Why does my dog sleep so close to me? (12 Common Reasons)

You may be wondering why your dog loves to sleep close to you at night or always wants to find a way to be closer to you when he is about to sleep.

There are some factors responsible for your dog's urge and desire to sleep close to you in bed.

So, why does my dog sleep so close to me? It could be that he is just being affectionate, or he feels more comfortable and safer when he sleeps close to you. He's protecting you and your household against danger or because of the reward you often give to him when he does so.

Is this a good behavior that should be encouraged? What should be your reaction if your dog is very eager to sleep next to you in bed? This post is here to provide answers to all questions related to this behavior in dogs.

Dog sleeping so close to owner in bed at night

1. He is hunting for his precious possession that is in your custody

Have you experienced how a female child reacts when she needed something from her mother? She moves closer to her and, sometimes, hugs her in order to find favor in her sight.

The same can be said of your friendly canine that is in dire need of something from you. He will stay close to you as soon as he knows that his well-cherished possession is in your custody.

2. He is used to the attitude because you always reward him

Your dog is used to sleeping close to you in bed because he always gets a reward from you whenever he portrays the habit. You might not be giving him a treat, toy, or other material rewards intentionally, but giving him a pet in the back or cuddling him ultimately serves as a reward to the dog.

However, this doesn't mean you should send him away whenever he comes close to you in bed because it will create a very bad impression on your pooch which could hamper or affect the trust he has in you. 

3. He is just being affectionate towards his owner 

It is said that dogs are very lovely and fun to be with because of the affection they have for their owners. That's right, and one of the ways to prove their love for you is by sleeping close to you in bed either in the night or afternoon.

Your dog can even decide to follow everywhere you go. He just doesn't want you to be far away from him because he loves you so dearly.

4. He feels more secure

Another reason why your dog loves sleeping close to you is that he feels more secured around you. He is confident you can't harm him nor give predators the chance to get close to him.

5. He wants to protect you 

Dogs know that their major function is to protect you at all times. Your dog won't compromise this function for anything in the world which is one of the reasons he sleeps very close to you. Sleeping very close to you allows him to monitor and detect any strange movement around you whether you are asleep or not. 

6. He is showing his loyalty to you

What's the essence of having a dog you can't trust to watch over you and the whole family during the night? Your dog wants you to be rest assured that he is actively available to hear your call and that he is one pet you can rely on at all time.

7. He is seeking happiness from you

In case you haven't heard this before, dogs are very happy when they sleep close to their owners in the same bed.

There is a great joy your dog often derives from staying next to you during the night which is why he will always try to be in bed with you as long as you have a very comfortable mattress and sufficient space.

8. He is comfortable being with you 

Your dog would love sleeping close to you at night if he enjoys the comfort of your bed and your arm. It means he is very comfortable sharing the same bed with you and he wants that to continue daily.

9. He wants to improve the closeness and connection between you two

Sleeping close to their owners is another strategy deployed by dogs that are eager to increase the bond and relationship they have with their owners.

You might be saying "my dog and I share excellent bond or relationship" but it is important you know that your dog is interested in improving the bond existing between you and him.

10. He sees you as an attractive leader of the pack

Your dog doesn’t just see you as his owner but also sees you as an attractive leader of his family member whose decision is always right and accurate. This is why he finds it easy and compulsory to sleep close to you in bed.

11. He has a feeling you are about to travel

Your dog will sleep close to you if he is feeling that you are about to embark on a journey. This reason is also referred to as “separation anxiety” by many dog owners because your dog is somehow anxious and eager to know the time you would be leaving him.

This factor could have a negative psychological effect on your dog's overall wellbeing if you travel too often without doing the necessary things.

It is obvious you won't cancel important trips to be at home with your dog; hence, you are advised to ensure that your dog is mentally ready to see you leave him by carrying out the following conditions:

  • Make sure your dog pees before you leave for your journey.
  • Engage him in a light exercise before you tell him goodbye.
  • Make sure he is well-fed before leaving him.
  • Provide him with a very conducive space where he will sleep throughout the days of your trip.
  • Try as much as possible to return early.

12. He is seeking your attention

One of the ways  dogs get their owner's attention is by sleeping close to them. Don't be surprised if you see your dog next to you in bed having ignored him for some hours.

What to do about the behavior

Dogs are naturally known to stay close to their owners because they consider them as member of their family who has all the right to enjoy their fidelity.

I see no reason why you should stop him from moving close to you as long as he is not infected with any disease or feeling bossy around you.

However, there are some ways to stop your dog from sleeping close to you if you think that's the best option for now.

1. Provide a suitable bed for him and train him to sleep on it

Provide a personal bed for your dog and let him no he no longer has access to your bed. Though dogs are fast learners, it might take a while before you can successfully help him dump an attitude he is used to. Don't be too eager to see him change; patiently wait for him to get used to the new behavior.

2. Reward him whenever he sleeps in his new position 

You should endeavor to give your dog a nice treat if he sleeps on its new bed without your command. This will go a long way to encourage him to keep up the good work.

3. Try to reduce his separation anxiety

You should try to make him feel better and more relaxed whenever you want to travel.

4. Stay far away from him 

Stay away from your dog even he is determined to sleep close to you in bed. Stand up from your bed if you see him approaching your side. This will let him know that you are no longer interested in him seeing him in your bed.

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