Why Does My Dog Sleep with His Head Under Things?

If you’re a dog owner, you’ve likely observed your furry friend curling up for a nap with their head tucked under furniture, blankets, or even your pillow. This adorable and peculiar behavior raises the question: 

Why does my dog sleep with his head under things? As it turns out, this habit is rooted in your dog’s natural instincts and can reveal valuable insights into their evolutionary history and emotional well-being. 

In this article, we will delve into the reasons behind this behavior, explore the possible interpretations, and provide tips on ensuring your dog’s sleeping habits are comfortable and safe.

Instincts from Ancestral Roots

The habit of sleeping with the head under things can be traced back to the ancestral instincts of dogs. In the wild, canines sought shelter and protection by creating cozy dens in which they could rest safely. 

These dens were often hidden and protected from predators, providing a secure space for rest and recuperation. Domesticated dogs have retained this instinct, even though they now live in our homes.

Feeling Secure and Safe

Just like their ancestors, modern-day dogs often seek comfort and security while sleeping. By tucking their head under objects, they create a small, enclosed space that mimics the safety of a den. 

This position helps them feel protected from any perceived threats and allows them to relax more deeply during their rest.

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Temperature Regulation

Dogs have a higher body temperature than humans, and they regulate it differently. Sleeping with their head under things helps them preserve body heat during colder nights, ensuring they stay warm and comfortable. 

In hotter weather, the behavior may be less common as dogs prefer to seek cooler spots for a more comfortable slumber.

Light Sensitivity

Dogs have more sensitive eyes than humans, and they can be disturbed by changes in light levels during sleep. 

Tucking their head under objects can block out excessive light, helping them achieve deeper sleep without unnecessary disruptions.

A Cozy and Comfy Spot

Your dog’s choice to sleep with their head under things might simply be due to a preference for a cozy and soft sleeping spot. 

The area underneath furniture or blankets can create a snug and comforting environment that promotes relaxation and restful sleep.

Anxiety and Stress

In some cases, this behavior may be a sign of anxiety or stress in dogs. If your pet is experiencing any changes or disruptions in their environment, such as moving to a new house, loud noises, or the introduction of a new pet, they may seek solace by hiding their head under objects. 

It’s essential to pay attention to your dog’s overall behavior to identify any signs of distress or discomfort.

Medical Reasons

Occasionally, dogs might hide their head under objects due to physical discomfort or pain. It could be related to an injury or an underlying health issue. 

If you notice your dog frequently choosing this position and showing other signs of discomfort, it’s essential to consult your veterinarian for a thorough examination.

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Tips for Ensuring Your Dog’s Comfort

Provide a Cozy Bed: Offer your dog a comfortable and well-cushioned bed that matches their size and sleeping preferences. This will encourage them to choose the bed over less suitable locations.

Create a Safe Space: Designate a quiet and secure area in your home where your dog can retreat when they feel the need for extra comfort or safety. Add soft blankets or toys to make the space inviting.

Reduce Stressors: Minimize any potential stressors in your dog’s environment. Maintain a consistent daily routine, avoid loud noises, and provide plenty of mental and physical stimulation.

Regular Exercise: Make sure your dog gets enough exercise and playtime throughout the day. A tired dog is more likely to have a restful sleep.

Health Check-ups: Schedule regular check-ups with your veterinarian to ensure your dog’s health is in optimal condition.


The behavior of dogs sleeping with their heads under things is a fascinating glimpse into their ancestral instincts and emotional needs. 

From seeking safety and comfort to managing light sensitivity and temperature regulation, this adorable habit is deeply ingrained in their nature. 

While it’s mostly a harmless and endearing behavior, it’s essential to monitor your dog’s overall well-being and make adjustments to their environment if necessary. 

Understanding and accommodating their sleeping preferences will help ensure they lead happy, secure, and peaceful lives as our beloved companions.