If your dog sleeps on the floor and not on its bed, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you common causes and what you can do about them.

So, why does my dog sleep next to its bed? Possible reasons why your dog sleeps next to its bed are that it finds it more comfortable on the floor, its bed is too warm or small, it prefers to sleep in a more protective position or that it is used to sleeping on the floor.

Since there are multiple possible causes, it would help to consider what would make them more likely. Once you have a good idea of the cause, it should be a lot easier to decide what you should do about it.

Why your dog sleeps next to its bed

Below are common reasons why dogs sleep next to their beds and what would make them more likely to be the reason why yours has been doing it.

It finds it more comfortable

The cause could be that it simply finds the floor more comfortable than the bed. This would be more likely to be the reason if you have tried to train it to sleep in its bed but it still prefers to sleep on the floor and if it never chooses to go in its bed.

It’s bed is too warm

It could be the case that the bed is too warm for it. This would be more likely if your dog does sleep in its bed when the room is cold and if it does it less when the weather is hotter. In this case, you could try putting its bed in a cooler area.

Its bed is too small

The reason why it does it could also be that it feels like the bed is too small for it. This would be more likely if the bed is not big enough for it to stretch its legs and if it tends to sleep in an extended position.

It’s being protective

The reason why it does it might also be that it is actually being protective since many dogs prefer to sleep in a position that allows them to react to dangers quickly and in a spot that allows them to see the dangers. This would be more likely if it chooses to sleep in a position that people must pass through. In this case, you could try putting the bed somewhere where it can see the front door.

It is used to sleeping on the floor

Dogs generally likely to stick the the routine that they are used to. The reason why your dog prefers sleeping on the floor could be that it is used to sleeping there. This would be more likely if you have just gotten your bed. In this case, you could try giving it positive reinforcement training so that it learns to sleep there as shown below.

Things to consider

Below are some things you can consider when figuring out why your dog has been doing it.

What is different when your dog does sleep in its bed

If it does sleep in its bed sometimes, it would help to consider what is different when it does sleep in its bed compared to when it does not.

For example, if it does sleep in its bed when you are in the room, it could be the case that it prefers to sleep on the floor so that it is easier for it to tell when you are nearby.

What happened when it stopped sleeping in its bed

If it did sleep in its bed in the past, it would also help to consider what else happened when it stopped doing it.

If it stopped doing it suddenly, it could be due to things such as the weather becoming hotter causing it to feel too hot in its bed.

What to do about your dog sleeping on the floor

Below are some things you can do about your dog preferring to sleep on the floor.

Positive reinforcement training

Positive reinforcement training is where you encourage your dog to behave the way you want it to by rewarding it when it shows signs of behaving that way. To use it to get your dog to sleep in its bed, you could reward it whenever it shows signs of laying in its bed. Below is a video showing how you can use positive reinforcement training to train your dog to sleep in its bed.

Make changes to its bed

If it seems like your dog might be sleeping on the floor due to things such as wanting to be in a more protective position or the floor being cooler, you could try moving the bed. You could move it to a location that allows your dog to see the door, a cooler spot or one that is nearer to where you normally stay.

Avoid encouraging the behavior

It could be the case that you have been encouraging it not to sleep in its bed by giving it things it wants when it does not do it. If you tend to give it things such as toys, treats or extra attention, when it sleeps on the floor, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards. Instead, it would help to reward it when it sleeps in the bed, to avoid rewarding it when it does not and to use positive reinforcement training.

Let it do it

It could just be the case that it prefers sleeping on the floor. If you cannot get it to stop sleeping on the floor, it would likely be because it just prefers sleeping there and it would likely be best to let it sleep there if it wants to.

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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.