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Woman Explains the Meaning Behind Dogs’ Sleeping Positions and We’re Intrigued

Does your dog sleep on their back with their paws stretched out? Or perhaps like Superman with their legs extended behind them? Whatever their favorite napping posture is, there's likely some kind of meaning behind it.

TikTok account @weentheshihtzu belongs to a Shih-Tzu diva named Queen. Her human mom, who runs the account, recently posted a video showing the pup in a variety of sleeping positions alongside a description of what each means. Body language is important in communication between species, after all, so it always helps to be able to “read” your dog. Check out her video and see if you’re surprised by any of the meanings of different sleeping positions.

Before reading on, we want to give this dog mama a round of applause. She did her research! Newsweek spoke with Dr. Mary Burch, a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, whose descriptions of canine sleeping positions match up exactly with what @weentheshihtzu shared. So you can take this video as the truth! Of course, not every dog uses their body language the exact same way, so a certain posture may not mean the same thing every time. 

When a dog sleeps belly up, for example, they may be cooling down or simply getting extra comfortable. It's a vulnerable position, so you can be sure your dog trusts you when they lie like this. Side sleepers and cuddlers show a great deal of trust in their family too, so give yourself a pat on the back when you see these. 

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The Superman pose, which commenter @cream_o281 simply called “carpet,” allows a dog to rest while staying ready to get up at a moment’s notice. It doesn’t mean your pup is stressed, but it doesn’t mean it’s time to go to bed for the night, either.

Lastly, when a dog sleeps on your clothes like Queen demonstrates, it means they are comforted by your scent. As sweet as it is, it can be useful, too. You can use your clothes as a tool to help your pup deal with separation anxiety and other stressors. Interesting, right?

Thanks, Queen, for teaching us something today!

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