does anyone let their dogs sleep in their beds? my vet says thats a big no-no but i do it

Asked by Daisy on Jun 6th 2009 Tagged bed, dogs in Behavior & Training
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A lot of people let their dogs sleep in their beds with no problems. But, I'm one of those whose trainer recommended that my dog not be allowed on the bed because of his alpha complex. When I first adopted my dog he would show signs of trying to be more dominant than me and to nip that in the bud, one major thing he doesn't get is to be allowed on the furniture. I've invited him on the bed once or twice, but he knows he's not allowed unless invited. He loves his own bed and it keeps my bed from being full of dog hair.
If you notice that your dog starts getting possessive of your bed and won't jump down with an "off" command, then it's time for your dog to find it's own bed. If your dog nips or growls when someone climbs on the bed or goes to pet him while on the bed, then I'd stop letting him up. Some dogs really see the bed as a power position and will take advantage of that. If your dog is totally cool and isn't giving you any gruff, then enjoy.

Member 768404 answered on 6/6/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


There are a few reasons people usually don't let their dogs on the bed or furniture.

Some have to with behavioral issues. Dogs who are more assertive can see this as an "equality" message and take advantage in other areas, especially those with more alpha tendencies.

Aside from behavioral, there is the issue of cleanliness and fleas, which some people find they don't want to deal with in their own bed.

Also consider the dog's changing age and health status. He'd be upset if one day he has to sleep in his own bed because he simply isn't physically able to any longer.

Having said all this, I have to say I don't pass judgement on anyone who does this. I think there's been a proliferation of "alpha dog" panic in the past five or six years and I think as long as you have an easy going well trained dog, this isn't going to be a huge problem for you.

I sometimes have to stop myself from pulling Jack up on the bed.

Does it count that I sometimes snuggle with him in HIS?

Jack answered on 6/6/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer

Zackintosh CJ

I don't get why people say dogs shouldn't sleep in bed. Some people say its because if you let a dog on the furniture/walk through doors first/walk in front of you/jump on you etc etc etc it will become the alpha and take over the house and walk all over you. While not letting a dog jump on you or walk through doors first is good manners, the rest is just ridiculous. I let my dog on the furniture and sleep in bed with me every night. He is not the "alpha", is very well behaved and psychotically obedient. It is the training, not you doing something first, that determines if your dog walks all over you.

Zackintosh CJ answered on 6/6/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer


We let Bella sleep with us. She likes to sleep under the covers with her head on a pillow. The only downside is that her hair is all over the sheets and our pillows! That, and she can be very pushy about wanting more space.

Bella answered on 6/6/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


Yes, lots and lots of people let their dogs sleep in their beds! And many let their children into their beds, too...

I personally don't, because my relationship with my husband would suffer... but I understand the "dog pile" mentality. I have several friends who let their dogs sleep on their beds, with no major issues.

You may get responses from people who say that it's a bad idea because you're giving the dogs too high a status by giving them equal access to a valued resource. I think it's OK, if you have well-behaved dogs that will get off the bed as soon as you ask them to. If they growl or hesitate too long before hopping off, you may have to establish that this is your territory, and they are only there by invitation.

Just out of curiosity, why does your vet say it's a big no-no? I'm assuming the vet is thinking of a behavioral, rather than a health concern?

Can't wait to see how other Dogsters will answer this one! Have a great day (and night)!

Katie answered on 6/6/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer

Misty *RIP Mommy's Angel*

I let her, but she doesn't always want to. Misty is very submissive with people and we haven't had any problems with her being protective of the bed or agressive or anything like that. Some nights she just hops up, curls in a ball and dozes off, other nights she is perfectly content to sleep in her dog bed, but the door is left open so she can come and go as she pleases. She is not allowed on the other furniture except a futon we have in the basement, and so far she has not even tried to get up on anything else. My vet has never mentioned that it is a bad idea, but I guess I have never really asked her directly.

Misty *RIP Mommy's Angel* answered on 6/6/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


My dog is allowed on my bed. That is the only furniture in the house she is allowed on. I think if the dog will get off when you tell it too, there is no problem. Once again, this all really boils down to training. I am a firm believer that the dog needs to understand that furniture is a privilege. If they can get that, the correct pack mentality is still intact.

Member 836390 answered on 6/6/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Cookies 'n' Creme (1998-2011)

All the time. It's never been a problem for me. I've heard those who follow the dominance theory say that it's not good if you want to be Alpha, but I personally think that is silly. I don't believe in the dominance theory to that extent, but I do believe that being a good leader for your dog means simply controlling it's resources. As long as you can make the dog get out of bed when you tell him to, I don't see that it's a problem. (That's not to say that if the dog sneaked back into bed with you that that'd be bad.)

