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Why Does My Dog Always Lay On Me?

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20 Reasons Why Does My Dog Lay On Me

Dogs often sleep with their owners for various reasons, a common behavior among pets. While many enjoy this bonding time, it’s a personal choice and not universally practiced. If allowing your dog in your bed, ensure it doesn’t affect your sleep or cause behavioral problems. Giving your dog its own bed in your room can be a beneficial compromise. Below are reasons why dogs might sleep with their owners:


Dogs are social animals and enjoy being close to their human family members. Sleeping with you provides a sense of companionship and strengthens the bond between you and your dog.

Dogs feel safe when they are near their owners. Sleeping together can provide them with a sense of security and comfort, knowing that their pack leader (you) is nearby to protect and care for them.

Dogs are naturally drawn to warmth, and your body heat can be comforting and cozy for them. Sleeping with you helps them stay warm, especially during colder nights.

Your scent is comforting to your dog, and being close to your smell can be reassuring for them. Dogs have an excellent sense of smell, and your scent helps them feel at ease.

Dogs have a strong pack instinct, and in the wild, they would sleep close to their pack members for safety and warmth. Sleeping with you may fulfill this instinctual need.

Some dogs experience separation anxiety or general anxiety, and sleeping with their owner can provide comfort and reduce their stress levels.

If your dog is not feeling well or is recovering from an illness or surgery, they may seek the comfort and care of sleeping with you.

ogs are naturally affectionate animals, and they may seek your attention and affection, even while sleeping. Being close to you allows them to feel loved and cherished.

If you’ve established a routine of allowing your dog to sleep with you since they were a puppy, they may continue this habit as it’s what they are accustomed to.

Dogs have an incredible sense of smell and intuition. They can often detect changes in our body chemistry, scent, or temperature. When you’re sick, your dog might lay on you to offer comfort or because they sense the change and want to be close to monitor you.

Dogs are highly attuned to the emotions of their humans. If you’re feeling anxious, your dog might pick up on your stress or unease and lay on you to provide comfort or reassurance.

When you arrive home, especially if it’s been a while, your dog might lay on you out of sheer excitement and the desire to reconnect. This behavior reinforces the bond you share.

Extended absences can make a dog feel lonely or anxious. When you return after being away for a long time, your dog might lay on you to reaffirm the bond and reassure themselves of your presence.

Unexpected or unfamiliar noises can be unsettling for a dog. They might seek comfort by laying on you, viewing you as a protective figure in uncertain situations.

Dogs can experience jealousy, especially if they see you giving attention to another pet or person. Laying on you can be their way of asserting their position and seeking exclusive attention.

Dogs can be very communicative about their needs. If they’re hungry, thirsty, or want something else, they might lay on you to capture your attention and signal their desire.

If a dog urgently needs a bathroom break, they might lay on you or exhibit other attention-seeking behaviors to indicate their urgency and request to go outside.

Dogs are creatures of habit. If you’ve previously rewarded them with treats, affection, or playtime when they lay on you, they’ll likely repeat the behavior, associating it with positive outcomes.

Dogs with separation anxiety become extremely attached and may become distressed when left alone. If your dog lays on you excessively, especially before you leave or after you return, it might be a manifestation of this anxiety.

12 Reason Why You Should Let Your Dog Lay On You

Close physical contact with our dogs offers various emotional and health benefits. Many pet owners wonder, “Why does my dog always lay on me?” Understanding this behavior reveals insights into canine affection and the benefits of such intimacy.

Interacting with dogs, including petting and cuddling, can reduce blood pressure. This effect is due to the calming nature of these interactions and the release of oxytocin, a hormone associated with emotional bonding and relaxation.

Spending quality time with a dog reduces the secretion of cortisol, a primary stress hormone. A decrease in cortisol can help you feel more relaxed and less anxious.

The companionship of a dog, their unconditional love, and physical closeness can elevate mood by boosting serotonin and dopamine levels, both of which play crucial roles in regulating mood and combating depression.

Physical contact with a dog can stimulate the production of alpha brain waves, which are linked to relaxation and reduced anxiety.

The comforting presence of a dog can help individuals feel more relaxed and secure at bedtime, potentially aiding in falling asleep more easily.

The companionship of a dog provides a sense of belonging and helps combat feelings of isolation.

For some, sleeping with their dog can lead to deeper, more restful sleep. Their rhythmic breathing can act as a real-life lullaby.

Physical closeness reinforces the bond between you and your dog. A strong bond can make communication more effective, facilitating training.

