Whether sleeping or relaxing on the couch, dogs of practically any breed, age, or size enjoy lying close to or on top of their people. Despite the fact that this is a generally pleasant behavior, many owners have issues with it, particularly if the dog in question is huge.
Even if you don’t mind your dog laying so near to you, you might be curious as to why it does so in the first place. If you’re looking for an answer to this question, you’ve come to the correct spot.
We’ll look at the four most common reasons why dogs sleep or lay close to their owners in this post. The quick answer is that this behavior is ingrained into their genes and reinforced from the time they were puppies. Continue reading to learn more about this behavior and what you can do about it.
Table of Contents
1. It’s in Canine Genes to Sleep Against You
Despite the fact that your pet is likely gentle and affectionate to humans, they are descended from wolves. Many wolf-like features were bred out of domesticated dogs, but others were not. Domesticated dogs, like their wolf relatives, are mainly pack animals.
Wolves are pack animals in the wild, which means they will lie with their other pack members for warmth and security. It is actually vital for wolves to lay in this manner in order to survive. This behavior is so important that it is only seen in puppies.
Puppies are born in litters to both wolf and domesticated dogs. Because the puppies are still young, the entire litter will sleep in little dog piles for extra warmth and safety. Domesticated puppies learn this habit at a young age, which reinforces it as they grow older.
Keeping this in mind, their behavior is merely a result of their genes. They can’t do anything about it because it has allowed them and their relatives to survive for ages.
2. Sleeping With Your Dog Helps You Bond
Another reason your dog may be sleeping so close to you is to build the link between you and them. Dogs, as you may know, are a species that develops a strong bond with their owners. They desire to strengthen their relationships and do it in a variety of ways.
In order to enhance their bond with their owners, dogs will sleep quite near to them. Dogs interpret sleeping in packs in the same manner that wolves do, as a sign of confidence and mutual support. Even if your dog doesn’t believe there will be a threat, it may sleep near to you to build the link.
3. To Protect You
Because sleeping in piles aids in pack protection, your dog may be doing it to actively protect you. As the owner of your dog, it considers you to be a member of its pack. As a result, your dog will most likely want to lay near to you so that it can give you with warmth and safety, just as you do for it.
Even when there isn’t a direct threat, dogs will often sit in a protective or defensive posture just in case. This could very well be the reason why your dog sleeps so close to you. In the event of an intruder, it is ready to defend you.
4. Dog Sleeping in Bed Separation Anxiety
Separation anxiety is a much more concerning reason why your dog sleeps so close to you. Although it is natural for dogs to miss their owners, separation anxiety is not, and it is something that must be addressed for the dog’s long-term health.
Because the dog is sleeping so near to you, the dog will be notified as soon as you leave, whether that couch or the entire house. If you observe signs of concern every time you leave home, separation anxiety could be the source of your dog’s clingy behavior.
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What to Do About Your Dog Sleeping Next To You
1. Ignore Your Dog Sleeping Next To You
If your dog sleeps next to you or very close to you, you shouldn’t be concerned. It’s in their canine nature, and it’s virtually always a display of love and affection. Unless there’s a valid reason for your dog to be lying so close to you, it’s perfectly acceptable to ignore this behavior.
2. Reward Your Dog for Taking a Different Sleeping Position
You may want to encourage your dog to sleep somewhere else if you have a large dog that smothers you or if you are allergic to dogs. If this is the case, designate a sleeping area for your dog and reward it for sleeping there.
Purchase a comfortable dog bed and place it close enough to your body so that your dog feels connected to you without laying on you. It may take some time, but every time your dog comes over to the bed, give it a treat. This will help your dog associate the bed with positive reinforcement and rewards.
Carry on like this until your dog understands that it is supposed to sleep there. This may take some time, but it will soon learn.
3. Target Separation Anxiety
If your dog lays next to you due of separation anxiety, it’s critical to address the problem head-on. Because separation anxiety regularly puts your dog’s body in a condition of stress, it can be harmful to their long-term health.
It’s easier said than done to combat separation anxiety. There are a few things you may take to lessen anxiety every time you leave the house.
Here are some suggestions for incorporating into your daily routine:
- When you’re gone from home, make a pleasant and safe sleeping environment for your dog.
- Before you depart, feed your dog.
- Before you go, play with your dog and give it plenty of exercise.
- Before you depart, take your dog outside to relieve themselves.
If none of these suggestions work and your dog’s nervousness persists, you should consult a veterinarian or a dog trainer for advice. Separation anxiety is frequently eased by adequate training and crating. Additional advice on how to deal with the situation might be obtained from a veterinarian or a dog trainer.
Finally, why does my dog sleep so close to me?
Consider it a compliment if your dog sleeps or lays close to you. It suggests your dog considers you to be a member of their pack and desires to be near to you for protection or bonding. Only if the dog is suffocating you, you are allergic to it, or it has separation anxiety should you be concerned.
You can eventually teach your dog not to lay on top of you with proper training and exercise. Unless you have a specific reason not to want your dog to lay on you, it’s perfectly acceptable to let them do so.
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