A good night’s sleep is always welcome.
In the morning you feel refreshed…
Your energy restored…
And… your dog’s bum is in your face?!
“Why, my baby, are you doing this?”
You are not alone.
Millions of fur parents experience waking up next to a furry bum.
Wanna know why this happens?
Read on to learn:
- Whether there’s something to worry or not.
- What is going on in your pooch’s mind when they do this.
- 11 reasons why your dog sleeps with their bum facing you.
- 5 tips on what to do if your dog keeps positioning their bum in your face.
- And a whole lot more…
Why does my dog sleep with their bum facing me?
Your dog sleeps with their bum facing you because they feel safe and secure. It also means they are comfortable and consider you as someone they can trust. They could also be marking you with their scent. Or they just don’t want you to bother them for the time being.
5 reasons why dogs sleep with their bum facing you
#1: They trust you
“Huh? Showing me their bum means they trust me?”
Are you familiar with the phrase, “Real warriors never show their back”?
Well, your pooch isn’t a blood-thirsty warrior in a video game.
Or are they…?
Nah, probably not.
But to them, showing their rear side to anyone could be dangerous.
Warriors don’t show their back to the enemy because they can’t see them.
They also can’t attack quickly compared to when they’re facing them.
The same is true for dogs.
While they are not vicious warriors, facing their bums towards anyone can be dangerous for them.
Any predator could attack from the back.
And if they’re showing their back to you, that means they know you won’t hurt them.
Doesn’t matter if they’re sleeping, eating, or just chilling. They don’t worry about you hurting them.
According to this study, dogs can feel that someone isn’t trustworthy.
Avoid losing your dogs’ trust by being honest and protective of them.
#2: You are conveying a calm behavior
You are coming home from work.
You are radiating negative energy because of your stress.
Guess who’s feeling it too?
“Wait. You’re telling me they can feel my stress?”
Research shows that our dogs match our cortisol levels.
Cortisol is the primary stress hormone. Our body releases it to help regulate our responses in a flight or fight situation.
Now, whenever you are in this situation, our dogs become stressed, too!
Their cortisol level rises and they become uneasy.
However, if you are calm, happy, and relaxed, you can notice a significant change in your fur baby’s behavior, too.
They mirror what you feel at the moment.
It’s cute, right? Dogs are just loving like that!
If you are generally happy, that could be a reason why your dog sleeps in such a position.
They might be feeling calm, relaxed, and overall experience cheerfulness being with you.
All these feelings could lead to them sleeping with their bum facing towards you.
Thank the universe humans don’t do that when they feel relaxed and calm.
#3: They want to be left alone (for now)
You see your dog’s bum facing you.
You think to yourself, “It’s so fluffy I’m gonna die!”
Sometimes you wanted to be playful and poke their cute little bums.
Well, I’m here to tell you you might have to think twice before doing that.
Dogs love it when we play with them.
Going on walks with them, meeting other dogs at the park, even getting the daily newspaper is something they’d love to do with you.
But their social batteries get drained, too!
It’s not that they don’t love you anymore – they just need to recharge.
They sometimes want to relax and have time for themselves.
Maybe they didn’t get enough sleep the night before and would want to rest for a while.
Getting lots of playtime could also be the reason why they want to be left alone.
They might be tired and want to catch their breath for a while.
Their mind is telling them to not interact with anyone yet so they’d get some rest and recover the energy lost. So just leave their fluffy bum alone for the time being.
Continue reading: Why does my dog want to be alone?
#4: They want you to pet their bums
Ever experienced this?
Your dog walks towards you, faces you with their bum, and they look back at you in anticipation.
Sometimes they make a cute little whining noise as if they’re telling you, “Pet me hooman, please. :(”
Add to that pleading a pair of aww-worthy puppy eyes and you’re done – you can’t help but scratch their backside.
This is a very common experience for fur parents all over the world.
After all, dogs like to be scratched at the base of their tail, or that area in general.
According to Dr. Beaver, dogs love it when you do that because it feels good and is a hard-to-reach area for them.
Imagine an itch on your back that you can’t reach.
Then a friend scratches it for you.
Dr. Beaver likens the feeling of having your back scratched as your dog getting pets and scratches on their bums.
Feels like drinking ice-cold water after a day under the sun, yeah?
#5: Something is wrong with their bum
“Really? I thought they were just being cute?”
Yes, they are cute. I get that.
And I agree with you!
But sometimes, the reason why they are showing you their bums is because of something else.
Don’t be alarmed, let’s talk about the possible causes first.
If your pooch is constantly facing their bum towards you and wanting their rear side getting scratched, there might be something wrong with them.
Normally, dogs don’t do this THAT much.
If your fur baby is also licking and scratching their bum area, there might be infestations and other internal issues you should be on the lookout for.
