why do dogs sleep with their bum facing you

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On more than one occasion, you may have woken up to find your dog sleeping with their bum facing you. While it may seem unpleasant to some, this is actually a natural occurrence for dogs.

In this post, we will explore the possible reasons why your dog prefers this sleeping position.

Watch out for our practical tips you can use to encourage alternative sleeping positions for your canine companion.

Why Do Dogs Put Their Bum Towards You?

When dogs put their bums towards you, it often signifies a profound sense of trust, reflecting the security they feel in your presence.

This positioning also serves as a non-verbal expression of bonding and affection, emphasizing the close connection between you and your furry friend.

Ultimately, it’s a manifestation of your dog’s innate need for comfort and security, acknowledging your role as a source of solace in their world.

Let’s talk about these in detail and delve into other reasons for this strange dog behavior.

10 Reasons Why Dogs Sleep with Their Bum Facing You

1. It’s a sign of trust

Dogs show trust in their owners in lots of ways, and sticking their bottoms while sleeping is one of them.

Exposing the bum area puts the dog in a vulnerable position, and so when your furry friend does this to you, it shows how much they trust you.

Other vulnerable postures include lying on the side and exposing the stomach and chest areas.

The dog is confident that you will protect them if anything happens.

2. Bonding and affection

Dogs are social animals, and they love staying close to their human caregivers. Your furry friend may sleep while exposing their vulnerable areas as a sign of companionship and affection.

Sleeping in such positions while receiving physical contact reinforces the emotional attachment the dog has to you.

3. Comfort and security

Dogs love a convenient resting place that gives them both comfort and security. Your pooch might join you on the sofa and sleep in the opposite direction because it gives them warmth and peace of mind.

why do dogs sleep with their bum facing you
Image Credit: Meruyert Gonullu from Pexels

Your lovely pup will sleep knowing that you are there for them in case of any threat.

4. Temperature regulation

During the colder winter months, your dog may change spots while sleeping and curl up with their rear end facing you on the bed to benefit from your body heat.

This helps them regulate their temperature and allows for a comfortable and secure sleep by your side.

5. Scent marking

Your dog may sleep with their bum facing you as a way of scent-marking, to protect their loved ones, and to mark territory.

Dogs have glands in their anal region that produce pheromones, which are unique scented chemical substances for each dog.

When you notice that your dog is not only exposing their rear end to you, but they are also rubbing it on your clothes, it could be a sign of marking to assert ownership.

6. Instinctual behavior

Dogs are pack animals and in the wild, they sleep in clusters. Less dominant dogs would expose their vulnerable sides to the pack leaders, and this instinctual behavior has carried over to today’s family dogs.

Your lovely canine at home might sleep with you in close proximity to you while extending their rear end towards your face as a behavior inherited from their pack instincts.

7. Avoiding ventral contact

A study by researchers from Eötvös Lorand University found that dogs are not naturally inclined to look at human faces.

Your lovely pup may sleep with their rear end exposed to your face as a way of avoiding ventral contact with you. It’s just a natural and comforting position for them.

8. Protecting you

Dogs are protective by nature, even during sleep. Your furry friend may sleep with their butt facing you to have a better view of the other side for potential threats.

This is also in a good posture that enables them to respond to upcoming threats on time. This posture allows them to respond promptly to any upcoming dangers. By doing so, the dog is reciprocating your love and protecting you.

9. They want to be left alone

If you join your dog on the bed and they quickly turn their butt towards you, it could be a gentle request for space.

Dogs need some lonely time once in a while despite their socially active lifestyle. If your pooch barks or growls while moving away from you, then you can know for sure that they need some moments of solitude.

10. Personal preferences and habits

Each dog has their own preferences when it comes to curling up and snuggling with their human caregivers during intimate moments.

A kid with a dog
Image Credit: Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Some dogs have formed the habit of facing the opposite side when they sleep with their owners because it makes them feel comfortable and content.

When Does This Behavior Become a Problem?

When your dog consistently adopts the position of sleeping with their bum facing you, it’s crucial to be attentive to potential issues.

This behavior may not always be positive and could indicate underlying problems. A foul odor emanating from the anal area may signal infected anal sacs, while excessive biting or licking in that region might point to a flea infestation.

Fleas, external parasites, can irritate and lead to symptoms such as redness, hot spots, and pale gums. If you observe these signs, seeking prompt veterinary attention is essential to address any potential health concerns affecting your canine companion.


Your furry friend may choose to stick their rear end to you during sleep for a variety of reasons. It could be a sign of trust, them protecting you, marking territory, or simply feeling secure in that sleeping position.

If you share the bed with your dog and they switch sides while appearing uneasy, it could also be a gentle gesture to give them space.

This behavior is normal in dogs and generally not a cause of major concern unless there are accompanying issues such as a foul odor or persistent rubbing of the bum against you.

In such cases, it’s possible that the dog may be experiencing anal sac disease or infestation by fleas or ticks.

These conditions can be irritating and uncomfortable for dogs, so it’s important to visit the vet promptly for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Written By

Laura is the founder of Furs'n'Paws. She is a also a pet writer and expert with more than 20 years of experience of working with dogs and cats. She developed a very strong love for animals at a young age. Her passion led her to establish a thriving pet sitting and dog walking business in Dubai. As an expert in pet training, behavior, and nutrition, Laura is committed to helping pet owners and pet lovers by offering high-quality information on a wide range of topics.

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