Ever wonder why your dog sleeps curled up in a ball?
My dog has some strange sleep positions, but her default seems to be all curled up.
We’re sharing three reasons your dog sleeps curled up that you may not have known about!
Read on to check out this funny dog behavior!
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5 Sleep Positions for Dogs: The common and the weird
Along with sleeping curled up in a ball, dogs have a few other common sleep positions that leave their people wondering “how is that comfortable?”
1. Sleeping on their backs with their feet up in the air!
True story, I have a dog that sleeps with all four legs pointed up. Think the old cartoon version of the “play dead” position!
2. The “frog-legged tummy position.”
Another popular position with my dog, she will lay on her tummy with her legs straight out behind her, like a frog sunning himself on a rock.
3. The Pretzel:
Have you ever looked at your dog and thought “where is her head? Is that her back leg or her front leg?”
If so, you might just be looking at the pretzel, a weird position where your dog mimics a contortionist!
4. The relatively normal “side sleeping” position:
Considering that my dog usually sleeps in some sort of weird position, I’m always kind of shocked when I see her sleeping on her side like a “normal” dog!
Want Fido to stop taking up the whole bed? Check out Dogs in Bed – How to Stop Co-Sleeping with Fido
5. Curled up in a ball:
Then, of course, we have the reason you’re here: the curled-up position.
Let’s read on to find out why dogs do this!
Why Your Dog Sleeps Curled Up in a Ball
As I mentioned above, we dog parents often see our fur babies sleeping in strange positions that we can’t believe are even comfortable.
Some sleep on their backs with their legs up in the air, others twist and contort their bodies into pretzel-like positions.
The most popular position we see, however, is usually them being curled up in a ball.
Related: How many hours a day should a puppy sleep?
People have wondered why for years, and we found some of the answers for those of you that didn’t already know.
Check out what we’ve discovered, just for your knowledge!
The number one that dogs sleep curled up in a ball is to protect themselves. When dogs are in the wilderness, they dig a hole and curl up in it to avoid predators and to stay warm.
When our pups are curled up in a ball, predators cannot get to their most tender areas.
For instance, our pups are all related to wolves, coyotes, dingoes, etc. In the wild, all of these animals protect themselves by making it harder for other predators to attack their vital organs and stomach area.
Sure, we pet moms and dads know that there are no predators that are going to get our pets, but instinct has taught them to sleep curled up to make it harder for such attacks to happen.
Related: Second Dog Sleeping Arrangements for a New Puppy and Older Dog
Security is another big reason that dogs sleep curled up in a ball.
Think about it like this: when your dog is in a ball, where are his vital organs? Sleeping in this position not only protects those vital organs, but also your dog’s throat.
Basically, it’s the best position to protect all the bits and pieces that keep your dog alive.
Many times this will happen when you first bring your pup home, especially if you adopt a dog from a shelter. Your home is a strange new land to them, and they just aren’t sure if there are predators lurking around the corner.
One way to help your dog feel more secure: give him his own safe space. That could be the crate, a special dog bed, or even just a blanket that he can nestle into.
If you’re adopting a dog directly from someone’s home (a dog that has to be rehomed, for example), ask the former owners for a blanket, t-shirt, or something else that will remind your dog of home. It will help ease the transition.
Once your pooch gets used to his new surroundings all will be well. Just don’t be surprised if they still sleep the same way, they may find it so comfy that they continue curling up long after they’ve come to feel safe.
Obviously, just like humans, dogs like to curl up to get warm. We curl up the same way for warmth and even comfort.
On chilly days you may see you pup curled up on a ball until he or she gets too warm, then they’ll stretch out or even lay on their backs.
Curling up with their noses under their tails is often a sign that they are cold, so supplying Fido with a blanket could be a good idea. A doggie bed is a great idea too, unless you have my dogs, they like to eat theirs. Just saying!
There are the top three reasons our dogs like to lay in a curled-up position, most of the reasoning goes back to their basic instinct.
Don’t worry if your pup lays this way, because it is a pretty normal occurrence, and just wait for it, they’ll switch positions once they get uncomfortable.
If you do notice any signs of distress in your pup whether in this position or another, be sure to contact your veterinarian before an ailment can become dangerous.
Some positions can be a sign of hip dysplasia or other medical issues that make it hard for your dog to get comfortable.
Does your pup sleep curled up or in funny positions that you’d like to share with us? Send us a comment below!