Regular interactions with dogs, including physical closeness, have been associated with lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which can contribute to heart health.

Early exposure to dogs has been shown to reduce the risk of developing allergies in children.

Having a dog close can provide a feeling of safety, knowing that your dog is alert to any unusual sounds or changes in the environment.

The physical warmth of a dog can be comforting on cold nights, acting as a natural heater.

12 Reasons Why A Dog Laying On You Is Good

11 Reasons Why You Should NOT Let Your Dog Lay On You

The bond between humans and dogs is unique, but sometimes boundaries are essential. Pet owners often ask, “Why does my dog always lay on me?” Recognizing the concerns behind this behavior can inform decisions about personal space with pets.

Dogs that display signs of resource guarding or aggression might growl, snap, or bite if they feel threatened by their space (like a particular spot on the couch). Allowing such a dog to lay on you could trigger an aggressive response. Learn about poesseive aggression. 

Dogs that have been outdoors might be muddy, wet, or carry allergens like pollen. Allowing them to lay on you can transfer this dirt or allergens to your clothes or skinibus leo.

A dog’s nails, fur, or body oils could potentially damage or stain certain types of furniture. For those who are particular about maintaining their furniture’s pristine condition, allowing a dog to climb on it might not be a good idea.

Some dogs have a habit of excessive licking. This can become annoying or even unsanitary, especially if the dog licks your face, hands, or any wounds you might have. Learn about why dogs lick when you pet them. 

Just like with hip issues, certain positions might not be ideal for owners with back problems. Especially if the dog weighs more than 25lbs. 

While dominance theory in dog training is debated, some believe allowing a dog to lay on you can encourage feelings of ownership or dominance. Similarly, a dog becoming too attached or overly dependent could lead to separation anxiety.

If a dog is not entirely housetrained or has a medical condition that leads to incontinence, there’s a risk of accidents happening while they’re laying on furniture or beds.

n warmer temperatures, both the dog and the owner can become too warm when in close contact, leading to discomfort or overheating.

If you allow your dog to lay on you or your bed during the night, their movements or sounds might interrupt your sleep cycles, leading to a less restful night.

For tiny dog breeds or puppies, there’s a risk of accidentally getting squished or pushed off if they lay on or beside someone, especially during sleep.

People with dog allergies might experience flare-ups if they have too close contact with their pets, including letting them lay on them.

Reasons why a dog laying on you would be bad

What Does It Mean When Your Dog Lays On You

When your dog lays on you, it signifies trust, affection, and closeness. This act can be about bonding, seeking comfort, or providing warmth. It might also indicate protective behavior or territory marking. Observing the context and your dog’s behavior offers insight into their motivations.

Dogletics Case Studies

Amidst the myriad of questions, “Why does my dog sleep on me?” stands out as a frequent curiosity. Case studies in Dogletics offer invaluable insights, helping people delve deeper into the dynamics of their relationships with their pets.

The Golden That Got Too Big

The bond between dogs and their owners often prompts the question, “Why does my dog sleep on me?” This case study with Mr. Roberts and his Golden Retriever, Charlie, explores the challenges that can arise from this affectionate behavior as a dog grows.

Charlie, a Golden Retriever, was adopted by Mr. Roberts when he was just eight weeks old. As a puppy, Charlie had formed the habit of lying on Mr. Roberts’ lap whenever he got the chance, a behavior that Mr. Roberts found endearing and saw as a sign of affection. This practice continued as Charlie’s primary form of bonding and showing affection towards his owner.

As the months passed, Charlie grew rapidly, a common trait for Golden Retrievers. By the time he was a year old, he weighed a hefty 70 pounds. Despite his size, Charlie still considered himself a lap dog and frequently attempted to lay on Mr. Roberts’ lap, just like he used to as a puppy. Unfortunately, Mr. Roberts began to experience increasing pain in his hips after these cuddling sessions. After one particular evening when Charlie had spent a considerable amount of time lying on him, Mr. Roberts felt a sharp pain in his hips, which made it difficult for him to stand up. A subsequent visit to the doctor revealed that the constant weight and pressure from Charlie’s grown-up size was tilting Mr. Roberts’ hips, causing misalignment and pain.

The doctor explained that while the human body can adjust to and support weight in various situations, the prolonged and recurrent pressure from Charlie’s weight in a concentrated area (i.e., the lap) was not something the hips were designed to handle. This persistent strain was causing the hips to tilt and was the primary reason for Mr. Roberts’ pain. It became clear that, despite the bond and affection between Charlie and Mr. Roberts, this particular form of cuddling was no longer feasible or safe.

