Finally, you get ready to lay on your bed to read a book, watch a show, or just go straight to sleep. Your furry buddy decides to join you and sleep…with their bum facing you!
It’s not always a welcomed part to being a dog owner, but why do dogs sleep with their bum facing you?
Dogs will often sleep or lay with their butts towards their owners for many different reasons such as being protective, avoiding eye contact, they don’t want to be hugged, or simply because it’s comfortable. In most cases, it’s nothing to worry about but context can help you understand the main motivation for your dog.
We’ll take a closer look at each reason along with how you can tell which one makes the most sense for your dog so keep reading to learn more!
Reason 1: Your Dog Trusts You
One of the best parts about having a dog is having someone who will always trust you! After all, they are considered one of the most loyal animals and can show affection in different ways. Sleeping near you with their bum towards you is just one of your dog’s ways to show their love.
Sleeping leaves your dog in a vulnerable state since they are not awake to fend for themselves. Like many of the things your dog does, seeping their backs towards could be an instinct passed down from their wolf ancestors. In a way, it means that they trust you’ve (literally) got their back in case of danger.
How can you tell if your dog trusts you when they’re sleeping?
You might have noticed that while your furry canine friend sleeps, they have different sleeping positions. Each one means something about how your dog is feeling: curled up like a donut could mean they feel cold, belly up means they’re super comfortable. If your dog is in a position in which they’re exposing their belly or appear vulnerable like having their bum towards you, it means they’re comfortable around you and trust you!
Reason 2: Your Dog Wants You To Pet Them…On The Bum
Many dog owners know that there are some places itches appear and dogs can’t reach so they’ll do anything to scratch it like rolling in their food.
Having their bum towards you might be your dog’s way of asking for a little help with a hard-to-reach itch that they might have, but your dog could just be asking for some simple pets.
Petting also causes some positive chemical reactions in your dog’s brain. Petting your dog helps them produce a hormone called oxytocin. Also known as the “love hormone,” it is associated with trust and a strong bond.
What may seem like a meaningless act could strengthen your bond with your dog!
Check out this pup demanding for more pets:
Reason 3: They’re Avoiding Eye Contact
You might have noticed that sometimes, your dog doesn’t want to look you in the eye no matter how much you try to get in their face! The thing is, dogs don’t like ventral contact or eye contact because it is just not part of their “language.”
Dogs communicate mainly through body language and while eye contact is a great way to communicate for people especially when talking, things are a bit different for dogs. In summary, eye contact is usually like you’re trying to challenge your dog.
This could be one of the reasons your dog puts their bum towards you when sleeping. Having their bum to you means there’s no chance for you to make any eye contact with them!
Check out this cute dog avoiding eye contact:
Reason 4: Your Dog is Being Protective
It’s no question whether or not dogs can be protective! Whether it’s their toys, food, or the house, there are just some things that your dog wants to defend and that thing might be you!
Being protective of someone they cared about was one of the instincts that wolves passed down to their dog descendants. It helped the entire pack thrive and survive.
Sleeping with their butt towards you can be similar to the idea that they trust you to have their back like mentioned before, but it can also be a way for your dog to look out for you. In their head, protecting and looking out for you is their way of giving back for all the things you give them!
If your dog is sleeping with their bum towards you and is facing the door, being protective is most likely the reason since the door is an entrance for any “dangers” that may come.
Reason 5: Not All Dogs Like Hugging (Or Pre-Hugging Positions)
Some dog owners have realized that their dog isn’t a huge fan of hugs. While hugging is a way for humans to show affection, it may be a bit uncomfortable for dogs. Your dog might position their bum towards you when sleeping because dogs tend to dislike the position of being chest to chest or belly to belly.
Why does your dog not like belly-to-belly contact and chooses to sleep with their butt towards you?
Ventral contact is a thing common in primates (like humans and monkeys) and not other groups of animals. It is often shown by mothers to their kids, providing a sense of security. So while sleeping facing each other makes sense to you, it could be strange or even overwhelming for your furry canine.
Although being chest to chest with you isn’t the most ideal way your dog would spend time with you, hugging your dog is still possible! With some patience and time, you could find the best way you and your pup can cuddle up!
