If your dog has been sleeping by your bedroom door you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you common reasons why dogs do it and what would make them more likely to be the main reason.
So, why does my dog sleep by the bedroom door? Possible reasons why your dog sleeps by the bedroom door are that it is being protective, it feels safer there, it has some separation anxiety, it’s waiting for you or that you have rewarded it for sleeping there.
Since there are a lot of reasons why your dog might be sleeping there, it would help to consider what would make each of the causes more likely. Once you have a good idea of the cause, it will become easier to figure out what you should do about it.
Why your dog sleeps by the bedroom door
Below are common reasons why dogs sleep by the bedroom doors of their owners and what would make them more likely to be the main reason why yours does it.
It is being protective
The reason why your dog has been doing it could be that it is being protective. This would be more likely if it barks when people it doesn’t know are outside. It would also be more likely if it positions itself so that it is also in a spot where people have to pass through in order to reach other members of your house.
In this case, it would help to give it positive reinforcement training to get it to sleep somewhere else and to bark less.
It feels safer there
The cause could also be that it makes it feel safer there. 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 by your door 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 also be the case that you have actually encouraged it to sleep there by giving it rewards when it does it. If you tend to give it things such as extra attention, treats or other rewards, when it sleeps by your door, it will likely do it in order to get more rewards.
If you don’t want it to sleep there, it would help to avoid rewarding the behavior and to train it to lay somewhere else and to reward it whenever it goes there.
The reason why it does it might be that it has some separation anxiety. This would be more likely if it starts showing signs of being anxious when you are going to bed and if you close the door so that it can’t go into your room. If it does get anxious at night, I have written more about why it might be the case and what you can do about it here.
It’s waiting for you
If your dog sleeps there during the day, while you are in your room, it could be the case that it is waiting for you to come out. The reason could be that it is waiting for food, exercise or something else. This would be more likely if it sleeps elsewhere in the house after it has gotten what it is waiting for.
It is more comfortable for it
A less likely reason could be that it sleeps there because it is more comfortable there than in other parts of the house. This would be more likely if the area outside your room is particularly cool and the rest of the house gets warm at night.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.
What else happened when your dog first started sleeping by the bedroom door
If your dog did not always sleep outside your door, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it since it could be the case that there was an event that caused it to start.
If it started doing it suddenly, it would be more likely to be due to things such as learning that it gets rewards for sleeping there or an issue with the place that it normally would sleep.
What is different when your dog does not sleep there
If it does not always sleep there, it could also help to consider what is different when it does not do it.
For example, if it does not sleep there when other people are at home, it could be the case that it chooses to sleep in the most protective spot in the house.
What to do about your dog sleeping by the bedroom door
If you do not want your dog to sleep by the bedroom door there are some options below.
Give it positive reinforcement training
Positive reinforcement training involves encouraging your dog to behave the way you want by rewarding it when it shows signs of behaving that way. To use it to get your dog to sleep somewhere else at night you could train it to lay down where you want it to sleep at night then get it to stay there at night and reward it when it stays there.
Avoid encouraging the behavior
It would also help to avoid rewarding it when it sleeps outside your door. Instead, it would help to reward it when it sleeps somewhere else and to ignore it when it tries to get your attention outside your door.
Give it a comfortable place to lay down
It would also help to give it a comfortable area where it can sleep at night. The area should be cool, quiet, not too bright and there should be space for it to lay down comfortably.
Reduce its separation anxiety at night
It would also help to take measures to reduce how anxious it becomes at night by doing things such as letting it pee, eat and get exercise before going to bed at night.