Someone stealing your spot at a concert or theater might start an argument. But when your dog does the same in your bed, you can’t help but say “awww”.
But there’s a reason your dog lays in this area. Either they respect your spot and want to protect it, or they don’t know their boundaries.
This guide will show you all the possible reasons your dog lays in your spot in bed. Learning the cause of your dog’s habit will help you solve the behavioral problem.
Why Your Dog Lays in Your Spot in Bed
Your dog lays in your spot in bed because it’s a positive experience for them. It has your scent, it feels warm, and they get your attention every time they do it.
It Has Your Scent
If there’s one thing every dog loves, it’s the scent of their owners. So when you get up from your spot in bed, they instantly lay on it just to get a sniff.
A study shows that dogs’ brain reward centers respond strongly to the scents of familiar people, including their owners and other house members.
It’s also interesting to know that the owners were not physically present during the experiment, proving that our smells are a mental representation of ourselves for dogs.
Perhaps it’s your perfume from last night’s date, the smell of your hair, or all the dirty stuff. Dogs also love the smell of sweat and dander stuck in your bed.
The aroma is comforting because it gives them information about your health, whereabouts, and diet. It also makes them happy because they feel your presence.
They are Protecting Your Spot
Loyal dogs may temporarily lay on your spot in bed when you get up to make sure no one else takes it. This is usually the case if they suddenly stand up and return to their position once you get back.
It’s a simple way for dogs to show their protective instinct. But make sure this behavior isn’t paired with aggression or territoriality.
Thank your furry friend for this small gesture. It’s their way of saying they always got you wherever you go.
Give them high-value treats, a belly rub, or a pat on the head. Doing so will teach them to keep protecting your spot when you’re not around.
Dogs Like Burrowing Under the Sheets
If you have a Dachshund, Jack Russell Terrier, or a Beagle, you might notice them laying on your spot on the bed and trying to hide under the sheets.
Dogs also like being under blankets for many reasons, but it’s usually a hunting instinct. Terriers and other small-prey hunting dogs mimic the behavior of their ancestors, who sought comfort in burrowing.
These dogs looked for rats, moles, and other tiny prey for their owners. The behavior has been hardwired in their DNAs that domesticated pets have the same habit.
Other dogs like to burrow beneath the sheets to keep themselves warm. Even snow breeds like Siberian Huskies burrow because they get cold despite tolerating freezing temperatures.
It Feels Warm
Dogs tend to sleep in your spot because it’s the warmest and coziest part of the room. They try to soothe themselves during the cold winter nights by staying in your place and maybe hiding under the blankets.
Smaller dogs, puppies, and dogs with short coats are more likely to suffer from the cold weather than large breed ones. Senior dogs and dogs with diseases are also more at risk.
There is no exact temperature on how cold is too cold for dogs. But if it’s too cold for you, then they probably feel the same.
And if you need a blanket to sleep on, so do they. Give your puppy a blanket on a cold winter night to keep them safe and healthy.
They Want Attention
Some dogs sleep on your side of the bed because they want attention. They know you will notice them when they stay there, so they keep doing it all the time.
This is likely the cause if your dog only goes to your spot when you’re busy. They sleep on your bed while you’re working, talking to others, or taking a bath.
Dogs like when you ask them to get down from the bed, stay, or do anything else. And the easiest way to get your attention is by going to your most loved spot.
Do not reinforce your dog’s behavior by playing with them or giving them verbal praises. Ask them to get down and remove any tangible and intangible rewards.
It Makes Them Feel Safe
Dogs have been inseparable from humans since our ancestors found them beneficial for work. They trained, raised, and fed their dogs daily to be fit for hunting or guarding.
Now that dogs are treated as part of the family, they have become more clingy. Sometimes, we even eat and sleep with our dogs.
And when you’re not around, they stay in the spot where you sit and lay all the time to feel your presence. It reinforces their pack behavior where they feel safer around a company.
