ss_blog_claim=bf53c2c2a6b5e4b759eb9b46babec032 Stephen the dog: Why do Dogs sleep upside down?

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Why do Dogs sleep upside down?

I recently got the following letter


My name is Becky, I am 11, and I ready your website all the time. You are so cute. The reason I am writing you is that I have a question. Recently I have been finding my dog Abby sleeping on her back with her paws up in the air. This looks really weird. Why is she doing this? Is it normal?



Dear Becky,

Thanks for reading my site. I am glad you like it. As for Abby don’t worry. Sleeping upside down is entirely normal. In fact you might want to try it some time. We dogs often do this for safety.

The earth is a dynamic system. As you may or may not know the earth’s magnetic field has already reversed a couple of times. Can Gravity be far behind? We dogs don’t think so. We sleep upside down on days we think there might be a sudden reversal of gravity. This way if gravity reverses when we are asleep we will just wake up standing on the ceiling instead of crashing into the ceiling head first.

Sleeping upside down is relatively new. Before when we used to live outside there was no need. If gravity reversed you just fell up into the sky, however now that we live inside we have to worry about crashing into the ceiling. You don’t want to go to sleep and wake up crashing into a ceiling head first. It is bad enough when my A wakes me up to go outside I can’t imagine how cranky I would be after having crashed into a ceiling at 3:30am.

There is a whole team of dogs who are responsible for sending out warnings when the risk of a sudden gravity reversal is high. They work at the Dog Gravity Research Center (DGRC) in Tacoma Washington. Those guys do some nice work up there. I have yet to be caught off guard by a sudden gravity reversal (SGR) in fact I don’t know of any dog who has since the program was implemented in the late 1940’s.

While we still know of no way to prevent SGRs we dogs have implemented these procedures to limit their impact when they occur.

Anyway that is the reason Abby sleeps upside down sometimes, you may also notice she does not sleep upside down when she is outside. We dogs are just way more in-tune with the world that people. It is not your fault dogs are just better than people. Imagine what we could do if we had opposable thumbs.

Thanks for the letter let me know if you have any more questions



At January 13, 2008 at 6:49:00 PM EST , Blogger Andree said...

This is so sweet. I don't get questions from kids. But you are cuter. It's just so adorable misinforming the young. And your photo! Love it. Funny, but the daughter's crazed beagles don't ever sleep on their backs. But they are crazed. And they do sleep under the covers with us at night. It's been a bit cold. Hope you are staying warm!

At January 13, 2008 at 8:12:00 PM EST , Blogger Unknown said...

Andree thanks for the comment and kind words. Sleeping under the covers is another effective defense against SGR provided the covers are properly tucked in.

At January 14, 2008 at 5:25:00 AM EST , Blogger ClareB said...

Ahh, that explains it. I wondered why Fritz slept on his back some nights and not others.
A fun post, thanks!

At April 29, 2008 at 7:16:00 AM EST , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your gravity theory is interesting. A further extrapolation on the theory makes me wonder if the "paws up" has something to do with keeping the sky up. Heaven help us if all dogs start sleeping on their stomach or their side ... the sky might fall!

Clover & Cosmo

At January 23, 2009 at 2:43:00 PM EST , Anonymous Anonymous said...

freaking nutjobs.. they don't sleep upside down due to gravity. there are two theories to this. 1. that they are safe and the environment is calm 2. they are hot since they don't have much fur in the bottom, so its a way of cooling off.

gravity... jeeze


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