There have been times when I’ve looked at my black lab Django and my chihuahua Hayley both curled up in tight ball-like positions and have wondered how they ever managed to get comfortable enough to sleep that way.
But at night, I’ll find Django sprawled out along the foot of my bed as I compete with her for the last two inches of blanket. You might think that since there is limited space on the bed but ample room on the floor that she might curl up in bed, but it’s often that the opposite is true.
Peculiar, you may think, as I did, until you understand why dogs sleep the way they do.
According to an article over at VetStreet, Dr. Margaret Gruen, DVM, a clinician at NC State University College of Veterinary Medicine Animal Behavior Service, explains that a dog’s tendency to either curl up or sprawl out stems from biology and survival. Dogs naturally curl up simply to keep warm, so if it’s a cool day and you find your pup curled up, that may be why.
However, dogs also tend to exhibit a ball-like stance when they feel threatened. In the wild, when dogs sleep that way, they are in effect protecting their internal organs from any would be predators.
So what does that stretched out, not a care in the world sleeping position mean? Well, either that your dog may be very hot or just totally and completely comfortable and secure. Aha! That explains Django’s preferred position at night.
Looks like we may need a bigger bed….
How does your dog sleep at night, sprawled out or curled up?