Before we dive into how dogs sleep, let’s talk about why they do.
Dogs have always been known for their loyalty and love towards humans.
When you think of “man’s best friend,” you probably picture a dog loyally accompanying its owner anywhere he goes.
It’s hard to imagine that any other animal would stick by us as long as a dog does.
And while most people will never doubt this claim, there are still some who argue that dogs don’t really care much about us at all.
The truth is somewhere in the middle.
While dogs are loyal to humans, they also enjoy being around them.
We know this because they spend so much time sleeping next to us.
That’s right — dogs actually like to sleep with their owners!
This is especially true if the two of you share the same bed.
While dogs can get cozy without human company, they often find comfort in snuggling up against us when we’re asleep.
So what makes the difference?
Why do they prefer our beds over their own?
The History of Dogs Sleeping with Their Owners
It’s not uncommon for dogs to curl up next to their owners and even lay on top of them when they’re sleeping.
If you have a dog that sleeps like this, there are many reasons why it happens.
“Dogs don’t know what fear is,” says Dr. John Bradshaw, an animal behaviorist in California who specializes in training dogs.
“They don’t understand that they can get hurt.”
Because of this, they often seek out companionship.
So if you’re lucky enough to have a dog that sleeps on top of you, it could mean one of two things.
Either your dog is showing signs of love or he’s trying to keep you warm at night.
Here’s how dogs sleep, how they use it as a form of communication, and why they do it.
The Science of Why Dogs Sleep with Their Owners
Dogs love their owners.
It’s something that many people can’t understand when they first get a dog.
But dogs don’t just love their owners because they’re nice and cuddly — dogs love their owners because they feel safe.
This is why dogs sleep with their owners.
“When I first got my dog I was really surprised,” says Dr.
Kelly Rodecker, a veterinarian at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul.
“I thought she would want nothing to do with me.”
But then, as she started spending time with her dog every day, Rodecker realized how much she loved being around her dog.
She started noticing that whenever she went for a walk, her dog would always go with her.
And when she came back home, her dog would follow her into the house and lie down next to her on the sofa.
When she’d wake up in the middle of the night, her dog would jump up onto the bed and lay on top of her.
She also noticed that when she had visitors over, her dog would sleep on the floor by the door, waiting for her to come home.
After a while, Rodecker started thinking about what these behaviors meant.
Did she have an extra-special bond with her dog?
If so, why did she seem to need her dog more than anyone else?
It turns out that dogs, like humans, need some time alone to recharge after a long day.
In fact, studies show that sleeping together makes dogs feel more connected to one another.
“If you look at the evolution of human relationships, we spent a lot of time sleeping together,” explains Dr. Rodecker.
“We were living in caves and sleeping in dens together.
So it’s not surprising that we would still do this today.”
However, there are a few specific reasons why dogs sleep with their owners.
The Benefits of Dogs Sleeping with Their Owners
There are many benefits that come with sleeping with your pet.
- It helps them get some much needed rest and relaxation.
- It makes them feel more secure and protected.
- It can help them stay warm during cold weather.
- It helps them feel closer to their owners.
- It helps them bond with their owners.
- It shows they love you unconditionally.
Here is why dogs sleep with their owners.
1. It Helps Them Get Some Much Needed Rest And Relaxation
Just like humans, dogs need time to relax and unwind after a long day at work.
They need to catch up on all the energy they have expended throughout the day.
The best way for your dog to do this is to spend some quality time with their owner.
By spending time with their owners, your dog gets to unwind and recharge its batteries.
This will allow them to be in better mental shape to face the challenges of the next day.
2. It Makes Them Feel More Secure and Protected
When you’re alone, your dog feels vulnerable and exposed.
In order to feel safe and secure, they will seek comfort by sleeping near you.
When they sleep with you, they feel more protected and secure knowing that they have someone nearby who loves and cares about them.
3. It Can Help Them Stay Warm During Cold Weather
Dogs don’t sweat as well as we do.
Therefore, they rely heavily on us to keep them warm and comfortable during colder months.
If they sleep with their owners, they will be able to maintain a constant body temperature while resting.
Even if they do not manage to regulate their internal temperature, they will still benefit from being near their owners.
4. It Helps Them Bond With Their Owners
Your dog has a strong connection with you because of the special bond that you share.
By sleeping with you, your dog is showing that they trust you and want to be close to you.
Your dog needs to know that you care about them and that they are important to you.
5. It Shows That They Love You Unconditionally
Do you remember how when you were growing up, you would always go to bed early and wake up late?
It was probably because you wanted to make sure that you got enough quality time with your parents.
Well, this same concept applies to dogs.
Dogs show love by wanting to be around their owners whenever possible.
They will usually let their owners know that they want to be around them through various ways.
One example is that they will lay down on top of their owners and fall asleep.
Another example is that they will bark incessantly until their owners wake up and respond to them.
The Disadvantages of Dogs Sleeping with Their Owners
Dogs sleeping beside their owners is a normal behavior for most dogs who love to snuggle up next to their humans.
Sometimes though, this can become a problem if your dog sleeps on top of you instead of in his own bed.
It’s a common habit that many dogs exhibit when they feel safe and secure with their human companion.
There are several different reasons why your dog might choose to sleep on top of you rather than in his own bed.
He could be seeking shelter from the cold, he could be looking for warmth, or he could just want to be close to you.
Whatever the reason, it’s a good idea to know what your dog likes and doesn’t like so you can make sure he gets enough attention and exercise.
