Every night, your dog faces an important decision: Where should they sleep?
Or with Dad, while he thinks, “Pick me, pick me please!”?
Finally, your doggo decides,
“Hmmm… It’s a no-brainer. I’ll sleep on Mom again.”
Why does your pooch always sleep on you and not your husband?
In this article, you’ll discover:
- What kinds of smells do dogs like and dislike?
- A fun game that tells who your dog would choose.
- 15 reasons why your dog sleeps on you and not your husband.
- And much much more…
Table of contents
Why does my dog sleep on me and not my husband?
Your dog sleeps on you and not your husband because your dog is closer to you since you’re the primary caretaker. Or they prefer your smell, your husband doesn’t bond with your dog, they’re trying to protect you, or they have past trauma involving a man, which is why they prefer females.
15 reasons why your dog sleeps on you and not your husband
#1: Your dog has the same temperament as you
Your dog sleeps on you and not your husband because you and your pooch are alike. You’re two peas in a pod. The only difference is the fur.
According to science, this is common in most dog and dog parent relationships. And the reason for this is quite simple.
Your dog adapts to your personality. Especially if you spend more time with them than your hubby.
Are you an introvert?
Then it’s most likely that your dog won’t be thrilled about spending a lot of time around other canines and people.
If you’re an extrovert, your pooch will likely enjoy other people’s and dogs’ company.
They’ll greet everyone with a friendly bark and smile. And won’t shy away from being in the spotlight.
Then again, it could be also that you picked your dog based on their personality. Because you liked their temperament.
According to PetMD, some dog parents who have neurotic tendencies, choose high-energy dogs.
#2: You’re the ‘fun’ parent
If your dog likes sleeping on you, it might be because they see you as the ‘fun’ parent. While they see your husband as the disciplinarian. Or the strict dad.
Your husband might be telling them to keep off the bed always.
While you’re the one that’s letting them sneak on the bed when he’s fast asleep.
“Not really. My husband’s the one that likes it when the dog’s in the bed.”
Oh, this doesn’t always apply when sleeping. Other situations can also influence your pooch’s preference.
Like the following:
(No denying here, please.)
- During mealtimes, you’re the one that’s secretly giving them pieces of your food. Under the table or by your feet.
- You’re the one that’s spoiling them more with belly rubs and massages.
- And when they wink or show you their puppy eyes, you easily give in to whatever they want.
Did you answer with ‘yes’ to at least 2 of these statements?
Because of all that, your pooch sees you like the cooler fur parent. So they like being closer to you. Even when sleeping.
#3: You’re their primary caretaker
“Why does our dog sleep on you all the time? How about me?”, your husband grumbled.
Both of you love your pooch equally. But sometimes, you also ask yourself the same thing.
You don’t want to tell your partner this.
But it seems like your dog loves you a little bit more.
The reason for this is you may be taking care of your fur baby more than he does. That’s why they see you as their primary caretaker.
You’re the one who takes them on walks more often. Who always refills their bowl with cool and freshest water.
And finally, the one who gives them what they like most. The basic need that they can’t ever, ever live without.
Delicious and irresistible food. Yum!
#4: They miss you
Your dog misses your presence. That’s why on some nights, they sleep on you and not your husband.
This may happen every time you go away for a long time for a vacation. Or if you’re the one who goes out every day for work.
Your pooch gets enough of your husband in the mornings.
So during nights, they try to make up for lost time with you by sleeping on you.
You might also like: 11 Reasons Why Your Dog Sleeps Between You And Your Husband
#5: Your dog is scared of your husband
Another reason why your dog sleeps this way is that they’re scared of him.
“Why would they be?”
Your husband might’ve hit or struck your pooch a bit rough one time. Or he has accidentally stepped on their tail when he’s walking.
Dogs live in the present. They’re able to live happily even if they were abused or experienced neglect before.
But based on research, dogs also have the ability to retain memory. Just like you do.
That’s why they can still remember their dog parents, even if they’ve been away for years.
They can also recognize their furry friends. Despite the fact that they haven’t seen each other in a long time.
Because of this, your dog can remember experiences where they’re hurt. Especially if it just happened recently.
Aside from avoiding sleeping on your spouse, your dog may also show signs like:
- Licking lips.
- Heavy panting.
- Avoiding eye contact.
- Trembling or shaking.
- Tail tucking between legs.
#6: You smell better
“Mom, you smell like all my favorite things in the world.”
You might be astonished. But your smell is also a factor in why your dog chooses you over your spouse.
