11 Reasons Why Your Dog Suddenly Jumps Up When Lying Down

Categorized as Why Does My Dog
why does my dog jump up suddenly when lying down

Dogs are always curious, and they have a lot of energy, so it is no surprise that sometimes this leads to them jumping up from their lying down position. So why does my dog jump up suddenly when lying down?

The answer may seem easy at first, but there are actually many different reasons why your dog might be doing this! In this blog post, we will go over the most popular explanations for sudden jumps while lying down.

Here’s The Short Answer to Why Your Dog Suddenly Jumps Up When Lying Down:

This can happen for many reasons, both psychological and medical. Dogs that are dealing with anxiety or fear will sometimes display this behavior. Another explanation could be that they simply woke up from a nightmare. It’s also possible that they got spooked by something and jumped into a high alert position.

The most common medical reason for your dog’s sudden jumping behavior is if they have something in their anal glands and need to bark to empty them. Other potential causes are high blood pressure (hypertension), osteoarthritis, or kidney stones.

Let’s take a look at each of these causes and some other things to consider.

11 Reasons Why Your Dog Suddenly Jumps Up When Lying Down

1. Fear

Although less likely to be the cause, fear can be the reason why your dog can suddenly jump and run away while in a deep sleep. This fear can be shaped by certain traumatic events when they were a puppy in which they haven’t learned to deal with it.

It is also possible that if your dog is a puppy, they’re undergoing what is called fear stages. During these stages, your puppy may seem fearful of everything, even the things they normally enjoy.

This type of fear is temporary and should disappear as your pup matures into an adult dog who has already learned how to deal with their fears instead of being constantly afraid.

2. Sleep Behavior Disorder

Your dog may suddenly jump up while lying down because they are experiencing sleep behavior disorder. This is different from nightmares in which your dog may jump up and run around the room barking or growling; this type of disorder makes it difficult for them to fall asleep at all.

There are a few different sleep disorders that can affect our dogs. Three of the most common include:

REM behavior disorder

This sleep disorder is like sleepwalking because dogs with REM behavior disorder will act out while asleep. They might use their claws or teeth, shake, run around, or attack inanimate objects.

You can wake up your dog from a sleepwalking episode; however, do so carefully and slowly, so you don’t startle them and put yourself in danger. Your dog will probably be confused for a minute or two before regaining his/her consciousness.

If your dog has REM behavior disorder, the vet will prescribe a medicine called clonazepam. It helps dogs who have this problem not to be so active at night. Other medicines that the vet may prescribe are anti-anxiety drugs and anticonvulsants.


Narcolepsy in dogs is often seen in puppies and in many dogs that haven’t reached maturity.

Narcoleptics episodes in dogs can be sudden and startling for anyone nearby. Often, they involve a loss of muscle control which means that the dog’s body will collapse or fall asleep but may be aware of what is happening around it. Often, the dog will abruptly come out of an episode if you clap your hand or make a loud noise.

There isn’t any definite cure for narcolepsy in canines. But you can manage it by trying to keep your dog calm and watchful of the signs of an episode.


Insomnia is not common in dogs. However, it can happen if a dog has another problem, like skin problems or pain. You need to find out what the underlying problem is to help your dog sleep better.

To help your dog relax and sleep, try these techniques:

  • Place the dog’s bed in a quiet area where he won’t be disturbed; turn off TVs, radios, and other electronic devices to eliminate white noise that might keep him up at night.
  • Introduce calming music to his sleeping space if you think it would do the trick – classical pieces tend to work well for dogs because they are less likely to elicit an emotional response than other types of music (which can disrupt their ability to sleep).
  • Keep lights dim throughout the house before bedtime so as not to induce sleeping difficulty due to excess stimulation.

3. Being on Alert

Since our beloved dog is always ready to protect us, alertness could be the reason that is causing your dog to jump up from their sleep. Certain dog breeds such as German Shepherds and Bullmastiffs are known to be more protective than other dogs.

These dogs will do anything to protect their owners, even at the cost of their own lives. So if you have one of those protective dogs at home, don’t be surprised if your dog seems to be ready and alert at all times.

If you have more than one dog, it’s likely that you have one alpha dog who will constantly be on the watch for any potential threats while other dogs in the household are just trying to do their own thing.

4. Nightmares

Just like us, dogs also can have a nightmare. The nightmare can be scary enough to make your dog jump out of their sleep.

If your dog has a good dream, they might twitch their paws and flick their ears. There should not be any signs that they are stressed. However, if they have a bad dream, they might growl in their sleep with jerky movements of their paws or eyes. This can make them wake up suddenly, just like you when you have a bad nightmare.

What to Do if Your Dog Is Having a Nightmare?

If your dog is in the middle of a nightmare, don’t wake them up. They might get scared and bite you. If they have a nightmare, it will likely only last for a few minutes. Then they will go back to sleep.

