Your dog probably has a spacious doghouse in the yard and a cozy corner in the house where they take naps, play, and eat.
They’re used to hanging out in these spots, but you notice that they haven’t been staying here anymore. Now, they lounge and sleep with you in bed.
So, you may be wondering, why does my dog suddenly want to sleep with me?
We help you discover why your dog suddenly wants to sleep with you and how to encourage or stop the behavior. It’s all in the clues!
We also answer the very controversial question among dog owners, is it okay to share beds with dogs?
Why Your Dog Suddenly Wants to Sleep with You
Our dogs enjoy sleeping with us for many reasons. It could be the temperature in your room, the softness of your pillow, or the cuddles they get from you at night.
Dogs are social animals, so don’t be surprised if they snuggle with you or follow you everywhere. They’ve been sleeping and working together in groups even in the wild.
Domesticated dogs are also capable of being attached to their guardians. This feeling is exclusive to humans only.
But if they only do this now, something may have triggered them. Here are some possible reasons why they suddenly want to sleep with you.
They Want to be Warm
If it’s fall or winter season, your dog will do everything to get warm. They search for heat, and maybe your bed is the perfect spot.
One clue to look at is if they lie anywhere in the sun during the day then sleep with you at night.
This means that your dog is trying to find the heat, so make sure to keep them as warm as possible during the cold nights.
If you have an outside dog, try to keep them inside when it is cold, or make sure to keep their doghouse cozy during the winter.
No matter how furry they are, they won’t be able to withstand a long time outside when it’s cold.
It Makes them Feel Safe
Dogs might sleep with us suddenly because something is scaring them at their usual spot. It can also be because they don’t feel safe about any changes in their sleeping area.
It might also be because they tried sleeping with you once before and realized that they feel more secure in that spot.
Either way, every dog feels safe and happy when their loving owners are around. This is why you will find that they will sleep with you and follow you wherever you go.
They Want to Protect You
Dogs are pack animals so it’s in their instincts to watch over their family and protect one another.
Your dog probably sleeps with you suddenly because they sense danger or have recently noticed threats.
But don’t overthink this. It’s possible that your dog just sensed something new in their environment which is not really harmful at all.
Dogs also know that we are most exposed and vulnerable when we are asleep. So now they think that they have a job to guard you during this time.
Their Bed Does Not Feel Comfortable Anymore
It could also be that their bed is all torn up now and the fluffiness is gone. Like us, dogs hate sleeping on hard surfaces.
If this is the case, they will try to find somewhere else to sleep. It could be your couch or your bed, depending on which one is comfier and more accessible.
Dog beds should last a long time without reducing softness and overall quality. Having a high-quality cushion is also vital when you’re training them to enjoy their personal spot.
They Want Affection
It’s also likely that your dog just wants to sleep with you to give and receive some love. As mentioned, dogs produce a special attachment to their guardians.
Nothing feels better than the warmth and safety you can offer. Sometimes, no matter how expensive and high-quality their bed is, they still would rather be beside you.
There is nothing wrong with this. Just make sure you are not giving them too much attention which could result in separation anxiety when you’re gone.
Signs Your Dog Suddenly Wants to Sleep with You
There are many possible reasons why your dog suddenly stays with you in bed. How do you know which one is true for your dog?
Here are some clues to help you!
What Happened When Your Dog Started to Sleep with You?
Can you recall what exactly happened the first time your dog decided to sleep with you in bed? There could be a certain event or trigger at the time that made them do it.
For example, they started sleeping on top of the bed with you when you got another pet. The reason behind this could be jealousy or fear.
The new pet might be making them anxious at night.
Another example is when they hear too much noise at night. They might have heard fireworks and tried sleeping with you for the first time.
They found your bed comfortable and liked the attention and now they won’t sleep in their own bed anymore.
If you can find the event or trigger that started the behavior you will have some idea how to fix the behavior.
What is the Situation When They Do Not Sleep with You?
If your dog does not always sleep with you, then try observing what is different when they do not do it.
For example, if your dog doesn’t bother if there are no noises like fireworks or thunderstorms, then it means they sleep with you because they are scared.
If your dog is scared of the dark, then they may be okay not sleeping with you when the lights are still on.
Your dog’s body language tells a lot about their behavior. What else do they do when they are sleeping with you?
Check for signs of anxiety and fear, such as crying and whimpering. You also want to observe how they lay in bed.
Do they make themselves appear small? Then they are surely being fearful.
Signs of relaxation, on the other hand, include putting their legs and body out and laying on their side.
Is it Okay to Share Beds with Dogs?
This question is commonly asked by fur parents whose dogs suddenly start sleeping with them.
The answer depends on your dog’s health and behavior, as well as yours. Other factors that may also come to play include your dog’s size and their tendency to twitch when sleeping.
To get an exact answer, you want to ask yourself, is your dog house-trained?
If they do not know yet about the right place and time to pee and poop, it’s not a good idea to let them sleep in your bed.
You also don’t want them to sleep on your bed if they snore a lot or if they are light sleepers. You don’t want to disturb your dog’s sleep when they’re doing nothing wrong.
We also don’t recommend letting dogs sleep in beds when they are aggressive because they might direct their anger toward you when they dream.
Lastly, it’s not okay for your dog to sleep with you in bed if your spouse or partner doesn’t feel comfortable lying beside them.
What is your lifestyle? Do you mind having pet hair on your bet? Are you okay sleeping with them beside you or only by your feet?
If you don’t mind these inconveniences, you will enjoy the bed as much as your dog will!
