If your dog keeps facing away from you when sleeping, this post will show you common causes and what you can do about them.
So, why does my dog sleep facing away from me? Possible reasons why your dog sleeps facing away from you are that it does not want to be bothered, it is actually being protective, it finds it more comfortable, it makes it feel safer or that you have encouraged it by rewarding it when it does it.
Since there are a number of possible causes, it would help to consider what would make each of them more likely. Once you have a good idea of the cause, it should be a lot easier to figure out what to do about it.
Why your dog sleeps or lays facing away from you
Below are common reasons why your dog might be doing it and what would make them more likely to be the main cause.
Encouraging the behavior
It could be the case that you have encouraged it to do it by rewarding it when it sleeps facing away from you. For example, if you scratch its back, when it sleeps or lays facing away from you, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.
Instead, it would help to encourage it to sleep the way you want by rewarding it when it shows signs of sleeping that way and ignoring it when it does not.
It doesn’t want to be bothered
The reason why it does it might be that it wants to avoid being bothered. This would be more likely if it does not always sleep facing away from you and if it does it more when it wants to sleep. In this case, it would help to make sure that it is able to sleep easily at night since it could be the case that it is trying to get extra sleep during the day due to issues sleeping at night.
It finds it more comfortable in that particular spot
It might be the case that there is a particular way that it likes to sleep or lay in a certain spot. This would be more likely if your dog does face you when you sit in a certain spot but less likely if it sleeps facing away from you even when you are in a different spot
It is being protective
It could be the case that it does it because it is being protective. This would be more likely if it sleeps in a location that allows it to see entrances to the room and if it tends to get protective around the home.
It makes it feel safer
It could also be the case that it does it because it makes it feel safer because you are behind it and it can see what is coming from the other direction. This would be more likely if it gets anxious when you leave the room and if it tends to follow you when you leave.
Things to consider
Below are some things you can consider when trying to figure out the most likely reason why your dog has been doing it.
What else happened when your dog first started sleeping facing away from you
If your dog has started facing away from you when sleeping suddenly, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started. It could be the case that there was an event that caused it to start doing it. The causes could be that it realized that it gets rewards when it does it, you started sitting in a different spot or you might have started bothering it a lot when it wanted to sleep.
What is different when your dog does not sleep facing away from you
It would also help to consider if it always sleeps facing away from you or if it just does it sometimes. If it just does it sometimes, it could be due to things such as being protective and wanting to face the door or not wanting to be bothered.
What to do about your dog sleeping away from you
Below are some options you have when getting it to start sleeping facing you.
Positive reinforcement training
Positive reinforcement training is where you encourage your dog to behave how you want it to be rewarding it when it shows signs of behaving that way. To use it to get your dog to lay facing you, one option would be to get it to lay where you want it to and to reward it for doing so. You can watch the video below to see how.
Avoid encouraging the behavior
As mentioned above, it might be the case that it has learned that it gets rewards for facing away from you. Instead, it would help to avoid rewarding it when it faces away from you, to encourage it to face you and to reward you whenever it does face you.