The only actual drawback I could think of would be if you had a big dog, which makes for a crowded bed and possible squishing.

Cookies 'n' Creme (1998-2011) answered on 6/6/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Brodie Bear

We do not. Our master bedroom is pretty much off limits for the most part. The dogs are allowed on the couch but we have a chair and ottoman that they do not get on either!
My bulldog and scottie sleep in their crates and my dachshund sleeps in the guest bedroom on a big comfy chair. We don't let them in the bed mainly bc of hair and bc my dachshund could hurt his back jumping down. They have their beds and we have ours.

Brodie Bear answered on 6/6/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Jessie~ I'm sorry my love

Jessie isnt allowed to sleep in my bed while I'm in it due to the fact that my bed is small and she takes up alot of room.Harley sometimes sleeps in my bed with me, btu mostly it's me and my cat. Jessie and Harley are allowed on all the furniture and I've never had a problem with Jessie. Harley has gotten mean when I try to kick him off the couch or chair, but thats bout it

Jessie~ I'm sorry my love answered on 6/6/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I don't think there's anything wrong with it, as long as it doesn't bother any of the people who sleep in that bed. Zack is allowed on all of the other furniture, but not in my bed. The only reason I won't let him sleep there is because he does "doggie yoga" in his sleep, and keeps moving around all night long. If he did that right next to me, I wouldn't be able to sleep. Also, my bed is pretty high, and I'd be afraid that when he is older, he would have too much trouble trying to get up there.

My dog/furniture rules are:
- You may only get on the furniture when you are invited.
- If a human asks you to move or get down, you must obey.
- Humans get first dibs - if there's not enough room for a dog, the dog has to sit somewhere else.
- Only housetrained dogs are allowed on the furniture.

But if there's enough room and the dog's not bothering anyone, I have no problem with it.

Zack answered on 6/6/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I prefer sleeping with my dogs on the bed then any human I know. It's tranquil, and reassuring feeling those sleeping dog lumps up against you.. Especially my Shepherds, they are big, fuzzy and warm and you can really save on your heating bill in the winter at night
I have slept with dogs on my bed all my life. I've always loved it.
It must be by your rules though. Or you'll wind up sleeping in the crate.
As for the hair, well, I shake out the sheets every day and it's a pain but well worth it. And especially other shepherd owners would agree with me. You'll never get all the hair out of everywhere. Look at your clothes right now. I bet you'll find one of your dogs hairs somewhere on them. It is part of sharing your life with dogs.

Kayak answered on 6/6/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Hi there! I don't think much about it when Rose sleeps in my bed. I don't think it's an issue unless your dog is really possesive of things. Personally, I think people WAY over-do the dominance thing. There's only a dominance issue if there is a social conflict. Today at the dog park I saw some guy with a GSD and of course, it was playing. When he said "Sit" and it didnt sit, he took it by the collar and then jerked it around. He is using both dominance and correction based training (that move was just correction based). Anyways, I don't think that guy lets his dog sleep in his bed. Rosie sleeps in by bed and I can get her to sit by a hand signal. I use positive reinforcement training and she's great. So I would say, yes, it is absoloutly great to let your dog sleep in your bed!
Much Love~ Rosie

Member 762235 answered on 6/6/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I prefer to have Jasper in bed with me because that way I know he's not getting into trouble downstairs BOL. He's never been overly possesive with furniture or anything and he does have his own beds that he loves as well.
My only real furniture rule is that hes not allowed up on the couch or anything if someone is eating.

Jasper answered on 6/7/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Absolutely. If you don't have problems with asking the dog to get down if you want, or to move, I see know problem with it. If they resource guard the bed, then that could be an issue, but I love having the dogs in the bed, especially in the winter :)

Kaya answered on 6/7/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


My girls are allowed on only certain furniture and only when told to. My Chi sleep on my bed but only when told it's time to go to sleep. The Rottie sleeps on the foot of the bed cause her size makes sleeping on the bed tough. We tried it once but she kept moving to much and waking us up so she sleeps on the foot of the bed or on the futon in the guest room.

Xena answered on 6/8/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


i let my dog sleep on my bed, but if he doesn't get off when i say "off", i don't let him back on for awhile. you can allow him to sleep on your bed as long as he gets off when you want him to.

Joey answered on 8/23/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer