Should You Let Your Dog Sleep In Bed With You?

Should You Let Your Dog Sleep In Bed With You?

The question of whether to let your dog sleep in bed with you can be quite divisive, with differing opinions from dog trainers and experts. However, my take on this topic is straightforward: do what feels right for you and your dog.

Let's break down some common perspectives and why people might think it's a bad idea:

Why Some Say It's Bad

Those who discourage dogs from sleeping in bed often argue that it undermines the owner's role as the leader ("alpha") of the pack. They believe that allowing your dog to share your sleeping space can lead to behavioural issues and a lack of obedience.

The idea is rooted in the concept of establishing control over resources and setting boundaries, which are indeed important aspects of dog ownership. However, the key is not to eliminate your dog's privileges but to control them in a way that aligns with your rules.

Establishing Rules and Boundaries

Being a leader or "parent" to your dog involves setting clear rules and boundaries, much like a parent does with a child. Each household may have slightly different rules, and that's perfectly okay as long as you are the one making those decisions.

For example, just like different parents have different bedtime routines for their children, different dog owners may have varying rules for their pets. The important thing is that these rules are set by you and not dictated by the dog.

Applying It with Your Dog

In practice, this means that you can allow your dog certain privileges, like sleeping in bed, as long as it's on your terms. For instance, your dog can come onto the bed only after receiving permission from you.

This approach emphasises control over resources and behaviours through simple actions like eye contact or commands. By requiring your dog to ask for permission or show respect before receiving a reward (such as cuddling in bed), you reinforce your role as the leader.

Setting Expectations

The key takeaway is to reward behaviors that you want to encourage in the long run. If you want your dog to sleep in bed with you, ensure that it's done under your conditions, such as asking permission before joining you.

This method of control and reward fosters a healthy relationship based on clear communication and mutual respect. So, feel free to enjoy cuddling with your dog in bed, but remember to make it clear that it's on your terms, setting the stage for a harmonious coexistence.

Back to blog