Do you let your dog sleep in bed with you?

Just curious as to if you let your dog sleep with you and why or why not. I let Shiloh sleep with my for the first time last night and I've heard that it's a big no, no for pack leadership status. Thanks.

Asked by Shiloh on Jan 13th 2009 Tagged bed, sleep in Other Behavior & Training
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Zackintosh CJ

Oh, brother, that's the weirdest thing I've ever heard! I've heard too, that letting a dog sleep with you tells him he can become the alpha to rule the house and he will never obey you again! Hah! I let my dog sleep with me every night and he hasn't taken over the house yet and he obeys *everything* I tell him.
He doesn't obey everytime because dogs aren't 100% reliable and he's going into his "terrible twos"
Sleeping in bed with me has nothing to do with it.

Zackintosh CJ answered on 1/13/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

Gray Dawn Treader

I let my dogs sleep with me and I've never had dominance problems.
I think that the pack leadership thing can go too far personally.
My reasons for letting my dog sleep with me:
-He's a good foot-warmer
-He likes it
-I like it (not sure why)

I would let my GSD sleep with him too, but she has incontinence, so she'd wet the bed.

Gray Dawn Treader answered on 1/13/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

Ginger Smiles Primm

We ALL sleep in the same bed and EVERYONE enjoys it so much! But my babys are 10 pounds each. Plus BF. Every night we only have to say "lets go sleepy" 1 time and they are hauling it into the bedroom! Ginger has a little piggy she likes to take to bed and grabs it right away. Sometimes they get in the bed before us! Has it killed our sex like? YES! But I wouldnt change it for the world. When we wake up I get so many kisses and cuddles, what a way to start the day!!!!!!!

Ginger Smiles Primm answered on 1/13/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Jet Hawk

We have Lance sleep on the floor because our bed is really high and he's too old to be jumping up and down like that. He's restless and wouldn't stay put all night.

I wanted Jet to sleep with us in bed while we were potty training him for three reasons. 1- He's just so darn cute. 2- I wanted him to learn to control his urge to pee. 3- I felt guilty for putting him in the crate since we weren't crate training him at all. He never once peed in the bed, and he was fully potty trained within 2-3 weeks. Since about two months ago, though, he's gotten to the point where he'll lay with us for awhile if we call him up to us, but then end up sleeping on the floor. He naps on the couch, but sleeps on the floor. I think it's funny. :)

Jet Hawk answered on 1/13/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I usually don't sleep with my owners at night. My daddy worries about rolling on me or kicking me. I do sleep with my owners when they take a nap or if it gets really cold or we have overnight guest then I get to sleep with them. Since my owners control everything including food and when I go potty, I get the whole they are the pack leaders thing.

Nibbles answered on 1/13/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


Our dogs sleep with us, too. I kind of have to agree and say that I think that people can take the leadership thing a little too seriously in some cases...

Leadership is very important, but just because your dog sleeps with you isn't going to make him think that he owns the place. My dogs know that we are the leaders, yet they still sleep with us. They aren't allowed to dominate the bed, so if your dog was to not listen to you when you wanted him to get off of the bed, and started to protest, then I could see where this would be an issue. Typically, though, the bed isn't the issue in these cases, as these dogs have other things going on.

The Dobermans sleep on the floor because well, they are just too big. The little ones will sleep in our bed - some prefer their crates and we'll just leave the crate door opened, but most like to snuggle and get warm, especially in the winter time. I don't really make any of the dogs sleep in their crates - if they are younger puppies that aren't able to hold it yet, then that's a different story.

Sergeant answered on 1/13/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Miss Buddie

All of our animals sleep in beds with various family members. No behavior problems other than just generally being spoiled rotten. :D

Miss Buddie answered on 1/13/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Both my dogs sleep with me. They have since the first day I got them. I like having them there and they like being there and honestly the bed feels empty without them there. Both my dogs listen to me very well. Daisy is a dream dog couldnt ask for a better dog. Boston well he has some issues, Bad temper and what not but hes fine with me and my hubby. Were working on the aggression. Mostly just with other people and animals. But that has nothing to do with where he sleeps.

Boston answered on 1/13/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

ellie may

my dogs too sleep in the beds with us, they all choose a bed and get in with who ever gives the best belly rubs, ha ha , no problems here, other than doggie hair! good luck to you.

ellie may answered on 1/13/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Bear and Bambi - Mommys Angels

I have 7 Chihuahuas and a German Shepherd...the Shep sleeps on her bed beside my bed and all the Chi's grab a spot in my bed...I could not imagine them sleeping elsewhere...I have never had aproblem with any of them. Heck..they are better warmers than the covers sometimes!!

