Do you have a clingy sleeper pooch?
If so, you might be asking yourself things such as:
“Is it all right to sleep with my fur baby?”
“Why’s my pawed child clinging to me when sleeping?”
You got questions and you just came to the right place for answers.
In this article, you’ll find out:
- 3 things to do if your dog sleeps with you.
- 13 unexpected reasons why your dog sleeps with you every night.
- Whether velcro syndrome causes your dog to sleep with you in bed.
- And a lot more…
Table of contents
- Why does my dog sleep with me every night?
- 13 reasons why your dog sleeps with you every night
- #1: Strengthening the human-dog bond
- #2: Fido’s seeking affection
- #3: Your pooch misses you
- #4: Your pawed baby want to comfort you
- #5: Your dog wants to protect you
- #6: Sleeping with you is rewarding
- #7: Your pooch admires good scents
- #8: Your dog finds comfort in your bed
- #9: Fido seeks warmth
- #10: Your pawed baby is anxious
- #11: Fido has nightmares
- #12: Your pawed child has velcro syndrome
- #13: Your dog is territorial
- 3 tips on what to do if your dog sleeps with you every night
Why does my dog sleep with me every night?
Your dog sleeps with you every night because they want bonding, affection, your presence, comfort, protection, warmth, or the smell of your bed. Or they could be suffering from anxiety, nightmares, velcro syndrome or territorial behavior. They might also do this to comfort you or for rewards.
13 reasons why your dog sleeps with you every night
#1: Strengthening the human-dog bond
Do you have a strong bond with your pooch?
Or are you two just starting to build a canine-human bond?
Your bond status is a possible reason why your dog sleeps with you.
Bonding can be formed through connecting by heart and touch. It may be through showing empathy or sharing good times together.
Perhaps you just got your dog recently. A puppy to be particular. Transferring them to a new home will make them seek bonding.
It’s because puppies naturally bond from birth. Before us, dog parents, there’s someone who took care of Fido’s needs.
It’s none other than their mother. Notice how canine mothers curl their bodies to puppies as they squeeze in and breastfeed.
So, when puppies are transferred to your home, they’ll likely do this to their human.
In addition, even dogs who have been with you for years will still want to bond with you. It’s their way to maintain the strong bond that they already have with you.
A study suggests that co-sleeping is more likely to happen as human-canine relationships strengthen.
Now, why do dogs do it?
Bonding is a vital part of a dog’s life. This makes dogs and humans gain a sense of trust and respect for one another.
Strong human-canine bonds have great benefits such as:
- Attentiveness – During training, your dog will pay more attention to someone that they have a strong bond with.
- Partnership – An established bond will make both the dog and fur parent feel secure with each other.
- A well-mannered pooch – Dogs listen and follow who they’re close with. It’s much easier to teach obedience if you and your dog have a strong bond.
“How do I know that my dog wants to bond with me?”
We know that dogs can’t talk but they surely can communicate. And they do it through their body language.
Your fur pal wants to bond with you if they:
- Wag their tail.
- Make eye contact.
- Rub their body to you.
- Show their tongue out.
Read next: “My dog stares at me” – 9 questions answered
#2: Fido’s seeking affection
Your dog’s desire for affection from you is likely the reason they sleep with you.
We, humans, have our own way of showing our love. May it be through gift-giving, through touch, words of affirmation, and service.
But how about when it comes to our canine companions?
Dogs show affection and ask for it in their own way. Sleeping with you is one of the many.
“Why are they doing this?”
One word: love.
Some people might wonder if their dog loves them. Or if their dog knows that their human loves them.
A study proves that a dog’s oxytocin level increases after they bond with their dog parents.
Researchers also say that as dog’s oxytocin “love hormone” increases they become more sociable too.
Signs that your dog is being affectionate with you is if they:
- Lick you.
- Sit with you.
- Lean on you.
- Wag their tail.
- Play with you.
- Sleep with you.
- Cuddle with you.
- Follow you around.
#3: Your pooch misses you
Work, grocery shopping, school, and other “no pets allowed” places are just a few things that separate pooches and their dog parents.
It’s an inevitable thing.
But it can cause dogs to have separation anxiety. And if that happens, they’ll look for their humans more.
