Does your doggo always choose the couch in the living room…
Instead of joining you in your fluffy bed?
Or did they suddenly refuse to go into your room…
And just plop at the bottom of the stairs?
Now you’re lonely and tired of thinking what have you done to make them avoid you.
Was it really your fault or not?
Read on to find out:
- What makes your dog not sleep with you.
- Whether it’s natural or due to a medical problem.
- When you should be alarmed about this behavior.
- 5 helpful tips on what to do if your dog starts doing it on a daily basis.
- And much much more…
Table of contents
Why does my dog sleep downstairs?
Your dog sleeps downstairs because of their protective instincts, it’s comfier and more peaceful there, they’re independent in nature, they want some space and sleep alone, or they got used to it. It can also be due to fear, weather, growing pains, ear infection, injury, or age-related issues.
9 reasons why your dog sleeps downstairs
#1: ‘Watchdog’ instincts
“Don’t worry up there, human.
I am on duty tonight.”
Sometimes, not being around you doesn’t mean your dog doesn’t care.
They must be doing a ‘more important’ job while you’re fast asleep. And that’s…protecting you.
While you’re in slumber, you’re more vulnerable, right? And that’s when their guarding instincts are kicking in.
And this urge of them might be more intense if they sense you’re stressed, ill, or if you have a new neighbor.
A recent study by the University of Arizona proves that dogs will save their parents during an emergency. Out of 60 canines, 67% of them chose to save their humans, while 23% were more interested in food.
So your pooch does it every night to have peace of mind.
You can usually find them sleeping by the front door. They do this so they’ll see and hear what’s happening outside.
Oh, when it comes to guarding, German Shepherds and Dobermans are known to be excellent for that.
#2: It’s too hot or too cold
Is your dog a seasonal bed companion?
If so, it might be because of the weather.
A study says that the standard temperature for them should not be less than 10°C (50°F) for those who aren’t used to the cold. And not higher than 29.5°C (85°F) for those who get hot easily.
So they might often prefer to crash in the living area. While on some days, they might like staying in your room.
They might be avoiding snuggling with you these days because it’s summer. And not because they don’t really want to.
It’s hot and you’re also warm, so it really isn’t an ideal combination.
On the other hand, your room might also be too chilly for them. And it’s warmer downstairs.
That’s why it’s only logical for them to look for other comfortable resting spots.
Their coats are also a big factor in this. Long-haired ones like cool areas. And those with short fur prefer to stay in warm places as they get cold fast.
#3: Peace and comfort
Do you find it comfy to share a bed with someone every day?
And are you sensitive to noises and tend to sleep well when it’s quiet?
Some might be okay with those things, but your pooch might not like them. And they might find the laundry room more peaceful than your area.
They like to stretch and few of them may find it stuffy to slumber with a person.
Oops. Not to mention the bed kicking and leg and arm tossing while you’re sleeping.
They might do it only for a few hours then get out to look for their own spot.
And they have an excellent sense of hearing too. So they might be disturbed when you’re snoring so loud or watching TV late at night.
Does your pooch refuse to go into your room?
Or if they’re inside, do they seem scared?
If so, there might be something in there that makes them anxious.
It could be a random object like a talking toy or a vacuum cleaner.
If they became nervous recently, think about what you’ve added or changed in your place. It might be your newly bought hairdryer.
Some pooches are afraid of the sounds of an electronic device or an appliance.
Fireworks could also be the culprit for this. Your neighbor next door might have fired some last night. So now, your dog feels anxious every time they’re in your room because they associate it with scary noises.
#5: Independent in nature
“I need some space…”
Does your pooch seem happy and fine during the day? And…
Are they like that ever since you got them?
If that’s the case, they might just prefer to sleep alone at night. Especially if they’re quite aloof and are fine on their own.
Dogs like them don’t really enjoy cuddles. So it’s understandable that they’ll need space too when it’s time to sleep.
You might have prepared a lot of beds for them. But they still choose the most isolated one on the first floor.
There’s nothing wrong with you. That’s what they like. And if they seem comfortable staying there, it’s all right.
#6: It’s part of growing up
“Don’t worry, I’m an adult now.”
If your pup used to join you in bed then started napping somewhere else now, they might have gained some confidence.
And they’ve realized that it’s not bad sleeping alone. They might even think it’s better that way.
At a young age, most dogs will tend to follow you everywhere you go. Then as days pass by, you might notice they’re not as clingy as before.
That’s only normal. Think about it as a grown-up kid starting to get independent and wanting some space.
So there’s nothing to worry about. Especially if they look happy and healthy.
In fact, it’s an advantage for you.
