In this article, we will answer the following question: Why does my Yorkie sleep with his tongue out? If we observe our dog we will realize that it spends a good part of its time, except for the hours of walking and feeding, sleeping, or, at least, in a resting position.
Among the different postures it adopts, there is one that can attract our attention and even worry us: your dog falls asleep with his tongue hanging out. Here we explain why.
Why does my Yorkie sleep with his tongue out?
A Yorkie that sleeps with its tongue out does so because it is completely relaxed. The muscles relax so much that the mouth is parted and the tongue sticks out and becomes visible. This can happen in any position they adopt to sleep, although it is more common to see it when they are on their side or fully stretched out.
This posture also conveys the information that your Yorkie is calm and comfortable. In other words, it is a good sign. As dogs are capable of falling asleep soundly at any time of the day, we can see them sleeping with their tongues sticking out both during the day and at night.
We must not disturb them or do anything to reintroduce the tongue into the mouth. He will do it when he wakes up or changes position. Keep in mind that it is essential to provide the dog with comfortable and sheltered places to sleep and allow it to do so without interruptions. Lack of sleep affects your well-being.
The sleep cycle in dogs
Sometimes sticking out the tongue is encompassed within a picture formed by different movements that is due to a specific phase of sleep: known as the REM phase, short for Rapid Eye Movement. In this phase of deep sleep, which lasts for a few minutes, brain activity is triggered, breathing speeds up and the heart rate increases.
We will notice that the dog moves. Their legs stand out, especially since they seem to be on the run. Different parts of the body, such as the ears, eyes, or mouth, suffer small tics or spasms. The eyes and mouth may open and the dog, fully asleep, may make different sounds such as whimpering, barking, or howling.
In this situation, your Yorkie can also stick out his tongue. It is a physiological phase of sleep. It does not imply any pathology nor, of course, we have to intervene. The normal thing is that it stops in a few minutes and the dog continues to sleep. Other times he will wake up, perhaps somewhat startled. In a matter of seconds, it will be located.
Sticking out the tongue is also a sign of communication
The tongue is not only important in dogs when it comes to feeding or interacting with the environment. Sticking out their tongues helps them regulate their temperature. They lack the abundance of sweat glands that people do. In the case of dogs, they are only found on the paw pads.
In order to cool down, dogs use the panting mechanism, in which they open their mouths completely and stick their tongues out completely. In this way, they achieve that the hot air evaporates on its surface, which lowers the temperature.
On the other hand, exploring the environment with the tongue exposes it to damage from foreign bodies. Fragments of bones, vegetables, splinters, etc. are some of the objects that dogs can contact, hurting the tongue. An injury can keep it out of the mouth. The dog will also paw, drool, or lick its lips non-stop.
When to go to the vet
Sleeping with the tongue out is not worrying, but if the dog, once awake, cannot get his tongue back into his mouth, you should go to the vet. For example, if we detect a foreign body that we are not able to remove. Also, swelling of the tongue could make it impossible to fully reintroduce it into the mouth.
It is rare, but this could occur, for example, after a bee, wasp, arachnid, etc. sting. The sting site will become inflamed and the dog will feel pain. Also, the inflammation can spread to the rest of the face and even the neck. Keep in mind that if there is more than one string, the dog could go into shock from the absorption of toxins.
Another serious allergic reaction is anaphylactic shock. It is necessary to go to the vet. On the other hand, the tongue out accompanied by other signs such as intense panting, reddened mucous membranes, hypersalivation or vomiting can be indicative of a heat stroke. This is an emergency and requires the immediate attention of the veterinarian.
5 common sleeping positions of dogs and their meaning
A dog sleeping curled up like a ball
Admit it, you have immediately visualized your dog sleeping in a circle on his bed. You did it because it is one of the most common, but that does not mean that it is entirely a good sign. The furry does not adopt this position for comfort, but to maintain body heat.
If, by rolling into a ball they are protecting his throat, limbs, and vital organs, so if he has been sleeping like this for many days, perhaps you should check the temperature at home, it may be too cold for him.
At the same time, many studies have determined that this posture is more common in dogs with a docile and friendly nature, is this the case with yours?
Dog sleeping upside down
We are not going to deny it, your dog sleeping upside down is adorable, but it may not be the most ideal position either. Normally this position is usually related to younger dogs or puppies since they consume so much energy that they remain stiff as it is.
However, sleeping on his stomach does not stop tensing the muscles, which may prevent them from reaching REM sleep. On the other hand, that the abdomen is very close to the ground can also mean that it is passing some heat since in this way most animals manage to counteract high temperatures, especially if the material of the floor is insulated from heat.
Dog sleeping on its side
This, along with the circled position, is the second most common. But don’t worry, this is all good news: it means that your dog is calm and happy. This position is the opposite of an alert position, it would make it very difficult for the animal to react to a dangerous situation, which means that your dog is completely unconcerned: he feels safe and comfortable in your home and with you.
Dog sleeping with his legs up
This position is probably the one that has generated the most memes on the Internet. Open mouths, tongues out, each leg looking at a place … surely if your dog has fallen asleep like this it will have caused you more than one laugh.
Well, it’s all good news. Besides being funny, it is a very good sign: it means that your pet is enjoying sleep like never before. If sleeping on your side would be an inconvenience when reacting to danger, imagine yourself in that position … so don’t wake him up, he is enjoying himself and feels completely safe in his home. Take the opportunity to send us the odd photo of your dog sleeping!
Dog sleeping on its paws
If your dog has had soup on its legs as if it were about to fly off, it is exactly prepared for that. This posture would be considered “alert posture”, it means that your dog is not completely calm in his environment, and is prepared for what may happen. It doesn’t have to be a bad thing, in fact it is quite possible that he is enjoying himself just as well, but it means that it is somewhat scary.
The bottom line
It is normal behavior for dogs to stick their tongue out. There are no reasons to worry. Specifically, it would be one of the so-called signs of submission or calm. Dogs do not speak but they are very capable of communicating with us and with their fellow human beings through their different senses.
Thus, one can speak of body, visual, olfactory, and auditory communication. The signal of appeasement is part of bodily communication. The dog emits it when it is in a situation that begins to seem uncomfortable. It would be a “please leave me alone.” Twisting the head, yawning, or blinking all have the same meaning.
If this is the case with your Yorkie, it is best to check what is happening, that is, what may be causing tension, to immediately end the stressful situation. On the other hand, the repeated movement of sticking the tongue in and out can also indicate anxiety and nervousness. An ethologist or behavior expert can help you in these cases.
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FAQ on Why does my Yorkie sleep with his tongue out?
Why is my dog’s tongue sticking out?
Most of the time your dog sticks his tongue out to cool down, or because he is calm and submissive to his owner. If your dog sticks his tongue out excessively and shows other symptoms of pain or discomfort, you should consult a vet as he may have a mouth or throat injury.
What does it mean when a dog licks you?
When a dog licks you, he likes you, it is a sign of affection. Licking releases endorphins and makes the dog feel comfortable and calm. It also relieves the stress of the dog.
Do dogs understand when you kiss them?
Dogs do not understand what a kiss is, but they can interpret it as a sign of affection. Most dogs enjoy being kissed, hugged, and petted.
How do you know if a dog loves you?
You know that a dog loves you if he is curling up in your lap, rests his nose or paw on you, or if he is wagging his tail every time he sees you. It means that he is happy, wants to play, and trusts you.
Why does my dog lick me all the time?
If your dog licks you all the time it means that he is being submissive. In dog language, it means that you are the “leader of the pack” and this is just typical canine behavior.