Why Does My Dog Sleep So Close To Me? [Explained]
Dogs are known to be man’s best friends. Therefore, they are expected to want to be around us most of the time. Also, it is a sign of affection.
While it is a cute thing loved by many dog owners, it can get pretty tiring and frustrating. For instance, you might be in the living room watching TV, and your dog sleeps right next to you on the couch. Then you decide to move into the bedroom, and it follows to lay beside you in your bed.
Sounds annoying right?
The bigger the dog, the worse it gets.
Apart from the stress of having your dog taking up space all around you, it is not as healthy to keep your pets in touch every time. You may also be spoiling your dog into feeling entitled to sleep anywhere in the house.
We shall discuss the reasons why your dog sleeps so close to you, and ways you can minimize and correct this. Let’s cut the chase and get to it.
Because It Is Like Dogs
If you have had many dogs in the past or one from the pup, you’d have observed that sleeping around their owner is the nature that is common in all breeds of dogs. These traits has being passed down from their ancestors, the wolves.
Wolves are highly social animals, and a living social structure is called a “pack.” This is why you rarely see wolves alone. They are usually in the company of other wolves.
Dogs have these same traits. Although they are not domesticated, they still get an alpha, and a pack to settle in. In this case, it’s either you are the alpha, or your dog is.
In most cases, the owner is the alpha because the owner calls the shots on how the dog eats, sleep, and so on. If your dog has perceived you to be greater than him, you will be his alpha, and he will often sleep around you for warmth and security.
When a puppy is born, the parents tend to put on a litter attitude where the whole pack lays on and around the young cub for extra warmth and security. When such a dog grows, they do not drop this attitude, so you see them sleeping around you anywhere you go.
For Your Protection
If your dog happens to be one of the big guard dogs, then the reason why your dog is sleeping around you all the time is to protect you. The only way for you to know if this is the case is to understand the dog. Try to identify what kind of attitude your dog puts on for security.
Some dogs are overprotective. A breed like a Rottweiler is a security-conscious dog breed, and they never get tired of protecting their owners.
So you should not find it disturbing if your Rottweiler, German Shepherd, or Golden Retriever lays or sleeps next to you even in public. They would often lay down and take defensive positions to protect you from an attacker or other dogs even though there is no immediate threat.
Also, this is another threat that was passed down from their ancestors. They are always watching each other’s backs. They provide security for you as you provide security for them.
This is not only common in dogs but in every other social animal, including humans. We all tend to connect better with one another when we are closer to each other. At least you are closer to your neighbors than a random person you met at the shopping mall.
This indicates that the more time we spend together with each other, the better we understand each other, and the more we work together as a society.
Except if you’re overly abusive, your dog will see you like family, and they would want to bond with you better. This will prompt them to just stay around you often.
They want to share your food, they want to sleep in the same place with you, and they want to go where you go too. It may feel like some little dog stalking, but you will find they’re trying to get to know you better if you study and observe them. Remember you’re part of his pack now.
Although this is not a positive reason, it is a common reason why dogs are so clean to their owners. It is a psychological issue with your dog that can be a result of an experience they’ve had.
Just like some PTSD, if you adopted your dog into your home, but he was cast out from his previous home which he was emotionally attached, he could suffer greatly from separation anxiety. He wouldn’t want the same thing to happen again, so he might follow you everywhere you go. You will notice this anxiety in your dog from the way he behaves whenever you leave his side or leave the house.
When you notice that your dog is suffering from separation anxiety, we advise that you see a professional, so the situation can be arrested.
How to Stop Your Dog from Always Sleeping So Close To You?
While there are positive and negative reasons why your dog may sleep next to you all the time, it may be disturbing at some point, even if you were willing to let him hang around you. So, what should you do to the dog that sleeps next to you every time? Here are some actions you can take.
Yes! Ignore him. Making a big deal out of a dog sleeping next to you it’s like making a big deal out of a Toddler crawling. They are just doing what they are meant to do. It is like a dog to be clingy.
Moreover, it is a show of affection and trust. So we recommend that you should not worry about your dog sleeping next to you.
Treat Him for Sleeping Somewhere Else
Here is the most common strategy for training dogs and it works all the time. Dogs like rewards, so they always commit an action that earned them a reward to their memory.
So if you have a large dog that takes up all the space around you, and you would like some space, take your dog to sleep somewhere else and give them a treat for sleeping there. In hope of getting more rewards, they would always sleep away from you.
For this to work, you must prepare a place where you want your dog to sleep. You will need to be patient and consistent for this to work. You need to repeat the process until your dog commits it to memory and gets used to it.
Treat Separation Anxiety
This is a crucial one that needs more explanation. Separation anxiety is a dangerous condition in dogs. When your dog keeps feeling some anxiety every time you are out of his sight, it can make his general health deteriorate.
However, you need to be sure that your dog is suffering from separation anxiety and not just some regular clinginess.
Separation anxiety is not a deadly condition in itself. Thus, with simple routines and procedures of training, your dog can be normal again. To battle separation anxiety, here are some procedures you can take as a routine.
- Make a comfortable and secure sleeping area for him to use when you are away.
- Feed him before you go.
- Play with him and give him plenty of exercises.
- Always take him outside to relieve himself before you leave.
If you try these procedures and discover that they are not working, you should consult an expert for help.
Exercise and Socialize Your Dog
One of the ways dogs learn fast is by being in contact with other dogs and people. Dogs tend to imitate what other dogs do. So you should take your dog out regularly to dog forums, or to a friend that has a dog.
Better still, you can acquire a new dog to serve as a control for your clingy dog. When a dog has a companion, they tend to be less clingy with humans.
Once again, you do not need to be overly frustrated when your dog sleeps next to you. They are doing what they are meant to do. It is a great thing that your dog is concerned about your security, or that he wants to bond better with you.
So why should you panic over this?
The only major cause of concern is when you feel that your dog is suffering from separation anxiety. And as discussed above, you can follow a few procedures to control the anxiety.
Finally, you should pay close attention to your dog’s health. A greater threat than clinginess is his sickness. Make sure that you put your dog’s health first and how you feed them or treat them.
And do not hesitate to consult your vet if you notice any strange development in him.