Perhaps you often cook the food they like. So you always smell like cookies, ‘chimken’, and steaks.
Oh, and your body soaps or essential oils could also be a factor.
A study conducted in an animal shelter shows that there are certain scents dogs find calming. These are:
Aside from these, your pooch likes your natural body scent. (Even if you may sometimes postpone taking a bath.)
Your body may be emitting pheromones every time you see your dog. That’s the ‘feel-good’ hormone you produce when you’re happy and relaxed.
And since your pooch can sense this, they’re more comfortable sleeping on you.
Now, let’s talk about your spouse. What’s with their scent that repels your pooch?
(Just a disclaimer, this is not to offend your spouse in any way. Peace!)
Does your husband take a glass of beer or any other alcoholic drink before bed?
Because dogs hate the smell of alcohol.
Also, does your husband use citrus-scented products?
Because dogs absolutely detest this scent. In the dog world, this is the counterpart of the smell of trash and poop.
#7: Your husband doesn’t bond with your dog
Does your partner often spend time with your furbaby? If no, then this might be the reason why they always sleep on you and not him.
The two of them may not have fully established their bond yet. So cuddles and physical contact are still a no-no.
Your hubby may not be putting much effort into strengthening their relationship.
Because of this, your dog still walks on thin ice around him.
#8: Your dog is being protective
“My mom’s a strong and independent woman. But I still want to protect her.”
Your dog suddenly wants to sleep on you because they’re being protective.
Oh, not because you’re weak. It’s because it’s in their instinct to behave this way.
It’s possible that they see your husband as the stronger pack member. Therefore he needs less protection.
Your dog likes sleeping closer to you. So that if ever something bad happens, they’d be ready to roll out and protect you.
Like a doggo ninja master.
Dogs can sense pregnancy
Did you know that your pooch can sense your pregnancy, even before you do?
This could also be the reason why they’re being protective all of a sudden.
Your fur baby doesn’t have a ball where they can see the future.
But what they do have is an amazing sense of smell. Mixed with some pretty good intuition.
Your dog can smell the hormones your body produces. And they can also notice the shift in your mood. (Maybe you’re feeling a bit grumpier these days.)
Because of these things, their instinct tells them to sleep closer to you. They may even sleep on your stomach to be sure.
This is to improve your mood. And also to act as your guardian angel/dog while you’re sleeping.
#9: Past traumas
Fact: Research shows that out of 307 men arrested for violence at home, 41% of them have committed animal abuse.
Your dog has negative experiences which influenced their choice.
They might have dealt with a male abuser before. So they’re being wary of every male they encounter now.
“How can I tell if my dog was abused?”
There’s no telling what kind of experience they’ve undergone before. (Unless it’s recorded that they’re rescued from an abusive family.)
Because these things aren’t just physical.
Sometimes, dogs are also abused psychologically.
This happens when they were neglected by their keepers before you.
For instance, they’re caged or chained. Or they suffered from malnutrition before being rescued.
These kinds of abuse don’t leave a visible scar. That’s why you can’t tell what kind of abuse your dog’s been through exactly.
It’s up to you as their dog parent to observe their body language.
When your husband’s around, is your dog showing signs of fear like the following?
- Shaking or trembling.
- Excessive vocalization.
- Hiding when he’s around.
- Being aggressive when forced to interact with him.
#10: He’s still unfamiliar to your dog
“Mom, who’s the new guy!?”
Dogs are pack animals. That’s why the only time they want to sleep with someone is when they’ve already bonded.
Unlike humans, dogs may take some time before they trust someone. So if your dog refuses to sleep on your husband, it may be because they still see him as a stranger.
There are many situations why your pooch sees your spouse as such. And here’s just some of them:
- You just got married. And it’s the first time you sleep with your husband in your bed.
- You adopted your pooch while your husband was overseas/deployed.
- He’s your second husband. And your pooch is used to sleeping with your first one.
#11: Your husband is a heavy sleeper
“Omgosh. Mom, Dad’s crushing me again. Halp!”
Your husband sleeps like a log. A talking log, that is! So your small dog sleeps on you and not on him.
He could be physically heavy. And every time your dog sleeps near him, they get crushed by his arm. Sometimes, by his full weight.
And since he’s a heavy sleeper, it could also be that your dog dislikes it when they hear his loud snores.
Instead of getting a quiet sleep, they hear the booming breathing noise of your spouse. As well as the occasional puffs of hot air whenever he exhales.
