The Surprising Reasons Your Dog Curls Up in a Ball Before Going to Sleep

iStock/LTuray
iStock/LTuray

Besides being great companions and painfully cute, dogs can be a little quirky. Between their funny expressions and odd behaviors, each of our furry friends has eccentricities that make us love them even more. But some of the adorably weird things they do are actually an innate part of being a canine, which might come as a surprise to some pet parents.

Take, for example, when dogs curl up in a ball before falling asleep. To the average pet owner, this probably just seems like a way to get comfortable before dozing off. And while that could be part of it, Dr. Margaret Gruen—an assistant professor of Behavioral Medicine at NC State University's College of Veterinary Medicine—said that the behavior is also firmly rooted in evolution.

"When dogs sleep in the wild, especially where it’s cold, they’ll dig a nest and curl up into it," Gruen told Vetstreet. This gives them warmth—tucking into a ball conserves body heat. It also protects their most vulnerable organs in the abdomen from would-be predators."

Yes, she's saying your dog gets into this position so no one comes for their organs. It sounds silly for your beloved pooch, but it's a reasonable tactic for their wild ancestors.

The next reason makes more sense, and it's that your dog is making his or her own nest when they curl up in an attempt to stay safe in a possibly foreign area. Even if your dog is at home, they still often revert back to basic instincts when getting ready for sleep, as it's a vulnerable state. Which makes sense. And it turns out that there's a whole host of reasonable explanations for your dog's other odd behaviors; here are just a few of them.

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Amazon
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Can You Find the Doe Hiding Among the Stags?

Can you spot the doe?
Can you spot the doe?
Dudolf

Gergely "Dudolf" Dudás has a way of turning simple images into mind-numbing puzzles. Look closely at his amazing illustrations of squirrels, snails, and rabbits, and you'll find an object that doesn't belong in each one. This new image from the artist features a doe hiding in a crowd of stags, and it may be one of his toughest brainteasers yet.

Dudolf

Most of Dudolf's hidden image puzzles pair items that look similar. In the image above, the only difference between the doe and the stags surrounding it is the lack of antlers. You may have to study a lot of deer heads before finding the animal that's out of place. If you're feeling impatient, you can check the solution at the bottom of the page.

Dudolf has released many brain teasers inspired by the holidays. Pictures he's illustrated in the past include a sheep hidden among Santas, a snowman among snowflakes, and a panda among snowmen.

Looking for more ways to challenge your brain? See if you can beat these tricky puzzles.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Dudolf