Teach the dog to lay next to you. This can be done by getting up every time they lay on you and rewarding them when they are to the left or right of you. 

Buddy Who Would Pee On His Owner

Many dog owners wonder, “Why does my dog sleep on me?” While this often signifies trust and affection, in Buddy’s case, post-hike exhaustion brought its own set of challenges. The following case study delves into these unique nighttime habits.

Buddy, an energetic Labrador, loved accompanying his owner, Ms. Thompson, on hikes. They frequently embarked on long, arduous trails, allowing Buddy to unleash his boundless energy.

After these hikes, Buddy would consume large quantities of water to rehydrate. Exhausted from the day’s adventures, he’d find comfort laying on Ms. Thompson during the night. However, despite his tiredness, his increased water intake meant he needed to go potty more frequently. On several occasions, Buddy was too fatigued to indicate his need or to go outside, leading to unfortunate nighttime accidents on Ms. Thompson.

Ms. Thompson recognized a pattern: the combination of exhaustion from the hike and the significant water intake was disrupting Buddy’s usual nighttime potty routine. It became evident that while Buddy was worn out, his body’s natural response to the water he consumed required attention.

Resolution: To avoid further incidents, Ms. Thompson implemented a new post-hike routine. After hikes, she started setting alarms at regular intervals throughout the night to take Buddy outside, ensuring he could relieve himself without any accidents indoors. Over time, this proactive approach became a seamless part of their hiking regimen, ensuring comfort for both Buddy and Ms. Thompson after their outdoor adventures.

Bella The Restless Shih Tzu

Many wonder, “Why does my dog lay on me?” While it’s a gesture of affection, it can complicate bedtime routines. Bella’s experience with the Johnsons highlights this delicate balance in shared sleeping habits.

Bella, a petite Shih Tzu, had always been a beloved member of the Johnson family. From her early days, she enjoyed sleeping alongside her owners at night.

As Bella grew older, the Johnsons noticed that she wasn’t settling into the same 8-hour sleep cycle as humans. Throughout the night, Bella would frequently shift positions, walking from Mrs. Johnson’s side of the bed to Mr. Johnson’s and vice versa. This restless behavior repeatedly disturbed the couple’s sleep, leading to fatigue and frustration for both parties.

Upon researching, the Johnsons discovered that dogs, especially smaller breeds, typically have different sleep patterns than humans. Their sleep can be more fragmented, with periods of wakefulness throughout the night. Bella’s natural canine sleep rhythm was conflicting with the Johnsons’ continuous nighttime rest.

Resolution: To ensure uninterrupted sleep for everyone, the Johnsons decided to transition Bella to her own sleeping space. They introduced a comfortable crate, equipped with her favorite toys and blankets. Over a short adjustment period, Bella grew fond of her personal space. The Johnsons also noticed a marked improvement in their sleep quality. Bella’s crate became her nighttime haven, harmoniously aligning her sleep patterns with the family’s needs.:
To ensure uninterrupted sleep for everyone, the Johnsons decided to transition Bella to her own sleeping space. They introduced a comfortable crate, equipped with her favorite toys and blankets. Over a short adjustment period, Bella grew fond of her personal space. The Johnsons also noticed a marked improvement in their sleep quality. Bella’s crate became her nighttime haven, harmoniously aligning her sleep patterns with the family’s needs.

Gidget The One Eyed Yorkie

Sharing our sleeping spaces with our furry friends is a common practice, cherished by many pet owners for the warmth and companionship it offers. However, the question “Why do dogs lay on you?” goes beyond mere affection, as it can sometimes have unintended consequences. The story of Gidget, a petite Yorkie, underscores the importance of considering safety in these close interactions.

Gidget, a tiny 4lb Yorkie, was the cherished companion of Ms. Parker. Their bond was so close that Gidget often slept in the same bed as her owner.

One fateful night, Ms. Parker, unaware of Gidget’s position beside her, rolled over in her sleep. The pressure exerted on Gidget’s small frame was catastrophic. By the time Ms. Parker realized what had occurred, Gidget’s eye had suffered severe trauma, leading it to become dislodged from its socket.

Emergency veterinary assistance was sought immediately. The veterinarians confirmed that the weight and pressure from Ms. Parker rolling over had caused Gidget’s injury. Given the petite size and delicate anatomy of smaller breeds like Yorkies, they are particularly susceptible to such accidents, especially in shared sleeping arrangements.

