BEHAVIOUR: Should You Let Your Dog Sleep in Your Bed?

should you let your dog sleep in your bed?

Do you let your dog sleep in your bed? Our resident training and behaviour expert, Louise Glazebrook from the Darling Dog Company gives her views and advice on snoozing with your pooch. 

Often when I go and visit owners, they will apologise for their dog sleeping in their bedroom or on their bed – looking slightly sheepish and ashamed. Ultimately, I understand why people love to sleep with their dogs, its warm, its cosy and it feels lovely.

I have to say now, I have absolutely no issue whatsoever with dogs sleeping around your neck, in between you and your partner, under the covers or between your legs – just in the same way I don’t have an issue with your dog residing in the living room, in a crate, or in the utility room at night –  seriously, this decision is down to you and you alone.

Wherever or however you let your dog sleep, there are a couple of things to consider to enable you all to co-exist happily:

  • It’s fine for your dog to sleep in your bed as long as it doesn’t cause problems in your household, like guarding a bed, not allowing an owner in, peeing on the bed or upsetting your partner. Sleep is key to a happy life for all of us, whether four legged or two legged, so in order for everyone to be happy, you all need to be getting undisturbed sleep.
  • I wouldn’t recommend that dogs are allowed to sleep on children’s beds unaccompanied and if you are pregnant or co-sleep with your baby, it might be worth while encouraging your large, hairy Labrador to sleep in their own bed.
  • If your dog finds it hard to be separated from you, sleeping with you won’t help this, so try to avoid it.
  • Don’t let your dog sleep with your because you feel guilty about leaving them home alone a great deal – this is not the right reason and I see this a lot.

It’s also worth thinking about what your dog is sleeping on and it it’s providing the right level of comfort for them. I once went to visit this elderly Red Setter who was disturbing her owners numerous times in the night and they couldn’t work out why. Turns out, she was just cold! They had been living abroad in the heat, so she used to lounge on the cold tiles, but once they arrived back in the UK, a towel on the floor was not enough to keep her warm. She was basically cold and very uncomfortable.

There are some amazing dog beds out there and you don’t have to spend a fortune. The key is comfort, durability and washability. My dog sleeps on her bed, rolls on her bed, eats bones on it and takes chew toys to it, so it has to be able to be shoved into the washing machine on a weekly basis.

All in all, find a system that works for you and stick to it. Dogs don’t like constant change and their bed ultimately needs to be their safe space. So even if your dog does share your king size bed, they also need their own bed away from doors, windows, radiators and probing children – a place to call their own to retreat, take toys and to get some much needed peace.

STYLTAILS PICKS: For durable, washable and stylish dog beds, try Charley Chau and Bone & Rag – both available to shop at StyleTails

Louise is one of London's leading urban dog trainers and behaviourists. Her passion for dogs sees her take on all sorts of projects – from working with Dogs Trust to promote responsible dog ownership in inner city estates, to finding BBC Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw his perfect rescue pup. Louise lives in Hackney with her husband, baby son and her deaf Bulldog Cookie.

4 Comments

  • Reply May 22, 2014

    Alex Frith

    Guilty!

  • Reply May 22, 2014

    Sara White

    How can your resist waking up to that Squishy face!

  • Reply November 9, 2019

    Kay

    I wasnt aware I had a choice in the matter, the bedhogs were usually in bed before I was and staked their claim.

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