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Why Do Dogs Sleep with Their Bum Facing You? (5 Reasons for This Behavior)

Nicole Cosgrove

Have you awoken in the morning to the jarring sight of your dog’s butt just inches away from your face? While this may seem like a disgusting occurrence, this behavior is pretty natural.

So why is your canine companion putting his bum in your face when he sleeps? Here’s everything you need to know!

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Why is My Dog Sleeping with His Butt in My Face?

The number one reason dogs face their bums towards their owners when they’re sleeping is that they love and trust you. This sleeping position also makes your pup feel safe because he knows you’ve got his back (literally). Moreover, some dogs will do this because they are trying to mark you with their scent.

Here are five reasons your dog is facing his bum toward you when he sleeps.

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1. He Trusts You

Your pet will display his trust in you in many ways. One of these ways is to lie with his butt facing you as he sleeps. In the wild, feral dogs that lay on their backs open themselves up to potential attacks. If your dog is exposing his vulnerable side when sleeping, he definitely trusts you! However, he’ll always keep his butt toward your face because he knows you’ll protect him from possible threats.


2. He’s Protecting You

On the other hand, your pooch might be protecting you if he sleeps with his bottom towards you. It’s his way of paying you back for all the love and affection you lavish on him.

By lying with his butt facing you, your pup can keep watch over the room.


3. Ventral Contact

Man and dog sleep on sidewalk
Image Credit: mssrusso0, Pixabay

Dogs aren’t huge fans of ventral contact (face-to-face or chest-to-chest). As such, your pet will curl up with his tush towards you. It’s just a more calming, comforting position for him.


4. To Avoid Eye Contact

If your dog is timid, he may sleep with his bum toward you simply to avoid eye contact. This isn’t always a negative behavior. Your pet still needs time to warm up to you. This is especially true if you rescued an abused or neglected dog from a shelter. Give your pet the space he needs.


5. Comfort

A simpler explanation for your dog sleeping with his butt facing you is that this position is comfortable for him. He may lay on his side, tummy, or back.

divider-paw Symptoms to Watch Out For

Dog sleeping with woman and baby
Image Credit: Sarah Chai, Pexels

The reason for your dog facing his bum toward you as he sleeps is not always positive. If you notice a foul odor coming from his anus or your pet biting at his rump, something may be up. Take your dog to the vet if:

He has a flea infestation. Fleas will typically gather on your dog’s rump and near his tail. Signs of a flea infestation include excessive licking or biting, red and inflamed skin, hot/bald spots, pale gums, and dark specs on the fur.

He has a tapeworm. These intestinal parasites can grow to be eight inches long. Symptoms include a bloated stomach, diarrhea, and weight loss.

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Final Thoughts

Your pup will face his bum toward you when he sleeps for a variety of reasons. He feels comfy, trusts you, or is protecting you. However, if your dog is excessively licking his rump or appears to be ill, take him to a vet right away.


Featured Image Credit: meruyert gonullu, Pexels

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.