If your dog has been following you to bed, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of possible causes and what you can do about them.
So, why does my dog follow me to bed? Possible reasons why your dog follows you to bed are that it has some separation anxiety, it is fearful of something, it is being protective or that you have inadvertently encouraged the behavior.
Since there are a number of possible causes, it would help to consider what would make each of them more likely. Once you have a good idea of the main reason, it should become easier to get your dog to stop doing it.
Why your dog follows you to bed
Below are a number of reasons why your dog might have been following you to bed and what would make each of them more likely.
The reason why it does it could be that it has some separation anxiety and it becomes anxious when it is not around you. This would be more likely if your dog starts to become anxious when you are leaving it by doing things such as pace or cry.
It is being protective
The cause might also be that your dog is being protective. This would be more likely if your dog also tends to get overly protective of you when other people and animals are around you.
The cause might be that something has been causing it to be fearful and it does not want to be left alone. This would be more likely if it tends to do it at times where it is more likely to be fearful such as when there are construction works outside.
It wants something from you
The cause might also be that it is waiting to get something from you such as food. This would be more likely if it tends to follow you bed more at certain times such as when you have not given it food yet.
It simply likes your bedroom
The cause might also be that your dog simply likes being in your bedroom. This would be more likely if your dog only follows you to the bedroom when the door is shut and it just goes straight into the bedroom when it can freely enter.
Encouraging the behavior
The cause might also be that you have been encouraging the behavior by giving it rewards when it does it. If you tend to give your dog things such as toys, treats or extra attention, when it follows you bed, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.
What is different when your dog does not follow you bed
If your dog does not always follow you to bed, it would help to consider what is different when it does not do it.
For example, if it does not do it when it already has access to the bedroom, it might be the case that it simply likes staying in your bedroom.
Whereas, if it does it more at times when you are likely to be in your bedroom for a while, it would be more likely to be due separation anxiety.
If it always follows you to your bedroom, it would be more likely to be due to either separation anxiety or learning that it gets rewards for following you to bed.
What else happened when it first started doing it
If your dog did not always follow you to bed, it would also help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it since an event might have caused it to start.
If it started doing it suddenly, it could be due to things such as something causing it to become fearful, suddenly being left alone for longer time periods or learning that it gets rewards for following you to bed.
What to do about your dog following you to bed
Below are a number of options you have when getting your dog to stop doing it.
Positive reinforcement training
Positive reinforcement training involves rewarding your dog for showing signs of behaving in a way that you want it to.
To use positive reinforcement training to get it to stop following you to bed, you would reward it when it does not follow you but it normally would and stop rewarding it when it starts following you.
Avoid encouraging the behavior
As mentioned above, it might be the case that it has learned that it gets rewards for following you to bed. Instead, it would help to reward it when it does not follow you and to avoid rewarding it when it does.
If it seems to be following you to bed in order to get attention from you, it would help to avoid rewarding it with attention when it does it. By doing so, it should learn that following you will not result in it getting attention from you.
Redirect its focus
Another option would be to try to get it to focus on something else when it starts following you to bed. By doing this you should be able to break it out of the habit of following you. Things that you could get it to focus on would be laying down in a certain spot or you could give it a toy it likes.