If your dog won’t sleep with you this post will show you a number of possible reasons and what you can do about it.
So, why won’t my dog sleep with me? Possible reasons your dog won’t sleep with you are that it is used to sleeping somewhere else, it finds a different room more comfortable, it thinks you don’t want it to, your bed is not comfortable or that it’s being protective.
There are actually a number of reasons why your dog might not be doing it and it could be a combination of reasons. However, there are some things you can consider when trying to figure out the exact reason.
Why your dog won’t sleep with you
Each of the different reasons why your dog won’t sleep with you will likely come with a number of clues.
Below are a number of possible causes and what you can do about it.
It finds a different room more comfortable
The cause might be that it finds the room you sleep in to be uncomfortable for it. If you try to get it to sleep on your bed it might be that it is too hot for it, the room might be too hot or it might find the floor to be cooler. This would be more likely if it does sleep with you on certain nights such as when it is colder.
It’s used to sleeping somewhere else
The cause could be that it has become accustomed to sleeping in a different location and it feels more secure when it sleeps there. This would be more likely if there is a particular spot that it has always chosen to sleep in.
It thinks you don’t want it to
Another cause could be that it thinks that you want it to sleep somewhere else. This would be more likely if you tend to give it things that it wants when it does not sleep with you. If you tend to give it things such as toys, treats or extra attention when it sleeps in a different room then it might be doing it more in order to get more rewards.
Instead, it would help to reward it when it lays down where you want it to sleep and to train it to sleep there using the tips mentioned below.
It’s being protective
The reason why it does it might be because it wants to know when people are entering and leaving the house by sleeping by an entrance. This would be more likely if your dog becomes overly protective in your home by doing things such as barking when someone is at the door.
Things to consider
If your dog always wouldn’t sleep with you
If your dog did sleep with you in the past but it suddenly stopped then it would help to consider what else happened when it stopped doing it since there might have been an event that caused it to stop.
If it did sleep with you in the past then it might have stopped due to things such as your room being too hot, not having enough space or it might have chosen to sleep in a more protective position. It would help to consider what else changed when it stopped sleeping with you.
Whereas, if it has always chosen to sleep somewhere else then it would be more likely to be due to things such as those mentioned above.
If your dog sleeps with you sometimes
It would also help to consider whether or not it always doesn’t sleep with you. If it does sleep with you sometimes then the timing might have something to do with it.
For example, if it does not sleep with you on hot nights then it might choose to sleep somewhere else because it is cooler there.
How to get your dog to sleep with you
Below are some options you have when getting your dog to sleep with you.
Positive reinforcement training
Positive reinforcement training involves encouraging your dog to behave in a certain way by rewarding it when it shows signs of behaving that way.
To use it to get it to sleep with you, teach it the down command then tell it to go down in the spot you want it to sleep in then reward it for staying there. I have written about how you can train it to learn the down command in this post.
Redirect its focus
One option would be to redirect it to sleep where you want it to when it looks like it is about to lay in its bed. To do this you could train your dog to where you want it to using positive reinforcement training and to tell it to go there whenever it looks like it is about to lay somewhere else. By doing so you should be able to get it into the habit of sleeping where you want it to.
Avoid negative reinforcement
Negative reinforcement training is where you encourage your dog to do things you don’t want it to by rewarding it when it behaves that way. Instead of giving your dog things it wants when it sleeps somewhere else, try to reward it when it sleeps where you want it to and to avoid rewarding it when it does not choose to sleep where you want.
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