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Dog Sleeps with Their Bum Facing You? Here’s Why

By Aviram K.
Published in Training & Behavior
January 27, 2022
4 min read
Dog Sleeps with Their Bum Facing You? Here’s Why
✏️ This article has been reviewed in accordance with our editorial policy.
🏥 The information in this article is not a substitute for professional help.

Ah, bedtime. It’s the moment you can officially release all the pressures of life. After a long day, there are few things more comforting than crawling under the sheets and calling it a night!

As a dog owner, one of the best parts of sleepytime is getting to share it with your pup. Snuggling up each night with your furry friend can be so soothing and reassuring. A little slice of heaven on earth.

And your pup seems to enjoy the nighttime cuddles too.

But you notice something: your dog always sleeps with their bum facing you. Even when you try to turn them over, they just flip right back!

What’s up with this?

In a nutshell:

Generally, dogs sleep with their bums facing you for mostly positive reasons. A dog sleeping this way is a sign of trust and their desire to protect you. On the flip side, dogs may do it because they feel shy, uncomfortable, or don’t want to be bothered.

In this article, I will dig in and explore the many reasons that your dog may be sleeping with their bum facing you.

Ready to get to the bottom of why your pup keeps nuzzling up to you…bottom first?

Let’s get into it!

Table of Contents
01
Why Your Dog Sleeps with Their Bum Facing You
02
When in Doubt, Take It as a Compliment!

Why Your Dog Sleeps with Their Bum Facing You

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The reason your pup may be sleeping with their bum facing you is as unique as your pup themselves. But rest assured, if your dog is sleeping with their bum facing you, it’s usually a good thing!

This may sound weird or even gross. But it’s important to understand that your dog doesn’t view his bum the same way you do. Backsides simply don’t have the same meaning to animals as they do to humans.

Your dog doesn’t see his bum as a stinky, offensive part of his body. In fact, dogs use their powerful sense of smell and the scent of other animals’ backsides to evaluate one another. Dogs use these cues to gather information about their surroundings.

A butt-first sleeping position can also be a sign that something isn’t quite right with your pup. But first, let’s take a look at the good and most common reasons that your dog may sleep with their bum facing you.

You’ve Encouraged Them to Sleep This Way

Anything your dog does that is rewarded by attention, whether positive or negative, will likely be repeated. Your pup loves when your focus is on them!

If you’ve responded to your dog sleeping with their bum towards you in positive ways such as petting, scratching, cuddling, or praising them, they may want to keep the good vibes flowing.

Alternatively, if you’ve scolded them, tried hard to reposition them, or begged them to turn around, this may give them the incentive to double down and stay that way!

Remember, they see any attention as good attention.

They Trust You

By sleeping with their back towards you, your dog is literally communicating: “I know you have my back.”

It is very vulnerable to let someone sleep behind you. It shows that your pup feels safe, protected, and at peace in your presence.

It Feels Good to Them

Your dog may literally just like the way it feels to cuddle up with their bum facing you. Like humans, dogs can have a go-to-sleep position that tends to feel the coziest in.

They Desire to Protect You

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Your dog may sleep in front of you because they feel protective over you. They may be trying to place their body between you and any potential threats. This may be even more evident if your pup makes sure that they’re the one sleeping closest to any obvious entry points, like windows or doors.

They Would like You to Pet Them

It’s true; your pup may be backing their booty up on you because they want you to pet them! If your dog is used to you petting and scratching them in a way they like when they sleep in this position, they probably wanna keep it up!

They’re Marking Their Territory

Your pup may sleep with their bum facing you to say: “you’re mine!”

Each dog has a smell emanating from the backside that is uniquely theirs. Your pup may be sleeping with their bottom close to you because they want to leave their scent on you and mark you as their human.

Now, let’s explore some more slightly troublesome reasons that your pup may be sleeping with their bum facing you:

They’re Avoiding Contact

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If you tend to want to be up-close and personal, face-to-face in bed with your dog, this may be overwhelming to them. Maybe your dog is new to the family and not comfortable with this level of attention and affection yet.

Perhaps they are just shy, or they may have been abused in their past. Your pup may prefer to sleep facing away from you if they feel timid about being too connected at the moment.

They Want You to Pet Them…Because They’re Infested

This reason goes beyond your pup just wanting an indulgent back scratch; your dog may want a rub down because they’re actually really itchy!

Your pup may be turning their bum to you because they have tapeworms or fleas that are causing them great discomfort. They may be desperately hoping you’ll discover what’s wrong and help them out with a good scratching…and perhaps a trip to the vet!

They May Be Exhausted

Maybe you and your pup were super active during the day, and now they’re truly tuckered out. You’ve likely had the experience of being so tired you just don’t want to be bothered…and your pup may be feeling this way too. Thus they’re facing away from you out of utter exhaustion.

When in Doubt, Take It as a Compliment!

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It may feel slightly unnerving if every time you and your pup get into bed, they seem to serve you their backside. But it’s totally okay and normal.

Flattering even!

If your dog sleeps with their bum facing you, it likely means that they trust, respect, and feel comfortable with you. However, they also may desire to protect you and mark you as their territory.

But your pup may be doing this because something is up. For example, they may feel timid, have an infestation of fleas or parasites, or be totally exhausted. This could tip you off that they should be checked out.

But in most cases, it’s probably safe to just laugh at this quirk and take it as another expression of how much they love you.

Pleasant dreams!


Tags
Dog BehaviorsSleep
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