Bear and Bambi - Mommys Angels answered on 1/13/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


all my dogs (besides the puppies) and "daisys" cat dexter sleep in my bed at night and its a twin so we are a little cramped bol.

Duke answered on 1/13/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Yeah I let my dogs sleep with me, and they have no behavior problems. whenever I tell them to get off they get off. But, they love being with me, so I figured, Ok.

Sparky answered on 1/13/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I will occasionally let Lil or Lexi (poodle and yorkie) sleep with me. Why? Because they don't bother my allergies, don't shed hair in my bed and are polite and considerate. The only pet I sleep with 100% of the time is my cat.
Now, my boyfriend's greyhound is a royal pain. I have to put up with her in his bed but no way is she allowed in mine. She will stare at me and bark, as if I'm taking her space. She will also try to push me off the bed. She'll wedge herself between he and I and use her legs to push me. I thought it was him when I was half asleep and I was like what the heck is he doing? I woke up fully after almost falling face down on a space heater and saw it was her LOL. I'd agree sometimes it causes a dominance issue. It probably depends on the individual dog and what their training is in other areas as well.

Lillith answered on 1/13/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Every once awhile we let a dog sleep with us. I lose a little bit of sleep with our dog is the reason while we don't have sleep with us all the time. For one he has to sleep right against me, and I like to roll around, and two he sometimes has to go potty in the middle of the night. Extremely annoying when it snowing outside and he comes back in all wet.

Atlas answered on 1/13/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I originally didn't let Charlie sleep in my bed because she was too small, and I didn't want her to fall off the bed... and because she wasn't house-trained.

Now I alternate between letting her sleep with me and in her own bed. She only sleeps with me on days when I don't have to get up early as there is almost always a midnight potty run at this age...

In addition, she is so proud and excited that she can get on the bed that it can take her a while to settle. She usually has a huge lick-fest - sometimes for up to 1.5 hours before settling next to me.

I have her bed right next to my bed, and if she is in her bed, she settles down almost right away.

I don't subscribe to the "pack leadership theory". I do think that if you allow a dog to sleep with you, it should be clear to the dog that it is your decision, not the dog's.

Member 740971 answered on 1/13/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I'd say that this is only a issue with dogs that show behavior problems or protecting the bed. The bed is yours after all.

Duke and Gypsy sleep on the bedroom floor sometimes I let Gypsy 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. Gypsy is one dog that is very aware of pack dynamics so if the thinks I need the bed she moves.

Gypsy answered on 1/14/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


We have always aloud our dogs to sleep in our bed. Our 13yr old weimaranar/dalmation mix doesn't anymore just because she can't get up on the bed, but she sleeps on her own bed next to our bed. Our other dog is 1yr old now and he only jumps up there to let me know he wants outside or sometimes for an early morning nap right before we all wake up. I don't think it hurts your "pack" order. He just wants to be close to his owner and comfy too. I think the only think that is bad about it is that you get dog hair in your bed.

Bandit answered on 1/14/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I let my Tiffy sleep with me about once or twice a week. It just depends on her and my mood and her energy level at bed time. Tiffy is extra hyper 24/7 no matter how much excercise she gets or whatever. She absolutley loves sleeping in bed with me. Matter of fact, when it's her "kennel time" I will ask her " do you want to get in the kennel or do you want to sleep with me". Beleive it or not, I can tell by her response what she wants to do. Most times though, she prefers her kennel, but she will jumo at any oppurtunity to sleep with me.

♥Tiffy♥ answered on 1/14/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I would love it if my dog could sleep with me on the bed, but it really is a big no no with some dogs. I adopted my dog when he was about 11/2 yrs old and from the very first week, I could tell he had an alpha attitude and if I let him get his way, we would have a battle on our hands. For some dogs, being allowed on a bed is a sign or power and dominance. Their ranking in the pack has gone up and they're more likely not to listen and behave. Of course not all dogs behave perfectly, but if you're dealing with a dog who struggles to be alpha, then it isn't a good idea for him 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 he still sees you as the boss, then you're lucky. My dog wouldn't be so giving in that way. He needs to see me as the pack leader who sets all of the boundries and when he sees me up on my bed from his bed on the floor, I am seen as more important than he. It's working

Member 768404 answered on 1/16/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Although im new with dogs im not letting my bulldog puppy to sleep with me in my bed because when they grow up they can get really big and the snore very loudly, i let her get in my bed anytime during the day though, is just the sleeping time she isnt allowed

Zelda answered on 1/20/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I have a poodle so it might be different with bigger dogs, I don't know, but my doggie sleeps in my bed and has for 12 years. I'm definately the alpha and she obeys (most of the time!) though she is a bed hog and for that I have found no cure! If you're worried you can always get a big fluffy bed and let Shiloh sleep in your room but not in your bed. Good Luck!