Gidget underwent a surgical procedure to address the injury. While her vision was compromised, the veterinarians alleviated her pain and discomfort. After the traumatic incident, Ms. Parker established separate sleeping arrangements for Gidget’s safety. A comfortable, plush dog bed was placed close to Ms. Parker’s, ensuring closeness without the risks of shared bedding. The incident served as a sobering reminder of the dangers tiny pets might face in seemingly harmless situations.

Alternatives To Your Dog Laying On You

To keep a dog from laying on you, you need to give them an alternative behavior. This behavior could be: ‘Kennel Up,’ ‘Go To Spot,’ or ‘Off.’ But, if your dog is laying on you to demand something like food, water, or play. You need to withhold the reward until they are no longer laying on you.

 To teach crate training, we use the lure technique. Throw a treat, and then the dog goes to the spot. 

  1.  You need to start feeding your dog in the crate with the door open to teach crate training. Place the food in the back of the crate and walk away. Grab the bowl later in the day and refill it. You do not need to wait now to retrieve the bowl.
  2.  There will be a point when your dog runs to his crate at food time. Once this happens, start shutting the door but not locking it. Keep doing this while you move on to the next stage. Never stop feeding your dog in the crate until they thoroughly learn the exercise. 
  3.  Have a special jar with cookies that are for crate training only. Throughout the day, grab a cookie from that jar. Start throwing a treat in the back of the crate. Say ” Kennel Up,” and walk away. The goal is for them to go in and out without worrying that you will lock the door.
  4.  Do not shut the door.
  5.  Your dog should start running into the crate every time you get a treat from that jar. If this is the case, wait until your dog gets in the crate and reward. You can stop throwing the treat in at this point. You moved on too quickly if your dog is not going in without throwing the cookie.
  6.  Repeat this for about a month.
  7.  Shut the door and lock it. Give the cookie after you shut the door.

To teach ‘Go To Spot,’ we use shaping. Wait until the dog goes to the spot, then you throw the treat. Shaping is the opposite of luring. To learn how to use shaping to teach a behavior, go here. In this lesson, you will be throwing the treat on the bed. Never reward from hand.

 The shaping behavior steps for teaching ‘Go To Spot’ are

  1.  Sniff the bed
  2.  Motion towards the bed
  3.  Put one paw on the bed.
  4.  Put two paws on the bed.
  5.  Put three paws on the bed.
  6.  Put four paws on the bed.
  7.  Four paws, then sit.
  8.  Four paws, then down.
  9.  Name The Behavior “Go To Spot”
  10.  Move bed 1 inch away.
  11.  Say go “Go To Spot.”
  12.  Move bed 2 inches away, then 3, 4,5, and so on.
  13.  Once the bed is too far to throw a treat on, you need to get up, walk to the bed, and throw a treat. If the dog gets off, restart the activity.

When your dog lays on you, stop petting them, playing with them, or feeding them. Ignore your dog. If your dog is trying to communicate that they want to be fed, or given water, wait until they get off you. Then you can take care of your dog’s needs. Do not forget. Otherwise, this is cruel. Telling you is one thing; demanding is another.

To teach off, we use shaping and then luring. First, we shape the on behavior, lure the off behavior, and then shape the off behavior. To learn more about the shaping technique, visit here.

The steps are


  1.  To sniff an object
  2. To put a paw on the object.
  3.  To put two paws on an object.
  4.  Name the behavior “Two paws.”


  1.  Ask for two paws, do not reward with food. Say “Good”
  2.  Throw a treat and say off.
  3.  Once the dog is jumping off right away, change to shaping.


  1.  Say off, then throw a treat


  1.  Pick a new object
  2. Say two paws, wait, reward.
  3. Say off, wait, reward.

To prevent my dog from sitting on me I stand up every time he sits on me. After the third  or so try, he lays down next to me. Starting off you may be doing squats for a while. My dog is use to this game and understand it means I do not want to be sat on at that moment.  

Play hide and seek, go for walks, go on a car ride. If they have nothing else to look forward to beside TV nights, they are going to be insistent on getting their bond time. 

Stop Your Dog From Laying On You

Many pet owners equate their bond with a dog’s desire to cuddle. Yet, the query “why does my dog sleep on me?” can emerge from concern, especially if the behavior is excessive. This guide provides insights and methods to address and manage such behavior.

Start by choosing a comfortable spot for both of you, like a couch, bed, or floor mat.

