Do you let your dog sleep in the bed with you?
Since the day Mia was old enough, she has been sleeping in my bed right next to my feet. She makes me feel safe and I love waking up to a wagging tail!
However, this may not be for everyone. There are a handful of advantages and disadvantages to having your dog sleep in your bed with you and in this article, we will walk through these.
What does research say?
Research shows that having dogs sleeping in the bed can actually cause you to get less sleep or to experience more nighttime disturbances than those with no dog in the bed.
A few reasons why you may experience more disturbances is that dogs wake up more than we do over night. Meaning that they will get on-and-off the bed and reposition themselves which can cause you to wake up. Dogs are also still alert to sounds even when they are sleeping, so their attentiveness to noise could cause them to bark or growl, waking you up in the night.
One of the main reasons people don’t let their dogs sleep with them is behavioral issues. These issues range from resource guarding to licking when you are trying to sleep.
Non-Aggressive Behavioral Issues
There are a handful of questions you may want to look out for when deciding if your dog should sleep with you. Starting with: Can my dog make it through the night without an accident? Will my dog make it through the night and stay in the bed? Will my dog make it through the night without chewing anything up?
Depending on your lifestyle there may be more things you need to ask yourself, but those questions are the ones I would start with. If you answered ‘yes’ to all those, you may be in good hands.
If not, and you are worried about your dog getting into stuff while you are sleeping, the anxiety of your dog having a behavioral problem while you are sleeping could cause you to lose sleep.
Aggressive Behavioral Issues
There are two main issues that we see with aggression on the bed.
First, the dog is actually resource guarding the bed. Resource guarding is when your dog thinks the bed is his and he needs to protect it, simply put. There is a more scientific underlying cause, but for this blog, we won’t go into guarding.
Second, if the dog is guarding a spouse in the bed. If we have a married couple and the wife is in bed with the dog and the dog growls when the husband is getting in the bed, we have an issue, right?
The second example is also a form of guarding.
Both are not good and should result in eviction from the bed over night and calling a trainer ASAP!
If you have either issue, click here.
Benefits of Dogs Sleeping in The Bed
Studies have shown there are lots of physical and mental benefits to owning a dog!
It is likely that having your dog sleep in your bed can do a couple good things for your sleep.
It is likely that having your dog sleep in your bed can cause you to feel more safe and secure. Like I mentioned previously, your dog is alert to sounds even when they are sleeping. This means your dog will alert you to all potential noises, or anything out of the ordinary.
Allowing your dog in the bed can likely increase your relationship with your dog. It will do this by increasing the time spent with your dog which will add to the bond the two of you have.
Lastly, dogs are really, really warm! On a chilly evening, there is no better bed warmer than your favorite pup.
Ultimately, deciding to let your dog sleep in your bed or not, is up to you and a decision only you can make. If you are unsure, try it for a night and see how you sleep and if your dog does well. If so, do it again if you like it, if not, keep doing what your doing. Your dog will still love you.
If you need any dog training help or have dog training questions, get a FREE consultation with a Master Dog Trainer by clicking here.