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There are many reasons your dog might sleep with their rear end facing you. In this blog post, we'll take a look at 10 of the most common reasons why dogs might choose to sleep with their bum pointing in your direction. So if you've ever wondered why your dog likes to cuddle up against your leg at night, keep reading! You may be surprised by some of the things you learn.   


The reason your companion does this could be scientific and genetic, it could be psychological or it could just be your dog's unique personality. It might seem a little strange, but there are actually several reasons why dogs like to sleep with their bum facing you. Keep reading to learn more!

To Make Sure You Are Safe

Dogs have been known as pack animals for centuries (https://www.ancarereyns.com/news-and-info/pet-care/dogs-are-pack-animals/), and while they may no longer need to travel in packs for hunting or protection, the instinct to do so remains. This means that dogs often see their human family as their pack, with a member of that family as the pack leader, and will naturally want to be protective of them. In some cases this can manifest as a dog facing the door, with it’s bum towards you. This behaviour is usually nothing to worry about but can also be a sign of an unhealthy guarding habit With proper training and socialisation however, most dogs will learn that there is no need to guard the door and will instead focus on being loving and loyal members of the family. Dogs have many funny behaviours, another it sitting on your feet while you watch tv, if you'd like to know more about why your dog might do that, see another one of our blogs here!

Your Bed Doesn’t Smell Right

As a dog owners, it won’t come as a surprise to you that dogs mark their scent everywhere. Most dogs are domesticated and won’t urinate inside but you’ll see your dog mark trees as you go for walks. This is one form of scent marking. Another is rubbing their fur all over the furniture in your house! You may have noticed your dog rubbing their heads into the sofa, usually after a bath or shower. This seems like crazy erratic behaviour, and to some extent it is but what the dog is really trying to do is make sure it’s scent is all over your house for territorial reasons. 


While there wasn’t an abundance of sofas in your dog's ancestors' natural habitat, they did mark trees as mentioned earlier. In the past this would have marked your dogs’ packs’ area territory and again it’s another genetic trait that’s been passed down even through the years of selective breeding of canines. 


How does this relate to the way dogs sleep? Well some of the glands that produce that marking scent are located in your dog's tail and bum region. So it’s possible your dog is marking your bed as you sleep. That might sound a bit uncouth, and while there are some health concerns with sleeping with your dog(https://walkeepaws.com/blogs/news/5-reasons-you-shouldnt-sleep-in-the-same-bed-as-your-pet) , your dogs pheromones are very unlikely to cause you any health complications. This behaviour is completely healthy and normal. If you’d like to make sure your dog isn’t going to get anything nasty on the bed, wipe them down with our Floofs Pet Wipes .If you’d like to know more about dangers of pet hair see our blog

Your Dog Wants To Be Close, Just Not Too Close 
Shiba in Bed

 

Since this is more of a personality issue than anything else, you'll know better than I do what your furry friend is like. Some dogs want nothing more than to be close to you at all times, but others need their own space. If your dog chooses to bed down on the bed with you, it could mean that they want to be close to you, or it could mean that they're just comfortable there and don't want to be touched or pet right now. They might be trying to sleep or they might be in a grumpy mood generally. Your dog might even lay on their back.

 

All of the above are perfectly normal reasons for your dog to choose the bed over any other spot in the house. If you're not sure what your dog's intentions are, just observe their behaviour and see if they exhibit any other signs of wanting or not wanting physical contact. With a little observation, you should be able to get an idea of what's going on in your dog's head. If your dog is on the bed and you’d like to train them not be, here’s a great blog that could help. 

