It can come as a surprise when your dog suddenly decides not to sleep with you.
Why do dogs do this?
In this article you’ll discover the truth. I’ll reveal:
- 11 reasons why your dog suddenly doesn’t want to sleep with you.
- 5 tips on how to make your dog want to sleep with you again (if this is what you want).
- Why it’s not always a bad thing that your dog suddenly doesn’t want to sleep with you, according to research.
- And more…
Table of contents
- Why does my dog not want to sleep with me all of a sudden?
- 11 reasons why your dog suddenly does not want to sleep with you
- #1: Your dog’s safe zone has expanded
- #2: Your dog’s preferences have changed
- #3: Your dog is feeling hot
- #4: Your dog is getting older
- #5: Your dog enjoys having variety
- #6: Your dog isn’t a cuddler
- #7: Your room is too loud
- #8: Your dog feels the need to protect the house
- #9: Your dog thinks you don’t want them in bed
- #10: Your dog is bursting with energy
- #11: A big life change
- 5 tips on how to make your dog want to sleep with you
Why does my dog not want to sleep with me all of a sudden?
Your dog could not want to sleep with you all of a sudden for a variety of reasons such as: undergoing a big life change, not being a cuddler, feeling more independent, restricted, hot or unwanted there, changing their preferences, getting old and therefore more sensitive, or the room being too loud.
Keep in mind that it isn’t necessarily a bad thing that your dog suddenly decides not to sleep with you.
Research shows that human sleep efficiency is higher when you and your dog don’t sleep in the same bed (it’s ok to sleep in the same room).
That being said, I understand that you have some concerns. It’s weird if your dog’s behavior suddenly changes. It brings up a lot of questions.
Below we’re discussing the most common reasons why this happens.
11 reasons why your dog suddenly does not want to sleep with you
#1: Your dog’s safe zone has expanded
When you get your dog and start taking care of them, they get used to you. You two bond and whenever your dog feels the need for protection, they follow you, bark at you or take it so far as to sleep with you.
But if all of a sudden they stop, you start wondering why. You might even start asking yourself ‘Does my dog still love me?’
The good news is that just because your dog has stopped sleeping with you, doesn’t mean they don’t love you.
A piece of even better news is that they might have become more independent.
What this means is that they don’t feel the need to be around you all of the time to feel secure.
And even though you might love the idea of a velcro dog, it’s much healthier for your pet if they aren’t one.
#2: Your dog’s preferences have changed
It’s amazing to see how a dog’s personality and habits can change over the years.
When your dog is a puppy, it’s easy for you to get them to do what you want.
Maybe you’ve brought them in your bed, petted them, fallen asleep together with them a couple of times. And they could’ve been okay with that.
But as time goes on, they might start exhibiting different preferences. And they might change their favorite resting and sleeping spots.
For example, your dog could’ve been okay with a soft bed but now they could prefer a harder surface.
Read also: Why does my dog sleep downstairs?
#3: Your dog is feeling hot
Dogs’ normal temperature is higher than humans’.
When your dog is hot, do expect them to move away from bed for any of these reasons:
- The air conditioner isn’t on.
- The bed sheets are too thick.
- The bed is small and you two are touching each other.
If your dog has their own dog bed, they might not even want to sleep there because they get hot.
Fun fact: Since ancient times, people used to sleep with dogs to warm themselves. And as you can imagine, on cold winter days dogs don’t mind this. But it can get too warm for dogs. And this is why they suddenly can decide to not sleep with you.
#4: Your dog is getting older
‘What does that have to do with my dog not wanting to sleep with me?’ you ask.
Well, when dogs start getting old, their mobility, energy, and willingness to accept a variety of situations decrease.
Maybe they don’t perceive your bed as comfortable anymore. After all, their joints and bones become more sensitive with age.
Or, they need more sleep but you twist and turn a lot during your sleep. That could be bothering your dog too much and they might have chosen to spare themselves the trouble of being close to you at night.
#5: Your dog enjoys having variety
And don’t you too, sometimes?
Does your dog change their sleeping spots?
Dogs are den animals. Meaning, in nature, they usually hide and sleep in dark secluded spaces.
Places at home that closely resemble shelter provided by Mother Nature include:
- A stool.
- The sofa.
- The desk.
- The couch.
- A table chair.
- The dinner table.
- Your coffee table.
Have you seen your dog sleeping at any of these places during the night?
This could be their instinct kicking in. That’s nothing for you to worry about.
Don’t forget to also check out: 7 Reasons Why Your Dog (Suddenly) Sleeps Under The Bed + 5 Tips
#6: Your dog isn’t a cuddler
Sorry to break it to you but your dog might not enjoy cuddling as much as you do.
Your dog could have tolerated some cuddling in the past. But as he grows older, his individuality starts to develop more and more.
If the bed is small and your bodies are touching each other, it could be too much for your dog.
It could also be that your dog, since puppyhood, was never a cuddler.
The only other difference is that his body was way tinier back then and he never felt you interfere with his personal space.
Reading tip: 7 Reasons Why Your Dog Won’t Cuddle With You Anymore + 3 Tips
#7: Your room is too loud
Maybe not for you but it could be for your dog.
Dogs can hear sounds we’re unable to. Especially high-pitched ones.
If your dog suddenly left your bed, he could be hearing critters in your room or in the ones above and next to yours.
In case you’re having concerns about critters in your house, you could always call an exterminator.
