Do Dogs Like To Sleep With Their Heads Elevated? [7 Reasons]

Do Dogs Like To Sleep With Their Heads Elevated

Regardless of their size, age, or breed, most dogs tend to sleep with their heads elevated. Is this unusual, or is it normal behavior?

Dogs may sleep with their heads elevated for various reasons, such as breathing issues, relieving pressure from the spine, neck problems, comfort, warmth, being able to see their surroundings, and feeling more comfortable around humans. It’s important to check for any symptoms of abnormalities and consult with a veterinarian.

Although this posture may seem normal in most cases, it can be due to both normal and abnormal causes. Therefore, it’s crucial to identify the specific cause and take appropriate action if it’s a severe issue.

Why does your dog sleep with his head raised?

I have three dogs. All of ’em prefer to sleep with their heads elevated.

Everyone has their own nice and comfy dog beds. But, I have another doggy bed with a lifted side that I bought a couple of years ago, and everyone is competing to sleep and rest there.

Lemme explain to you possible reasons for this based on my experiences and the information I uncovered.

1. Breathing issues.

If your dog prefers to sleep/rest in a position where its neck and head are elevated, unfortunately, it can be a sign of a breathing problem.

Side note: First, I wanna tell you that Don’t panic; this reason is only one of 7 reasons. 6 more to go!

Dogs with sinus issues are inclined to keep their heads raised position while resting/sleeping as this position provides extra comfort and support for breathing.

Furthermore, This can also indicate chronic heart disease. Whatever the reason may be, you gotta be aware of the symptoms of breathing problems in dogs.

Here are the common symptoms.

  • Faster breathing rate.
  • Refuses to play of excercise.
  • Noisy breathing.
  • Open-mouthed breathing.

2. Relieve pressure from the spine.

When your dog has a long working day, especially after a long walking session or playing for a couple of hours, they can get tired and sleepy.

So, if your dog is sleeping with its head elevated, she might be doing this to relieve the pressure from her spine.

3. The posture is comfortable.

Are you prefer to sleep on your back sleeper or your side? I found myself comfortable with sleeping on my back. But, what’s the difference?

We cannot define specific reasons for personal preferences. Well, there is not much difference when it comes to dogs.

Maybe your dog found that sleeping with her head raised is way comfortable than other sleeping/resting positions.

4. It’s warmer.

Many dogs tend to do this in warmer months compared to cooler months. Dogs curling up into a ball to maintain their body temperature during the winter season.

However, most dogs stretch out and lay with their necks extended during the warmer months in order to be cool.

5. It wants to see what’s happening around.

My Doberman is fond of watching my mom cooking by hanging her head with her chin flat to small objects to see what’s happening around.

The same thing goes with my Rottweiler. She lays on her doggy bed and keeps her head on the lifted side whenever I start working on this website.

Because I seldom toss a treat toward her, and she doesn’t wanna miss it. Also, she always gets belly rubs from my sister, who is studying a little further away from me.

I think you got the idea…

6. The dog is comfortable with you.

If a dog sleeps with its head elevated in a completely comfortable position, it’s a good indication that tells us she is comfortable with the presence of its owners.

However, we cannot often see this position from rescued or newly adopted dogs as many of them are prone to separation anxiety, stress, and other psychological issues. You may have heard that some rescue dogs even refuse to leave the crate for a few days.

If a dog isn’t comfortable with the presence of other household members, they often sleep in a position where they allow them to stand and run pretty much quickly.

7. Neck problem.

This can also indicate pain in your dog’s neck or some other problem in the neck.

Check if your dog exhibits the following symptoms to ensure she has a neck problem.

  • Neck muscle soreness.
  • Refuses to play, especially a setback when playing fetch.
  • Crying or yelping when standing up or sitting down.
  • Unable to eat or drink from the bowl on the floor.
  • Tend to lowered its head when standing.
  • Moving slowly.

Is it bad if your dog sleeps with the head elevated?

After examining all the possible reasons mentioned above, it’s appeared to be there is nothing to worry about for the most part.

However, regarding breathing issues, spine and neck problems, you certainly have to worry and need to meet the vet immediately.

Because these three circumstances are something, we cannot ignore. Therefore, is it bad if your dog sleeps with head raised? It depends on the reason.

So, if your dog does this regularly, I will share with you some essential things to keep in mind and act on.

What to do if your dog sleeps its head elevated?

Apart from the three main abnormal circumstances, other reasons are pretty much okay. With regards to sleeping raised due to health concerns, indeed, you gotta do something.

1. Check for symptoms.

Even though you know all the reasons for this, it’s slightly difficult to spot any difference in order to understand the exact cause.

Since this sleeping posture shows three major health problems, some of which are severe, you cannot just pass or ignore it.

Therefore, you need to be careful and have a clear understanding of the symptoms of these health problems so you will be able to just spot the exact cause.

So, if your dog sleeps with its head elevated, just examine the dog and see if there are any abnormalities. I hope the symptoms mentioned earlier are enough for you.

2. Don’t overwork the dog.

As I mentioned, earlier dogs tend to sleep with their heads elevated in order to relieve the pressure from their spine and due to neck problems.

Although having regular play sessions won’t hurt your dog, overworking a dog can lead to many different issues.

Moreover, neck and spine issues can be often seen in younger canines as they aren’t socialized well, and most of them don’t have enough awareness about heights. If a dog jumps from a significant height, it can often end up with spinal, neck and joint problems.

Dog Breeds Experts

You gotta stop exercising/working as soon as they start to exhibits the signs of tiredness. Here are some of the signs.

  • Tend to forget commands.
  • Going zoomies.
  • Lip licking.
  • Excessive panting.
  • Refuses to play.
  • Tend to hide itself.
  • Sniffing the ground.
  • Yawning.
  • Low energy.

3. Meet your veterinarian.

If your dog always sleeps with its head raised, please consider seeking advice from your veterinarian even you know the dog is well.

This is because he may develop a spinal issue, neck problem, or some kind of breathing problem. It is difficult to understand a disorder or illness caused by the minimum of symptoms during the developing stage of that health problem.

4. Reduce the heat in the house.

As I mentioned earlier, if a dog sleeps with her head elevated and stretched out body, it appears to be a little bit warmer inside the house.

The easiest solution is installing AC. However, paying attention to alternative home cooling tips is also something to consider.

Please consider the following things.

  • Keep windows open.
  • Swam coolers.
  • Install fans.
  • Paint the roof with cooler coloration.
  • Place the doggy bed nearby a window.
  • Groom the dog regularly. Don’t let develop mats.


Many dog parents desperately want to know why do dogs sleep with their heads elevated. In this complete article, we’ve discussed 7 possible reasons for that, along with some of the essential facts you need to be aware of. Hope you found this helpful.

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