Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.
Do your dogs constantly sleep with their butts pointed right at you? Do your pooches push their posteriors against you? Why do dogs sleep with their bum facing you? It’s actually quite common behavior though.
The reasons why your dog is doing this include them trying to let you know its affection toward you, being comfortable around you, or maybe it wants you to give it a nice rub! It is certainly a positive action that says a lot about the bond you have.
In this post, I will share all the reasons why and if there’s ever a time when you need to worry about it.
Let’s jump right in.
- Why Do Dogs Put Their Bum Towards You? Reasons explained
- Is It Bad for a Dog to Sleep With His Bum Facing Me?
- How Can I Stop This Behavior?
- When to Worry About Your Dog Sleeping This Way?
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- In Conclusion: Why do dogs sleep with their bum facing you?
Why Do Dogs Put Their Bum Towards You? Reasons explained
- Communicating love, trust, and affection
- Offering protection
- Marking the pack
- Craving a good scratch
- Too tired
1. Love and Trust
The most common reason dogs face their bum at you is that they are expressing their love and affection, and it’s a sign of trust.
Since dogs cannot communicate their thoughts through speech, they have to use body language instead.
Pushing their bums against you is a sign of friendliness and love.
So why exactly is this a signal of affection?
A dog’s backside is their most vulnerable area.
By exposing that area and pointing it right at you, your dog is communicating that they trust you to have their back. Literally!
By exposing their backsides to you, canines are demonstrating confidence that you are not going to hurt them.
They trust that you will protect them from any dangers and possible threats from behind. Sleeping with their bums facing you actually makes them feel safer.
So next time your dog points his rear end at you, you should take it as a compliment! They are simply demonstrating how much they trust you!
Doggy recommends you to read this too: Why Do Cavaliers Sleep on Your Head? Is This Real Love?
2. Loyalty and Protection
Dogs sleeping with their bums facing you may also be a sign of protection.
As you know, dogs are known to be protective and loyal.
They instinctively want to take care of their pack members, which includes you and your family.
By lying with their bums facing you, it’s observing the room and having the doorway in sight.
They are placing themselves between you and the rest of the world where they are in a position to monitor the environment and see potential intruders entering the room.
In this rear-facing position on the bed, dogs feel better able to handle any possible threats.
They are more alert and are able to react quickly if necessary.
They are literally putting themselves in the path of potential danger for you.
Your dog wants to make sure that you are safe and protected at all costs.
By sleeping facing away from you, it’s like your dog is saying, “I’ll guard you!” and is taking responsibility for your safety.
It’s a very sweet gesture, even if it means from time to time we have to peer at their posterior!
Doggy says, you might like this too: Is It Rude to Bring Your Dog to Someone House?
3. Preference and Comfort
Just like humans enjoy sleeping comfortably in different positions, so do dogs!
Sometimes we shouldn’t overthink the meaning behind a dog’s sleeping position.
Much like lying on their side, tummy, or back, having their bottoms pointed at you may just be a comfortable position for your pooch.
Humans may find this sleeping position looks unusual because we find comfort when forward-facing others.
We feel a connection looking at each other face-to-face and embracing each other chest-to-chest.
This is known as ventral contact, and dogs are not a fan.
For dogs, eye contact and facing you frontwards may feel slightly intimidating to them.
By sleeping facing in your direction, dogs may also feel like they are showing a threatening gesture, which it wants to avoid.
As a sign of respect, a dog’s natural instincts will have them face a different direction, often leaving its tush touching you as a result.
According to Dr Coren, a dog’s most common sleeping posture is on its sides with its vital organs exposed.
This is also their most comfortable position in terms of temperature regulation and muscle relaxation, but it leaves them exposed.
Again, dogs trust you and feel safe with you which is why they often choose this position.
When they feel safe, it gives them peace of mind and they will definitely sleep better this way.
Doggy says, consider reading this too: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Not Sleeping at Night?
4. Marking Scent Means You’re Part of the Pack
Dog breeds possess anal sacs or scent glands situated on either side of their anus that discharge distinct pheromones.
These pheromones are unique to each dog and are recognizable only to other dogs as a calling card.
They are detected through smell and can provide a lot of information for dogs, including gender, mood, and whether someone is a friend or foe.
Why else do you think dogs are always greeting each other with a butt sniff?
When dogs are pushing their bums against you, they are transferring their scent to you and “marking” you.
It’s how they communicate to other dogs that you are in the same pack.
They are sending a message and communicating to strangers that you are all in the same family.
Congratulations! That butt bump means you’re part of the pack!
Doggy says, you might like this too: Dog Sticking Bum in Air [7 Reasons]
5. Scratch Me Please!
Sometimes dog owners like to look for deeper meanings or reasons behind their dog’s bizarre behaviors.
However, in some cases, their reasons can be totally simple! Maybe all your dog wants is a nice butt scratch!
The area in front of the tail is full of sensitive nerve endings and it is one of the highest pleasure zones for dogs.
For many, it is one of the preferred spots to be scratched.
That’s why a bum rub is often followed by a wagging tail!
Some dogs even get that shaky leg reflex from their bums, which results in a lot of muscle relief to the area.
Similar to humans who find a back scratch to be a very pleasurable feeling, dogs experience the same thing on their butts.