Member 788102 answered on 1/23/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I sleep with my mommy & daddy cause I'm real little (5 pounds) and I like to curl up and know they are there with me. It makes me feel like a real part of the family, and well there are no babies in the picture, just me! they are very cautious and I can hear them tell eachother "gix is right behind you" or "by your feet" I feel so loved! They still are definaly in charge of me, but I do like to play around and sleep on their heads every once and a while! I wasn't allowed to sleep with them until Mommy convinced daddy i was fully potty trained. thank goodness I'm a quick learner!!!

Gixer answered on 1/25/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Oliver is a Silky @ 15 mo and 10 lbs. I got him in December from a rescue place and he's wonderful. I have never had a pet before so have been searching for tips about special things I should do or not do. I tried the Dog Whisperer philosophy and after a few weeks of that I needed a People Whisperer because I was a nervous wreck.

I have a pretty high bed too, but Oliver can jump up on it when he wants too. Other times he wants me to pick him up. I think because he can't see that high and doesn't want to jump on top of me, but, of course that may be way too simplistic. It may really be that he wants me to act as his personal elevator and is plotting to overwhelm me with affection.

He sleeps on top of the covers, on or near my feet. He gets up and down as he likes or lies beside my bed. Sometimes, if I'm up and down too much during the night, he goes and sleeps in his bed. When I was sick recently he slept on my "pain." I think whatever works for you is right.

Member 812778 answered on 3/8/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer


My dog sleeps on the bed with us...even under the blankets if it's chilly due to the open window.

We do not have 'alpha' issues but I guess it depends on how dominant YOUR dog is.
It is my understanding that as long as your head is higher on the bed than the dog then you are in the 'leadership' position.

A good leader is calm, fair & consistent. It is not always as easy as it sound but you can do this.

I would suggest making your dog wait until he/she is invited up...that way you are showing that it is YOUR bed & you are allowing Shiloh to join you. Dogs speak a subtle language of 'the boss goes first' ie 1st through doors, 1st to eat etc.

By establishing who is the leader you will be doing Shiloh a favor. It allows him/her to relax knowing someone is in control, that he/she is safe & you will be less likely to have behavioral issues later on because you've got a well-adjusted pup. :)

If I'd have done more of this perhaps Daisy wouldn't have some separation anxiety of her own.

Daisy answered on 3/21/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


My 12 lb. dachsie shares our bed when it;s a chilly nite. She prefers her bed otherwise. She is the first dog in our family over 30 years that is allowed to do this. The others were bigger.

About pack leaders: yes there is such a thing. My brother allowed his gorgeous German shorthair to become the alpha substituting for the son he never had. There were some dire consequences for my brother.

Sanibel answered on 3/31/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Our GSD mix sleeps with us; she has since she was a baby. She'll move around if she gets hot or if we accidentally kick her, but it hasn't let to any problems except furry sheets!

Member 827639 answered on 4/18/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


YES,all my dogs sleep with me in my bed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Member 824516 answered on 4/20/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I used to let my dogs sleep with me but as they grew older I decided they should be alittle more self reliable. They still love me.

Girl answered on 8/1/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I am a pomchi who sleeps with my mom everynight. She and I both like the snuggle time together. We have no problems with dominance or Alpha dog behavior. I know that I have to listen to my mom. My big sister is an alaskian malamute. She sleeps on the floor on her bed because she is so big! She would sleep with us if she could though:)

Sophie answered on 8/1/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

RIP KANE - 11-2008 to 7-2010

Kane, my 9 month old rott has slept with me since she quit wetting her kennel. When I go to bed, she goes to bed. Some nights she curls up with me and some nights she sleeps at the bottom of the bed. She will not get up until I do. Never. I did not teach her to stay in the bed with me, she chooses to stay in the bed with me. I don't think I could sleep with out her in the bed. She has never had alpha issues. I think it makes you closer to your dog. I love her and she loves me.

RIP KANE - 11-2008 to 7-2010 answered on 9/12/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Nope, i don't let my puppy sleep in bed with me because he might get use to it and may lead future problems on his behavior.

Rufio answered on 9/19/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


What can I say... I enjoy having my dog and cats sleep in with me...

it's Free Heat... and it's snugglie

But, I think it's also a safety in numbers thing for the animals... and a love thing too... But, I think they feel safer when they are snug in bed with me.

chase answered on 11/30/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer



Howard is a big ball of hair, and he is pretty aggressive.

