As pretty much all pet owners know, dogs don’t just sleep — they make a statement. Alas, it can be a bit of a challenge to decipher our canine pals’ body language while they’re catching some ZZZs. To make things easier, the folks at LittleThings.com have compiled the definitive, illustrated list of doggie sleeping positions and what they heck they mean.
1. The Side Sleeper
Side sleeping is a good thing. According to Dog’s Best Life, this position means your dog is feeling peaceful, rested, secure, and entirely comfortable in their environment. It’s all about trust, which means if you’ve got a side-sleeping dog in the house, you’re definitely doing something right as an owner.
2. The Fox
They’re curled up in a big ol’ ball, with their tail (if they have one) brushing up against their face. BowWow Times says that in addition to the ‘seriously cozy’ look, this position conserves body heat and protects vital organs.
3. The Super Pup
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a sleeping dog! This Superman-style position (head level on the ground, limbs stretched out in a ‘flying’ stance) is for dogs who, although seeking some serious shut-eye, are ready to leap into action at a moment’s notice. The folks at Dog’s Best Life say pooches that sleep this way are often brimming with energy and motivation.
4. The Crazy Legs
NextGen Dog notes that many dogs convey submission and vulnerability by lying on their backs. Well, most awake dogs, that is. But when it’s nap time, this posture is all about comfort and confidence. Because they’re in a safe, welcoming environment, they feel perfectly at ease letting loose with the ol’ crazy legs.
5. The Tummy Curl
Ever nod off while sitting on the couch or your easy chair? Although relaxing, it’s typically not as comfortable as stretching out in your big ol’ bed. The Tummy Curl is the doggie version of this, according to Dog’s Best Life. It’s a quick, utilitarian form of non-REM sleep for the pup who probably wasn’t planning on dozing but hey, it just kinda happened. (We’ve all been there.)
6. The Passed Out
Think of this as a variation on the Crazy Legs position. Where although comfort is key, the dog lies on their back to quickly lower their body temperature. This posture often comes about after a trip to the dog park or some other form of vigorous exercise. And most importantly (well, for us): It’s crazy adorable.
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Steven Shehori is a Canadian Comedy Award winner and Gemini Award loser. He writes TV comedies and is one of the resident music and pop culture guys over at the A.V. Club and the Huffington Post. To enhance your overall quality of life, consider adding him on Twitter or following his comedy podcast, You Better DON’T!