Use a treat or toy to get your dog’s attention. Hold it in your hand to ensure they’re focused on you.

Use a command such as “come” to get your dog to approach you. Once they’re close, use a treat or toy to lure them into a laying position on or beside you. You can use a specific command like “lay on me” or simply “lay.”

Once your dog lays down on or beside you, immediately reward them with the treat and verbal praise like “good dog!” This will help them associate the action with positive reinforcement.

Once your dog is comfortably laying on you for short durations, you can encourage them to stay longer by periodically treating and praising them for remaining calm and relaxed. Use a command like “stay” to get them used to the idea of staying put for more extended periods.

Some dogs might naturally prefer not to lay on people, either due to their size, past experiences, or personal preference. If your dog seems uncomfortable or hesitant, don’t force the issue. You can try again another time or focus on strengthening other aspects of your bond.

Breeds That Like To Sleep On You

Lap breeds have long been cherished for their affectionate nature and strong desire for close companionship. Many dog owners find themselves asking, “why does my dog sleep on top of me?” This behavior is often a testament to the bond shared between the pet and the owner, and the comfort derived from such closeness, especially in these small-sized breeds.

A tiny dog with a huge personality. They are known for their loyalty and can be very attached to their owners.

Originally bred for royalty in China, they have a distinct long, flowing coat and are known for their friendly disposition and outgoing nature.

A toy breed with a luxurious long white coat. They’re playful and can be quite spirited.

A fluffy and spirited dog with a distinctive plume tail that arches over its back. They are energetic and very loyal.

A small, lion-like dog with a flat face and long fur. They are known for their regal demeanor and were once sacred in China.

Elegant and affectionate, they have a silky coat and a very gentle demeanor.

Small and curly-coated, Bichons have a cheerful disposition and are known for their playful attitude.

Named after the French word for “butterfly” due to their large, butterfly-like ears. They’re lively and alert.

A tiny dog with a long, silky coat. Despite their small size, they are known for their brave and tenacious nature.

The national dog of Cuba, they have a long, silky coat and are known for their lively and sociable nature.

Originally bred for hunting, they have a long body and short legs. They are curious and often want to be the center of attention.

An intelligent and highly trainable breed, they come in a variety of colors and have curly coats.

Known as the “American Gentleman” because of its tuxedo-like markings, they are friendly and have a distinct, squashed face.

Originating from Tibet, they were once considered sacred. They have a long, flowing coat and are known for their keen sense of hearing and alert nature.

Compact with a broad, muscular body and bat-like ears, they are known for their affectionate nature and charming personality.

Don't push your dog off or yell at them.

Dogs Sleeping Positions

Observing our canine companions during their moments of rest can reveal intriguing insights into their personalities and comfort levels. Many dog owners often wonder, “why does my dog sleep on me?” Understanding the various dog sleeping positions and their significance can shed light on this behavior and deepen the bond between pets and their humans.

16 Dog Sleeping Positions

There are various dog sleeping positions, each with its unique characteristics and meanings. Remember that while these positions can offer insights into your dog’s comfort and emotional state, individual dogs may vary, and their sleeping preferences can change over time. Monitoring your dog’s sleeping habits can help you better understand their needs and overall well-being. Here are some common dog sleeping positions:

If your dog is laying sideways on the ground, this position leaves the vital organs exposed. Therefore, dogs that sleep like this are comfortable in their environment. In addition, this position allows their limbs to move while they sleep. So that you may observe more twitching and leg kicks from a dog resting on its side.

When a dog lays crumpled in a ball of full, this position protects all the vital organs. It also restricts movement so that you will see less twitching. This position conserves heat. Sleeping in this position is more common in the winter months and insecure dogs.

Dogs do this to protect your neck from danger. Female dogs do this because the female covers the male during the conflict. 

Sleeping underneath blankets is an instinct for certain dogs like the dachshund. They are seeking comfort and security. Therefore, you should provide them with a den-like crate.

The dog sploot is also known as the superman position. Usually, a dog who is in this position is those who are overheated. Dogs laying down in this position will typically seek tile floors to cool down. This position differs from the belly-up position because it allows the dog to get up quickly. Usually, active and unsure dogs will lay in this position during the summer months.

Dogs who sleep in this position are usually hot and inactive. Your dog is exposing their stomach, which allows them to cool down. However, it does not leave much room for romping and playing, unlike the dog sploot position.

Back-to-back is a common position for a dog who wants to snuggle you. It is a gentle touch that provides all the benefits listed above.

