If your dog has been growling at you in 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 would you can do to get it to stop.

So, why does my dog growl at me in bed? Possible reasons why your dog growls at you in bed are that it is being possessive, it does not have enough space, or it has learned that the behavior is rewarded.

There are actually a number of possible reasons why your dog does it and it might be due to a combination of reasons. However, there are a number of things you can consider when figuring out the main cause and there are a number of things you can do about it.

Why does my dog growl at me in bed?

Below are a number of possible reasons why your dog has been doing it and what would make each of them more likely.

Possessiveness

A possible cause is that your dog is being possessive and it thinks that a particular spot on the bed belongs to it. This would be more likely if your dog starts growling when you move towards a certain spot on the bed.

In this case, it would help to get it to sleep elsewhere while you take measures to stop it from resource guarding.

Your dog doesn’t have enough space

Another possible cause is that it feels like it does not have enough space. This would be more likely if your dog sleeps on the edge of the bed and it only does it when you are nudging against it.

Dominance

Often, people jump to the conclusion that their dogs do it because they are trying to be dominant. However, the alpha/beta dynamic has been disproven in studies showing that wolves take turns in taking the lead.

Despite that, it could be doing it due to bullying behavior which would be more likely if it tries to get you to move to a different spot on the bed and if it shows signs of aggression when doing it. In this case, it would help to get it to learn to behave the way you want it to with training programs such as NLIF (“Nothing in Life is Free) dog training and positive reinforcement training. 

Your dog feels you moving

It could also be the case that your dog feels you moving and it does not realize that it is you that is moving. This would be more likely if it growls when you move and it is not able to see your legs moving.

Things to consider about your dog growling at you in bed

Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.

If your dog always growled at you in bed

If your dog did not always growl at you in bed, it would help to consider what else happened when your dog first started doing it. For example, if it started doing it when you started sleeping on a different spot in the bed, your dog might have started growling because it thinks you’re in its spot.

What is different when your dog does not growl at you

If your dog does not always growl in bed, it would also help to consider what is different when it does not growl. For example, if it does not growl when you don’t move about much, it might be doing it due to feeling you move.

What to do about my dog growling at me in bed?

Below are some options you have when dealing with the behavior.

Avoid encouraging the behavior

It might be the case that you have encouraged your dog to growl by giving it things it wants when it does it. Instead, it would help to avoid rewarding it for growling and to get it to sleep on the floor or in a different room when it does growl. Doing this should teach it that growling does not result in it getting what it wants.

Train your dog to sleep somewhere else

Another option would be to train your dog to sleep somewhere else. This would likely be the best option if your dog seems to have been doing it because it is resource guarding.

Give your dog another spot to sleep in your room

Instead of having your dog sleep on your bed, another option would be to give your dog its own bed to sleep on inside of your room. Doing this will help to avoid resource guarding issues and it can still sleep with you just not on your bed.

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I created and currently manage Pet Dog Owner, the website you can go to when you have questions about your dog's behavior. It is my hope that you find Pet Dog Owner to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your dog. You can read more about me and my website here.