How to Train Your Dog to Sleep in Their Own Bed
When I was young, my parents would often have me sleep in their bed.
It’s not that we were afraid of each other – quite the opposite.
We loved snuggling up together and talking about our day.
It wasn’t until I began to date that I realized how much I missed sleeping alone.
After dating someone for a while, I’d wake up feeling like they had invaded my personal space.
When I moved out on my own, I decided to sleep in my own bed because I didn’t want to feel invaded by anyone else.
Now, as an adult, I still sleep in my own bed but my dog sleeps on top of me.
Why does my dog sleep on top of me?
Is this normal behavior?
And is there anything I can do to make him stop doing it?
There are several reasons why dogs might sleep on top of their owners.
Some of them are very simple and some of them are more complicated, so let’s take a look at what causes dogs to sleep on top of their owners, and what you can do about it.
What Causes Dogs to Sleep on Top of Their Owners?
- Protecting You: A lot of dogs will sleep on top of their owner to protect them when they’re asleep. This could include guarding against intruders, protecting you during sex, or just making sure you don’t fall off the bed. If you’ve got a large breed dog, they may also try to keep you warm during cold weather.
- Warmth Seeking: Many dogs love being warm and cozy, so they’ll seek out their owner’s body heat to help keep them comfortable. This includes hunting down your feet if you’re wearing socks, or snuggling up to your neck if you’re in a recliner.
- Love: Some dogs will even sleep on top of their owners because they love snuggling with them. In fact, some people say that most dogs love cuddling with humans more than any other animal.
What Can I Do About It?
So now that you know the possible reasons behind your dog sleeping on top of you, here’s what you can do about it.
1. Don’t Let Them Sleep on Top of You
If you don’t mind having your dog snuggle up next to you, then there’s nothing wrong with letting them do it.
However, most people aren’t willing to put up with a dog sleeping on top of them, so the first thing to do is to figure out why they do it in the first place.
Is it because they’re protecting you?
Are they trying to get closer to you?
Maybe they’re just loving you.
Regardless of why they’re doing it, you should consider whether you really want to continue allowing it to happen.
2. Make Sure They Have Enough Space
If your dog is snuggling up to you because they want to be warm, they probably need more room than you think.
While many dogs enjoy cuddling up to their owners, they still require enough space to move around freely.
If you allow your dog to snuggle up to you, they won’t be able to move around easily and they’ll end up either overheating or freezing because they’re too close to you.
Try moving them away from you a little bit every night before going to sleep.
Even better, give them their own bed with enough space between them and you so they can move around without bumping into you.
3. Limit How Often They Snuggle Up To You
While many dogs love snuggling up to their owners, others might only do it occasionally.
If they’re snuggling up to you all the time, it might be hard to train them to stop.
Instead of training them to sleep on top of you, you can teach them to use a different method instead.
Try teaching them to lie down beside you, rather than on top of you.
This way, they’ll still be snuggling up to you, but they won’t be forced to position themselves directly on top of you.
Instead, they’ll be able to lay alongside you instead.
4. Teach Them Other Ways to Show Affection
If you find that your dog likes to snuggle up to you, but you don’t want them sleeping on top of you, you can try teaching them another way to show affection.
For example, you can teach them to sit on your lap.
Not only will this show your dog that you care about them, but it will also provide them with additional exercise.
5. Keep Them Away From Your Bed
If you find that your dog likes to snuggle up to you, but you don’t want them sleeping on top of you, you can try keeping them away from your bed.
This way, they’ll be less likely to snuggle up to you when you’re sleeping, and you won’t have to deal with them snuggling up to you when you’re awake.
6. Use The Right Toys
If you have a toy that your dog loves, you can use this to teach them new tricks.
For example, you can buy a Kong stuffed with peanut butter, and then feed your dog the peanut butter inside the Kong.
This will encourage them to lick and chew on the Kong, which is something they usually associate with playing.
7. Be Consistent With Training
One of the most important things you can do when training your dog is to be consistent.
If you’re inconsistent with your commands, your dog will never learn what you want them to do.
Make sure you always reward your dog whenever they do what you ask them to do.
If they start to realize that you’re not going to punish them, they’ll begin to question why they should follow your commands.
Once they start questioning why they should listen to you, they’ll stop following your commands altogether.
8. Change Your Schedule
Another good way to train your dog to stop sleeping on top of you is to change your schedule.
If you’re tired after work but your dog wants to stay up late, you can take them outside for a walk before you go to bed.
This will tire them out, and they’ll be less likely to want to stay up late.
As long as you remember that this is not a sign of abuse or neglect, it’s a good thing for both parties.
Dogs sleep all over their owners at night.
It’s part of their natural behavior and they will continue to do so until you stop them.
There are a number of things you can do to help your dog get better about sleeping in their own bed, but if you’re having a hard time getting through to them, there are also a few things you can try to make them understand why you want them to stay off your pillow.
If you think you have a problem with your dog sleeping on top of you, don’t worry – we’ve got some tips to help!
- How to Train Your Dog to Stay Off Your Lap
- How to Get Your Dog To Stop Sleeping With You At Night
- How to Make Your Dog Go Back to His/Her Own Bed
- How to Teach Your Dog to Be Tolerant of Other Animals
There are several ways to train dogs to sleep on their own beds.
We’ll show you how to train your dog to lay down under your feet, how to teach him to go back into his own bed after he has gotten out, and even how to get your dog to stay off your lap when you sit down.
We hope you find these helpful!
As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask below.