The sphynx position is the most alert and least comfortable position for a dog. Most dogs do not sleep in this position but are awake. They usually sit in a corner facing the outside and can launch in any direction at a moment’s notice.

Your dog places his head or snoot on a surface. This position could mean that your dog has breathing issues or their neck is fatigued. 

Dogs will act out the day they had. For example, if you take your dog to the dog park, they will run, bark, and twitch in their sleep. You should expect these behaviors after a long and enriching day.

A dog will snore if they have limited breathing. This behavior is expected with the smushed nose dogs known as brachycephalic breeds.

Some dogs’ eyes will roll back and only show the white. Rolling their eyes back is normal, and you should not be alarmed. It is unlikely they are having a seizure. If you are still unsure, you can tap them to wake them up.

Puppies, on average, sleep 18-19 hours a day. The average adult dog sleeps 12-14 hours a day. Puppies sleeping on their back is very common since most puppies are very trusting of their environment due to their lack of life experience. 

When dogs curl up into a ball with their tail covering their nose, it’s often a sign that they are trying to conserve heat and feel secure. This position helps them stay warm and protect their vital organs.

Dogs that tuck their paws under their body while sleeping might be trying to stay warm or conserve energy.

A dog resting its head on its paws is often in a light sleep or a state of alertness, ready to wake up quickly if needed.

7 Reasons Why Do Dogs Sleep On Back

Dogs, like humans, can sleep in various positions, including on their backs. When a dog sleeps on its back, it typically means they are comfortable and feel safe in their environment. There are several reasons why dogs might choose to sleep on their backs:

Sleeping on their back can be comfortable for some dogs, especially those with soft or plush bedding. It allows them to stretch out and relax, relieving pressure on their joints and muscles.

Dogs regulate their body temperature through their paws, ears, and belly. Sleeping on their back exposes their belly, which is less insulated and can help them cool down when they’re feeling warm.

When a dog sleeps on its back, it’s exposing its most vulnerable parts, including the belly and throat. This position is a sign of trust and security because it means the dog feels safe in its environment and doesn’t perceive any threats.

Some dogs might sleep on their backs as part of their playful nature. They may roll onto their backs during play or during a nap after a particularly active session.

Certain breeds are more predisposed to sleeping on their backs than others. For example, Greyhounds and Whippets are known for their “roaching” position, where they sleep on their backs with their legs in the air.

In some cases, dogs with gastrointestinal discomfort or pain may sleep on their backs to relieve pressure on their abdomen.

22 Dog Sleeping Positions When Sick

When dogs are sick, their sleeping positions may change as they try to find a more comfortable and restful position. Many owners ask “why does my dog sleep on his back with his legs open” and while it can just be because he is hot it could also be that he is sick. It’s important to note that changes in sleeping positions alone may not provide a definitive diagnosis of illness. If you suspect your dog is sick or behaving abnormally, it’s crucial to consult with a veterinarian. They can perform a thorough examination and provide appropriate treatment and guidance to help your dog recover. Here are some common dog sleeping positions when sick:

Dogs experiencing digestive issues or abdominal discomfort may curl their body around their belly to provide some pressure relief.

Sick dogs might sleep on their sides, often with their legs tucked in or slightly curled. This position can be a sign that they are trying to find relief from discomfort.

Some dogs, when sick, may stretch out their bodies to alleviate tension or discomfort in their muscles and joints.

A dog that’s unwell may rest its head on its paws as a way to ease any head or neck discomfort.

Sick dogs might tuck their paws under their bodies to stay warm and reduce any strain on their limbs.

In some cases, sick dogs might sleep on their backs with their belly exposed. This position can indicate abdominal discomfort, and they may be trying to find relief by exposing their stomach.

Dogs that are feeling under the weather may seek warmth and comfort by burrowing under blankets or pillows.

Sick dogs may exhibit restlessness and have difficulty finding a comfortable sleeping position. They might shift positions frequently, indicating discomfort or pain.

When dogs are unwell, they may seek comfort and security by sleeping closer to their owners. This behavior reflects their need for reassurance during a challenging time. This is one of the many reasons why dog sleep with you instead of on their own. 

Sick dogs may have a lighter, more restless sleep compared to their usual deep sleep patterns. They might wake up easily and have difficulty staying asleep.

Dogs in pain or discomfort may keep a low profile by lying flat on the ground, often with their ears back and a tense body posture. This position can indicate that they are trying to minimize movement and discomfort.

Sick dogs may adopt a guarded or protective posture when sleeping. This includes tucking their tail between their legs and keeping their head low, which can indicate pain or discomfort.

Some dogs may try to hide when they are not feeling well. They might seek out secluded or sheltered spots to rest, such as under furniture or in a quiet corner of the house.

Dogs that are unwell may spend more time sleeping or resting than usual. This is their body’s way of conserving energy to aid in the healing process.

If a dog has respiratory issues or congestion, they may elevate their head while sleeping to make breathing more comfortable.

Panting while sleeping can be a sign of discomfort or pain in sick dogs, especially if it’s excessive and not related to temperature regulation.

Dogs may lick or chew at their paws when they are not feeling well. This behavior can be a way to self-soothe or relieve stress.

If a dog is experiencing pain or discomfort, they may whimper or cry in their sleep. This vocalization can be a sign that something is bothering them.

Some dogs may hold onto their favorite toy or comfort object when they are sick. This behavior can be a source of emotional support during difficult times.

Sick dogs might excessively groom or lick themselves, which can be a coping mechanism or a response to discomfort.

In cases of fever or illness, dogs may shiver or tremble while sleeping as their body tries to regulate its temperature.

Dogs may knead or paw at their bedding or the area around them when they are unwell. This behavior is reminiscent of puppies kneading their mother’s belly for comfort.

Why Do Dogs Curl Up

Dogs curl up due to instincts, comfort, and security, although their sleeping positions can vary. While many dogs favor curling, some sprawl or choose other postures based on individual comfort.

Curling up into a ball helps dogs conserve body heat, especially when it’s cold. Tucking their nose and tail can reduce heat loss and keep them warm and cozy.

Curling up provides a sense of security. In the wild, dogs and their ancestors curled up to protect their vital organs while sleeping, making them less vulnerable to potential threats.

Dogs often curl up when they feel relaxed and comfortable. It’s a natural sleeping position that allows them to rest easily.

When dogs curl up, they minimize their exposure to their environment, reducing the chances of getting bumped or stepped on if they are sleeping in a busy or crowded area.

This behavior is deeply ingrained in a dog’s instinctual repertoire. Wild canines, like wolves, would curl up in dens or sheltered areas to stay warm, safe, and hidden from predators.

Curling up allows dogs to quickly transition from sleep to an alert state. This position is conducive to getting up and reacting to any potential threats or stimuli.

Smaller spaces often encourage dogs to curl up. This is why you might find your dog curling up in a smaller dog bed or cozy nooks around your home.

In some cases, if a dog is experiencing pain or discomfort, they may curl up to protect the area causing them discomfort. For example, if they have an upset stomach, curling up might help ease the discomfort in their abdominal area.

8 Reasons Why Does My Dog Move From Spot To Spot While Sleeping

Dogs often move while sleeping for various reasons. If they seem excessively restless or show signs of discomfort, either during sleep or while awake, consulting a veterinarian is recommended to rule out medical issues. Below are reasons your dog might change sleeping positions:

Dogs may initially settle in one position, but as they sleep, they may become uncomfortable due to a variety of factors. This discomfort could be related to the temperature, the surface they’re sleeping on, or the position of their limbs. Shifting positions allows them to find a more comfortable sleeping spot.

Dogs can regulate their body temperature by changing their sleeping position. If they feel too warm or too cold, they might move to a cooler or warmer area to maintain their comfort.

If your dog has an underlying physical ailment, such as joint pain, arthritis, or muscle stiffness, they may move around during sleep to alleviate discomfort. Changing positions can help redistribute pressure on their sore or achy areas.

External factors, such as noise, light, or other disturbances in the environment, can disrupt a dog’s sleep and cause them to change positions to find a quieter or more secure spot.

Dogs have inherited certain instincts from their wild ancestors. Moving around during sleep may be a vestigial behavior that served a purpose in the wild, such as avoiding predators or adjusting to changes in their environment.

Older dogs may be more prone to shifting positions during sleep due to age-related discomfort or health issues. It’s essential to consider your dog’s age and overall health when observing their sleep behavior.

Dogs may change positions during sleep due to emotional or psychological factors. Anxiety or stress can affect their sleep patterns, causing them to move around as they react to these emotions.

In some cases, dogs may change positions during sleep as a way to get your attention. If they sense that their movements wake you up or prompt a response, they might continue this behavior.

