Most dog owners, we’re sure, have been there. It’s late at night, and you’re preparing to snuggle up with your dog and watch a movie before turning in.
When your dog joins you in bed, it immediately turns its furry bum away and lies down on the bed with its head tilted away from you.
While this frequent canine behavior may appear unusual to humans and may signify danger if your spouse is involved, it is entirely normal canine body language.
Dogs seem to like sleeping with their bum facing their owners – but, of course, the feeling is not mutual! As much as you love your dog, you probably don’t want them sticking their bum in your face. Especially if your dog wags their tail in their sleep, which means you get whacked in the face too!
Several factors contribute to this unusual dog behavior that many pet owners are unaware of.
If you want to stop your dog from giving you the cold shoulder or just want to know why it sleeps that way, keep reading to learn the top reasons dogs sleep with their backs to you.
Although there are various reasons why your dog refuses to let you choose a resting position, most of them are pretty natural for your dog.
Your dog sleeps most of the time facing away from you because it trusts and feels safe with you, but there are other reasons for this odd resting behavior.
Why Do Dogs Sleep With Their Bum Facing You?
Safety and Security
Dogs are pack creatures by nature, just as humans are social beings that thrive in companionship and solidarity with others.
When they develop a strong bond with their human family, they typically want to go everywhere with them and even sleep on the same bed with them.
They have an intrinsic need to stay with their pack to form interpersonal bonds and strengthen their security circle, both of which help the pack survive.
Most likely, your animal companion considers you the pack’s leader. Normally, your dog wants to be close to you for mutual protection because you’re the alpha.
One of the reasons your dog sleeps with its back to you is to put itself in a position where it can protect you if something goes wrong.
Because its butt is oriented to you and its front is turned to the environment, your dog feels more prepared to jump at any hint of interruption to protect its loved ones.
Your dog’s preference for sleeping with its bottom facing you is also an indicator of trust and passivity.
A dog’s natural inclination is to watch its environment and position itself toward any imagined signal of oncoming danger to respond accordingly.
By turning its back to you, your dog’s body language signals that it is not afraid of being harmed by you, but rather the opposite. It is so confident in your protection that it feels you have its back.
While you observe your dog’s vulnerable hindquarters, it observes your front.
If your dog sleeps on his side or back, he trusts you to protect him while he is sleeping. This indicates that your dog is secure enough with you to relax its guard and trusts that you will protect it while it sleeps.
When not sleeping or relaxing, a dog exhibits trust in several ways. If your dog is comfortable around you, follows your commands, wags its tail, and blinks softly while maintaining eye contact, these are undeniable signs of his trust.
Always remember that dogs are good at reading human emotions. If you are in a bad mood after a long day of work, your dog will sense it (see also ‘Can Dogs Sense Evil?‘) and maybe be less trusting of you, however, if you are in a happy mood, your dog will be as well.
You should cultivate your dog’s trust by avoiding behaviors that might harm your bond. You should also devote a considerable amount of time to forming a relationship with your dog.
Humans tend to attribute greater value to individual activities than is generally appropriate.
Occasionally, your dog sleeps with its rear end facing you since this is the most comfortable posture for it.
To obtain a good night’s rest, your dog must select a comfortable resting posture, just as you must be comfortable.
Occasionally, your dog wants nothing more than to be close to you while doing its own thing.
Observing your dog’s sleeping habits will enable you to gauge its level of comfort.
If your dog is lying on its side with its back towards you and its legs stretched out while breathing slowly and evenly, it is most likely napping quietly.
Dogs usually take this position when they are content with their surroundings and temperature.
Likewise, your dog is in a deep slumber if it jerks and emits small murmurs. This indicates that the bulk of deep sleep and dreaming occurs during Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep.
After all, what could be better than snuggling down with your beloved owner on a rainy day?!
How to stop your dog sleeping with their bum facing you
Sleeping with their bum facing you might make your dog feel comfortable and safe, but that doesn’t mean you want to tolerate having their bum in your face all the time!
So what can you do about it?
We recommend a 3-step approach:
- Make them feel comfortable facing towards you. This might include positioning pillows or blankets in a way that encourages them to lie with their bum facing outwards, rather than towards you.
- Make them feel safe. This could involve having their blankets and toys nearby so that they are sleeping around familiar smells. It may also help to position yourself so that the dog is between you and a wall. The dog will likely choose to face out into the room in order to keep an eye on things, which will mean they’re facing towards you, rather than sticking their bum in your face!
- Reward good behavior. The best way to encourage your dog to do something (or to stop doing something!) is to reward them whenever they do the right thing. So in this case, you could try giving your dog a treat every time they lie down facing you, and stop the treats when they turn away.
Finally, there is one more option of course…
You could just put up with having your dog’s bum in your face from time to time!
Sure, it might not be the most pleasant way to relax. But you can at least rest assured that allowing your dog to lie down with their bum facing you is making them feel safe and comfortable.
Plus, it’s often said that dogs smell good when they sleep, so maybe try to focus more on the lovely corn chip smell, and less on their stinky bum!
Sharing a bed with your dog is an act of affection (see also ‘Why Does My Dog Lick My Feet?‘) that may contribute to the improvement of your connection. Approximately fifty percent of dog owners share their beds with their canine pals. Nevertheless, is it a good idea?
It may be helpful for both you and your dog if certain considerations are taken into account.
It is crucial to maintain the hygiene of the dog, especially after it has been outside. If you do not, there may be several guests in your bed (check out our favorite dog beds).
In addition to dirt, bugs, and parasites, routine brushing and bathing are necessary. It is best to use wet wipes to clean a dog’s paws after going outside and before bedtime.
The fundamental reason dogs sleep with their back ends towards you is because they feel safe, secure, and comfortable with you. You might say that is your dog’s love language.
You should consider it a compliment from the dog’s standpoint. It is an unambiguous sign that your dog loves, trusts, and is secure enough in your company to relax.
Whether it’s the feeling of the surface they’re lying on, the warmth from your body if they are pressed against you, or the fact that you tend to give them a stroke on the rear when they lie that way, your dog might choose to sleep with their bum facing you purely because they like how it feels.
Now that you understand why your dog enjoys lying next to you with its back end facing you, you may learn to let your dog sleep how it wishes.