#12: He feels warmer
During hot nights, you notice that your dog prefers to sleep near you than your husband. But when winter comes, it becomes the other way around.
“I think our dog thinks of us as temperature control.”
Depending on the hotness or coldness, your pooch may have sleeping preferences.
You see, women are colder than men. (Don’t take it metaphorically now.)
And the reason for this is because men have more muscles in their bodies that’s keeping them warm. While women have more fat for insulation.
Because men use more energy in keeping their muscles warm, they also have a higher metabolic rate than women.
Not only that, but men also have more blood. That’s why their skin’s toasty compared to women.
This is why your pooch may avoid sleeping with your husband when it’s too hot. Because whenever they sleep on him, they just feel warmer.
This goes especially for long-haired pooches with breeds more fitting for the cold. Such as Siberian Huskies and Malamutes.
#13: Your dog prefers women
Study shows that dogs have more connection with their female dog parents. If compared to males.
So your dog may be sleeping on you and not your husband because they’re a ladies’ pooch. They prefer being around women more than men.
“For real? What’s the reason behind this?”
First, your dog’s used to having female caretakers.
Like their groomer, vet, or their dog sitter/walker. That’s why they’re comfortable being around women more than men.
The next factor is your body build.
Women have smaller bodies than men. So your dog may see you as less threatening.
And then there’s your voice.
The female tone of voice is gentler and softer. Thus you appear more approachable than your spouse.
And last but not least is your motherly instinct.
Your pooch may be naturally drawn to you. Because even though you’re not their birth mother, you treat your fur baby like your child.
#14: Your husband has a different sleep cycle
Your pooch hates being woken up in the middle of the night. (Even if they’ve already slept for more than half of the day.)
For this reason, they sleep on you and not on your husband.
Your dog could’ve been sleeping on him before as well. But now he always wakes up in the middle of the night.
Perhaps his working schedule has shifted. Or he often gets the munchies in the middle of the night. And he doesn’t give your pooch any of his food.
Because of this, they’ve learned that sleeping on him means being disturbed in their precious sleep. Without receiving anything in return from it.
So they just refrain from sleeping on him at all.
#15: You’re their favorite
Lastly, your dog could be sleeping on you and not your husband because…
You’re their favorite dog parent. Yas!
Even though it’s hard to admit, dogs really play favorites. Some dog parents even put this to the test by playing this Tiktok game like the video below.
As you can see, most dogs choose their moms over their dads. (Sorry to all the dog dads out there.)
People also ask:
Why does my dog sleep next to me and not my husband?
Your dog sleeps next to you and not your husband because they feel more comfortable with you. Also, they see you as their caretaker and provider.
There are many other factors to consider in this sleeping setup.
Do your dog and husband have a good relationship? If they’re on good terms, then there’s no need for you to worry.
It’s possible that your dog just misses your presence. And they sleep on you because they want to spend more time with you.
(Perhaps they’ve had enough of their dad for the day. And now it’s your turn.)
“But what if the two of them don’t bond much?”
Uh-oh. That could be the reason why your dog sleeps away from him.
In this case, they sleep next to you because they’re more connected with you. Compared to your husband.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that doggo and your hubby are in a silent war. Maybe they’re not just used to each other’s presence yet.
Aside from that, they could also still be cautious of him. Especially if your dog’s a rescue who came from a bad home.
“So what should I do to make my dog more comfortable with my husband?”
If your pooch’s wall needs breaking down, it’s best for your husband to spend more time with them.
Encourage your husband to take your fur baby on walks. If your dog’s used to receiving food from you, ask him to give it to them instead.
This is so your dog would start associating your husband with a lot of good things. Naturally, your doggo will start seeing your hubby as a great company too.
Is it bad if my dog sleeps with me and not my husband?
It’s not bad if your dog sleeps with you and not your husband. This sleeping set-up simply means that your dog prefers you over him.
“But what if my dog slept with him before? And now they’re avoiding him?”
Certain situations could have caused this to happen.
For instance, your husband has hurt your dog- intentionally or not. And ever since, your pooch’s scared of him.
Dogs are able to remember circumstances that made them feel anxious.
So even if your husband has hit your dog once, they’ll be able to remember it. Especially if they’ve been extremely hurt or traumatized by the situation.
Aside from that, your dog being protective could be the cause of this sleeping situation.
You being pregnant will cause your dog to be extra cautious of you.
As well as domestic violence at home. If in case, your husband is abusing you, the children, and your dog physically.
These kinds of situations trigger their instinct. That’s why they stay close to the person who needs protection.