You wouldn’t have to worry about them becoming so needy. And it would also be less likely for them to suffer from separation anxiety.
#7: They got used to it
Do they whine when they’re upstairs and behave when you put them back there?
If yes, it’s also possible that your dog spent a lot of nights downstairs before. And now, they’re not comfortable sleeping anywhere else.
It’s also more likely if their crate or kennel is in there. They might consider it as their ‘place’ so they feel safer in it.
#8: They’re not feeling well
Does your furry baby act fine in your room but reluctant to go up and down the stairs?
And even during the day, they seem less lively than usual?
If so, they might be in pain due to an injury or a health problem.
If they’re still a puppy, their legs might feel weak because of this painful condition.
This happens when their bones are growing faster than expected. And that results in aching bones.
It might be accompanied by weight loss, fever, and lack of energy.
This is very common in young dogs and it’ll be gone after a few days or weeks.
According to VCA, signs will usually start to appear as early as 2 months old. And large dogs are more likely to have this issue.
It might also be that your dog’s ear got infected by foreign bodies, mites, or allergens.
This is painful and will also make them feel dizzy most of the time.
So they may find it hard to balance and travel longer distances. And that might be the reason why they prefer to stay downstairs.
Other symptoms to watch out for are:
- Redness of ears.
- Shaking their head.
- Scratching their ears.
#9: Age-related issues
Lastly, if your dog is considered old, they might be going through some changes in their body.
In terms of behavior, they might be more sensitive now unlike before.
Small noises or footsteps might wake them up easily at night. So they’ve looked for another area that’s quieter. And that’s why they prefer to crash down in the kitchen.
About their health, they might also be suffering from arthritis. Their joints are swelling, so they avoid going upstairs.
They might also have poor eyesight so they couldn’t move with ease.
5 tips on what to do if your dog sleeps downstairs
#1: Just let them be
If they seem fine and not showing any signs of an illness, you must let them sleep where they want. Also, if they choose to be there because of their instincts.
As long as there’s no destructive behavior and they’re quiet there, it’s fine.
What matters most is their comfort.
You might feel lonely at night without all the snuggling. But you can bond and play with them in the day.
#2: Make their sleeping spot comfier
Now, if there will be guests staying downstairs, you might need to take them up with you.
That might stress them out, so do your best to provide what they need.
Inside your bedroom, you can make the spot in the corner where there’s less noise.
Also, avoid putting it near doors. It’s because those might disturb them in their sleep whenever someone is opening it.
If they get cold easily, you can put their crate there and cover it with a blanket. Warm pillows might help too, especially for small puppies.
#3: Train them to stay in their area
If the problem is they’re not yet accustomed to their bed, you can train them to get used to it.
This would also help if you’re worried they might chew on your things again downstairs. And if you want them to calm down if they’re too excited about seeing visitors.
- First, prepare some small treats. They would be useful in the first part of the training.
- Next, tap on the bed a few times. Wait until they go there. And while doing it, say “get on the bed.”
- Once they did, quickly give them a treat.
- Give them praises like “very good!” or “there you go!” But say it in a soft, high-pitched voice.
- Next, continue giving them treats after a few seconds. This will make them stay there as they anticipate the food.
- If they went back to the floor, just do the steps again.
- Put some chewy toys on it to entice them to rest there.
- You can slowly lessen the treats if they seem to behave there longer.
- Now, only use the verbal cue and tap the cushion.
- If they went, praise them again. Don’t give them any more snacks.
If they settle in, you can gently stroke their head. Make them feel safe and calm while they’re in there.
You can watch this video to learn how to do it:
#5: Help your dog with anxiety
Now, if your dog seems scared, you must find the reason why.
Did you change anything in your room? Or did you buy something that produces a weird sound?
If so, test if that’s the thing that triggers them. Show it to them and hide it out of their sight.
When they became calm, that might be it.
Also, you should try to make fewer noises when they’re sleeping to not wake them up constantly.
#5: Go to the vet
If your pooch is showing any symptoms or it looks like they’re in pain, get them checked by an expert at once.
It might be an injury, joint problem, or an ear infection.
If it looks like the former ones, they’ll provide you with a treatment plan with the right medications.
But if it’s the latter, PetMD says that it’s impossible to treat them at home. It won’t go away and you’ll need a vet to treat it.
#BONUS: Be wary of temperature
You must be aware of your dog too when the season is changing. And the temperature in the area must also suit them.
If they get cold pretty fast, you may add blankets and make a nest for them to rest.
But if they get hot easily, you should adjust the coldness of your AC. You can also try to open the windows to have more ventilation.
See if these would have any changes in their behavior. If there’s none, it might be because of something else.