There are benefits to letting your dog stay with you in bed. But there also disadvantages. It’s up to you how you’ll weigh these pros and cons.
Dogs Sleeping in Bed and Behavioral Issues
Many people think that letting your dog sleep with you in bed may cause behavioral issues.
However, this is not true.
Aggressive or fearful dogs should not be allowed to sleep in your bed because their behavior may worsen. But it does not mean that it is the root cause of their behavioral issues.
For example, many people think that dogs stay in our beds because they want to show dominance over their owners. Again, this is false.
Dogs sleep with us in bed because of the temperature, to show affection, or because they feel scared in their old spot.
How to Stop Your Dog from Sleeping with You
If you want your dog to quit laying on your bed, consider following this step-by-step training guide.
Step 1: Get a Bed for Your Dog
It is important to analyze how your dog sleeps before getting them a bed. You also want to measure them to make sure their bed is just the right size.
Many dogs suddenly sleep in our beds because they have outgrown their dog cushions and don’t feel comfy laying on them anymore.
Try Furhaven’s Mid-Century Dog Bed Frame! It’s a sofa bed for dogs that feature three sides with bolsters and one without.
The surface of this orthopedic bed is lined with faux fur, while the bolsters are made of micro-suede, so it’s soft enough for your furry friend to snooze in.
Once you have brought the bed home, find a spot near your bed or room to practice having your dog sleep near you, but not with you.
Step 2: Train Your Dog to Sleep in Their Bed
Once you have set the bed in the appropriate spot, tire out your dog from playtime and exercise so that training won’t be daunting.
This way, your dog is less likely to fight you over when it’s bedtime.
If your dog is on a leash, don’t remove it. Use it to guide them to their new spot.
If they follow you, give them treats. This will encourage them to have an interest in their new bed.
Remember not to get mad at your dog if they do not want to stay in their bed. This will lead them to associate the bed with a negative experience.
Step 3: Train Basic Commands
It’s not ideal to put your dog on a leash every time they have to go to their bed. This is especially true if you haven’t leash-trained your dog yet.
As an alternative, you can try to establish a voice command to train them. This method is still based on positive reinforcement techniques, so prepare a lot of treats.
The command could be “go to your bed” or a simple “bed now.” It doesn’t matter, as long as you are consistent with the command call.
This step takes time and patience, so always reward them when they obey you. This will aid in reinforcing the behavior.
You also want to teach “no” to your dog every time they try sleeping on your bed. If you see your dog getting out of bed and suddenly climbing back to you, stop them right away.
Here are the easy steps to teaching your dog any basic command.
- Choose your command word and use it consistently.
- Use the command word and guide them toward the correct behavior. For example, if you want your dog to walk between your legs, pull them a little or guide them with a toy under you.
- When they do the behavior correctly as you say the command word, reward them with a treat.
- Repeat this several times so they understand that the word is associated with the treat.
- Then try the command word first and wait for them to follow before giving them a treat.
- Continue until they are doing it correctly every time you ask.
How to Encourage Dog to Sleep with You
If your dog does not move a lot, has accidents in the house, and takes up little space, it’s safe and okay to let them sleep in your bed.
Most dogs won’t even need encouragement and training to allow them to approach the bed first. It’s a rewarding experience for them to curl up next to you!
But if you have a dog who enjoys isolation, you can teach them how to socialize and sleep next to you to improve your bond as pet and guardian.
The first step in doing this is by letting them sleep in your bed at first. Try luring them onto your bed with a treat.
This will help them associate your bed with rewards. You can also try feeding them next to your bed if you don’t mind cleaning up their mess.
There are a few ways to help your dog associate the bed with rewards.
- Playing in bed.
- Giving verbal praises in bed.
- Leaving toys for them in bed.
- Giving them belly rubs and hugs in bed.
- Giving them any form of attention in bed.
However, if you’ve done everything and your dog just doesn’t seem to like your bed at all, don’t be offended!
There are always more opportunities to bond with your dog instead of sleeping with them.
FAQ Dogs and Sleeping Behavior
Is My Dog Scared at Night?
Your dog may suddenly be scared at night because they are still young or because their eyesight is getting worse.
When a dog cannot see in low light, they might try to feel safer in your bed. This sign is usually accompanied by intense alertness.
Your dog’s fear of the night can also be caused by other things. Make sure you get to the root before solving this problem!
What Kind of Dog Bed do I Need for my Dog?
If you want your dog to enjoy their own bed more than they do yours, pick one that is soft, comfortable, and big enough for them.
We also recommend laying down their favorite toys on the bed, so they start to love their spot right away.
The dog bed should be durable and long-lasting. This means you want to choose a chew-proof dog bed in case your dog gets destructive during bedtime.
Can Children Share a Bed with Dogs?
We don’t recommend children six years old or younger to sleep with the dog. They might pull your pet’s tail, rough play them, or hurt them.
Children should learn how to interact responsibly with dogs before sleeping alone with them!
Sleeping With Dogs is Rewarding!
If you have a kind, loving fur baby, sleeping with them in bed can feel rewarding on a psychological level.
But if you’re wondering why they suddenly like staying with you now when they’ve been sleeping in their own bed for many years, something might be wrong.
The issue can be as small as wanting to regulate their temperature or as bad as something like fear or anxiety. Look for other clues to determine the cause of your dog’s unusual behavior!
If you notice your dog being touchy while sleeping, it helps to understand why so that you can solve any underlying issue.
Find out why your dog always touches you so you can properly respond and fix the problem.