If your dog chooses to sleep on the floor instead of in its 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 to get it to stop.
So, why does my dog prefer sleeping on the floor? Possible reasons your dog sleeps on the floor are that it finds it more comfortable, it’s cooler on the floor, there is an issue with its bed or that you have been encouraging the behavior.
Why your dog sleeps on the floor
Each of the different reasons why your dog does it will likely come with some clues.
Below are a number of possible causes and what would make them more likely.
Your dog finds the floor more comfortable
It might be the case that it does it because it finds it more comfortable on the floor. This would be more likely if it has tried sleeping in its bed before but it didn’t go back to doing it. The reason why it might be more comfortable could be that it is too hot in its bed or its bed is too small.
Encouraging the behavior
It might be the case that you have inadvertently encouraged it not to sleep in its bed by giving it things it wants when it doesn’t do it. If you give it things such as extra attention, toys or treats when it doesn’t do it then it might not be doing it in order to get more rewards.
Instead, it would help to reward it when it does sleep in its bed and to train it to do it as shown below.
Related: Why won’t my dog sleep with me?
The floor is cooler
The reason why it might choose to sleep on the floor could be that the floor is cooler. This would be more likely if your floor is made of wood and if the room it sleeps in is hot at night.
Your dog is being protective
The reason why it does it might be because it wants to know when people are entering and leaving the house by sleeping by an entrance. This would be more likely if your dog becomes overly protective in your home by doing things such as barking when someone is at the door.
If you want to get your dog to sleep on your own bed but it won’t do it the cause could be that it is being submissive. This would be more likely if it chooses to sleep at the foot of your bed rather than on your bed.
How to get your dog to sleep in its bed
Below are some options you have when getting your dog to sleep on your bed.
Positive reinforcement training
Positive reinforcement training is where you encourage your dog to behave in a certain way by rewarding it when it shows signs of behaving that way.
To use it to get your dog to lay in its bed you could reward it whenever it goes into its bed. You could also train it to lay down in its bed following the tips mentioned in this post.
Redirect your dog when it is about to sleep on the floor
One option would be to redirect it to go into its bed when it looks like it is about to lay somewhere else. To do this you could train your dog to lay in its bed using positive reinforcement training and to tell it to go there whenever it looks like it is about to lay on the floor. By doing so you should be able to get it into the habit of going into its bed.
Avoid negative reinforcement
As mentioned above, it could be the case that you have encouraged your dog not to sleep in its bed by giving it things that it wants when it doesn’t do it. Instead, it would help to reward it when it does lay in its bed and to avoid rewarding it when it does not.
Things to consider about your dog sleeping on the floor
When your dog first started sleeping on the floor
If your dog did sleep in its bed in the past it would help to consider what else happened when it stopped doing it since it could be the case that there was an event that caused it to stop.
If it did start doing it suddenly it could be due to things such as the weather becoming hotter and choosing to sleep on the floor because it is cooler or learning that it gets rewards when it doesn’t do it.
Whereas, if it has always chosen to sleep on the floor then it could be due to any of the reasons mentioned above.
When your dog sleeps on the floor
It would also help to consider whether or not it does sleep in its bed sometimes.
If it does sleep in its bed sometimes it could be that it chooses to sleep on the floor when the temperature in the room is high.
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