Why Do Dogs Sleep With Their Bum Facing You?

August 20, 2022by DOGuide0

If you’re a dog owner, you may have noticed that your furry friend has a tendency to curl up and drift off to dreamland with their hind end facing you. But have you ever stopped to wonder why they do this? Is it simply a comfortable position for them, or is there more to it than meets the eye? In this blog post, we’ll explore the various theories behind the question “Why do dogs sleep with their bum facing you?”.

Why Do Dogs Sleep With Their Bum Facing You?

Dogs have many good reasons to sleep with their bum facing you. Some of those reasons are:

  • Protection
  • Dominance
  • Safety
  • Comfort
  • Avoiding Ventral Content
  • Territory Marking
  • Submission
  • Instinct
  • Contact
  • Flea Infestation
  • Scratch Intent
  • Need Space
  • Avoid Eye Contact

Learn more about each one of these reasons to “Why do dogs sleep with their bum facing you?” below.


dog sleeping with bum facing you


Dog owners often don’t realize they are the leader of the pack. Dogs have a natural instinct to protect their pact – leader and all.

One of the responsibilities of dogs in the wild is to protect the alpha dog or leader. Since you are the alpha – leader – your dog wants to protect you.

Your dog sleeps with his/her bum up against you to be able to see if any threats are coming. If there is, you better believe your best furry friend will be the first to react.


Some people believe that dogs may sleep with their bums facing their owners as a way of asserting their dominance within the pack. By turning their back and exposing their vulnerable hind end, they may be communicating that they trust their owners to protect and defend them.


This sleep position is common among dogs because it’s also a way to feel protected. When dog owners are up against a dog’s butt, the dog feels safe and secure.

Dogs trust their owners and they just want to feel that their owner is close by if anything is needed.


One theory is that sleeping with their bums facing their owners or other pack members is simply a comfortable position for dogs. They may find the warmth and security of being surrounded by their pack members to be soothing and relaxing, leading them to adopt this position when they sleep.

Avoid Ventral Contact (Face-to-Face Contact)

Humans and other animals may love face-to-face contact (ventral contact), but many dogs do not. Since face-to-face contact often signals love and affection, dogs who aren’t into it come up with their own body language – sleep with their bum facing you.

Marking Territory

Bare with us when we say that one of the reasons dogs sleep with their bum facing you is so they can mark you as territory. How do they mark you? Well, dogs have scent glands. Those scent glands secrete an odor that other dogs and animals know means the area has been taken.

The glands are actually the anal glands that are expressed when a dog has a bowel movement or they are expressed manually. You can learn more about that by reading: Dogs Anal Glands Smell


On the other hand, some experts believe that dogs may sleep with their bums facing their owners as a sign of submissiveness. They may be trying to show that they are non-threatening and willing to follow their owners’ lead.


It’s also possible that this behavior is simply an instinctual response that dates back to the dogs’ ancestors, who would have slept in a protective circle with their pack members to guard against predators.


Sometimes, dogs don’t want to cuddle, but they still want to know you’re right there for them if needed. That’s why they choose the sleeping position of their bum facing you.

Flea Infestation

When dogs have a flea infestation, a common behavior is cuddling up against their owner for comfort. By scooting their bum up to you, they are putting pressure on a part of their body that may be irritating to them.

Scratch Intention

Dogs communicate with body language. When a dog’s bum is facing you, it may mean that he/she wants a good scratch back there. That could be due to a flea infestation or just a preferred area for scratching.

Need Space

Another common reason why dogs sleep with their bum facing you is that they want to stay connected but also need their space. You can likely understand. They don’t want to be up against, but at the same time, they want to show you love.

Avoid Eye Contact

Many dogs cannot stand eye contact. They will do whatever it takes to avoid it. That’s why they turn their rear end to you. With their eyes facing the other way, they don’t need to worry about making eye contact with you.


dog sleeping with butt facing you


Why Do Dogs Sleep With Their Bum Facing You?

For whatever reason, whether it be natural instinct, flea infestation, protection from potential danger, or just comfort, know that it’s a way to communicate something.

As long as there are no health issues that need attention from a veterinarian, trust that the answer to: “Why do dogs sleep with their bum facing you?” has to do with the love that he/she has for you.


by DOGuide

Dog Ownership Guide – D.O.G. – launched in 2021 to meet the needs of dog owners and their dogs worldwide. Our website is a place to not only learn, shop, and entertain, but share as well. Leave a comment, contact us, or learn more about the founder.

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