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Why does my dog sleep at the end of my bed?

Why does my dog sleep at the end of my bed?
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If your dog has been sleeping at the end of your bed you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you common reasons why your dog might choose to sleep there and not elsewhere in the house and also why your dog might choose to sleep there instead of higher up on the bed with you.

Possible reasons why your dog sleeps at the end of your bed are that it makes it feel more secure, it is being protective, it has some separation anxiety or that you have encouraged the behavior.

Why does my dog prefer sleeping at the end of the bed and not higher up? Possible reasons are that there is more room there, it thinks that you won’t like it sleeping higher up, it was trained to sleep there or that it is being protective because it is easier to move at the end of the bed.

In both cases, there are many reasons why your dog might sleep there. But, there are some things you can consider when figuring out the main cause and there are some things you can do about it.

Why your dog sleeps at the end of your bed

Below are some common reasons why your dog might choose to sleep at the end of your bed instead of elsewhere in the house and what would make them more likely to be the main reason.

It makes it feel more secure

The cause could be that it makes it feel safer when it is around you. Dogs were bred to work alongside their owners and the other members of their pack for hours on a daily basis and they would sleep together. So, sleeping at the end of your bed could make it feel like it is around other pack members and cause it to feel more secure. This would be more likely to be the reason if it also tends to follow you around during the day.

Encouraging the behavior

It could be the case that you have encouraged it to sleep there by giving it rewards when it does it. If you tend to give it things such as extra attention, when it sleeps at the end of your bed, it will likely do it more in order to get rewarded more. If you do not want it to sleep there, it would help to avoid rewarding it for sleeping with you and to reward it for sleeping somewhere else.

It is being protective

It could be the case that it does it because it is being protective. This would be more likely if it tends to be overly protective when you are around other people and pets.

Separation anxiety

It could be the case that it has some separation anxiety. This is where it does not like being left alone and it becomes anxious when it is left alone. This would be more likely to be the reason if your dog is anxious when it has to sleep in a different room and when you are leaving home.

It is being affectionate

It could be the case that it is just being affectionate. This would be more likely if it tends to get you to rub its stomach before going to sleep and if it tends to actually lay its head or body against you when sleeping there.

Fear

The reason why it has been sleeping at the end of your bed might be that something has been causing it to be fearful. Things that might make it fearful could be noises that it does not like, someone being around that it does not like or it could be an object that it does not like the look of. It would be more likely that it does it due to being frightened if it only sleeps there in certain situations such as when there is thunder.

Why your dog prefers to sleep at the end and not the middle or higher

If you are wondering what might be causing your dog to choose to sleep at the foot of the bed and not the middle, below are some possible causes and what would make them more likely.

There is more room there

The reason why it does it might be that there is more room for it to sleep there. This would be more likely if your bed is not very big and if your dog is a big breed.

Encouraging the behavior

It might also be the case that it has learned that it gets rewards for sleeping at the end of the bed. For example, if you tend to rub its belly with your foot, when it sleeps at the end of the bed, but not when it sleeps higher up, it will likely do it more for more rewards.

Previous training

It could also be the case that it was trained to sleep there. This would be more likely if you initially trained it to sleep at the end of your bed when it was younger. In this case, you could try training it to sleep higher up in a similar way to the way that you initially trained it.

It’s being protective

It could also be the case that it does it because it is being protective. This is because it will likely be easier for it to move at the end of your bed. This would be more likely if it tends to sleep facing the door and if it tends to get overly protective at times as well.

It thinks you will not like it if it sleeps higher

There is evidence to suggest that dogs to not actually interact with each other in a hierarchy but it could be the case that your dog thinks that you’ll react negatively if it tries to sleep higher up.

Consider else happened when it first started doing it

If your dog did not always sleep at the end of your bed, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it.

If it started doing it suddenly, it could be the case that it learned that it gets rewards when it sleeps there or that it found it more comfortable than the area that it was previously sleeping.

How to get your dog to sleep elsewhere in the house

If you don’t want your dog sleeping in your room, below are some things you can do about it.

Train it to lay somewhere else

One option would be to use positive reinforcement training to get your dog to lay somewhere else at night. Positive reinforcement training is where you encourage it to behave in a certain way by rewarding it when it shows signs of behaving that way.

Avoid encouraging the behavior

As mentioned above, it might be the case that it learned that it gets rewards when it sleeps at the end of your bed. If you do not want it to sleep there, it would help to reward it when it does not sleep there and to avoid rewarding it when it tries to sleep there.

Reduce its separation anxiety

Since it might be sleeping there due to having some separation anxiety, it would help to try to reduce how anxious it becomes when you leave it alone. Ways to do so would be to let it pee before bed, feed it in the early evening and give it lots of exercise so that it can sleep more easily. If it does get anxious at night, I have written more about what to do about it here.

Give it a comfortable area to sleep

It would also help to make the area, that you want it to sleep in, comfortable. By doing so, you should help to encourage it to sleep there. The area should be cool, not too bright, quiet and there should be a space for it to lay down comfortably.

How to get your dog to sleep higher up with you

If you want your dog to sleep higher up with you, it would help to avoid rewarding it when it sleeps lower down and to encourage it to come higher up and reward it when it does so. One way to do this would be to give it positive reinforcement training using treats during the day by rewarding it for laying in the spot you want it to lay down at during the night.

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