Why do dogs like to sleep with their heads hanging and dangling off the sofa and bed? Find out the secret behind this odd dog behavior!
There are lots of things dogs do that are a little goofy, but one of the most universal is the head hang while sleeping thing.
Regardless of breed, age, or size, it’s very common to see your dog snoozing on the sofa with her head hanging off the edge or even laying on her bed with just her head off the bed on the floor.
But why does she do it?
Let’s see if we can find out!
Related: What does it mean when a dog rubs his head against you?
Why Do Dogs Sleep With Their Heads Hanging?
There is very little research as to why dogs like to sleep in this head hanging position, but there are a few logical theories that I’d like to propose – you’ll have to let me know what you think!
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- Ease pressure from the spine. Think about the neck strain you may experience at the end of your day and how nice it feels when you stretch to relieve some of the tension. I expect that, like us, our pooches may like the feeling of their necks being stretched out to keep the neck vertebrae in proper alignment.
- They’re really comfortable with you. When dogs are uneasy, they typically lie in a position that allows them to stand quickly if there is a threat, or they curl up into a ball to protect their bodies. When your dog is on his side or stomach with his head dangling, he’s relaxed and unconcerned about danger.
- They want to keep an eye on things. On the opposite side of the comfort coin, I personally think my dogs like to hang their heads with their chins flat to the sofa so they can open their eyes and see what’s going on without moving out of their resting position. Any other position requires them to lift their heads or adjust their bodies to remain aware of what’s happening around them. This theory takes the “sleep with one eye open” concept to another level!
- Stretching out helps keep your dog cool. I notice that my very hairy Golden lays with her neck extended more often than my short-haired and very lean mutt. The more your dog stretches out, the cooler she will be. Do you see the head hanging position more in the warmer months? Heat could be the cause!
While each of these theories could explain your dog’s preference for sleeping with his head hanging, there is one other possibility – he could simply find it the most comfortable way to sleep. What makes one person a side sleeper while another prefers sleeping on her back? It’s nothing more than what feels most comfortable for each individual person. And perhaps that’s the underlying reason for your dog, too!
Until someone actually does a study into it, all we can do is guess at the reasons! For now, though, I think these theories explain this odd dog behavior a bit, how about you?