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What a Dog's Sleeping Position Says About Its Personality

Your dog has a big personality, and they're expressing it even when they sleeps.

You catch on to your dog's personality quirks and cues so well that you know exactly what that head nod or whimper means. A dog's body language is a window into their inner thoughts, and the more fluent you are in that silent form of communication, the stronger the bond you and your pup will have.

It's easy to know that a tail wag means they're happy and a whine means they're in some kind of distress, but did you know you can tell a lot about your dog's personality and state of mind based on their sleeping habits? These common dog sleeping positions may tell you something about your pup.

Common Dog Sleeping Positions

1. Crazy Legs

Funny beagle tricolor dog lying or sleeping Paws up on the spine on the city park green grass enjoying the life on the sunny summer day. Careless pets life concept image.

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This sleeping position is sure to get you to giggle, and with four legs stretched to the sky, it's easy to think, "Is that even comfortable?" But "crazy legs" is a common sleeping position for dogs that are completely comfortable and confident in their environments. Laying on their back with their belly exposed is a sign of vulnerability and submission.

If your dog often sleeps on his back with his four legs stretched at crazy angles, he's telling you he trusts you and feels completely at home. Dogs who sleep with crazy legs are often independent and laid-back.

2. The Fuzzy Bagel

Dog sleeping in fuzzy bagel

When your pooch tucks his paws beneath him and curls up so his head is resting on his tail, he's not impersonating your favorite breakfast food on purpose. What he's actually doing is conserving body heat and protecting his vital organs.

Your pup could be chilly or feeling apprehensive about a certain situation happening around him, but it's not a cause for concern. Adult dogs with naturally sweet dispositions often sleep all curled up and cuddle into their own personal donut..

3. Superpup

Golden retriever laying flat, splooting.

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Is it a plane? Superman? Oh wait, it's just your dog sleeping in one of the most adorable ways possible. The Superman positions is when a dog sleeps on his stomach with all four limbs extended straight out. If it wasn't for the puddle of drool on your floor, it would look like he's soaring through the air off to save the day.

He may not be flying, but he is ready to lift off into action. From this position, it's easy for dogs to jump up to their feet at a moment's notice. You'll often see this splooting position—with a dog's back legs straight out— in dogs napping or relaxing to lower their body temperature as opposed to settling down for the night. If you often catch your dog pulling a Superpup, he's probably full of energy and always ready to play.

4. The Side Sleeper

Small hound Beagle dog sleeping at home on the bed covered with a blanket

Side sleeping is one of the most common dog sleeping positions, and it's considered to be a calm and rested position. A dog sleeping on his side has no worries on his mind and feels completely comfortable with both your presence and his surroundings.

A side sleeper is usually a generally happy and affectionate dog during their waking hours with high energy and a strong bond with their owner and family.

5. Tummy Time

tired cavalier king charles spaniel puppy sleeping on a bed

When sleeping on their stomach, a dog's muscles are tense and contracted. This keeps them from drifting into a deep sleep and could mean they're stressed or otherwise uncomfortable. It could also mean, however, that your pup is a ball full of energy and would actually rather be playing than sleeping.

Tummy sleepers may be timid around new people or react negatively to unfamiliar situations, but they're also gentle and energetic when around their family.

Your pup may assume only one of the ways dogs sleep, but most often, dogs vary the way they sleep depending on their moods and comfort level. Whether its belly up in their dog bed, or they're a burrower into a pet parent's newly-fluffed couch pillows, their sleep position says a lot about them.

The next time your pup settles down for a snooze, his position may give you valuable insight to help you better understand his behavior and personality!

Does your dog nap in a weird place? Snap a picture and share with your Wide Open Pets Instagram!

This article was originally published May 8, 2019.

READ MORE: The 15 Most Intelligent Dog Breeds, According to a Psychologist