December 20, 2018 4 min read

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Much like humans, all dogs are different with their own personalities, taste preferences, and even dog sleeping positions. Just like knowing what food your dog prefers it is important to know how your dog sleeps for multiple reasons. In this article, we will cover the types of sleeping positions and what this means for you as the parent.

What are the dog sleeping positions?

  1. the curler
  1. the leaner
  1. the sprawler

These positions can account for nearly every sleeping style it is and each has some variations that can make your dog look peaceful or super silly.

The curler position is often seen as the dogs getting into a ball like position with their nose wrapping around to their tail. This position is in the DNA of dogs as it is how they likely slept in the wild. Often times seen as protecting their more sensitive areas while staying warm as well as a position where you could transition to standing quite fast, the curler is one of natural instinct. This does not by any means imply that your dog is not comfortable in their home as some people say but rather that they are more comfortable in this position.

Curling dog sleep position

The leaner is oftentimes seen on its side sleeping next to support that could even be your leg in many cases. These dogs likely enjoy physical contact with you and enjoy sleeping right up next to you whenever possible. Unlike the last position, this one leaves the dogs more vulnerable as they sleep so they are thought to be happy go lucky dogs. The leaners are also known to be the dog’s twitching when they sleep and this is because the position allows their legs to be free for movement.

leaning dog sleep position

The sprawler is the iconic shot of a dog spread out either on its back with all four paws in the air or on their belly doing the superman pose or where their paws are all behind them. These sprawling dogs are thought to get hot easy and like to sprawl to cool down, and it is also the most exposing and hard to get standing from a position out of all of them. These dogs are often goofy looking as they sleep and can still have paw twitches as they dream.

sprawling dog sleep position

What do dog sleeping positions mean?

You could argue that each position can help determine the personality of a dog or that it can mean something down the road, but ultimately it is just a preference by your dog for how they want to sleep. This is the main reason it is important to know what position your dog prefers so that they can get the best sleep with your help. If you know your dog's preferred position it is easy to get them a dog bed that suits their sleeping style. This is also the reasoning behind why dog beds are made the way they are.

Sprawlers need the most room they can get in order to stretch those paws where they are the most comfortable. This puts flatbeds as the best choice for a dog that likes to sleep in this position. With bolster beds, they can get stuck not having enough room to sprawl and get comfy for a snooze. Flatbeds also allow airflow that can keep them cool if they are known to get hot easy which is a trait of the infamous sprawling type.  

dog leaning in bed

Leaners are completely different if they have a flatbed how will they be able to lean up against anything. Leaners are the perfect candidate for a bolster bed as it has those walls where they can put their weight on and get cozy. For leaning dogs, it may be wise to get a size up from what your dog is as they still like to get their paws out there but also need something to lean on.

Curlers are a little more tricky and may ultimately come down to your visual preference if your dog is not picky. Both bolster beds and flatbeds can accommodate curlers in some way and it all comes down to the tendencies of your dog. If they prefer to be right up against something when they curl it is wise to get a bolster, this may also help out colder dogs as it helps block cool air getting to them. If they are hot often or like being alone as they curl a flatbed might be the best bet as they can have it all to themselves and be wide open for maximum comfort.

curlers in bed

No matter what it is important to have a high-quality dog bed that will keep itself and your house clean and smelling good all while helping your dogs health. This is why we recommend an orthopedic memory foam dog bed that will be with you for years supporting your dog. If you are interested in getting your dog the best of the best check out our full line of orthopedic dog beds as well as some of the sleep science behind them.

BuddyRest was founded on the idea of supporting older dogs and based our first products on helping joint pains in dogs. We know dog sleep science and hope this blog helped you out.

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