Why Do Dogs Move Their Beds?

It’s sleep time, and you just arranged your dog’s fresh bedding in the ideal place. But then they suddenly drag it to another spot.

Some dogs even scratch and burrow under their beds after moving them. What is the cause of this behavior?

Find out why your dog moves their bed around and whether you should encourage the behavior or not. 

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dogs move their beds

Why Your Dog Moves Their Bed

Dogs move their bed because it’s instinct inherited from their ancestors.

Here are some specific reasons your dog might have this habit. 


Circling is a common habit among dogs in the wild who want to feel safe and comfortable before sleeping. 

Even after being domesticated, our furry friends continue doing this routine with their beds.

When your dog roams around while carrying their bed, think of it as their way to monitor their environment.

Your pup’s ancestors did this with their pack in the wild to avoid hunters, snakes, rodents, and other creatures as they rest.

Dogs also circle before spelling to mark their scent all over the spot to let other packs know the area is taken. 

This is the same reason behind your dog circling before peeing and pooping. Other dogs even kick the leaves and grass to mark their scent on a more significant portion of the ground. 


Dogs move their bed, blanket, and pillow around before sleeping because they want to find the safest space to cover themselves. 

In the wild, these animals hid behind grass, caves, and trees to protect themselves from predators. Others conceal themselves because they got used to the activity when working. 

They want to find a low spot or an indoor area where no one will bother them in their sleep. 

Despite being social animals, dogs also look for privacy. Give your pooch a place of their own that is free from noise, people, and unnecessary clutter. 

Scratching Instinct

Many dogs also have a natural mannerism of scratching the ground before burrowing themselves. 

They move their bed and blanket around, then strike the object before sleeping.

Our pups are den animals who might find comfort in spaces as narrow as caves or soil. They scratch or dig the ground, then sleep in these tiny spots to feel cozier. 

This habit is more common among dogs who hunted moles, rats, and other animals. These include terriers like the Yorkshire Terrier and hound dogs like Beagles. 

Snow dogs like Siberian Huskies also like to scratch and move their beds around because it resembles digging in the snow where they used to hide during cold winter nights. 

Territorial Behavior

The act of moving their bed around can be a sign of territoriality. 

Dogs leave their scent all over the spot using their sweat glands to inform other dogs and people that the place is theirs.

Like digging and scratching, being territorial is a natural behavior among dogs. But it should never turn into destruction or aggression if another dog tries to “invade” their spot.

One way to prevent this bad behavior is by training your dog. Socialize your dog with other dogs and household members, so they don’t see them as enemies or predators. 

Dogs also get territorial with their owner. One sign of territorial behavior is when dogs put their head on you

dog moving bed

Looking for a Comfortable Spot

Sometimes, there’s no profound reason behind your dog moving their bed around. They might only be looking for the comfiest spot for sleeping.

Like us, dogs want to feel warm, cozy, and comfortable when sleeping. So they might look for a spot close to the heater or away from the noisy neighbors. 

Some dogs also avoid windows, especially when there is disturbing noise outside. 

If it’s warm in your place, some dogs prefer sleeping inside the bathroom because the moist environment keeps them cool.

During wintertime, your dog might want to snuggle under the covers with you to stay warm. Find out whether dogs need a blanket at night or not.

Stress and Anxiety

A dog’s restlessness can be a sign of stress or anxiety. They feel uncomfortable anywhere they sleep, so they move from one place to another to soothe themselves.

Try wrapping your dog’s torso to soothe their anxiety. Doing so will remove the tension from their mind and body since the wrap feels like a cozy hug to them.

If your dog moves their bed every night, something could be causing their distress. Check if your furry friend is afraid of the dark or if they do not want to sleep alone.

Some dogs move their bed around because they are in pain. If your dog usually sleeps soundly at night but suddenly can’t sleep, take them to the vet to rule out any medical condition.


The last possible reason behind your dog moving around is because they’re nesting.

Female dogs look for the safest and most comfortable spot to give birth so that they can avoid any threat or distraction.

They try to drag blankets and a bed to a new place. Others rearrange pillows and even go into your laundry to create a safe haven. 

But it’s not just pregnant dogs who do this. Female dogs who have just finished their heat period can mimic the signs of nesting because of false pregnancy

Dogs that are “fake pregnant” may also have enlarged mammary glands and nipples. Some produce milk, and others develop an increased thirst. 

Should You Encourage the Behavior?

You should only allow your dog to move their bed around when they do it to feel more comfortable. 

For example, if it’s too hot or cold in your dog’s sleeping area, there is no need to stop them from finding the perfect spot.

Perhaps you can create a better sleeping spot for them with the right temperature and lighting.

You can also allow your pregnant furry friend to move their bed, blanket, and other items around before they give birth. 

But if your dog is moving their bedding at night because they are anxious, it’s time for you to start taking proactive measures to stop the bad behavior. 

You should also discourage your dog from moving their bedding around if they try to be territorial and aggressive. 

How to Stop Your Dog From Moving Their Bed

There are many ways to stop your furry friend from moving their bed around. Some of these solutions are short-term, while others include addressing the root cause of the behavior. 

Buy a Heavy Dog Bed for Your Bed

One way to lessen this behavior is by replacing your dog’s bed with a heavier one.

If your dog doesn’t need to move their bed around every night, buy them hefty bedding made of durable materials so their mouth won’t be able to carry the weight.

You may also place a heavy blanket or pillow on their bed to keep them from dragging the object before bedtime. This idea is perfect if you have a small-breed dog like a Chihuahua or Shih Tzu.

But if your dog is large enough to carry fabric beds, get a wooden frame for their bedding so they won’t be able to carry it around the house.

Find a Comfortable Sleeping Spot for Your Pup

If your dog moves their bed because they feel uncomfortable in their current sleeping spot, you should consider a better area for them.

Dogs who get cold a lot should not be sleeping outside or near your fan or air conditioner. Meanwhile, those who feel hot should not be placed close to heaters or fires.

If your dog can’t see in the dark, place a small light in the location or let them sleep in a brighter part of the house. 

Manage Your Dog’s Anxiety

Dogs who drag their beds around might be doing so because they are anxious. If they exhibit other signs of mild anxiety like pacing and drooling, calming supplements might help.

But severe signs of anxiety like urinating, excessive barking, and depression require medical and behavioral intervention. 

Take your dog to the veterinarian to rule out any medical issue. Then, hire a canine behaviorist who can train your dog to stay calm in stressful situations. 

A trainer can help with counter-conditioning, desensitization, and other techniques to soothe your dog’s fear and anxiety.

You can also try out your own ways to keep your dog calm.

Crate-Train Your Dog

Crate-training your puppy will give them a sense of security and safety whenever they are inside it. 

It’s also a vital part of training because it helps with potty training and proper behavior when traveling. 

Teach your dog to be comfortable in their crate, so they don’t have to look elsewhere to sleep. Make sure to set it up properly with their favorite toys and bed. 

Slowly introduce your dog to the crate by letting them sniff it first. Treats will also lure your puppy into entering the crate. 

Here are the exact steps to take when you’re crate-training your dog.

Why Does My Dog Scratch My Bed Sheet?

Dogs like to scratch their bed sheets because it’s an inherited habit from their hunter ancestors.

In the wild, dogs used to fit themselves in narrow holes to sleep. They scratch or dig the ground to create these holes and then shelter in them.

Other dogs scratched the ground to hunt for rodents, moles, and small prey. 

Domesticated dogs mimic this behavior using bed sheets, backyard soil, blankets, and carpets.

Find out the other reasons your dog scratches at your bed sheets.

Why Does My Dog Lay in My Spot in Bed?

Your dog might be laying in your spot in bed because they want to protect it. Any loyal dog would do it out of respect for their human.

But some dogs lay in your spot because they want to smell you. They get information about your health and whereabouts by sniffing.

If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, they try to comfort themselves in your absence by laying in your spot.

Learn the other reasons your dog lays in your spot

Do Puppies Need a Blanket at Night?

Yes, puppies need a blanket at night when the temperature is low since they cannot regulate their body temperature yet.

Even if they have thick fur, their underdeveloped bodies still cannot maintain adequate body heat.

That is why they need a blanket to keep them warmer. You can also place them close to your heating system or away from the cold to prevent them from getting sick.

Learn when you should give a puppy a blanket at night.

Keep Your Dog’s Sleeping Spot Comfy

It’s normal for dogs to move their beds, especially when they feel uncomfortable in their sleeping area or if they are about to give birth. 

This behavior may also come from their ancestors, who circled and scratched the ground until they found a secure sleeping spot in the wild. 

Some dog breeds are more likely to scratch their bed, move their sheets, and burrow in them because of their hunting instincts. 

Learn the different dog breeds that like to burrow under the covers.