If your dog puts its sleeps between you and your husband or wife, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you five common reasons why dogs do it and what you can do to get yours to stop.
It is actually possible that there is a combination of causes at play. However, there are some things you can consider when figuring out the main causes and there are many things you can do about them.
Reasons why your dog sleeps between you and your husband
Below are five possible reasons why your dog has been doing it and what would make each of them more likely to be the main reason.
Encouraging the behavior
The reason why your dog does it might be that it has learned that the behavior gets rewarded. This would be more likely if either of you gives it rewards when it lays between you by giving it things such as extra attention. If you do, it would be likely that it will lay between you more in order to get more rewards.
The cause might also be that it has some separation anxiety causing it to sleep in the middle so that it knows when either of you leave. This would be more likely if it shows signs of being anxious, when you leave it during the day, by doing things such as pacing or crying.
Dogs were bred to be around humans all day and night. With that being the case, it is to be expected that your dog will want to be near you both at night since it will make it feel more secure and that it is part of the pack.
Another possible cause is that it is actually being possessive and it is trying to protect its spot on the bed. This would be more likely if it becomes aggressive when you try to move it. In this case, it would be important to stop the behavior by doing things such as making it sleep elsewhere at night. I have written more about what to do about this here.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.
If it always did it
If your dog did not always sleep between you, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it. If it started doing it suddenly, it might be due to things such as learning that the behavior gets rewarded, separation anxiety or your partner started making it sleep there.
What is different when it does not do it
If it does not always sleep between you both, it would also help to consider what is different when it does it. For example, if it only does it on noisy nights, it might be doing it due to being fearful.
The body language it shows
It would also help to consider the body language it shows when it goes between you both. If it shows positive body language signs such as having its tongue out, wagging its tail and being relaxed, it would be more likely that it is doing it more due to affection.
Whereas, if it shows signs of anxiety, such as pacing or crying, it would be more likely that it is doing it due to something causing it to be anxious such as having separation anxiety. This would also be more likely if it becomes very anxious when you get it to sleep somewhere else.
What to do about it
Below are some options you have when getting your dog to stop doing it.
Avoid encouraging it
As mentioned above, it could be the case that the behavior has been encouraged. Instead, it would help to prevent it from going between you both and to reward it when it is not between you both.
Train it to sleep somewhere else
One option would be to use positive reinforcement training to get your dog to sleep somewhere else. 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.
Give it another place to sleep
It would also help to give it another place to sleep. The area should be cool, quiet and there should be space for it to lay down. Another option would be to give it a crate to sleep in so that it can go there to feel secure.
Redirect its focus
It could also help to redirect its focus when it is about to go between you both. By doing so, you should be able to help get it out of the habit of doing it. Ways to redirect its focus could include training it to lay down somewhere else and telling it to go there when it is about to go between you both.