If your dog has suddenly stopped sleeping with you, this post will show you possible causes and what you can do about them.
So, why did my dog stop sleeping with me? Possible reasons why your dog stopped sleeping with you are that it thinks you do not want it to sleep with you, it feels threatened, it found a more comfortable spot or that you have inadvertently encouraged it to sleep somewhere else.
Since your dog might be doing it for many different reasons, it would help to consider what would make each of them more likely. Once you have a good idea of the main cause, it should become a lot easier to figure out what to do about it.
Why your dog stopped sleeping with you
Below are a number of possible reasons why your dog stopped doing it and what would make them more likely to be the main reason.
Encouraging the behavior
It might be the case that you have inadvertently encouraged it not to sleep with you by rewarding it when it does not do it or by punishing it in someway when it does. If you tend to give it things such as extra attention or treats when it sleeps elsewhere, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.
Instead, it would help to encourage it to sleep with you by giving it positive reinforcement training and rewarding it when it shows signs of sleeping with you.
The reason why it has been doing it might be that it has been feeling threatened. This would be more likely if it started doing it suddenly after an event such as you shouting at it or punishing it in some way. It would also be more likely if it has been avoiding you during the day as well. In this case, it would help to interact with it calmly and to use positive reinforcement training to change its behavior.
It could actually be the case that it has been doing it because it has been being protective. This would be more likely if it has started sleeping in a spot that people have to walk through such as the top of the stairs.
Finding a more comfortable spot
It could also be the case that it has been doing it because it found a spot that is more comfortable. It might find your bed to be too hot, there might not be enough space or you might nudge it too often. It would help to consider if anything might have been causing it to have trouble sleeping with you and to correct it if possible.
It thinks you don’t want it to sleep with you
It could also be the case that it thinks you do not want it to sleep where you sleep. This would be more likely if you told it to sleep somewhere else one time and it has continued to sleep there since then.
Things to consider
Below are some things you can consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.
What else happened when your dog stopped sleeping with you
It would help to consider what else happened when it first stopped sleeping with you since it could be the case that there was an event that caused it to stop.
For example, if it stopped doing it at around the same time that the weather became hotter, it could be the case that it has been finding your room to be too hot at night.
What is different when your dog does sleep with you
If it does sleep with you sometimes, it would also help to consider what is different when it does do it.
For example, if it sleeps where you are during the day, it would be more likely that it simply sleeps elsewhere at night because it is more comfortable.
How to get your dog to sleep with you again
Below are some options you have when getting your dog to start sleeping with you again.
Positive reinforcement training
One option would be to train it to sleep with you with the use of positive reinforcement training. This is where you encourage it to behave in a certain way by rewarding it when it shows signs of behaving that way.
To use it to get it to lay or sleep with you, you could do something such as the following:
- Make the location, you want it to sleep in, comfortable.
- Get your dog to stand there and reward it
- Encourage your dog to lay down by giving it a treat
- Continue to repeat the process a few times daily until it realizes that laying there results in it getting rewards
Avoid encouraging it not to
As mentioned above, it could be the case that it has learned that it gets rewards when it does it. Instead, it would help to reward it when it shows signs of sleeping where you want it to and to try to redirect its focus when it is about to sleep somewhere else.
Give it space to sleep with you
If there is not currently space for it to lay down with you, it would help to give it space. It would also help to make your bedroom comfortable for it so that it is more likely to want to sleep there.
Be calm around it
When interacting with your dog, it would also help to be calm. It could be the case that it has been avoiding you due to feeling threatened. To get it to behave the way you want, it would help to give it positive reinforcement training instead of punishment based training.