Can my doggie point the way to the poles?
March 10, 2006 4:57 AM   Subscribe

Do dogs always sleep parallel to a north-south axis?

My father says yes (based on "something he read"); I say... well, colour me extremely skeptical. His doggie seems to exhibit this behaviour, but mine does not. He responds mine is not a 'real dog.'

Any more evidence/ ideas to resolve this completely ridiculous argument?
posted by docgonzo to Pets & Animals (22 answers total)
No, they do not.
posted by RustyBrooks at 5:02 AM on March 10, 2006

My dog sleeps curled up in a little ball on whatever section of the couch/bed appeals to her the most at that particular moment. If this means she has to displace humans (she usually does), then so be it. I have never noticed a north-south axis. An empty-space-human axis, yes. A let's-find-the-most-inconvenient-place-my-nose-can-be-axis, yes. North-south? No.
In terms of convincing your father? I dunno, ask a vet to talk to him? Laura Ingalls Wilder has a lengthy passage about exactly how her dog Jack used to lie down to go to sleep in one of her books but I'm not sure that would count as "evidence." I think what you're mostly going to get is "My dog doesn't do that either!" Anyway, shouldn't the burden of proof be on him? He's the one with the theory.
posted by posadnitsa at 5:10 AM on March 10, 2006

Nope. Definitely not.
posted by biscotti at 5:29 AM on March 10, 2006

posted by Wolfdog at 5:30 AM on March 10, 2006

My wife and I have three dogs and just this morning two were on either side of our bed, which is on an east-west axis the third was at the foot of the bed on a north-south axis. (I know the orientation of my bed because I can see Polaris through the window beside it, not because of some feng-shui type compulsion to put that way).
posted by TedW at 5:33 AM on March 10, 2006

Your father is clearly joking.
posted by blue mustard at 5:34 AM on March 10, 2006

And our dogs are a lab and two lab-based mutts, which I hope your father would count as "real dogs". Perhaps he gives his dog too much iron in his diet.
posted by TedW at 5:35 AM on March 10, 2006

As long as you define "real dogs" as "dogs who sleep parallel to a north south axis" then this is definitely true.

Otherwise... simply observe dogs. They sleep any which way.
posted by RustyBrooks at 5:46 AM on March 10, 2006

Are you sure he's your "real father"?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:04 AM on March 10, 2006

posted by OmieWise at 6:16 AM on March 10, 2006

no, but a true mystery of nature is that cats weigh twice as much when they're sleeping
posted by pyramid termite at 6:17 AM on March 10, 2006

Not a chance. When we allowed our dog access to the bed, he would sleep in whatever orientation gave him the most space.

Damn bed hog.
posted by plinth at 6:35 AM on March 10, 2006

Perhaps he gives his dog too much iron in his diet.

posted by sourwookie at 7:05 AM on March 10, 2006

Here is a picture of a sleeping dog. Look at the shadows. What axis is the dog sleeping along?

Just a note, I did a GIS for sleeping dog and that was the only shot I could definitively say that the dog was not sleeping on a N/S axis. I'm just theorizing here, but from the photos and my experiences with dog personalities, I think that dogs lying in the sun may take the N/S axis to maximize sun exposure. In the shade it would not matter, but you can't tell directions with shady photos!

And TedW definitely wins!
posted by Pollomacho at 7:16 AM on March 10, 2006

no...but they cant look up.
posted by ShawnString at 8:05 AM on March 10, 2006

I think we've established the answer is No.

Several years ago, my friend's grandfather manage to convince his wife that if you stirred custard anti-clockwise it would curdle. She still believes it to this day.
posted by matthewr at 10:46 AM on March 10, 2006

My dogs can totally look up. When geese fly overhead, I point to the sky and they check them out. I'd heard that rumor too, but my dogs must be weird.
posted by almostcool at 11:48 AM on March 10, 2006

My dogs can look at least partly up. If they're below my office window I can yell down at them, and they will look up at me (eventually. First they will run around and try to find me somewhere outside)
posted by RustyBrooks at 11:56 AM on March 10, 2006

My dog sleeps in whatever position strikes him as most comfortable, and he most certainly looks up.
posted by ambrosia at 12:07 PM on March 10, 2006

Your dad's pulling your leg.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 2:18 PM on March 10, 2006

However, it is true that they chase their tails in a clockwise direction north of the Equator, counter-clockwise south
posted by rob511 at 7:34 PM on March 10, 2006

Is he talking about true north or magnetic north? TedW may be onto something (Perhaps he gives his dog too much iron in his diet). When dogs sometimes "spin" on their way down to sleeping positions, they are attempting to get their bearing on magnetic north. Iron imbalances can cause problems with sleeping alignment.
posted by mumeishi at 9:26 AM on March 11, 2006

« Older Do I wanna dance, or do I wanna dance?   |   Message board archive app? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.