How bad is it to let our dog sleep in bed with us??

We adopted Duke in September, at first he was crate trained and we dragged the crate into our room each night - then he came down with a skin condition and we started letting him sleep on the couch and as long as he was asleep before me I could creep away and he wouldf stay all night with no accidents (he is 14 months old) so completely house trained. We boarded him at a home over Xmas and he slept with the host in her bed. Since he has been crawling into our bed and he is so sweet and cuddley it was hard to kick him out - It has been 5 nights now and I am afraid that 1 it will be a hard habit to break but number 2 this is not a good way to assert ourselves as his pack leader not to mention the romantic implications on my marriage. Any thoughts suggestions? Also I don't want to put him in the crate at night as he is there while we work...Thanks for your input :)

Asked by Duke on Jan 8th 2008 Tagged sleepingarrangements in Other Behavior & Training
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There are many people who feel that a dog should never be allowed on the bed, on the couch, or even in your bedroom because it encourages bad behavior and it can damage the pack structure. I think that it's perfectly fine to let your dog on the couch or on the bed. BUT, there need to be rules attached to it.

My dog is allowed on the couch and the bed when she is invited up, and she has to move or get off when told. As the human pack leaders, the couch and bed are ours, and being on them is a privilege that is controlled and revoked (if necessary) by the pack leader.

If your dog just crawls into bed with you, I would stop the behavior and make him get off. What you could do instead of crating would be to put a dog bed or rug, and whenever Duke gets up on the bed, take him by the collar, walk him to his bed, and then return to your bed. Label the behavior with a word, such as "pillow", after awhile.

Nothing wrong with snuggle time. Just enforce your rules. :)

Abby answered on Jan 8th.

Other Answers



Abby answered it just about right. I've got three chihuahuas and no matter where you sit or lay down they would all have to be there with you. It took a little work to get them to understand that they can't just jump up when they want to. When my dad goes to bed the oldest one goes to bed with him. When my mom goes the puppies go. They were all crate trained and the puppies still are sometimes put in their crates depending on their bedtime behavior until they're old enough (6 1/2 months old now). All you have to do is make sure your buddy knows who's boss and knows the rules of the bed. Make him sleep at your feet maybe?!

Harvey answered on 1/9/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Well, you are right. It is a very hard habit to break. I made the mistake of allowing Joey onto my bed with a specific command. He never went on the bed without my permission. But whenever I came home, he would be waiting for me ON MY BED because I was not home to correct him! So don't think that this technique works. Because unless you around all the time, your dog will more than likely jump right up on the bed while you are not around. If he is not allowed on the bed at all, this problem won't arise because he hasn't been introduced to the possibility that going on the bed is an okay thing to do.

So, personally, I wouldn't let Duke on your bed. Keep him in his crate where you can both be more comfortable no future problems will arise.

Member 409208 answered on 1/9/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

Cookies 'n' Creme (1998-2011)

The only reaso that I'm not allowed on the couch is because I shed so much.

Cookies 'n' Creme (1998-2011) answered on 1/9/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Kobe sleeps in bed every night just about. He deserves it. He is a Champion. There is nothing wrong with spoiling your dogs. If there is some room by the feet, he will be glad to sleep there. If he gets hot in bed, he jumps to the floor and sleeps on the tile or one of the dog beds on the floor. When he wants to go pee, he comes to me and licks me until I open the door for him to go outside. He holds it all night. If your thinking about the romantic implications on your marriage, close the door and leave him in the living room until you are done. Dogs like sofas too.

Kobe answered on 1/9/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I agree that a well behaved dog with whom you are not having an alpha-related problems can sleep on the bed with no behavioral problems.

A bigger problem, as I see it, would be if there comes a time where you no longer want him to sleep in the bed with you. It is going to be a hard habit to break.

I'm glad you aren't putting him in the crate since you realize that he's in there during the day, too. You seem like a good pet parent, and I can't see how anything bad would come from letting him sleep in the bed with you.

BUT, if you want to ease him back to the floor, try arranging a super comfy bed just inches from the mattress on one side of your bed, or even both. When Jack was a puppy, we had beds for him on each side so he could go back and forth between his "mom" and "dad." Eventually, he chose mom's side and we just left that one bed. He's super happy just being there on the floor in his little bed.

Try sitting down there with him for a while before lights out.

Jack answered on 1/9/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


I am not allowed on any furniture period. For some reason I think I belong on the couch. Every morning mom gets in the shower and up on the couch I go. Since I know I am not allowed up there as soon as I here her coming down the hall I slink off of the couch onto the ground and pretend I have been there sleeping the whole time. Mom doesn't know how to stop me.

Gemini answered on 1/9/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Both of my babies sleep with me (55 lbs and 70lbs. pitties). My bedroom door is shut during the day. At night they wait until I say it's okay. If my husband and I want to play they automatically will go lay by the door. (They also know the second we're done, too!) Kinda eerie.

Anyways, it works well with us, but I wash sheets and comforters three times a week and bathe both dogs once a week and still wake up with hair in my mouth. And my husband still grumbles that I like them best. I actually moved a couch into our bedroom so my husband can have somewhere to sleep.

TATER answered on 1/11/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer