Dogs sleep in the weirdest positions when they share a bed with you. Some sleep in the “Superman” posture, while others sleep curled in a ball.
One quirky position that dogs love is when they place their bum against you. Should you be concerned about this?
There are many possible reasons your dog sleeps with their bum facing you, and we’re here to discuss all of them. Find out whether you should tolerate the behavior or not.
Knowing the reason behind your dog’s sleeping posture will help you solve any underlying behavioral issues.
Why Your Dog Sleeps With Their Bum Facing You
Dogs will put their backs in front of our faces because they want to feel safe or because they want to protect us.
They Want to Feel Secure
Dogs are social animals who thrive in packs. They like following people and fellow pups with whom they have a strong bond.
Whether you’re cooking in the kitchen or sleeping in bed, your dog will want to be by your side. And when they lie on your bed, they feel closer to you when their bum touches your body.
There is a sense of mutual protection with your dog facing one side and you facing the other. It feels like you’re guarding each other against opposite parts of the room if a threat appears.
Mutual protection is a good sign that your dog sees you as the pack leader. They feel safe with you, so they want to guard you.
They are ready to jump at any attacker or suspicious disturbance in your space.
They Are Avoiding Eye Contact
If you have an easily frightened puppy, they might sleep with their back facing you because they don’t want to meet you eye-to-eye.
That doesn’t mean you have a bad relationship. It could be because you just adopted them, and they are taking their time to get to know you.
Some puppies require adjustment to their new owners and surroundings. It’s especially true for rescue pups from shelters.
Other dogs avoid eye to eye contact because they consider it a threat instead of a form of affection. Puppyhood is the best time to teach them positive associations with eye contact.
Practice making eye contact with your pooch in different scenarios and positions: before sleeping, giving food, sitting, playing in the park, and kneeling.
You can also teach them the “look” command with other family members and close friends, so your dog avoids aggressive behavior.
Studies show that we release oxytocin hormone when we make eye contact with our furry friends.
So it is beneficial for both of you to encourage this behavior.
It Makes Them Feel Comfortable
Sometimes, there’s no scientific reason needed. Your dog sleeps with their bum against you just because it makes them feel comfy.
It could be their favorite sleep position or the closeness of their face to the air conditioning system. Dogs love sleeping with their face and torso in front of the AC to stay cool during the summer.
Another possible reason is that they feel more comfortable resting their head on the bed instead of a pillow. So they lie in an opposite position next to you.
Do not be offended by your dog facing away from you. It could simply mean they are more comfortable that way.
One way to make sure your dog is comfortable is by checking their sleeping position. When your dog is sprawled out on their belly, they are in a calm state of mind while sleeping.
But the most common sleeping position dogs find comfy is side-sleeping, especially when the temperature is right.
During dogs’ REM sleep their whole body might suddenly kick and twitch as they make soft noises. This is another sign of comfort while slumbering.
Your Dog Trusts You
Your dog sleeping with their bum facing you may not look like a good sign of a strong bond. But it is.
Dogs show they trust you when they don’t have to face you all the time. That means they know you are loyal to them behind their backs.
They don’t need to worry about you attacking them, pushing them, or making them feel vulnerable. In short, your dog is confident that you won’t hurt them.
So they face the opposite side to guard for potential external threats. It’s also their way of protecting you in exchange for your loyalty.
Dogs start trusting their owners once they see that you provide them with food, protection, and a safe shelter.
It’s also in your interactions. If you enjoy playing, running, and chasing each other without physically harming them, they trust you even more.
Other signs that your dog trusts you include a relaxed posture, tail-wagging, and soft ears. Their eyes will frequently blink as they smile.
They Want Your Affection
Another possible reason your dog likes to sleep with their back against you is their need for attention or affection.
This typical behavior is called a hip nudge. They approach you and lean their back on you, rubbing themselves because they want a pat on the back.
Aside from belly rubs, dogs also enjoy getting their backs rubbed.
Note that some dogs do not like getting their butts rubbed. Some do not want their entire backs to be touched. They only like getting belly rubs.