As a result of a long day of being away from your dog, you come home. Your dog who misses you might squeeze in with you in your sleeping spot.
A recent study proves that dogs who’ve been away from fur parents seek more attention than usual. Especially if dogs and dog parents spend a lot of time together.
#4: Your pawed baby want to comfort you
What’s the famous moniker for dogs?
Oh! A man’s best friend.
Dogs are called that for a reason.
Let’s say you’re going through hard times lately. Your dog who’s an empathetic being will notice if you’re sad.
Just like how a true best friend would do. They’ll be there for you through good and bad times alike.
A study about dogs’ empathy shows that they can respond more when their human is in distress.
Sleeping with you at night and cuddling with you might just be one of their ways to comfort you. Your pawed child loves you and doesn’t want you feeling down.
#5: Your dog wants to protect you
There’s a possibility that your dog sleeps with you because of their territorial nature.
A dog is a pack creature and they’re protective of their (human) pack.
“But what is m,y dog protecting me from?”
Your dog could be sensing a threat or they’re just alert. In this case, they sleep with you to be sure that when threats arise they’re able to act right away. Intruders that might barge in your home for example.
According to research sleeping with dogs improves the feeling of social security. As well as social support and interaction.
Note: Protective dogs might show signs of aggression when they sense that their human is in danger. Such as growling and biting.
#6: Sleeping with you is rewarding
Your dog sleeps beside you because you might be rewarding them.
For instance, you kiss and cuddle when they sleep with you.
So your dog now thinks that sleeping with you is good behavior.
Bear in mind that rewarding behavior will likely be repeated. That could make your dog do this every night.
#7: Your pooch admires good scents
Canine companions are known for their powerful sense of smell.
You or your bed might contain scents that dogs admire. As it’s pleasant to your dog’s nose they’ll love sleeping on your bed.
But what are the scents that dogs love?
A study suggests that 4 significant smells have a positive effect on dogs. Those who’re in distress to be particular. These scents are:
Exposure to the 4 scents also made dogs sleep longer. Researchers say that if dogs smell these scents they’re less likely to:
Further reading: Why does my dog sleep on me and not my husband?
#8: Your dog finds comfort in your bed
Your dog could be sleeping in your bed because it’s comfortable for them.
Dogs may be attracted to your sleeping spot if it’s soft, has a nice texture, or has a lot of plushies.
Pooches will admire that because of the reason that it feels good on their body.
Laying there might feel good to their bones and joints.
This is perfect for senior dogs as they’re prone to arthritis, and their joints are swelling. Also for puppies with developing bodies.
You might also want to know more about: 13 real reasons why your dog sleeps on your side of the bed
#9: Fido seeks warmth
Does “three dog night” seem familiar?
This idiom has been used for years to describe a freezing night.
Because a dog’s body feels warm. With this in mind, sleeping with 3 dogs will make your cold night warmer.
However, our canine companions, despite their fur and warm bodies may feel cold.
If so, they’ll seek warmth in your bed. As sleeping beside you can warm them.
Don’t forget to also check out: 11 interesting reasons why your dog sleeps in your spot
#10: Your pawed baby is anxious
Another possible cause of your dog being a clingy sleeper is their anxiety.
A dog can be anxious due to…
Dogs are known to be social creatures so they’ll seek interaction.
According to PetMD, some dogs are more prone to separation anxiety than others. This is the case with canines who lacked social interaction at the age of 14 weeks.
Separation anxiety can occur due to a change of caretakers. Or if a dog who’s recently adopted from the street is left alone in a confined space.
Loud noises also lead to anxiety in dogs. Examples of such sounds are thunder, fireworks, and construction.
A study about a dog’s noise reaction shows that 88% become clingy or seek closeness.
Sudden changes in the environment
The unfamiliarity of a place and people may cause anxiety to your dog too. They’ll often limit their move as they’re uncertain about their environment.
Guarding their food, human, toys, and territory may cause anxiety to dogs. They’ll worry often that somebody will take it away from them.
AKC says that you’ll be able to know if your dog’s anxious by looking at their body posture.
If they’re anxious, they’ll show:
- Excessive barking.
- Destructive behavior.
- Urinating or defecating the house.