How To Teach A Dog To Lay Down

Teaching a dog to lie down is a fundamental command in dog training. It’s essential for their safety, your control over their behavior, and their overall obedience. Here’s how to teach a dog to lay down:

Teach The Dog Laying Down Trick

Gently guide your dog into the down position. You can do this by moving a treat from their nose towards the ground, keeping it close to their body. As they follow the treat, their body should naturally lower into a lying down position.

Prerequisite: Sit

  1. Grab a high-value cookie or a peanut butter stuffed kong (IDEAL)
  2. Ask the dog to sit
  3.  Get face level. 
  4. Put cookie between thumb and finger. So dogs can not take cookies but can lick them.  Or just hold kong.
  5. Put cookie/kong to dog’s nose. 
  6. Go straight down (not an angle). Go slowly, if nose is not touching the cookie or kong,you went too fast. 
  7. Once you get to the bottom. Drag the cookie or kong towards you and your knee. The pattern is an L. First down then right. Not a \ shape. 

The Kong is better because it rewards the dog throughout the process. If you are using the cookie method, then you have to let them get a bit every so often.


Dogs under 8 lbs struggle with the lure method. Try shaping instead.   

  1. Leash the dog (really important)
  2. Sit in chair
  3.  Ignore the dog
  4. When they sit, throw a cookie on the ground.
  5. Ignore the dog again. If they lie down, throw a cookie. 

This one takes patients. You have to ignore the dog and let them wander on their leash. You can not have them off leash for this activity. 

Have treats on you while you walking in the house. When the dog lays down. Reward with a cookie. 

Teach The Dog Laying Down Settle Position

Teaching a dog to lay down is vital because it helps them learn self-control and calm behavior. This command allows you to manage your dog’s actions and keep them safe in various situations. It also fosters a stronger bond between you and your dog. To teach a dog to lay down, follow these steps:

Prerequisite: Down

  1. Once your dog is in the down position.  Take a cookie and put it on one side of his nuzzle. Push backward until they move their shoulder so they lie on their side. 
  2. Reward
  3. Try both sides as one is usually easier than the other. 

Teach The Dog Laying Down Sploot Position

By teaching your dog to lay down, you can ensure better behavior and safety while strengthening your relationship with your canine companion.

  1. Teach the down trick first
  2. Once the dog is laying down. Take the cookie and drag it towards you. You must be very slow and watch the back legs. The minute you see the sploot, release the cookie. 

This adds the extra step from 

Down, Settle To Sploot.

Some dogs need to reposition their hips and the settle gives them better ability to do so. 

  1. Once the dog is on their side. You take the cookie and drag it towards you. Just like you would in the first version. 

FAQ: Why Does My Dog Sit Or Lay On Me?

Dogs attach to caregivers. If you want your dog to spend more time with someone, have that person become their primary caregiver. Caregiver activities include doing the following daily.

  •  Feeding Them
  •  Training Them
  •  Walking Them
  • Playing With Them

It just means that they find you comforting. Just like humans dogs can attach to multiple people in the same household. 

Give Communication Signals To The Dog

Dogs have ways to communicate with each other that they are uncomfortable. For example, do the following behaviors to indicate to your dog that you do not want them to lick or smother you.

  1. Excessive
  2. Blinking
  3. Turning Head Away
  4. Lip Licking
  5. Lean Away

Reward Good Positions

If your dog tries to sit on you and give those calming signals, they will most likely sit down beside you. If this is the case, begin petting them. Petting will reinforce this is the correct position.

  1. Smell
  2. Feel
  3. Association (gym clothes means a walk)
  1.  Labrador Retriever
  2.  Greyhound
  3.  Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  4.  Golden Retriever
  5.  American Pit Bull Terrier
  6.  Old English Sheepdog
  7.  Irish Wolfhounds
  8.  Collie
  9.  English Bulldog
  10.  Great Dane
  11.  Bichon Frise
  12.  American Eskimo Dog
  13.  Miniature Schnauzer
  14.  Irish Settler
  15.  Dachshund
  1.  Bichon Frise
  2.  Bolognese
  3.  Havanese
  4.  Tibetan Spaniel
  5.  Pug
  6.  Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  7.  Affenpinscher
  8.  Japanese Chin
  9.  Brussels griffon
  10.  Chihuahua
  11.  Pomeranian
  12.  Pekingese
  13.  Chinese Crested
  14.  Shih Tzu
  15. French Bulldog

Review The Following

What's Your Mood?

What Happened Right Before?

Time Of Day?

What Are You Doing That Encourages It?

How Do They Take Rejection?

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