It’s Too Hot For The Dog In Bed
Spaniel Too Hot

After one of the hottest summers on record with multiple heatwaves - we’ve all got a bit too warm from time to time. Dogs are no different, they sometimes overheat when they try and sleep too. While it’s not unnatural for dogs' ancestors to sleep curled up to their kin in the wild it’s usually in much colder conditions than your bedroom. Some dogs are used to hotter climates and won’t have too much of an issue with this, or will have a lighter coat than others. However if your dog doesn’t shed or hasn’t been to the groomers in a while, they could be too hot to cuddle up next to you and decide to take the end of the bed instead. Unfortunately, bar a big trip to the groomers there’s nothing you can really do about that. But if it’s that hot, I doubt you’d want a dog curled up against you anyway. 


If you feel like your dog is really uncomfortable in this situations just make sure they have an ample supply of water and potentially invest in a cooling mat or bed . Perhaps it’s best for both of you if you spend the hotter nights of the year apart. If you’d like more help on how to keep your dog cool, see our blog on just that! 

Your Dog Trusts You, And Knows You Are In Charge

Another reason your dog might be facing away from you is to demonstrate submission. Now this probably isn’t the primary reason as there’s many small ways your dog should demonstrate their trust to you in your daily life. It’s a very good sign in some ways if your dog chooses to face away from you in bed though. As mentioned in an earlier section, dogs often make sure to face the direction danger could come from, in that case the door. By facing the door instead of you the dogs demonstrate that you aren’t a threat and they feel safe with you. Especially in dogs that previously had trust issues, waking to find your dog facing away from you at the end of the bed should be seen as almost as much of an achievement as lying next to you. 


There’s also a point to be made on training here. In the wild the leader of the pack will choose where the pack sleeps and take the first and best spot to sleep there .You need to mirror this behaviour at home. Don’t give up where you want to sleep up to your dog, no matter how cute they look while sleeping. It’s important you assert dominance and if you're allowing the dog to bed with you, it must be your comfort first and theirs second. If you don’t follow this practice the dog could decide they are in charge which can lead to other problems with obedience as well as the dog becoming aggressive when you try to sleep in your own bed. 

For Comfort 

Labrador Sleeping Strangely

Quite simply, facing away from you might be more comfortable for your dog. Depending on the size, age, breed and any disabilities or ailments your dog may have, it will sleep in a different way. Obviously a dog doesn’t know human bed etiquette so they might just find the most comfortable position is facing away from you, with no pillow. 

To Avoid Eye Contact

Dog Spa Cucumber Eyes

If your dog is the shy type they may sleep with their bum facing you to avoid eye contact. The reason for this is that maintaining eye contact can be seen as a sign of dominance in dogs. If the dog feels you are the dominant one in the relationship they won’t want to hold eye contact with you. If your dog's ancestors maintained eye contact with another pack member in the wild they could be starting a fight. 


The same rings true if the dog isn’t quite comfortable in your home yet. Maybe it’s a rescue or a new puppy. In that case while they don’t feel fully at home the last thing they want to do is pick a fight with the dominant animal in the pack. Over time this behaviour will likely change. It’s nothing to worry about in the short term. It’s best to give your pup space to get over their shyness in this case. 

Conclusion

So there you have it, 10 reasons why your dog might be sleeping with their bum facing you. Each of these has a scientific explanation (well, most of them do) that underscores the importance of dogs’ relationships with their humans. Next time you see your pup taking up the middle of the bed or snuggling up against your feet, know that they are doing so because they trust and love you – and want to be as close to you as possible.

F.A.Q.
  1. Why does my dog sleep with his bum facing me?

There are many reasons why your dog might sleep with his bum facing you, but the most common reason is so that he can ensure your safety. Dogs are very protective of their humans and like to be close by so that they can keep an eye on them.


  1. Why won’t my dog sleep in bed with me?

There could be a number of reasons why your dog doesn’t want to sleep in bed with you. Maybe he finds it too hot, or maybe he doesn’t feel comfortable being that close to you. Some dogs simply prefer to sleep on their own, while others may be afraid of being too close to humans.


  1. Why does my dog always want to be close to me?

Dogs love spending time with their humans and find comfort in being close to them. It’s often seen as a sign of trust and loyalty when a dog wants to be close to his owner.

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