If your dog has been sleeping by the door you might be wondering why and what you can do about it.

This post will show you a number of reasons why it might be sleeping by the door and what you can do about it.

So, why does my dog sleep by the door? Possible reasons are that it is being protective, it is waiting for you, it wants exercise or it might be doing it to get more attention.

There are actually multiple reasons why your dog might be sleeping by the door and it could be a combination of reasons. However, there are some things you can consider when trying to figure out why your dog does it.

Why your dog sleeps by the door

The different reasons why your dog sleeps by the door will likely come with some clues in the way that it does it.

Below are a number of possible causes and what would make them more likely.

It’s 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 sleeps by the front door specifically and if it starts barking when there are people at the door that it doesn’t know.

In this case, it would help to give it positive reinforcement training to get it to sleep somewhere else and to bark less.

It’s waiting for you

If your dog waits by the door while you are away then it would be more likely that it does it because it is waiting for you. This would also be more likely if it does not sleep there while you are home. This could also be a sign that it has some separation anxiety especially if it starts showing signs of being anxious when you are leaving.

Related: Why does my dog lean on me?

It wants exercise

If your dog waits by the door before you have given it exercise and it does not do it after you have given it exercise the cause would likely be that it is waiting for you to give it exercise. This would be especially likely if it is a breed that is meant to get a lot of exercise on a daily basis.

It’s looking for extra attention

The reason that it does it might be that it is doing it for extra attention. This would be especially likely if it sleeps there in a way that prevents people from getting past during the day.

In this case, it would be important to train it to sleep somewhere else. It would also help to give it lots of attention throughout the day in the form of training, exercise and by playing with it.

Things to consider

Below are some things you can consider when trying to figure out why your dog sleeps by the door.

When it started doing it

It would help to consider what else happened at around the same time that your dog first started doing it since it could be the case that there was an event that caused it to start.

Some things to consider would be:

  • If you moved home
  • If someone else moved away
  • If its schedule changed
  • If you started working different hours

When it does it

It would also help to consider whether or not there is a certain time that it tends to sleep by the door. If there is then it would make it more likely that the timing has something to do with it.

For example, if it tends to sleep by the door while you are away then it would be much more likely that it does it because it is waiting for you. If it does it throughout the day it could be that it is just hoping to get lots of attention.

How to get your dog to stop laying by the door

Below are some options you have when getting your dog to stop sleeping by the door.

Use positive reinforcement training

Positive reinforcement training involves rewarding your dog when it shows the behaviors you want to see in order to encourage it to do it more.

To use it to get your dog to stop sleeping by the door you would first train it to learn the down command then to get it to stop sleeping by the door when it does it, then to get it to lay down somewhere else and to reward it for laying there. You would then repeat the process whenever it lays down by the door. Eventually, it should learn to sleep in a different location.

Avoid negative reinforcement

It could be the case that you have trained your dog to sleep by the door by giving it things that it wants when it does it. Instead, it would help to avoid rewarding it when it sleeps by the door and to reward it when it lays down somewhere else.

Make sure that it is getting enough exercise

If you notice that it tends to do it more when it has not gotten exercise it would help to make sure that it does get enough exercise. You can give it exercise by walking it yourself or by getting a dog walker to do it for you when you can’t.

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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.