Let Sleeping Dogs Lie...
But Not On Your Bed?

by Vicki
(Baltimore)

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie: In Your Bed Or Theirs?

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie: In Your Bed Or Theirs?

This is one of the dumbest things I have ever read about dog care. Has the author ever lived with any dogs? I have had many dogs, from puppy-hood through to old age, and they have all slept in our bed.

We have never, ever had any dominance issues or problems with violence. If you can't let your dog sleep with you then you need to establish a stronger relationship with him or her.

This article should be removed. Dogs are pack animals, they are healthier and happier when allowed to sleep with their pack, you are their pack.

They are, however not wolves; having evolved as domesticated companions, their instincts and understandings are now very different from their wild cousins.

Reply from Pauline (Web Owner)

Hi Vicki, thanks for your comments about the article on Let Sleeping Dogs Lie...But Not In Your Bed?

You are very lucky to have lived with many dogs and I'm delighted to hear that none of your dogs have ever had 'dominance issues or problems with violence'.

However, some dog owners are not so lucky and experience many behavioral problems with their dog(s) and even though these dogs are part of their family, some owners are unable to trust their dogs enough to allow them to sleep on their bed, and especially not on or in their children's beds.

The domestic dog may no longer resemble its ancestor, however, deep down, they may still harbor some of the wilder instincts and characteristics of the wolf, and these have been known to surface from time to time.

Of course you're right, dogs are pack animals and prefer to be with their pack all the time. Unfortunately, some of our dogs have behavioral problems which can't easily be addressed, if at all, such as certain rescue dogs or dogs who are or have previously been ill-treated.

I won't be removing this article Vicki, as I would never forgive myself if someone was seriously hurt because I'd suggested that owners should allow their dogs to sleep on human beds without first considering the potential for injury to humans caused by dogs with aggressive tendencies.

Comments for Let Sleeping Dogs Lie...
But Not On Your Bed?

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I Agree - Let Sleeping Dogs Lie - In Their Own Beds!
by: Anonymous

I would love it if my dog could sleep on my bed with me, unfortunately, that is never going to happen.

I adopted my dog when she was about 2 years old and after a few days I could tell she had an alpha attitude and if I let her get her way, we would have a battle on our hands.

Some dogs see being allowed on a bed as a sign of power and dominance. They see their ranking in the pack increase and are less likely to listen and behave.

We know not all dogs behave perfectly, and if you're dealing with a dog who's always struggling to be the alpha male, then it isn't a good idea for him or her to be on the bed.

Dogs work from a pack mentality and everything has some kind of order and structure. So, if you can allow your dog on the bed and she still sees you as the boss, then you're lucky.

My dog wouldn't be so giving in that way. She needs to see me as the pack leader who sets all the boundaries and when she looks up at me on my bed from her own bed on the floor, I am seen as more important than she.

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A Step Too Far?
by: Jed

Our dogs sleep with us too and, up to a point, I agree. I sometimes think that people can take the leadership thing a little too seriously...

Don't get me wrong, leadership is very important, but just because your dog sleeps with you isn't going to make him think that he's suddenly the alpha male. My dogs know who's their leader!

My cockers aren't allowed to dominate the bed, so if your dog didn't listen to you when you wanted him to get off of the bed, or growled at you, then this would definitely be a big issue and would need to be stopped immediately.

Typically, though, the bed isn't the issue in these cases, as these dogs usually have other issues/problems going on.

My cockers sleep on the floor but sometimes I allow them to sleep with me, however, I usually only end up with one as the other prefers to sleep in his (open) crate.

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Bed Sharing?
by: Anonymous

I'd say that this is only an issue with dogs that show behavior problems or begin to protect the bed. The bed is yours after all.

My dogs sleep on the bedroom floor and sometimes I let Dilly come up with me but she doesn't like my moving around and most often gets off the bed to go lay back down on the floor.

She only hops on the bed if I invite her to do so. Dilly is one dog that is very aware of pack dynamics so if she thinks I need the bed she moves.

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Too Crowded!
by: Ben

I very seldom let my dog sleep in bed with me. It's not that I think I'll lose "alpha status" but more to do with the fact that he likes to sleep in the middle of the bed.

I also tend to thrash about in my sleep. Although I could hurt him, I normally wake up when I know my legs or arms have come into contact with him. I end up with poor quality sleep and feel tired and grumpy all day!

So he has his bed, and I've got mine - we're both very comfortable that way!

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Sleeping Dogs - Your Bed Or Mine?
by: Danny

This is how I see it - it is YOUR bed, not your dogs.

If you're going to let your dog on your bed, invite him to join you on the bed only when he's calm.

Don't let him up if he's asking. Wait until he's down on the floor, being a calm, good dog and then ask him to come up.

You must have rules with your dogs - just like we have rules for our children.

If your dog has any aggression issues - don't allow him on your bed.

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Let Sleeping Dogs Lie?
by: Vicki

I have always slept with my dogs - but I guess I've been lucky as they've all been very gentle in nature and have never been aggressive towards me.

I do know other dogs, however, that are not so gentle. I'd love them just the same but I don't think I'd take the risk of letting them sleep with me! :)

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Sleeping With Your Dog
by: Joseph

I don't agree with you as I think it depends on the temperement of the dog.

I have had several dogs, mostly cockers, but there were two of my dogs (both cockers by the way) that couldn't ever be allowed to sleep with me (or any other member of my family).

Nor could they be allowed to be around young children - supervised or not. My heart was always in my mouth when we were in the park and there were children present. I had to make sure the kids stayed away from my dogs.

Both cockers were well trained and otherwise well behaved dogs but unfortunately, they had slight aggressive tendencies.

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