“What could they possibly be?”
It isn’t uncommon for dogs to get parasites, particularly tapeworms.
Our playful little bundles of joy love exploring.
This could cause them to touch things that aren’t clean.
Dogs can pick up tapeworms when they accidentally eat tiny fleas that contain tapeworm eggs.
Once the eggs are inside, they hatch and grow into grown tapeworms with lengths between 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 cm.) long according to WebMD.
These tapeworms can also cause irritations and itchiness to your pooch that’s why you’ll see them drag their butts across floors.
You know the silly butt drags they do?
This is called ‘scooting’ by the way.
And it could be caused by tapeworms.
“Well, then, how do I prevent my dogs from getting tapeworms?”
Here are a few steps you can take:
- Always clean up after your pet.
- Consult your vet regarding deworming – this would be helpful if you already suspect your pooch has tapeworms.
- Control where your pooch goes. They might get fleas and eventually tapeworm if they go near other pets who have fleas.
- Treat your dog fordog fleas as soon as possible. You can use vet-approved anti-flea products. Keep your dog’s environment clean and flea-free.
Another reason why your dog could be facing their bum to you is that they have fleas.
Ugh. Those tiny, itchy, jumping doombringers can just ruin anyone’s day, right?
Yours and your fur baby’s alike.
Fleas are common in dogs.
And if you’ve been able to save your pooch from these monsters, you may have noticed that they like to stay at your dog’s bum and tail area.
Well, sometimes they prevail in canine’s ears.
Poor pooch – getting used for food of these parasites.
This is why grooming and a clean environment are very important for your dog’s health.
Here are a few tips so you can minimize their exposure to fleas:
- Keep your yard clean. You can start by trimming your grass short. Simple landscaping like this could stop fleas from staying in your backyard.
- Keep your dogs away from stray pets.
- Bath your fur babies regularly. Jorge Benedersky, a celebrity dog groomer, suggests that washing your pooch once every 4-6 weeks is good for dogs with medium to large coats such as German Shepherds.
- Brushing them can help too! You should also check for fleas on a regular basis.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has more tips on how to get rid of fleas if you do find them on your pets.
#6: Shields, activate!
Would be nice to imagine if your dog could pick up a shield and build a wall of defense ancient Gladiator warrior-style, but they can’t.
When you think about it, dogs are very loyal and protective companions.
We’ve seen news of them fighting intruders and other animals who would hurt their hooman.
Did your dog see someone as a threat?
You’ll probably notice your pooch getting suspicious of them.
Pretty common scenario, right?
Another way they show that they’re protecting you is by being near you. With their eyes on the lookout.
Dogs recognize that threats can come from anywhere. And they want to be ready to defend you.
This also means that canines don’t see you as a threat but rather a part of their pack.
Not necessarily as someone who is weak and needs protection, but rather someone they would fight for.
This is normal behavior in dogs especially when they receive enough care and love from you.
It’s their way of saying, “I got you!”
#7: They’re marking you with their scent
Scents are very fascinating to dogs.
They use scents to track and explore things in their surroundings.
It contains information for them.
You may have noticed that dogs sniff each other whenever they meet them for the first time.
This is one of their ways to “know” other dogs.
Some dogs can even detect diseases in humans.
Researchers have determined that some dogs can smell the following diseases and illnesses in humans:
Cool, right? Who knew your fur baby could do this?
Dr. Buzhardt explains how dogs use scent to perceive the world.
He says that dogs have more than 100 million sensory receptor sites in their nasal cavities.
Wanna know how much we humans have?
Dogs have way better noses than ours.
That’s why they can smell you eating Doritos from across your house.
It’s not surprising that scents, then, are very important to dogs.
They would also know if you were in contact with another dog recently.
This could be the reason why they sleep with their bums facing you.
Your pooch could be marking you with their scent.
It is their cute little way of saying to the world that you belong to their pack.
Check out also: Why does my dog scratch my bed sheets?
#8: They feel safe with you
Greatest. Compliment. Ever.
Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration.
Dogs give us a lot of love and compliments.
Cuddles, sloppy kisses, and being playful – these are all signs that they like you!
Another way you’ll know if they like you is when they start feeling safe around you.
They don’t have to worry about their surroundings.
That’s why they can confidently jump up on your bed and sleep in any position they want.
#9: They don’t like facing towards you
…or more clearly, the emotions they read through your face aren’t as strong as the ones they get from our voice, tone, etc.
“Yeah, just when treats aren’t involved, right?”
It’s not that they don’t love you.
They just don’t process human emotions through faces just like we do.
Research shows that canines aren’t built to focus on human faces.
Through MRI, dogs were found to have a region in their brain that sparks when they see another dog.
Seeing a human’s face though, not so much.
While they do feel happy when they stare into our eyes, they don’t get a lot of information regarding our emotions as compared to listening to our verbal cues.
This is probably why they sometimes sleep with their backside facing toward you.
While sleeping, dogs don’t have to focus on you for cues.
They don’t have to see and interpret the gestures you make and the tone of your voice.
#10: They think you like it
“Uhm… really? How?”
By training them and encouraging this behavior!
You may say that you didn’t train your dogs to do any of this.
I believe you.
But what you may have overlooked is that sometimes we can be motivating them to do this more often.
There could be times when we’re giving them pats and hugs when they lie beside us.
Unknowingly, you may be giving them positive reinforcement.
Even getting random treats, while you both are on the bed cuddling, could have the same effect.
There’s nothing wrong with showing unconditional love to our furry buddies.
Just make sure you aren’t accidentally reinforcing any behavior you wouldn’t want to stay.
#11: They don’t like eye contact
As humans, it is pretty normal for us to look someone in their eyes when talking to them.
When one feels infatuated or in love with someone, you might notice them staring into the eyes of the other person.
We might think our pooch likes getting eye-to-eye sessions from us.
It could be a sign of love and care for us humans but for your furry friend, it might mean something else.
Especially if your dog has had trauma in the past. Abusive past owners and the like could cause fear in your pooch.
They could translate you staring in the wrong way.
They might get scared or agitated.
Wrong interpretations of stares can also happen if you do it without any positive verbal cues.
While dogs, in general, don’t automatically become aggressive, they could be triggered by something like this.
So, instead of looking back at you, they just turn around and face the other way.
5 tips to stop your dog from sleeping with their bum facing you
#1: Train them to sleep in a certain way
It’s easier said than done, I know.
But one way to stop your dogs from butt-bombing you in your sleep is to train them to sleep in a different position.
If you really must have your dogs on your bed, you can try lifting them towards your feet during sleep times.
Give them rewards whenever they start to comply with this certain behavior.
You can also start by throwing treats or their toys in the area where you want them to sleep.
Once they’re in the spot, give them verbal cues to make them stay.
Praise and compliments could work really well in dogs.
Use that whenever they stay and sleep in the area you want them on your bed.
Keep in mind that being consistent will yield the best results.
Don’t easily give in.
Be stern, yet keep a positive and loving environment when trying to train your pooch.
#2: Provide them with their own sleeping area
If you are not okay with your fur baby not sleeping on your bed, provide one for them!
Much like in the first tip, you should have the patience and consistency to train them to sleep in their own bed.
“But I am on a limited budget…”
Don’t worry, dog beds don’t have to be fancy.
You don’t have to spend a fortune on expensive ones.
As long as you can provide warm, safe, and properly sized beds for them, that’s more than enough.
A good estimate for the proper size would be to measure your dog’s length from the nose to the base of its tail.
Then add 6”-12” (15 cm. to 30 cm.) to the length you measured.
Make sure that the space is free of bugs, fleas, and other pests that could hurt your fur baby.
It would also be beneficial for you if you choose a dog bed with an easily washable material.
To keep moisture away, you may opt to choose one made from water-resistant cloth.
#3: Don’t encourage the behavior
“How am I doing this?”
Whenever dogs do something and they get positive reinforcement from you, they repeat that behavior.
In this case, if they sleep with their bum facing you and you hug and pet them, you’re encouraging your dogs to do it again.
They’d think that sleeping in this position is something that would get them rewards.
Be mindful of your actions so you don’t encourage unwanted behavior.
#4: Don’t overshower them with attention and physical touch
Showing we care for our pooch is a pretty normal thing for us fur parents.
We’re loving, kind, and protective of our furry babies.
But too much of anything can become bad.
In this case, too much attention can make your dogs think they will receive it anytime they demand for it.
This also includes the time you spend being with your dog physically.
Give them ample space and time to relax and rest by themselves.
It can be easy for fur parents to make the mistake of smothering their dogs.
“Oh no, that can happen? How do I know that I am doing that?”
Here are a few signs you are giving too much attention to your dogs:
- You bring them with you everywhere.
- You are constantly within their personal space.
- They don’t receive any form of reprimand and receive treats any time.
- Your dog always has somewhere to go (full daily schedule).
- Monotony in the activities and routes you do your walks.
#5: Listen to John Lennon… let it be
And I don’t mean the song. Although, feel free to play it after you’re done reading this tip. 😉
It isn’t the end of the world if you wake up with your dog’s bum facing you.
In fact, it generally isn’t harmful at all!
If you don’t have any special sleeping needs or any other health issues that could be affected negatively, just let them sleep in whatever position they like.
After all, most of the reasons why they do this is because of their trust, love, and care for you.
If your dog feels that way towards you – what better feeling could there be in the world?