Another common reason your dog loves to sleep on your side of the bed is that they’re suffering from separation anxiety. Your dog will stay on your spot while you’re away to comfort themselves and de-stress.
This is more likely the cause if they display other signs of separation anxiety. These include destructive behavior, loud noises, and crying when they are left alone.
Find out how to manage your dog’s separation anxiety so you can keep them from staying on your bed. Make sure to talk to your vet to rule out any medical problems.
Mild separation anxiety can usually be treated by leaving the television on, giving special treats, and calming supplements. But more severe concerns can require extensive training and even medical treatment.
How to Stop Your Dog From Laying in Your Spot in Bed
Here are some ways to stop your dog from laying on your side of the bed.
Give Them Their Own Space
Your dog might only stay in your bed because their space is too hot, cold, or uncomfortable. Meanwhile, yours is fluffy, warm, and big enough for their liking.
Check your dog’s sleeping spot for any issues that might be causing them to avoid the area. Make sure it is clean and fresh, and add toys, blankets, and maybe a pillow, so they will find it more inviting.
Do Not Reward the Behavior
Some dogs only lay on your bed because they receive something rewarding from you every time they do it.
For instance, they might receive your special attention whenever you ask them to get off the bed. Or you find them cute when they lay, so you give them a few minutes of playtime.
Instead, give them a one-word command to come down, such as “Down” or “Go.”
Then, remove all forms of reward. Please do not give them attention, access to the bed, toys, or treats until they are off the bed.
Treat Separation Anxiety
If your dog only stays on your spot in bed when you’re away, it could be because they have separation anxiety.
Your vet will give the best treatment for separation anxiety. They will rule out hormonal and other medical issues, then recommend training and medicine.
A holistic vet might even consider changes in your dog’s diet to keep them well-behaved.
We do not recommend self-medicating, but there are many ways to manage your dog’s separation anxiety. If the situation is only mild, you can consider leaving the television on for them and giving them calming supplements.
Training also helps. Crate training will also provide your pup with a safe and quiet place to relax.
Desensitization and counter-conditioning are also essential when teaching your dog to be comfortable at home. It will teach them that a few hours of separation has rewards.
Why Does My Dog Scratch My Bed Sheet?
Dogs scratch your bed sheet because they mimic their ancestors’ digging behavior.
This habit is common among terriers, hound dogs, and others who hunted the ground and narrow caves for small prey.
They will dig on your bed and then hide under the blankets to make themselves comfortable.
Find out the other reasons your dog scratches your bed sheets.
Why Do Dogs Move Their Beds?
Dogs moving their beds before sleeping is another routine that can be traced back to dogs’ ancestors.
They circle as a pack before sleeping to stay comfortable and safe from predators. This habit allows them to check their surroundings, mark their scent, and choose their spot before bedtime.
Other dogs move their bed to find the best sleeping spot. Some search for warm areas, while others try to move away from the dark.
Learn the reasons behind your dog moving their bed around.
Which Dog Breeds Burrow Under the Blankets?
Terriers and snow dogs are the most popular burrowing dog breeds because of their natural habits.
For example, your Boston Terrier burrows more than your Border Collie because their ancestors used to dig small caves and hide under them for protection or to hunt small prey.
Snow Dogs like the Alaskan Malamute are also used to burrowing under the snow during cold winter nights.
The Australian Shepherd, Beagle, Griffon, and Basset Hound are other dog breeds that burrow under the covers.
Read the complete list of dog breeds that burrow under the blankets.
Don’t Let Your Dog Lay in Your Spot
For some dog owners, lying on your side of the bed is harmless and adorable. But others see it as a sign of a dog who does not know their boundaries.
Keeping your dog away from your side of the bed will prevent the development of other undesirable behavior. Always have a command word to get them to climb down the bed.
Does your dog also sleep on your pillow? Check out what to do when your dog sleeps on the pillow with you.