Woody is a great dog, but he likes to sleep in his crate by his self at night. :)

Member 930032 answered on 2/3/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


My girls sleep with me, YES! They both have thier place with no disagreement whatsoever.. Ivy burrows to be at my feet on top of the covers! Believe me she tried the between the sheets role, that was not happening, and no question~ since! Zoewy just plops as close as she can to my torso. She used to sneak throughout the night all the way where her head was on the pillow like ours, and right between us! She doesn't do that anymore, because it seems there is no need if she isn't intercepting?...So she is fine at stomach level, and so am I ;) As far as alpha falpha, that's just ludicris. If you take any part in thier daily feeding. Really? lol I once read that a dog ls in absolute bliss if he/she is able to sleep in what we/Alpha sleep in, with only thoughts of it being the place to be at sleep. That's our thoughts!..Oh!, and~I think it'll be ok to do this. ;P

Zoewy answered on 4/15/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


We let all 3 of our dogs and our cat sleep in the bed with us. Never have we had any issues with dominant behavior from them. Thank goodness we have a king-size bed. LOL

Member 981279 answered on 4/16/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I very seldomly let my dog sleep in bed with me. It's not that I think I'll lose "alpha status" but more of that he likes to sleep in the exact middle of the bed. I also tend to swim in the bed while I sleep and he serves as an obstacle to my movement, which wakes me up -- it's just a poor quality of sleep for everybody. I'm simply not a very good sharer while I'm sleeping. So he has his bed, and I've got mine and we're both very comfortable that way.

Blue answered on 5/6/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I am owned by 2 rotten rotties and a boxer, and all three of them sleep with me.Yes I have a king sized bed, my male rottie sleeps right up against me, or when my daughter gets scared he sleeps between us. When I need to roll over, I wake him up, roll over and he returns. The female sleeps at my feet facing the window, and the boxer is on my wife's cedar chest. My wife...she sleeps on the sofa. I have been raised around dogs all my life, and they have always slept with me. I feel love and protection when the pack is together. And I like to think they feel the same way. BTW I am 6 foot 8 400+ pounds, there has never ever been a question who the alpha is. I love it, if I throw my head abck and howl, my babies will answer me! :)

Member 988873 answered on 5/25/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I let my Glen of Imaal Terrier sleep with me every night. No dominance issues ever.

When I first got him from the rescue, I was sleeping on the couch and he slept in his bed on the floor next to my couch. Except in the morning when he would get on the couch and snuggle with me before our morning walk.

When I bought a house we got a new bed and new couch. The bed is a lot more comfortable, so now we both sleep in the bed. He sleeps right next to me, like spoons. He sleeps underneath the covers, unless it is just too hot, when he will drag himself out from under the covers, but still stays right next to me on the bed.

I work at home. During the day he either sleeps on the floor at my feet or on the bed. In the evening, he sleeps on the couch next to me until it's time to go to bed.

At bed time, he always waits for me to get into bed and invite him up before he gets into our bed.

Every time I fall asleep on the couch, he will wake me up around 4am to go to bed.

Member 989345 answered on 5/28/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


yes. i do let my dog sleep with me. to me it makes me feel safer and gus likes the bed. i don't see what the problem is, and i've never heard of it before either.

Gus answered on 8/4/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


My dog sleeps with me and i've never had a problem and she always listens to me

Kinley answered on 9/10/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


It's plain and simple really.
YOU own the bed.
INVITE the dog to the bed when it is in a calm mood.
I wait until the dog is laying down on the floor being a good dog and then ask him up to his suprise.

If you OWN the bed/couch. He will respect you.
And you can still get all the snuggles you want!

They will feel privileged to be allowed with you. ;)

Just because our dogs "are the best/cutest" doesn't mean they can't have rules. Think about children, you wouldn't let your child eat whatever and do what ever to your things would you? So the point is, you can have LOTS of goodness, and respect, even if they sleep with you.

Audrey answered on 9/14/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I hate the conception that you can't be alpha dog without being distant and dictatorial.
My dogs sleep with me every night; There can't be an alpha without a pack and there can't be a pack without closeness. =)
Nothings more fun than waking up and having a group yawn/stretch!

Member 1005607 answered on 9/26/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Oh my...Snoozing with Fido is now a Leadership no-no?

Haha...well, I allow our pups to hop in the bed with us early in the morning. I don't usually let them sleep there all night simply because we don't have the room. However, I can assure you that my dogs don't try to "take charge" every time they get to snooze with the hubby and I. In fact, because I use positive training (shaping), they are conditioned to be excited about EVERY command I give them so I don't worry about pack leader status. They do what I want them to because they want to... I don't boss them around. Lol!

So to answer your question, YES my dogs sleep with me and no, it doesn't effect my "status". BOL!

Gunner answered on 3/9/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Shiloh is looking nice.your post is good.thanks for sharing this post is useful..
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Member 1030307 answered on 5/9/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer