Dogs are experts at understanding and analyzing humans, they do this by reading patterns in our emotions and mood changes. On the other hand, we are not so good at understanding our dogs and knowing how to read their body language in order to decipher their emotions.
In trying to understand your dog, it is important to pay closer attention to even the littlest details like their eye or tail movements and even where they decide to sleep. So maybe you've been asking the question "why does my dog sleep by the door? Or perhaps, "why does my dog sleep facing the door? then this post would help provide you with the answers you seek.
So, why does my dog sleep by the door? Several reasons why your dog might decide to sleep by your door, and they include: it might be that your dog has separation anxiety, or it is just marking its territory; could also mean that your dog is waiting for you or rather it’s just curious
In this post, we'd be carefully going through the different reasons your dog might be sleeping by the (bedroom) door even at night
Read on below for an in-depth analysis you must understand what drives this behavior as each conveys a different meaning, and understanding them could guide you when dealing with your dog.
1. Your dog is marking its territory:
It's a normal behavior in dogs to want to be possessive  about what they think is theirs. We see them do this with their toys or their crate, both of which might be harmless and would in no way disturb us. However, what happens when your dog tries to stake a claim on your doorway?
Your dog might be sleeping by your bedroom door because it feels safe there and is trying to let you know by marking it. Hence, you would want to look out for other indications that your dog has claimed this space as its territory. Did your dog make a urine marking? Does it growl and bark when you come close or try to get it to move?
If your dog hasn't always been doing so, then it is most likely that some change in its environment has caused this. Your task would be to narrow down what change your dog is reacting to, you can do this is by asking yourself the right questions. Did you recently get a new pet? Did you get a new roommate or perhaps a baby?
You should understand that your dog being defensive of its territory doesn't necessarily mean it disapproves of this new person but rather it could be that it isn't quite familiar with their scents or voice, or you haven't been paying much attention to it as you would usually do before they arrived.
A good way to handle a territorial dog is to give it simple commands when you find it guiding its space. You can give commands like asking it to go fetch you something from somewhere else or asking it to come to sit with you, and then rewarding it when it obeys. This when done repeatedly would serve to distract your dog and to disrupt its territorial habits.
2. Your dog is being protective:
Dogs are known for their loyalty in serving and protecting their masters, sometimes even with their lives at risk.
There are so many reasons this behavior is common among dogs such as, it is a part of their primal instincts to be protective of whoever they consider as family, they are trying to repay you for all your kindness, they know they depend on you for food and shelter (an act of self-preservation), and also because you have encouraged the behavior.
Your dog might be sleeping by your front door or bedroom door when you sleep at night because it is trying to protect you and it believes the door is a pathway through which any threat would come through.
Pay attention to when your dog goes to sleep by your door, Does it only do it when you're in the house? If your dog only does so when you're not in the house, then it is less likely it is sleeping there as a protective gesture.
3. Your dog has separation anxiety:
Separation anxiety in dogs is never a good thing and must be corrected. The idea that your dog doesn't like to be away from you, maybe cute at first but the long term effect might be bothersome for both yourself and your dog.
Your dog might be sleeping by your front door because it feels anxious when you're away, and since it saw you leave through the door, it is also expecting that you'd come through it as well. Other signs of anxiety in dogs include: barking when you're about to leave the house, cowering away in a corner, refusing to eat, digging, and urinating frequently.
The earlier you spot and help your dog get rid of anxiety, the better and the lesser the damage done on your dog. You can train your dog to be more comfortable with and maximize alone time by teaching it to use that time to rest and sleep, as this would help it feel less anxious whenever you're not around.
You can set your dog up with another dog to serve as a playmate or get it a new toy as this would keep it occupied for longer. Many experts believe that playing music for your dog is also a good way to reduce its anxiety, hence this might be something you might want to try.
4. Your dog is curious:
Dogs are curious animals and this is greatly influenced by their strong sense of sight and smell. Your dog might just be sitting by your door because of what it senses on the other end. It might be a scent it wishes to explore or the sound of a squirrel by the tree that it wants to play with.
Notice what your dog does as it sits by the door, Does it stare at the door intently? Do its tail and ears stand upright and does it appear alert when it does so? All these are reactions that dogs make when they are intrigued and curious about something.
You might want to disrupt this habit, as your dog running out the door out of curiosity might cause it to run off into a busy street and this might cause an accident and cause your dog to get hurt.
5. Your dog is waiting for you:
You just might want to consider the fact that your dog might only be going to sit by the door whenever he knows that you're about to come in. Dogs are sensitive to even the slightest sounds, like your footsteps on the walkway or the sound of your keys as you try to open the front door. Your dog might go to sit by the door as it waits for you to come in, to give you a warm welcome and to show you how much it misses you.
6. Your dog is trying to show that it's your leader:
Dogs are social beings that are well accustomed to pack life. Their primal instincts revolve around each member knowing its place and its role in the group. There is always a clear leader who should be respected and obeyed.
Your dog might be sleeping by the door because it is trying to show off its alpha position. Your dog might not want you to go out or in without seeking its permission. This behavior should not be encouraged and you should show your dog that you are in fact its leader.
You can do this by portraying trust, empathy, confidence, and patience. You shouldn't try to pass this message by instilling intimidation or fear as these are not attributes of a strong leader. Show your dog that you're worth following and that's exactly what it would do.
Other points to consider
Another reason your dog might be sleeping at your door might be that it wants to go outside and is doing so to get your attention. Your dog might want to go outside because it wants to play, or it wants to go exercising or maybe it wants to pee outside.
If you do not want your dog to continue sleeping by your door then you might want to make a conscious effort to discourage it. For example, you shouldn't try to go through a different entryway, because your dog is guiding your doorway as this would send a message that you appreciate this behavior. Practicing crate training would also help to provide your dog with a better place to lie rather than by your door.
The importance of training your dog can never be overemphasized. It's really straightforward when your dog starts a habit that you disapprove of, you train it to stop. Of course, training goes beyond making your dog act in a particular way.
Training is so essential as it helps to promote mental stability and reduces the likelihood of depression in your dog. This is why it is important to know how to train your dog and more importantly how to do it the right way.
Here is a Brain Training Program for dogs, by Adrienne Farricelli - by America's top professional dog trainer. You would not only find tips to lead you when learning to train your dog, but you would also find step-by-step guidelines that would make the process much easier.