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Whose bed is it?

Updated: Nov 6, 2021

Let me make this clear: I have nothing against owners sleeping with their dogs.

Portrait of husky dog in bed between young couples feet

For some odd reason, when I ask a client whether their dogs sleep with them, they reply with a sheepish “yes, but….” as if they have to rationalize why this transgression happened.

For example, they may have allowed a crying puppy onto the bed to soothe it and a lifelong habit began. Or their dog became restless during the night so they allowed it up on the bed to stop the pacing, which of course, it did.

Maybe the dog was sick and they wanted to keep it close by at night.

Dog owners who are single or whose partners are frequently away overnight have their dogs on their beds as protection. And then there are the dog owners who like the warmth and companionship of their dogs at night.

There are times, however, when dogs absolutely should NOT be on a human bed:

  1. If the dog has peed on the bed, he does not belong on the bed.

  2. If the dog as chewed on the bed (blankets, pillow, or other bedding), he does not belong on the bed.

  3. If the dog gets growly while on the bed, he does not belong on the bed.

So let’s see….

Dogs will pee on a human bed for different reasons.

A puppy that is not yet housebroken might do it. If that is the case, the puppy should be crated at night to eliminate that possibility. An older dog might do it if it is ill or incontinent. Senior dogs should sleep on the floor on an orthopedic dog bed anyway, in the event he wanders during the night or urinates while sleeping. And then there are dogs that pee on the bed to mark it. This is a behavioral issue that requires the assistance of a professional in-home dog trainer, and that training will begin with the dog OFF the human bed!

dog on bed5

Its an expensive mistake to allow a dog that chews to be on the bed.

Dogs that chew on bedding might still be young enough to still be in the chewing phase of development, and so should be crated at night to prevent the possibility of more damage. Adult dogs that chew the bed are definitely misbehaving if they do this while you are in the bed. If they chew on the bed while you are away, this is a symptom of separation anxiety. In either scenario, the dog should be OFF the human bed, and professional help is needed if you value your belongings and your sanity.

And finally, dogs that are growly on the bed are no longer welcome on that bed.

Any time a dog shows aggression is cause for calling in the troops – a dog trainer/behaviorist to help get this very unwanted behavior under control. This is the dog that objects to family members approaching the bed. The dog might be a resource guarder that gets protective of “his” bed, or he might be having issues with the person who wants to get into the bed.

I’ve heard many a dog owner say that their dog gets “grumpy” when touched or disturbed in some way while on the bed. Excuse me, but unless the dog purchased that mattress, he is not allowed to protest being jostled by the human that did.

Off the bed!

dog on bed4

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