- Repetitive or compulsive disorder.
Reading tip: 9 real reasons why dogs act destructive + tips on how to handle it
#11: Fido has nightmares
Have you seen your dog whimper or move their paws while asleep?
That’s a sign that your dog is dreaming. As your dog dreams, it also means that they can have bad dreams.
AKC says that pooches aren’t able to create scary imaginative monsters. But their nightmares are all about the traumatic events that happened in their lives.
Now, if your pawed baby has bad dreams lately, then they’ll seek a relaxing sleeping environment.
Being close to their human helps them to sleep better at night.
#12: Your pawed child has velcro syndrome
Velcro syndrome refers to dogs being overly clingy.
Your dog’s clinginess might be the reason why they sleep with you every night.
Signs of velcro dog syndrome are:
- Anticipating when you’ll get up.
- Following you from room to room.
- Always keeping a watchful eye on you.
- Constantly needing or wanting to be next to you.
Velcro syndrome or being overly attached may occur in any dog breed but mostly happens to lapdog breeds. Since they’re small, it’s convenient to occupy their human’s space.
They might sneak in your blankets just to sleep and be with you at night.
Here’s a list of lap dog breeds:
- Shih Tzu.
- Maltese Dog.
- Bichon Frise.
- Mini Pinscher.
- Tibetan Spaniel.
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
You might also want to know: Why Are Chihuahuas So Needy & Clingy? 13 Reasons + 9 Tips
#13: Your dog is territorial
Your dog could be sleeping with you to guard their territory.
Your dog could be guarding 2 things: You as their provider or the bed which is their sleeping spot.
Signs that your dog is territorial are:
- Staying in one place.
Now, you might wonder what’s causing this behavior. Well, here they are:
- Pack mentality.
- Sexual maturation.
- Environmental factors.
- Underlying medical condition.
- Lack of socialization in early years.
3 tips on what to do if your dog sleeps with you every night
#1: Give them a good sleeping spot
Sleeping with pooches may not be everyone’s cup of tea.
It’s all about sleeping preferences. So it’s not necessarily an indication of the relationship you have with your dog.
For example, some people find more comfort when they sleep alone because they move a lot. They may be afraid to roll over Fido during their sleep.
I’m one of them.
If you’re like that too, you might consider giving your pooch a good sleeping spot.
Keep in mind these factors when choosing a sleeping spot for your dog:
- Noise – Dogs are prone to noise sensitivity. Their sleeping spot should be located in a more quiet or noise-proof part of the house.
- Temperature – Dogs will have a hard time sleeping in a cold or hot place. Just like it does to people, it’ll cause discomfort and interrupt sleep.
- Ventilation – Dog’s breathing changes when they’re asleep. It may be rapid, slow, or long. With this in mind, dogs need proper ventilation to make them breathe easier.
#2: Make their bed comfortable
Does your pooch keep sleeping in your bed for comfort? Then give them their own comfortable spot.
Observe what they love about your bed. Are they after your soft pillow? Or the animal plushies that you have on your bed? It could also be due to your textured blanket.
You can make their bed just like yours. Give them their own pillow too. Or anything that will make your dog love their sleeping spot.
A good sleeping area for dogs:
- Ensures better sleep.
- Supports bones and joints.
- Provides dogs their own place.
- Makes dogs sleep on their own.
#3: Teach your dog an obedience command
Discipline your dog to sleep on their dog bed by going through obedience training. Not only will this correct the behavior, but it’ll also be useful in the future.
The “Settle down” command
This trick will be helpful when you want your dog to settle down in their dog bed.
- Use a treat and lure them to their dog bed.
- Command “settle down”.
- Hold the treat from their nose down to the front of their legs.
- Wait until they sit in their bed and reward them.
- Reward them a treat and praise them for doing a good job.
BONUS: Be consistent
Now that you trained your dog to settle down. It’s best to continue practicing them often.
This will make your dog master the trick faster. Also, a trick that’s not practiced will likely be forgotten.
Starting all over again with introducing the trick may be a lot of work. So don’t forget to practice consistently.
Also, don’t tolerate your dog when they attempt to climb on your bed. Say “no” and lure them back to their dog bed if they do so.