If your dog’s nightmare lasts longer than a few minutes, waking them up might be the way to stop the nightmare. Do this only with your voice and not with touch. You can say their name or turn on soft music or TV until they wake up.

5. Anal Glands

Anal glands could be the reason behind your dog jumping up suddenly during sleep. If your dog’s jumping behavior is followed by other symptoms like scooting or dragging the bottom (anus) on the ground, a foul fishy odor coming from the anus, nibbling and licking the anus, straining when pooing, suddenly sitting down in discomfort, traces of brownish substance left then your dog likely needs their anal glands expressed.

6. Osteoarthritis

A lot of older dogs have an issue with their hips and joints. As a dog ages, the cartilage that cushions these wears down, causing them to become arthritic. This condition will make it hard for older dogs to get comfortable when they lay down, resulting in them trying different positions or even jumping up.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for Osteoarthritis, but you can manage this condition by making a change in your dog’s diet, doing exercise, and giving them a joint supplement.

7. High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure could be another medical reason why your dog jumps up suddenly when lying down.

Dogs can have high blood pressure because of some underlying diseases that make them sick. The most common diseases are kidney disease, Cushing’s disease, and overproduction of cortisone in the body.

When your dog’s kidneys are not working well, the body cannot adjust the blood pressure, making you feel jumpy or nervous.

To lower the blood pressure, your vet or dog specialist will usually prescribe a calcium channel blocker or a beta-blocker. As to the dog’s diet, the veterinarian may put your dog on a low sodium diet.

8. Kidney Stones

Kidney stones are one of those ailments that often go unnoticed until considerable damage is done.

Kidney stones in dogs can form because of an imbalance in the dog’s blood or urine, while other forms because of an infection in the kidney. If the stones become big or part of it breaks off, your dog will start feeling a lot of pain which can be the source of your dog jumping up suddenly when lying down.

Some symptoms of this medical condition include nausea, vomiting, kidney pain, and abdominal pain followed by fever-like signs like shivering teeth due to nerve damage from the increased blood pressure associated with kidney stones. You may also notice a loss of weight as well as some traces of blood found in urine.

9. Fleas and Ticks

Does your dog jump up and bite or scratch itself? If you say yes, then he/she may react to a flea bite or any other type of insect bite.

Fleas and ticks are Fleas are two of the most frequent pet care concerns in America. These parasites feed on the blood of both animals and people and usually lay eggs in a warm, moist environment such as rugs, between floorboards, and in your pet’s bedding.

Flea bites can also be responsible for hot spots, which may lead to skin irritation and hair loss due to excessive scratching. If left untreated, fleas and ticks will continue feeding off the hosts and cause serious harm to you and your dog’s health.

How to Get Rid of Dog Fleas and Ticks?

The best way to deal with fleas is prevention. You should kill fleas or ticks that come in contact with your dog right away. There are several products out there that you can choose from flea collar to flea comb and shampoo.

However, if your dog already has fleas, these preventives may not be enough. You should use them in combination with other more aggressive approaches, like a prescription flea and tick treatment.

10. Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infections usually occur in older dogs. These conditions make your dog unable to hold urine for a long period of time. In your eyes, this act of getting up every now and then may make them look as though they jump up all of a sudden.

Some symptoms of the UTI include:

  • difficulty in urinating or holding urine for a long period of time
  • blood or pus when your dog urinates
  • strong odor
  • licking their urinary opening

11. Bloated Stomachs

Lastly, your dog jumping up suddenly when sleeping or laying down can be an indication of a bloated stomach. In essence, a bloated stomach is a condition in which your dog’s belly is distended and feels bloated or full, causing great abdominal discomfort. This condition will make it hard for your dog to lie down.

A bloated stomach can occur for a number of reasons, including eating too fast, infections, Cushing’s disease, or fluid accumulation. The best ways to prevent bloat in dogs are through managing their eating habits, scheduling their exercises properly, and going to the vet regularly.


There can be many reasons why a dog might suddenly jump up when lying down. The most common explanations are psychological, such as anxiety or fear, or medical issues such as anal gland problems or high blood pressure.

If your dog is displaying this behavior, it is important to take them to the veterinarian to rule out any potential health concerns.

Related Questions

1. Why Does My Dog Jump and Bite Me on Walks?

Your dog might be biting to get attention. They could be biting because they want to play while on a walk, or they are exhibiting frustration as they can’t run as fast outside. They may also be anxious with all of the new stimuli around them and aren’t sure how to react.

By Andrew Garf

Andrew Garf has loved dogs, especially German Shepherds, since he was 10 years old. Though he also loves burgers, training dogs is his real passion. That's why he created the website TrainYourGSD.com - to help dog owners learn how to properly train, care for, and bond with their German Shepherd dogs.