Reason 6: It’s Comfortable
It may be your bed is comfortable or that having their bum towards you while sleeping just happens to be a comfortable position for them. If they don’t normally place their bum towards you when sleeping, it is most likely that they didn’t do it on purpose and thought it felt great.
While having your dog close to you while lying on the bed sounds great, sometimes you just don’t want a furry butt facing you and taking up the majority of the bed. If that’s the case, a really comfy bed might be a good alternative for your dog and this bed makes a great option for getting that dog butt out of your face!
You can also try to encourage your dog to sleep in another spot on the bed like between your legs for extra warmth! Give them another comfortable spot and they may stop showing you their bum!
Reason 7: You’re Encouraging Your Dog To Place Their Bum Towards You
Similar to wanting pets, your dog could have associated having their butt facing you with pets.
If you’ve noticed that your dog is starting to do this more often and you pet them every time, your dog is probably facing the other way because of positive reinforcement.
Positive reinforcement is giving something to reinforce or encourage a behavior or action. Training dogs often uses positive reinforcement because the dogs associate doing the command with a yummy treat!
Giving your dog attention or petting them while they are sleeping and having their butt towards you is giving them positive reinforcement and encouraging them to continue the behavior.
Reason 8: Your Dog Doesn’t Want to Be Bothered…But They Don’t Want To Give Up The Bed
As dog owners, we tend to bother our dogs and appreciate their cuteness even when they aren’t doing anything! Without knowing it, these simple acts of appreciation could be a bit annoying to our canine companions.
Although petting can be a good thing for your dog, sometimes, they just want to sleep. It’s reasonable since even humans hate interrupted sleep!
Dogs tend to sleep a lot and some breeds like bulldogs are legendary for their naps. Puppies sleep even more! Both need their energy for their next time to exercise and play with you and if you’re interrupting their sleep with little pokes, pets, and face squishes, they might have discovered that sleeping with their butt towards you is the best way to catch some Z’s while still being near you.
If you think your dog is constantly being bothered while they’re sleeping, try providing a quiet spot of their own. A crate may be best for those who have the room for it, but even an isolated corner or bedside could be beneficial.
Reason 9: Your Dog Has Anal Gland Issues
There’s no doubt your dog can do some strange things that might be a bit concerning.
While behaviors like rubbing their butt on the floor are more common signs, your dog might lay with their bum towards you because they have an issue with their anal sac. This is just a common thing among many dogs that is caused by possible allergies, injury, or parasites.
Your dog might be placing their butt towards you in effort to tell you, “Hey! Something doesn’t feel right!” If you notice your dog is starting to bring more attention to their behind, this might be the case and you should bring your pup to the veterinarian for a check up.
Reason 10: Your Dog Has Fleas Or Ticks
Fleas and ticks are one of dog owners’ common enemies and could be the reason why your pup puts their bum towards you when laying.
Fleas and ticks tend to hang around the area of your dog’s tail. Like with anal issues, it is important to pay attention to your dog’s behavior even when not sleeping to see if they look like their behind is bothering them.
Your dog could be showing their butt to you while they’re sleeping in efforts to lets you know something doesn’t feel right. If they don’t normally sleep with their bum towards you, and you notice an increase in itching when awake, it is best to make sure there aren’t any crawly creatures tagging along on your pup!
It is important to look into flea and tick prevention for your canine so they can comfortably go outside and be themselves. It might not seem necessary now, but you never know what could end up on your dog in the future!
Here is a list of ways to protect your dog from these pests.
Should I Be Worried?
Everything your dog does is for a reason.
Unless you suspect anal issues, fleas, or ticks, your dog’s butt facing you in their sleep may not be a huge issue. If you do suspect any of those reasons or you have any other concerns, it is best to speak with your veterinarian to make sure nothing is wrong.
No question is a dumb question and it’s better to be safe than sorry!
While it can be cute when dogs sleep by your head, having their bum facing you may seem a bit rude, but your dog does not mean it to be!
Your dog’s actions usually have a reason behind them even though they may seem like the goofiest creature to ever exist! Learning about your dog’s behavior can help you understand them a little more and communicate better.
By finding those reasons behind your dog’s actions like having their bum facing you while sleeping, you can help strengthen your bond with your fur baby and better understand them.