Should my dog sleep in my bed?

27 Apr

Well, this is quite a controversial topic. I have been doing a bit of online research, and it seems that the “general public” say that it is absolutely fine to let your dog sleep in your bed, whilst the majority of behaviorists and trainers, say NO.

 

dog bed

 

 

The Statistics:

According to a recent survey of pet owners by the American Pet Products Association, nearly half of dogs sleep in their owner’s beds. The survey found that 62% of small dogs, 41% of medium-sized dogs and 32% of large dogs sleep with their owners.

 

Cats:

The majority of cat owners (myself included) will admit to letting their cats sleep on their bed. But, i’m not here to talk about cats. I will however add in here, that whilst our cats do sleep on our beds, i do not agree that they should. Cat’s are a little more difficult to control.

 

Back to dogs:

So, i have done my best to come up with some pro’s and con’s to dog’s sharing our bed, and i will keep the “debate” open, before giving my personal opinion at the end. Do comment and let me know where your dogs sleep and where you think they should sleep.

 

The Pro’s:

  • Comfort: If you have had a long stressful day at work, it may be reassuring having your dog on or in the bed with you. 
  • Bonding: many people would argue that sharing a bed helps to strengthen the bond between you and your dog.
  • They act like a hot water bottle.
  • Company: especially if you live alone. It may make you feel more secure having your dog in the room with you while yous sleep.

 

The Con’s:

  • Disrupted sleep: generally a dog will not sleep (or stay still) through the entire night. They might get up and move around, clean themselves or wake up early deciding its time for breakfast or to play. 
  • Disagreements/disruption in a relationship: If you already share your bed with your partner, a dog could get in the way. It could take up half the bed and force your partner out, become possessive of one person, or simply make romantic situations awkward situations.
  • Health issues: whilst your dog might not necessarily be “dirty” they also are not necessarily the healthiest of sleeping companion. Depending on the breed and type of dog, you might end up with a mouth full of hair which is never nice. You could suffer from accidental nips and scratches. There is also the issue of potential transmission of diseases through the close contact (although this is a low chance). People who suffer from allergies or asthma should definitely consider the health implications of sharing a bed with their dog.
  • Behaviour: There are many opinions over this one, but trainers in particular will often say that a dog sleeping in your bed can disrupt the heirachy of the “pack”. It gives them extra privileges and therefore a higher ranking position.

 

My opinion:

Well, i have NEVER and probably will never let my dog sleep in my bed with me. In fact, it has always been a rule in my house that dogs do not go upstairs and into the bedroom. My reasons? Well, i suppose there are a few:

After spending my whole life with a cat on my bed, i have to say, i really do not like sleeping with an animal. With my cat Sam (especially as he got older) i would often wake up, having inhaled fur, coughing. The movements of the cats would often wake me up (if only for a few seconds), but i cannot imagine the frustration of having a 25kg labrador moving around next to me at night.

If you ask me what i feel about the pack leader argument, i have to admit that i don’t know what to think. I agree that you need to be the leader of your dog, but i also believe that is fine (normal) to cuddle, kiss and love them. So i would say that one probably depends largely on the individual person, and the individual dog.

People often will admit to kicking their partner out of bed to make room for the dog (we’ve all seen it on the tv) – that’s ridiculous!

Finally, i will admit that part of me, does like the idea of sharing a room at night with a dog (though only the room, not the bed) and this is due to the idea of strengthening the bond.

 

What a trainer told me:

I never asked if my dog could sleep in my bed. However, one of the first things the trainer i saw said to me was “does your dog always sleep on the couch?”. When i said yes, he argued that dogs should not be allowed on the furniture, again because of the pack mentality issue. Needless to say, i gave in on that one, and both dogs do sleep on the couch.

 

Your opinion:

Ultimately, i would say it is another one of those scenarios when it is all down to personal opinion. So, let me know what you think!

 

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12 Responses to “Should my dog sleep in my bed?”

  1. jackiewriting April 29, 2013 at 3:27 pm #

    I must admit, I sleep with my staffie.. She is no problem, doesn’t wake me, cuddles into me and is lovely and warm. I have no partner and a double bed. The border collie on the other hand, used to sleep in my room, but I’ve found that as she’s gotten older she ‘mooches’ a lot and wakes a lot in the night, so now she has the run of the rest of the house. I felt a bit guilty at first, but it hasn’t changed any of the relationships between the dogs and each other or me. Also, I’m still ‘top dog’! 🙂

    • taylorr1991 April 29, 2013 at 5:53 pm #

      Aww cute! Thanks for sharing! As i said before, i think it all comes down to the individual circumstances and of course the dogs as well. 🙂

      • jackiewriting April 29, 2013 at 6:28 pm #

        I realised today just how good my dogs are… I took them for a walk in the woods locally, and came across a guy with a walking stick, with a GSD off lead. I left mine off, but his dog wouldn’t leave either of mine alone, even though we quickly walked ahead, he kept chasing my dogs. 5 minutes along I met a lady (again with a walking stick) and with a black lab off lead. She had a yorkie on the lead so I called out “Mine are ok if you want to leave him (the lab) off the lead”.. So she did, and her dog went for my staffie! Twice! I must be too naive to presume that if other people’s dogs are off lead that they are as well behaved as mine!

      • taylorr1991 April 29, 2013 at 6:31 pm #

        Oh that’s a shame, but good that yours are very well behaved.

        I actually tend to use the same assumptions. I keep mine off if the others are off and put her on the lead if there are dogs on. The only time i would sometimes put her on the lead even though another dog is off lead is if i can tell that the other dog is old or that the owners are elderly or have young children (just because of her overly friendly and boisterous nature).

        I think generally that assumption works well, but i guess there will always be the odd ones out that don’t follow the rules, and you never can tell with dogs.

      • jackiewriting April 29, 2013 at 6:44 pm #

        Yes I tend to follow the same ‘rules’ you do, it was just weird today cos I often walk there and never see a soul, then today – 2 in one hit! Just my luck haha!

      • taylorr1991 April 29, 2013 at 6:46 pm #

        Ah i know what you mean. I have walks like that as well, and then every so often there seem to be an oddly high number of people.

        My latest weird event has been three different pointers, one muzzled, two wearing bells, running through and around the area of woodland i walk, with no owner. It’s actually quite scary when you hear bells and see shadows racing through the trees.

      • jackiewriting April 29, 2013 at 6:50 pm #

        Not sure if I’d go back there again to be honest!

      • taylorr1991 April 29, 2013 at 6:56 pm #

        Well, the way i see it, is you can’t let one negative thing stop you from doing something that is normally enjoyable.

        I was nervous for a while after my dog was “attacked” by that spaniel (which was in the same place as i mentioned earlier) – now i still go there often, but never on my own.

  2. jackiewriting April 29, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

    You’re right, and I don’t let things like today stop me from walking somewhere. It’s just that dogs with bells running around on their own sounds a bit spooky for me 🙂

    • taylorr1991 April 29, 2013 at 7:26 pm #

      it is really creepy. When we hear them we tend to stop and put the dog on the lead then just wait for them to pass us. At least one of them is an intact male as well which makes me a little nervous (maya has been spayed now, but i just think if he went for her there would be nothing i could do)

      • jackiewriting April 29, 2013 at 7:36 pm #

        Is there any way of finding out whose dogs they are? Or could you report them to the local dog warden?

      • taylorr1991 April 29, 2013 at 7:39 pm #

        I have been thinking that. Especially because children often walk around that area and i think if i was a mum out with my kids it would really worry me.

        I think i have seen the owner, but i’m not 100% sure.

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