4 reasons why your dog sleeps in ‘bagel’ position, according to a trainer

Dog sleeping in bagel position
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The ‘bagel’ position (A.K.A the cutest position ever), is when your dog curls up, resting their head on their tail with their paws tucked in underneath. 

There’s nothing more interesting than finding out the meaning behind dog body language and tapping into their little world. Whether you’re discovering why dogs scratch their beds or learning what dog sleeping positions mean, it helps you to understand them a little bit better (while fixing your curiosity). 

There are four reasons why your pup goes into bagel position which Louise Glazebrook, an expert dog behaviorist and trainer, revealed in a recent Instagram post: 

1. They’re feeling cold

If your pooch is on the chilly side, then it’s likely they’ll choose to sleep in this cozy position (especially if they’re one of the seven dog breeds that hate the cold). The bagel provides ultimate warmth for those cold winter nights as it keeps their body heat locked in.

2. They’re feeling anxious, unsure, or unsettled

There could be a number of reasons why your dog is anxious. If they’re feeling unsettled or unsure, this pose allows them to get up quickly and easily and is often used by animals in the wild. 

3. They’re not feeling so good

The bagel position might also be a sign that your dog isn’t feeling very good. The Journal of Brain, Behaviour and Evolution notes that curling into a ball offers animals protection from predators while they sleep. This is especially important if they’re unsure of their surroundings.

4. They’ve just settled down

Louisa explains that when dogs first settle down on the bed or sofa, they usually start in the bagel position. However, most dogs won’t go into a deep sleep this way and will switch to another pose, like the pancake, when they do.

If you’re wondering, ‘Why do dogs sleep with eyes open and is it normal’ or what the best dog bed is, we’ve got all the answers you need.

BinetGo Dog Bed

BinetGo Dog Bed

£57.77 at Amazon 

This cozy donut bed is what dreams are made of - just look at that soft shaggy fur. It’s the perfect nest for your furry friend to snuggle into and features a non-skid bottom to avoid unwanted movement. 

Megan Milstead
Staff Writer

Megan is a Staff Writer on PetsRader, covering news, features and buying guides. She has a wealth of experience looking after animals, having grown up with dogs, cats and horses all of her life. She’s particularly interested in pet happiness and behavior, which she loves to research in her spare time. You’ll often find her watching webinars on reactivity in dogs or researching cat body language. She loves going the extra mile for her cats Chilli and Nala (who also help out with testing the best products for our buying guides). 

Megan studied BA Journalism at the University of Westminster, where she specialized in lifestyle journalism and was editor of Smoke Radio’s online magazine. She also graduated from West Herts College with a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Journalism. Before joining the PetsRadar family last year, she worked on the editorial team at Harrods and has spent most of her career writing for specialized titles, like RunningShoesGuru, Licklist and Mr. After Party. 

Megan works alongside qualified vets and accredited trainers to ensure you get the best advice possible. She is passionate about finding accurate and helpful answers to your pet-related questions.