Why Do Dogs Sleep With Their Bum Facing You?

Have you ever gotten out of bed in the early hours of the morning to the scary sight of your dog’s butt a few inches away from your face?

Although this might come off as an irritating occurrence, this behavior is perfectly normal.

So, you’re not alone if you’re asking, “why does my dog sleep with his butt towards me?”

There is a variety of reasons for which your dog may be exhibiting this behavior. Here’s all that you should know.

Why Do Dogs Sleep With Their Bum Facing You?

Woman Asleep While Dog Sleeps Facing Away on Sofa

The major reason dogs sleep with their bums facing their owners is simply because they love and trust you.

This sleeping position equally gives your pup a feeling of safety because he trusts that you’ve “literally” got his back.

Some dogs will, in fact, exhibit this behavior in an attempt to mark you with their scent.

Below are seven reasons why your dog is sleeping with his butt towards you:

1. Your dog trusts you

Your pooch will show his love for you in several ways, one of which is lying with this butt facing you while he’s sound asleep.

In the wild, feral dogs that lie on their back are more susceptible to attacks.

So if your canine pal is comfortably showing his vulnerable side while he sleeps, he definitely thinks highly of you and isn’t worried that you might hurt him!

However, your dog will always sleep that way since he’s very convinced that you’ll keep him protected from any threat whatsoever.

2. To be Comfortable

Your dog may also be sleeping in this position because is it more comfortable for him. He may lay on his back, side or tummy.

Whatever the case, he is sleeping with his bum towards you because it’s possibly the quickest and easiest way for him to fall asleep.

If he’s sleeping in your bed, it’s likely because of the warmth it provides. 

3. To Prevent Eye Contact

If your pup is shy, he is probably sleeping with his bum towards your face simply so that your eyes do not meet.

This doesn’t always mean something negative. Your pooch still needs time to get to know you and acclimatize.

This is especially if you got a rescue pet that was neglected or abused. It’s advisable to give your pet all the time and space he needs to warm up to you.

4. Ventral Contact

Dogs aren’t really into face-to-face or chest-to-chest contact. As such your pooch is more likely to lie next to you with his bum just inches away from your face.

It really isn’t a behavioral disorder of some sort. It’s simply a more soothing, relaxing position for him.

5. He’s Guarding You

Yup. Dogs aren’t just loyal; they’re also extremely protective of their owners.

When your pooch sleeps with his bum towards you, it’s his way of protecting and keeping an eye on you.

He wants to pay you back for all the love and affection you shower on him daily. 

6. Your Dog Is Marking You

Dogs are said to have scent glands quite close to their tails and they’re probably using those glands to mark you with their scent.

This scent serves as a sign to other dogs that you are your dog’s human. Most pets like to mix their scent up with that of their owners to form a hybrid pack scent. 

7. He’s Making A Request

If your pooch likes to have their back patted, this position may be a simple way of requesting that you pat their back.

This desire will become more obvious if your fur baby is actually scotching in your direction, requesting pets from you. 

Take note of your dog’s preferences before offering a few pets while he’s asleep.

Although some dogs love a good bum scratch, others will probably be scared by sudden touch.

So, it’s only advisable to pet your pup while he’s asleep if he isn’t prone to be startled. 

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Rule Out Medical Conditions: Symptoms To Look Out For

On the other hand, the reason why dogs might put their butt towards you while they’re asleep may not always be positive.

If you notice an unpleasant odor emanating from the anus or your dog constantly biting towards that area, something’s definitely not right.

Get your dog an appointment with the vet if:

  • He’s suffering from flea infestation: Typically, fleas will converge around your dog’s rump as well as his tail. Some signs of a flea infestation may include dark specs on your pooch’s fur, pale gums, hot/bald spots, red/inflamed skin, excessive biting or licking. 
  • He might have a tapeworm: These dangerous parasites can grow eight inches long. Some of the symptoms are weight loss, diarrhea and a bloated stomach. 

What Should You Do When Your Dog Sleeps With His Bum Towards You?

Woman with Baby and Dog Sleeping on Bed

The ideal thing to do is to avoid taking any action that may startle your pooch as this is a simple position they take during sleep in other to keep themselves less vulnerable.

When you notice your pooch sleeping in this position, you have absolutely nothing to worry about.

It is simply their natural way of taking a nap. Your pet facing another direction isn’t a threat.

It is often more soothing when we look away, similarly with vulnerable fur babies.

At certain points in time, they might expect some backrubs and relaxing back pets from you. Everyone definitely knows how much dogs love this activity.

You should keep in mind that by giving your pup regular back pats and belly rubs, you’re encouraging them to display more of this behavior as a way of seeking your attention.

Nevertheless, dogs are very much like infant children who enjoy getting all the care and attention they want.

If your dog is asleep, it’s smarter not to wake them abruptly as they are likely to pounce on you when they’re startled.

Provided your dog maintains a safe and decent distance between your face and its bum, it’s okay for him to sleep in that position.


Your dog will sleep with his bum comfortably facing you for several reasons. He feels comfortable, trusts you, or is simply looking out for you.

However, if your pet is excessively biting or licking his rump or appears to be down in health, take him to the vet as soon as possible.

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Authored By

Ben Pierce

Ben Pierce is a canine behavioral and nutritional specialist, professional dog trainer, and the CEO of Puplore. A former military working dog handler, Ben founded Puplore to provide owners with breed-specific information and to act as a go-to guide to health, nutrition, care, and to help them find the confidence they need to step up to the plate and become the best pup parents they can possibly be. A firm believer in treating all animals with kindness and compassion, and that positive discipline is paramount in achieving a harmonious canine-human relationship, Ben’s former and present careers have enabled him to become a leading light in his chosen profession and business.

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