So, you thought your dog is already sleeping soundly in their own spot.
Then, you get up in the middle of the night and, surprise! You almost stumbled over them sleeping in front of the door.
Why would they move from a comfortable sleeping space to lay near the entrance?
Read on to discover:
- Proven ways to get your dog to sleep in their own bed.
- 13 reasons that make your dog snuggle up by the entrance.
- Behavioral causes that make them lay down near the doorway.
- What makes your dog move from their own bed to snooze in front of the door.
- Why the place near the bathroom door is more appealing for them to sleep in.
- And much, much more…
Table of contents
Why does my dog sleep by the door?
Your dog sleeps by the door because he is protecting you. It can also be because of separation anxiety, territorial marking, curiosity, attention seeking, hot weather, boredom, need to pee or poop, feeling safe, or the call of mating. Plus, it can be because your dog misses you or you encouraged it.
People also ask:
13 reasons why your dog sleeps by the front or bedroom door (at night)
#1: To protect you
If your dogs sleep by the front door at night or by your bedroom door, one reason is because they are protecting you.
According to Emotional Pet Support, dogs are born with natural protective instincts. Their senses are much more sensitive than humans. Because of this, they can recognize a lot of things that you may know nothing about.
And your doggo will try to protect you whenever they sense danger.
Thus, they stay by the door because it allows such threats to pass through. This is especially true when you are sleeping and are vulnerable.
Note: The loyalty and protection that dogs offer their owners give them the title of “man’s best friend.”
#2: Separation anxiety
When your dog sleeps by the door, they can be blocking your way out. In other words, they don’t want you to leave and are experiencing separation anxiety.
Separation anxiety in dogs is more common than you might think. In fact, Vet Med states that 20-40% of dogs brought to veterinary behavior specialists suffer from this condition.
And you will know when your dog has it when they also exhibit one or more the following:
- Excessive barking.
- Excessive drooling.
- Destructive behavior.
- Changes in eating habits.
- Inappropriate elimination (pee and poop).
- Restlessness, pacing, panting, cowering.
Some owners think that dogs who show the above symptoms are angry because they are being left alone.
Unfortunately, this is not the case. Your dog is actually feeling emotional distress whenever you leave.
After all, they are attached to you the most. What will they do when you’re not around?
#3: Marking territory
When your fur babies see anyone or anything unfamiliar that passes by your house, they start barking. This is a territorial behavior that dogs are usually associated with.
As SPCA states it, dogs may bark to drive away what they perceive as intruders to the territory.
In addition to barking, your pooch can be sleeping in front of your door to guard what they think is theirs. They want to be near it to keep threats out.
Unfortunately, being territorial can make a dog aggressive. This may be because of the following factors according to ASPCA:
- Sexual maturation.
- Environmental factors.
- Lack of early socialization.
- Underlying medical condition.
Warning: Dogs can become overprotective of their territory and become aggressive. Because of this, they will start to bark and bite others who pass by.
Have you tried peeking through cracks in the door or windows when you hear something outside? That’s curiosity.
And dogs are so much more guilty of it.
Curiosity is a survival instinct. And when coupled with a dog’s highly developed senses, saying no to anything unfamiliar is close to impossible.
After all, a dog’s sense of smell is 100,000 times stronger than human’s. And their hearing? They can hear sounds 4 times further away than what the human ear can hear. This is according to Paws Chicago.
This is one reason why dogs stick close to doors.
It prevents your fur baby from seeing what’s on the other side. So, staying by the door will give them a sense of what’s happening there. Or, smell what’s on the outside, at least.
#5: Seeking attention
Another reason why your dog sleeps in front of the front door is because they want your attention.
Are you giving your fur ball enough cuddle time? Are you playing with them? Do you go out for walks?
If your answer to these questions is “no”, then your furry best friend craves your attention.
This can be very evident in the way your pooch positions themselves by the door. If they are blocking your path, they will want you to stop and give them some tender loving care.
And when they follow you around during the day or when you’re home, that’s even more evidence for this reason.
#6: Feeling hot
Why does my dog lay in front of the bathroom door? Or in front any door, for that matter?
Believe it or not, the weather has something to do with it.
If it’s a little hot, staying by the door will provide some outside air that can cool your canine buddy. This is especially true for bathroom doors, where cool mist can pass through.
And so, your doggo will lay by the door so he can feel more comfortable when the temperature increases.
Note: Dogs are prone to heat stroke and need to cool down when the heat is too much.
#7: Missing and waiting for you
Don’t you feel a bit sad when someone you love is away? And all you want to do is sit and wait for them to come home.
Your dog is very similar to humans in this sense. And this is one reason why they stay and sleep in front of the front door.
They are actually missing you and are waiting for you to come home. And when you do come home, they want to be the first to greet you.
If you have doubts that your pet misses you, this video will crush your uncertainty:
It shows scientific evidence that your dog does miss you!
When bored, going outside can lift your spirits and stimulate you. After all, the outside world is full of things yet to be explored.
So, when you see your four-legged pal flopped down in front of the door, they might just be waiting for a chance to go out and cure their boredom. Sleeping there will bring them closer to more opportunity outside.
They want to spend their energy somewhere else. But the four walls of your house are preventing them from doing so.