Read further: 15 Reasons Why Your Dog Sleeps In Another Room + 9 Tips
#8: Your dog feels the need to protect the house
Your dog is part of the family, no doubt. But what they also are, is your loyal and trusted protector.
They feel like it’s their duty to do so at all times.
And although they love being next to you, they follow their instincts.
So, where is the best place to protect you?
Maybe if they sleep in front of your bedroom or next to the front door.
Your dog could have chosen a spot that suits them best to guard you successfully. Or several spots.
The reason could be that while laying in front of the bedroom they can watch both the house, your bedroom and another room at the same time.
Don’t miss out on this read: 13 Reasons Why Your Dog Sleeps By The Door + 5 Tips
#9: Your dog thinks you don’t want them in bed
‘But how?! I’ve never pushed my dog out of bed or scolded them for being there…’ you might think.
Thing is, it’s not always because of negative reinforcement.
It could be positive reinforcement that’s driving your dog away from your bedroom.
This could be happening when you reward your dog with petting, cuddles or snacks when they’re lying elsewhere.
For example – on the couch, under a table chair or next to your work desk.
It’s easy and natural to start showing your dog affection when they get close to you during the day. It’s difficult not to.
But if at the end of the day you’re tired and forget to pet your dog while they’re on your bed, they might get the idea that you don’t want them there.
It’s then understandable that they’d lay next to the places where they’ve received rewards from you.
#10: Your dog is bursting with energy
Maybe the main reason why your dog wouldn’t sleep with you is because they don’t want to sleep at all.
To be sure this is the case, keep an eye on your dog and try to notice if they’re strolling around the house.
They might be feeling the urge to nibble on a toy instead of sleeping with you.
Read next: 7 Real Reasons Why Your Dog Is Hyper At Night + 7 Tips
#11: A big life change
Any drastic life change such as moving into a new home or living together with a new person could lead to stress.
If your dog is stressed they’ll have trouble falling asleep. Maybe they’ll need a couple of hours more to calm down and won’t jump in bed at the same time as you.
If you have a new partner for example, your dog might not like to share the bed with them.
Or, you could’ve gotten another pet such as a cat. If the cat has claimed the bed, the dog might not feel comfortable being too close to it.
5 tips on how to make your dog want to sleep with you
Luckily for you, your dog could learn to sleep with you.
But you have to teach them to. Here’s what can help you along the way:
#1: Positive reinforcement
Show your dog some (more) love, especially when they enter the bedroom.
You could sit on bed and start tapping on it while your dog is looking at you. This is basically an invitation for them to join you.
As soon as they’re on the bed, ask them to perform a trick such as ‘sit’ or ‘lie down’.
After they do it, don’t hesitate to give them a snack and praise them.
Do this several times a day. Eventually, you should be able to call them and have them carry out a command without always giving snacks.
2#: Focus redirection
Another option would be to ‘catch’ your dog at the moment of preparing to go to bed.
Don’t wait for them to curl up comfy. Instead, before they lie down in their dog bed or in another room, call them.
Lure them in the bedroom and in bed with a treat.
Repeat several times until you notice that your dog starts coming to the bedroom by their own initiative.
#3: Create a suitable bedroom environment
Make sure your dog is feeling comfy when they’re in your bed.
Be careful to not heat the room too much during winter.
Also, don’t underestimate how hot the summer nights could be for your dog. Turn an air conditioner on.
Remove any thick duvets or blankets.
Turn off TVs, radios, or other devices that could emit noise (such as smartphones with constantly popping notifications).
#4: Don’t restrict your dog
Make sure you don’t close the door of the bedroom when your dog gets inside.
If you do and your dog wants to get out, either to drink water, have some food or even do their business, your dog could form negative associations with this space.
In short – they might start feeling trapped.
When this happens several times, your dog could start avoiding the bedroom.
Another way in which you could be restricting your dog is by hugging it. They could feel both hot and restricted that way.
Just let them have their personal space.
#5: Exercise your dog throughout the day
One of the best solutions for a peacefully-sleeping dog is to provide them with enough exercise. That’s how you ensure you’ve drained their energy and what they’d want most in the evening will be sleeping.
From there on it will be much easier to ‘convince’ your dog to sleep with you.
Plus, they’re more likely to fall in deep sleep until the very morning.
Tuesday 15th of December 2020
Hey, my dog has slept with me since she was a puppy and shes 5. She has always chosen me over other family members, recently she has started to sleep with my mom instead of me. Its starting to effect my sleep because shes my emotional support dog and I cant sleep without her. Why did she suddenly decide to stop sleeping with me?
Wednesday 18th of November 2020
My dog has slept with me for 4 years now and now when I bring him up to bed with me he stays in bed for only a couple of minutes and then gets down and wants to go downstairs with the rest of the family. I sleep alone upstairs and go to bed much earlier than the rest of the family as I have to get up at 3am to go to work. This is really bothering me and I’m having a hard time adjusting to having no one in my bed ☹️
Thursday 3rd of December 2020
Hey David, thanks for sharing your experience. Sorry to hear your dog doesn't sleep with you like he used to.
Is waking up at 3am a recent change in your work schedule?
Also, does your dog always have dinner before you want to take him with you to sleep?
And last but not least - have you tried anything to get your dog to stay longer with you? If not, you can give the 5 tips in this article a shot and let me know how that works out for you.
Keep me posted. :)