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 Staff Writer on PetsRadar and covers news, features, buying guides, and reviews. When she’s not talking about her cats, Nala and Chilli (a rare occasion), you’ll find her watching funny pet videos on Instagram and sending hundreds of them to her friends. She’s particularly interested in pet wellness and is fascinated by cat behavior. Megan has been animal-obsessed for as long as she can remember, having grown up with pets since the age of three and competed in horse riding competitions for seven years. She has had a variety of animals, including horses, dogs, guinea pigs, hamsters, and fish, which taught her first-hand everything she knows about pet care.


Megan studied Journalism at the University of Westminster, where she specialized in lifestyle journalism and was Editor of the online student publication, Smoke Radio. She has experience working across digital and print media and previously worked for titles such as Harrods, My Local News, and Licklist. As a committed pet mom of two, she enjoys going the extra mile for her cats and is passionate about helping readers find the answers they need.