#9: Need to relieve themselves
If the door is closed and your dog sleeps in front of it, it can be because they need to go outside and do their business.
When your pooch is whining, looking at you, and doesn’t leave the door, it is a sign that he really has to go. And if you don’t address it, they will sleep by the entrance until you open it for them.
Worst case scenario, your fur buddy will scratch the door or have an “accident” inside the house.
But you can’t blame them. After all, even you can’t stop the urge to pee or poop, right?
#10: Feeling safer
Sleeping by your bedroom door can mean your dog feels safe in that area.
While canines are protective of their owners, they also feel safer when they are with you. And staying close to you gives them a sense of security.
This is because dogs feel comfortable having the person they are attached to near them. And if your bedroom door is the closest they can be to you during the night, then that is where they will sleep.
#11: You encouraged the behavior
Intentional or not, praising your dog when they sleep by the door encourages the behavior.
You may not remember it, but you must have given your dog a treat while they were sleeping in front of the door. If you did, they will associate the reward with this action.
So, your eager pooch will sleep at the same place and wait for their reward.
Surprisingly, the breed of your dog has an influence on whether they sleep in front of the door or not.
Sleeping near the door is a technique to guard the territory and everyone within it. It is reminiscent of wolf packs and how they behaved in dens. And guard dog breeds are the ones usually associated with this behavior.
One of the oldest guard dogs, the Chow Chow, is proof of this.
The history of this bear-like dog dates back to 3,000 years ago. This is when their role was to keep the Lama Monasteries safe and secure. And they stayed by the front doors for this purpose.
#13: To mate
According to Web MD, a dog who isn’t fixed may escape in search of a mate.
And if your canine bud is around 6 months old, they can already be sexually matured. With it comes a high sex drive.
This kind of sex drive is hard to confine. So, chances are you keep your doors closed. And when they are closed, your excited furball will stay close by to jump at any chance of getting out.
5 tips on what to do if your dog sleeps by the front or bedroom door (at night)
#1: Train your dog using positive reinforcement
If you want your dog to do something, training through positive reinforcement is the way to go.
It is effective when you want your fluff ball to sleep where you want them to. Be it on the bed with you or in their own sleeping corner.
Give your pooch a reward like a doggy treat when they sleep in their own spot. Or shower them with kisses or scratches behind the ears.
But when you see them sleeping somewhere else, show your disapproval. Leave the room, for example.
You can also stop your dog from sleeping in front of the door by teaching them the “come”, “down”, and “stay” command.
Here’s an easy guide on teaching your dog to lie down:
#2: Provide plenty of time for play and exercise
Giving your dog enough time and attention can stop problems such as boredom and anxiety. It is necessary for a healthy physical and mental state.
Research was conducted to show the effects of physical activity on dog behavior. The results revealed the following:
- Dogs performing physical activity exhibited lower frequency of undesirable behaviors.
- This positive effect is even greater in dogs that practice agility than other subjects of the sample.
- Dogs that practice agility show a significant frequency of lower tendency to be aggressive to other dogs.
However, be aware that the time you spend with your dog for exercise depends on their nature and breed.
For example, Huskies, who are known as labor dogs, need at least 2 hours of daily exercise. While Chihuahuas need a minimum of 20-30 minutes of exercise every day.
#3: Establish routine
Having a routine gives your dog a consistent daily schedule. This allows them to be prepared or ready for what’s to come next.
Because of routine, stress and anxiety can be prevented. And it also makes training easier.
Many veterinarians back up the benefits that come with having a routine.
- “Dogs thrive on a routine because they don’t have to worry about what is – or is not – about to happen next.” – veterinarian Jennifer Coates, Pet Life Today advisor.
- “Bending the house rules or not being consistent with training can make dogs feel confused about their expectations.” – veterinarian Tiffany Tobaten, medical director at Operation Kindness.
- “Giving dogs inconsistent verbal cues can be confusing for them.” – Kurt Venator, chief veterinary officer at Purina. “Having a predictable routine lets your dog know what will happen next, which reduces stress.”
#4: Provide a cool and comfortable sleeping area
According to the American Kennel Club, some dogs can have more trouble breathing in hot weather. This is one reason why placing your dog’s bed in a cool place is important.
When it gets too hot, your pooch will find somewhere better and more comfortable to sleep in. And the doorway, where drafts can enter, can be the perfect spot.
Notice your dog’s behavior during the hot summer season. They can get more aggressive and even start snapping at others.
This behavior was described by research done in China. The research linked the ambient temperature to the increase in hospital visits due to dog bites.
So, make sure your dog is comfy and cool when he sleeps, especially when it is hot.
#5: Spay or neuter your dog
According to research the primary purpose of neutering is to prevent reproduction. But the process also has other physical and behavioral benefits.
Some of the beneficial effects include:
- Increased longevity.
- Prevention of unintended reproduction.
- Elimination of the risks of reproduction such as infection with Brucella canis.
- Decreasing the risk for mammary neoplasia, pyometra, neoplasia of the reproductive organs, and prostate disease.
However, there are also harmful effects associated with this practice. This is why you need to consult your vet before making any decision.
Warning: Neutering a dog too early can lead to serious health conditions. These include increased risk for joint disorders and certain types of cancers.
Think about people who want their dog to sleep in bed with them, but not only.