Click here to learn more.
There are no solid stats to reflect the incidence of dogs willing to sleep belly up, but an informal survey of the dog owners you know will probably reveal something like this: 5 to 10 percent of pet dogs sleep with their bellies bared on a fairly regular basis.
But these squishy stats are for pets only. Perhaps not surprisingly, sleeping belly up is not a common behavior among wild canids. Their greater security concerns are likely responsible for an unwillingness to bare all. After all, to offer up one’s soft underbelly when you’re already at your most defenseless is not exactly in a predator’s best interest –– much less in his nature.
And this may help explain why some pet dogs are more willing to sleep with their bellies exposed than others. It seems that more relaxed, easy-going dogs are over-represented among those who regularly assume a belly-up position –– the dogs most temperamentally distanced from their wild cousins.
Of course, there’s a lot to be said for the role of socialization as well. Dogs who engage in this behavior tend to be secure, well-socialized individuals who enjoy safe, stable, comfortable surroundings.
So what does that say about dogs who aren’t into baring their bellies?
Probably not much. It seems this favorite posture is a preference above all else.
More on Vetstreet.com:
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Thank you for subscribing to Petwire. Look for the latest newsletter each Wednesday.
Jonny Justice, a Pit Bull who was rescued
from Michael Vick's dog fighting kennel in
2007, was named ASPCA's Dog…
For Halloween, we’re spotlighting the
world's most famous pet cemeteries —
even a Paris site that opened in 1899.
Our veterinary behaviorist explains
why some kitties go to the bathroom
on furniture instead of in the litterbox.
Cats have been both exalted and
persecuted for centuries, thanks to tales
of devil kitties and holy companions.
We’re getting ready for Halloween
by sharing our favorite fan-submitted
photos of dogs and cats in costumes.
Known as one of the smartest dogs, the focused Border Collie has appeared in movies like Babe and Hotel for Dogs.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.