Posted: Feb 19, 2012 10:00 PM
Updated: Feb 19, 2012 10:00 PM
Dogs, like humans, sleep in all sorts of positions. Some snooze on their sides. Others sleep with their tummies on the ground and their heads faced down. Still others, like yours, prefer the stomach-up position.
Anecdotally, and by my observations of dogs that do this, many choose to expose their stomachs to cool down. Dogs sweat through the pads on their paws, so exposing the stomach, which is generally less covered with fur and with more skin exposed, can provide a rapid, comfy cool-down when temps climb.
But there’s another reason why dogs sleep in this position, and it is very good news for owners like you. According to Wendy Nan Rees and Kristen Hampshire, authors of the Dog Lover’s Daily Companion, dogs sleep back-to-back when they are bonding. It’s a submissive position, so each is telling the other that they have trust and goodwill. Sometimes the alpha dog will snooze in a slightly higher position, just to make sure that status within the pack is maintained.
When your dog sleeps in a stomach-up position near or next to you, he is then demonstrating how much he trusts you. Wolves in the wild never assume this sleeping pose, simply because it is too vulnerable and dangerous. Your dog must have sweet dreams, since it is in the primo position for ultimate comfort and sense of security.
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