If your dog frequently checks on you when you’re asleep, you might be wondering why he’s doing it and if it is a show of affection.
If yes, then, this post will reveal all the facts you should know about your dog and his decision to do so.
So, why does my dog check on me when I’m sleeping? It may be because of the affection he has for you; or he is doing his security duties by checking what’s going on with you; it may also be that he’s bored or in search of food.
Given that there are many other reasons responsible for this behavior, it’s imperative that you understand what drives this it, as each conveys a different meaning, and understanding them could guide you when dealing with your dog.
Why does your dog check on you when sleeping?
Read on below for an in-depth analysis, as we uncover all the reasons behind his action
Dogs love company and the primary reason your dog could be checking on you while you are asleep is that he has affection for you. See, dogs bond with their owners or people who care for them and when your dog has already bonded with you, one of the ways he will show it is by constantly checking on you during the night while you are asleep to know what is going on with you and to be certain that you’re still there.
So, you should not worry that your dog does “bed checks” on you or other members of the family, he simply is just expressing that he really loves and cares about you.
2. It’s a Pack/family thing
Dogs are pack animals and relate to different kind gestures done to them. From the moment your dog is born or first brought home, he understands every care you show to him in terms of providing food, comfort, sleeping place, medical treatment, etc. and instinctively sees you as his family and makes you the leader of the pack.
He will naturally watch out for the pack which you’re part and leader of (at least to him😊) So, don’t get worried that he’s anxious by checking on you often or what you are up to. A great takeaway if your dog exhibits this behavior is that it’s going to be easy training him since he already sees you as the leader of the pack.
3. He’s being protective
You may not be surprised to know that dogs don’t sleep throughout the night and this consequentially may make them wander around during the night. Those moments in between when they are awake are used for doing some security sweeps on you and other members of the family by going from door to door. This may be more frequent if you have with you a visitor he is not familiar with, expect to see him check on you often.
4. He is bored
As previously mentioned, dogs unlike us don’t sleep through the night. At this time, there are probably few to no activities he can get engaged with; with the lights are out and almost everyone is already in bed. The result of this is him checking on you to see if you’re able to play with him or just looking for something to do. Don’t be surprised if you see toys on the floors or signs that will indicate he was in your room to get some play.
5. Search for food
At times, your dog could be hungry possibly because you forgot to give him food before you hit the bed. This has happened to me a couple of times. I usually got woken up by the creaking sound of the door while my pooch was silently trying to open the door and get in my room. Once, I fed him, he’d stop checking on me and go to his bed. So, if he’s checking on you while sleeping, it could be he’s feeling those hunger pangs and checking to see if you are awake to feed him.
What to do about your dog checking on you while sleeping
Here is a list of things you can do about this behavior
Get him a comfortable place to sleep (with some toys)
If he’s bored and not comfortable with his sleeping place, he may often check on you to see if he’s allowed to pass the night on your bed. In this case, you need to provide him a good, human-grade bed that is comfortable and spacious and make sure the bed location is conducive (like not heating up too much or noisy). You can also place a couple of different toys (he likes) beside him to play and get engaged with in order to overcome boredom.
Make sure you feed him before you go to bed
There are many times I slept off and didn’t have dinner and still felt well the following day. The same can’t be said of your dog. So, make sure you try the best to serve him dinner especially if he’s still a puppy. This would help if him checking on you is as a result of hunger.
Don’t Forget About ACTUAL Training
While treats and toys may help to keep your dog busy and stimulate him, they do not replace training. Just like we need to enrich our kiddies, we need to dedicate time to help our dog’s brains develop. It shouldn’t just be entertainment and treats every time!
And training your dog isn’t just about getting them to shake a paw or sit when you ask them to. It should be about making them more intelligent. A more intelligent dog will:
- be more obedient
- have better temperament
- have a stronger bond with you
- learn new skills faster
- not have resistance and anxiety problems
So if you’re a new dog parent to a puppy or adult dog, or you’re just wanting to learn some new skills, I recommend embarking in some sort of training. Professional training, however, can be quite expensive and time-consuming.
I really like this training course (opens a new tab). It’s online, it was created and often updated by a professional dog trainer and it really helps you understand how to better stimulate and enrich your puppy’s (or dog’s) life.
Don’t get me wrong, while applying the techniques in this course won’t make your dog a diva under a week, its slow, gradual method will see your dog transforming into a more intelligent dog that can take instructions obediently and help you to understand how you may be able to make changes in your approaches with training and trying to change behaviors.