Why Do Beagles Sleep On Their Backs?

This post is all about beagles and why they sleep on their backs — it’s not just for show! It turns out that this action is called sternal recumbency, and it happens because of the shape of a beagle’s spine. Read on to find out more about this cute quirk, as well as the other tricks they use to keep themselves comfy.

Beagles are known for being quirky creatures who love to roll around in dead animals or chase their tails for hours on end. (If you have a Beagle, you know what I mean)

But nothing says adorable like when beagles sleep on their backs!

After an hour of playtime or an episode of zoomies, you can’t help but love your Beagle more when they fall asleep. Seeing them lying on their backs may remind you of how much you’re alike.

But this sleeping position has actually more to say about your Beagle than you think!

Why do Beagles sleep on their backs?

Beagles sleep on their back for comfort and cooling, especially when they’re confident in their environment. It allows them to stretch their backbone, which can be very relaxing.

It’s also a great way to regulate their temperature. Likewise, exposing their belly is a sign of vulnerability and trust which means that they feel safe and secure in their environment.

Understanding why your Beagle sleeps in a certain position is an effective way to communicate with your pet.

Learn more about the benefits of beagles sleeping on their backs to their physical and mental health. Read on to find out.

The 3 CS of Why Beagles Sleep On Their Backs


Beagles, like any other dogs, look for the most comfortable and relaxing sleeping position. It’s a perfectly natural response to exhaustion or external conditions.

When beagles sleep on their back, they get to extend and decompress their spine. Evidently, this sleeping position is enough to release all those spinal and muscle tensions instead of human beings who have to book an appointment with a chiropractor.

Similarly, a beagle easily achieves deep sleep when its back is horizontal on its bed. It also indicates a good mood and a restful state.

Thereby, it’s best not to disrupt them when they sleep like this no matter what. But again, who can resist it?

Cooling Down

The biological physiology of beagles would tell you that the reason why they sleep on their back is to release excessive heat.

Unlike humans with numerous sweat glands under the skin, dogs can only cool off through their paw pads since sweat glands are localized in that area.

Considering the amount of fur on their body, it’s hard not to cool down during a hot summer day. Beagles and other furry dog breeds are prone to heatstroke.

Imagine wearing a fur coat in the middle of June’s summer heat, and you could get a sense of what your Beagle is going through.

Since their belly has lesser and thinner fur, exposing it to air is a great way to survive the heat. Their blood vessels dilate, and the blood flow heads towards the cooler abdomen.

When they are awake and active on a sunny day, cooling down often constitutes panting and even dipping their paws in their water dish. However, when they sleep, and the temperature is higher than normal, the only way they keep cool is by allowing airflow into their bare tummy.


If you’re a pet owner, this is perhaps the most flattering reason why your Beagle chose to sleep on its back. He feels confident enough in his environment to let his belly be exposed.

If you look into the evolution of dogs, their ancestors, wolves, thrived outdoors. They hunted prey and escaped predators, which indicates that they were always on guard, even during sleep. They were rarely safe. Thereby, they always protect their vital organs by concealing their bellies.

However, humans and dogs developed a special bond. The confidence and loyalty of dogs to humans equated to them not needing to hide their bellies all the time.

It is considered an act of submission that relinquishes their nature as predators and is replaced as a human ally.

When beagles sleep on their back, it sends the signal that they trust you and rely on you when it comes to their safety and security.

If that isn’t the most wonderful feeling as a fur parent, I don’t know what is.

Why Do Beagles Sleep On Their Backs?

Other Beagle Sleeping Positions

While a beagle sleeping its back is a common position for resting, we can’t overlook other sleeping position and their meaning. Here are some other sleeping positions you may observe from your Beagle.
This position is like the flipside of beagles sleeping on their back. Just like how superman flies, the puppy or even adult dogs lay flat with their stomach touching the surface, and their front legs stretched forward.

Throw in a cape, and you won’t know the difference.

Beagles sleep this way to maintain their alertness while they rest. Their legs’ mere placement and positioning allow them to easily stand up and respond to immediate danger or impromptu playtime.

Curled Up

When your Beagle starts to curl up in a snowball position, it’s an indication that it could be uncomfortable and threatened.

Exposing their belly indicates security. Thereby, hiding their belly and vital organs may suggest that they are feeling scared. It could also mean that they feel cold as they try to increase insulation in the curling process.

On the Side

Beagles who sleep sideways look for the middle ground between comfort and awareness.

They are trying to find a comfortable position while ensuring that they can easily get ready when danger ensues. While it is often associated with naps, beagles can choose this position for a longer time as it could lead to deep sleep.

Back to Back

If you have two or more beagles, it’s not uncommon to see them sleep close to one another. So close that they start to morph into a beagle dough. There is an evolutionary element behind this position. Beagles, like any other dogs, are known to move in packs.

Most domesticated dogs are not built for group hunting. Their DNA seemingly saved the gene for warranting belongingness with others. It promotes bonding and strengthens the connections of the dogs.

Common Sleeping Habits of Beagles

Aside from their sleeping position, beagles also have several habits during bedtime that you may find odd. But what’s unusual for us humans are typically normal and necessary for this breed. Here are three common sleep habits of beagles.

Sleeping under the covers

Beagles love to burrow under the covers. It’s a generative behavior that can be traced back to when dogs used to sleep in dens. Burrowing is a defense mechanism against nearby predators. Therefore, it’s a manifestation of their intrinsic need for a companion or being around a pack member.

Why Do Beagles Sleep On Their Backs?


You may notice your Beagle sleeping way too much. It’s a natural behavior considering how active they are.

Sleeping for a good part of the day is important for them to rest and maintain their growth and bodily repairs. Adult beagles tend to sleep 10 to 12 hours a day, while puppies can go 18 hours.

Twitching and Vocalizing

Seeing your beagle twitch and make odd sounds during sleep could be a little nerve-racking. But there’s nothing to worry about because it is completely normal.

Experts theorize that during the REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, they tend to react to their dream by vocalizing or twitching their eyes. If you need to wake up your Beagle during this time, you have to be really gentle.

Beagles sleeping on their back is a good indication that you have provided a comfortable and safe home for your dog. But it could also tell that they needed cooling during sleep, so you might want to check the thermostat on that. Still, there is nothing serious to worry about. Your Beagle is extremely relaxed, and so should you.

Why Do Beagles Sleep So Much?

Beagles are very social, and as such, they like to be around other dogs, people, and animals.
They sleep a lot because that is how they get the energy to be active. Sleeping helps them recover from long hours of playing or running around.

Beagles are extremely adaptable to their environment. They love to be left alone, and they will still enjoy being with you.

They often sleep in a high-pitch tone and snore, which is also how they communicate with other dogs while sleeping. (just kidding :P)

Why Do Beagles Sleep With Their Eyes Open
Beagles enter into a deep rem sleep as soon as 10 minutes into their nap. Their eyes can roll back in their head or stay front and center with their eyelids open. It’s just a normal function of their sleep pattern.

Their eyes are open, but they’re not as responsive, so you can wake them up if it freaks you out.

Why Do Beagles Sleep Under The Covers?

Beagles love to borough themselves in blankets or stuffed animals when they sleep. It makes them feel secure. In the wild, dogs slept in dens curled up with their pack members. Beagles are very social creatures and like to feel snug.

Final Thoughts

Why do Beagles sleep on their back? Well, they love all manner of sleeping positions. It’s cute to watch. They act like humans sometimes.

Does your Beagle sleep on his back? Tell us about it in the comments!

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