It’s a hard place for them to reach, so they appreciate it when you stimulate the area.
When you give them a good rub or scratch, it feels really nice for your pup and strengthens the love bond you both share.
Dogs putting their bums in your face may simply be them asking for a nice scratch, but since it feels so nice for your canine, scratching them is one of the best ways to show them affection.
Doggy says, check this out too: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Peeing in the House [Solutions]
6. Too tired to bother
When your dog has had a long day (yes, dogs feel that too!), having had a lot of activities during the day that drained out all its energy, it just wants to sleep.
Don’t get the wrong idea if your pooch has always been sleeping facing you, as this is one occasion where they are just too tired to bother and will take on any comfortable position for their beauty sleep.
Doggy recommends you to read this too: Cocker Spaniel Not Sleeping at Night?
7. Avoiding eye contact
Dogs may sleep with their bum facing humans to avoid eye contact if they are reserved or easily frightened.
Direct eye contact with dogs can release oxytocin and show signs of dominance, but dogs may not understand the reason behind it.
If your dog does not tend to have eye contact with you, it’s most likely that it accepts you as the leader. This is more so if you have a new puppy that is just getting to know you.
You can overcome this over time with proper socialization and rewarding your dog for good behavior, for example, when you call its name and use a cue like “look here”.
Positive reinforcement is always the right approach.
Is It Bad for a Dog to Sleep With His Bum Facing Me?
No, it’s not always a bad thing for a dog to go to sleep with its back to you.
This behavior typically reflects the comfort and preferences of your dog. I mean, who doesn’t like their dog to love them?
Just take note to pay attention to its body language and behavior and watch for any signs of nervousness or discomfort.
Also, if your dog has poor hygiene, or if you have not done a good job of cleaning it properly, you might not want him or her on your bed or so close to you.
Fecal matter and bacteria can easily spread around this way.
How Can I Stop This Behavior?
I personally wouldn’t stop my dog from doing this as there’s really nothing wrong with it!
However, if you’re bothered by this action and don’t want to experience it again, here are a couple of ideas for getting your dog to stop.
Provide a comfortable and secure sleeping space: Make sure your dog’s bed is comfortable and in a quiet and safe area. This can help your dog feel more secure and comfortable while sleeping.
Set boundaries and don’t let them sleep in your bed: If your dog tries to get into your bed, gently but firmly remove it and direct it to its own bed. Be consistent with this and your dog will eventually learn that your bed is off-limits.
When to Worry About Your Dog Sleeping This Way?
Clearly, when a dog has his bum facing you it should be considered a compliment.
However, if this is new and abnormal behavior for your pooch then it’s worth investigating further.
Lying with their bums facing you or bumping them against you is normal, but is your dog scratching at his rear end too much? Is he biting at his rump or excessively licking it? Do you notice any red and inflamed skin?
These are all signs of fleas! Fleas will typically gather in warmer spots near the rump and tail.
Flea infestation is itchy and uncomfortable for dogs, and excessive scratching may damage your dog’s beautiful fur.
If you notice other unusual symptoms, such as an odor, diarrhea, bloating, or weight loss, he may have a tapeworm or some other digestional issues.
When your pooch feels under the weather, they will try to communicate with you as best as they can, which may include rubbing their bum on you.
However, this shouldn’t normally be any cause for concern if the behavior is usual and there are no other symptoms present.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Why do dogs sleep facing away from you
Your dog might sleep facing away from you for similar reasons to the above. They might be protective and thus keep you “behind” them. This kind of behavior is commonly seen especially among guard dogs. Another reason is due to the amount of trust they have for you. When it comes to animals (and I would even say humans too), exposing one’s back is dangerous. It leaves them vulnerable to attacks. When they do that with you, it means they fully trust you and are comfortable with you being behind them.
Why do dogs like to touch you when they sleep?
Sleep behavior in dogs is still not a highly developed field, but experts do have some ideas as to why your dog touches you when they are sleeping. One of the most likely reasons is that your dog simply likes cuddling with you! You are special to them and they want to be close to you at all times. It is their way of expressing their love for you. They also see you as their protector, their pack leader, that’s why they naturally gravitate toward you.
Why do dogs sleep with their bum in the air?
Dogs may sleep with their rear end up in the air for comfort, to spread their scent, or to regulate body temperature. It’s a natural and common sleeping position for them, but the exact reason may vary depending on the individual dog and its environment.
Why do dogs sleep bum to bum?
Dogs sleep “bum to bum” or snuggle with others to feel safe, warm, and secure. It promotes bonding and relaxation, helps regulate their body temperature, and improves sleep. In fact, it’s a natural instinct for social animals to seek companionship.
In Conclusion: Why do dogs sleep with their bum facing you?
Now that you know it is all positive reasons why your dog sleeps with their bum facing you, you no longer need to worry if there is anything wrong.
Understanding your dog can be difficult, which is why we have written lots of articles such as how to correct easty westy feet in dogs, if dogs smell before they die, why dogs put food in their mouths then spit it out, and many more!
You’ve made it to the end, but I hope it’s not the end of our journey. We want to hear your voice! Share your thoughts, problems, suggestions, or anything related to your dog in the comments section. And don’t forget to join our newsletter today too.