comfortable in their surroundings. This is usually the position your dog will be in when they go into the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage of sleep.

Why Does My Dog Sleep Upside down?

This is a sleeping position that means your dog is comfortable, feels safe, and has no anxiety. It is also an excellent position to help cool off! Only a very carefree dog will sleep in this vulnerable position. This position leaves the dog’s tummy exposed, which means all of its vital organs are exposed. It also means it will be hard to get up quickly. 

You will often find your dog sleeping like this in the summer months. It is undoubtedly a very comical and entertaining position for your dog to sleep in!

Why Does My Dog Sleep Like Superman?

This is a common sleeping position for puppies and high-energy dogs. When your dog falls asleep in this position, they are tired and in need of a nap, but by being on their tummy, they can also get up quickly and get back to playing! 

This sleeping position is usually a sign of a relaxed and content dog who just needs a wee power nap before jumping back into action! 

Why Does My Dog Bark In Their Sleep?

When a dog goes into the REM stage of sleep, it will often start to bark or whimper. This stage of sleep only lasts about 10 minutes. It is very typical, and as long as it is not excessive barking, it is nothing to worry about. 

Why Does My Dog Twitch In Their Sleep?

Dogs twitch or kick their legs when they are in the REM stage of sleep. This means your dog is having a good restorative sleep. When dogs are in REM sleep, it is best not to wake them, as this is their restorative sleep, and they need it to maintain their health. 

Can Dogs Have Nightmares?

Yes, dogs can have nightmares. Your dog might start to whimper or bark more usual, which indicates that they may be having a nightmare. You could try to gently stroke their back and quietly say their name to calm them down. If it seems to happen regularly, consult your vet. 

My Dog Circles and Digs Before He Sleeps. Is This Normal?

This is normal behavior for a dog. This is a behavior passed down from wolf ancestors who would circle or dig to make a more comfortable bed on the ground. Excessive circling may be a sign that something is wrong with your pup, so it is a good idea to consult your vet.

How Much Sleep Does My Dog Need?

According to the American Kennel Club, Dogs need about 12-14 hours of sleep a day. Puppies need about 18-19 hours of sleep. Again, pay attention to your dog’s sleep habits. If they are sleeping more than average, it is time for a visit to the vet. 

How Can You Help Your Dog Sleep Better?

Ensure you give your dog a comfortable and cozy dog bed and cooler temperatures to sleep in. If there is some fresh food and water close by, your dog can rest comfortably knowing that they have everything they need.

My Dog Doesn’t Sleep With His Bum Facing Me, What Should I Do?

If your dog doesn’t sleep in this position, it may mean nothing, or it may mean that your dog does not trust you or feel secure. Your dog might just not find this position comfortable in this position. Monitor your dog’s sleeping patterns and behaviors for a week to give you some clues about what might be the problem.

I Don’t Think My Dog Trusts Me Because He Doesn’t Sleep In A Relaxed Position. How Can I Build Trust With My Dog?

There are many reasons why a dog might not trust you.  It is important to observe the dog closely to get to know their behaviors and to be able to respond appropriately.

When welcoming a new dog into your home, or rebuilding trust with your dog, Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisperer, recommends five simple things to help with this process.

Stay Calm

Dogs can sense your excitement or anxiety, so it is important to remain calm and speak softly to dogs. Don’t move too quickly or unexpectedly. Being excited can trigger a dog’s fight or flight instinct. If you have to move, try to make slow movements to get your dog’s attention subtly, and then stand up, walk, etc. 

Respect Their Space

It is best to respect a dog’s space and give them at least four feet until you know they are ready for attention. Avoid eye contact with the dog because dogs view this as a threat. If you need to approach them, don’t approach them head-on. Come to them from the side.

Get On Their Level

When you approach a dog who does not trust you, approach them from the side at their level. Kneel beside the dog facing in the same direction. You are in the dog’s space, but it is non-confrontational. If the dog seems to be getting agitated, move slowly away from them without turning your back on them.

Let Them Come To You

If the dog comes to you, hold your hand out and allow them to sniff you. If they remain calm, it is safe to pet them on the front of their chest. If the dog licks you, then you know that they have accepted you. Rewarding this behavior with a treat is positive reinforcement for the dog. 

Go For A Walk

The best way to earn a dog’s trust is to take them for a walk. This is where you teach the dog that you are the pack leader, and it shows that you are going to give them direction and protection. Cesar emphasized that it is important to remain in a calm and assertive state when walking your dog.