This is common among small-breed dogs and other aggressive breeds.
But a few dogs will appreciate a butt rub. Dogs’ rears have sensitive nerve endings which they often can’t reach.
To compensate, they will ask you to rub it. Sometimes, they do it on their own using your body to rub against.
Notice how your dog looks joyful when you give their back a good scratch.
Anal Gland Infection
If your dog likes rubbing their back against you while you’re sleeping, it could be because they need to get their anal glands expressed.
Check if there’s a funky smell coming out of their butt. Do they lick and bite it often?
Another sign of an anal gland infection is when your dog keeps sitting down after grooming. Sometimes, they also drag their butt on the ground while they’re sitting to relieve themselves.
It’s an unpleasant yet common health issue that dogs face. If you don’t treat this ailment immediately, they could experience severe bacterial infections or cancer.
Dogs with solid stools release a small amount of liquid. But soft stools do not release fluid because of the lack of pressure.
If you don’t empty these fluids properly, they might have problems with their bowel movement. They can also cause abscesses or ruptures in their skin.
Professional groomers manually squeeze out the fluids on the dog’s anus. They make sure the body part is first cleansed before the emptying process.
Ask your vet how often your dog should have their anal glands emptied. Some only require it twice a year, while others need the procedure monthly.
Should You Allow Your Dog to Sleep With Their Bum Facing You?
You should only allow your dog to sleep with their bum facing you if it’s safe to do so.
Some dogs sleep with their bum facing you because they have fleas, ticks, or anal gland infections. If this is the case, then you should never tolerate the behavior.
Take your dog to the vet and get them proper care. You can also take your dog to a professional groomer to have their anal glands expressed.
Once you’ve ruled out these symptoms and cleared up any health issues, you can let them sleep with their bum facing you.
You can let your dog sleep with their back against you only if they are well trained and well behaved.
Some dogs can quickly get aggressive when you touch their back while sleeping. Make sure your dog feels safe around you, and they are trained to act gently in any situation.
Learn more about why dogs sleep with their bum facing you.
Why Does My Dog Sleep on My Pillow With Me?
Dogs do not need a pillow to sleep. But they may like sleeping with one so they feel more comfortable.
Pillows are warm, soft, and pleasant to cuddle with. They also smell like us!
Dogs will do anything to feel closer to us. Even if they’re already spending bedtime beside us, they may need a pillow with your body heat and scent.
Another possible reason your dog sleeps on your pillow is that they want to mark their spot. Other dogs want to protect you, idolize you, or are looking for attention.
Find out the other reasons your dog might be sleeping on your pillow with you.
Why Does My Dog Sleep on Top of Me?
Your dog sleeps on top of you because of their pack instincts.
They love laying on their fellow pack members as their wolf ancestors did. They lay on top of you or brush up against you to feel safer or protect you.
Or your dog may sleep on top of you because they have separation anxiety. They show clingy behavior because they are afraid of being without you or not receiving attention from you.
Check out other reasons your dog sleeps on top of you.
What Does It Mean When My Dog Lays on My Feet?
Another quirky sleeping position your dog might have is sleeping on your feet. They do this to show affection to you.
Some dogs love to feel your skin, whether it’s your face, arms, or feet. It relaxes them and makes their travel to snoozeland smoother.
Some dogs want to sleep close to your feet to be aware of your movement. If you awaken and decide to get up, they will instantly be alerted to follow you.
Learn why your dog lays on your feet so you can resolve any underlying issues.
Have a Good Night’s Sleep With Your Dog
There are plenty of reasons your dog sleeps with their bum against your face or body.
Most of the time, you shouldn’t be concerned. They might feel safer and more comfortable in that position.
If your dog nudges their back against you in bed, it could be a sign of tick and flea infestation or anal gland infection. Take them to your vet so they can get the necessary treatment.
Another bedtime concern you might have with your dog is whether they should sleep beside you or not. Read our info about the benefits of your dog sleeping with you.