Your Dog & Sleeping With People (Everything You Need to Know)

—Why does my dog want to sleep with guests? Many dog owners find it a little weird that their dog sneaks off to snuggle with the guests at night, but we’ve found reasons for this behavior—

Is it common for your dog to sneak off and sleep with the visitors in the middle of the night? 

Dogs have a tendency to be a little enigmatic in their demeanor.

So, picture this:

You and your dog have spent every night together, but now you have a guest over and your dog seems more interested in spending the night with the stranger than with you. Sounds like a familiar situation? 

This newfound fondness for visitors may appear like a betrayal at first glance, but I assure you there is a rationale behind it.

So, Why does my dog want to sleep with guests?

Having visitors around can pique a dog’s curiosity, which is a valid reason to switch up their sleeping arrangements. Your dog may also be attempting to make new friends with the visitor.

No matter the cause, if this is something you’re going through right now with your dog, here are some theories as to why Fido prefers to bunk up with the visitors.

5 Reasons dogs may prefer to spend nights with guests

The “Mystery” Room

Like people, dogs can get too curious and will go to any lengths to solve a mystery. If your dog wants to sleep with guests all of a sudden, it might not necessarily be a plot to betray. 

Perhaps the guest room door is never opened, giving your dog little access. Your dog’s curiosity is already piqued by this. Hence,  he will want to explore this “New world” anytime he has the opportunity because it kind of adds an aura of wonder.

It’s a friendship ritual

Dogs will generally snuggle up to new dogs in the pack to get familiar with them. This includes snuggling close to each other to get their scent on them—it’s essentially dogs trying to get acquainted with the new dog in the pack.

Instinctively, this psychology passes to their human targets as well. Going over to sleep with the guest may be your dog’s way of trying to get familiar with the new guest and their scent.

Your dog has the ‘FOMO’

Ever felt like you’re probably going to miss out on something interesting, so you try too much to be there so you don’t miss when it happens?

Dogs sometimes feel this way. Your dog understands that it’s just the regular snuggle and lights out every night with you on the bed, but what if there could be something really interesting going on with the guests?

Your dog probably has the FOMO ( fear of missing out), so he dashes out to sleep over whenever there’s a guest.

Your dog just needs an excuse to stay out of bed

There’s a lot that may occur during the night while you’re fast asleep that you may not have noticed.

Dogs will pay close attention to these seemingly frustrating behaviors and will be completely discreet about it.

Say you fart or snore a lot while you’re asleep and your dog isn’t too comfortable with this.

dog leaving owners bed because of noise

In this case, when a guest comes to sleep over, your dog may jump on this opportunity to sleep away from you at night in hopes that the experience with the guest is going to be different.

He’s just trying be the protective knight in shining armor

A dog’s sense of smell is by far greater than that of humans, and by this ability, they may be able to unearth an underlying health issue in most people.

Just like dogs trained to detect seizures, your dog may have detected an underlying issue and just wants to be around them in case something goes wrong.

In a similar case, your dog may just want to sleep with new guests if he feels there’s a need to be there when something goes wrong.

Your dog already understands that there’s probably nothing out of the ordinary that’s going to happen with you having been by your side every other night. But with the new guest, it sort of lends an air of mystery. So he sleeps over to ensure nothing goes off.

Is it OK to let your dog sleep with you?

Is it acceptable to share a bed with your dog?

There are many conflicting accounts on whether or not it’s safe to let your dog sleep in bed with you. But ultimately, it’s up to the individual preference of the dog’s owner.

In the first place, it’s well-established that sharing your bed with your dog helps to deepen your relationship with him.

Having a dog as a bedmate has also been proven to extend the longevity of their human mates, so why not take advantage of this fact and share your bed with Fido?

Some drawbacks should be weighed, unfortunately.

It’s possible that factors like your dog’s breed, temperament, cleanliness, or behavior are the real reasons you may opt to avoid sleeping on the couch or the bed with your dog.

Example: a Great Dane’s size makes it impractical to sleep alongside its owner. 

It’s also easy to spike an aggressive dog while it sleeps if you hit it as you stretch or turn. Consequently, a dog’s hygiene may be an issue in some situations. Fleas, ticks, and other parasites that can be transmitted to humans from infected dogs can have serious consequences for human health. 

Don’t forget dogs can be bad sleepers and will turn and severally over the course of the night. 

So, is it okay to let your dog sleep with you?

If your connection with your dog is founded on trust and respect, and you don’t mind the occasional nudge from your dog’s tail or the pressure of his paws on your back in the morning, then it’s totally fine having your dog share the same sleeping space with you.

How does a dog choose who to sleep with

It may seem a little mysterious as to how dogs pick their sleeping buddies. However, if you’re in the new about this, then here’s how your dog chooses who to sleep with: 

The Alpha human 

Just like dogs in the wild, domesticated dogs often run with the pack mentality and would most times snuggle up to the alpha male (leader of the pack). In the wild, the Alpha male is the dog responsible for provisions, entertainment, grooming, and protection.

So your dog could essentially pick the alpha human to be his sleeping buddy if they’re the one taking up these responsibilities.

The need to protect

In as much as dogs would pick the Alpha male as their sleeping partner, dogs may also pick the ones they perceive to be most vulnerable to sleep with.

It’s more of an instinctive decision than affection. For instance, your dog may choose to sleep next to a toddler because he feels the toddler may be vulnerable against attacks.

You might wonder why your dog feels the need to protect at night rather than during the day. This mentality is purely instinctive! 

In the wild, dog packs are mostly attacked during the nights by rival dog packs of other wild animals. So it is the same situation in play when your dog chooses to sleep at night with a toddler or someone they perceive to be sick.

Dogs are fond of personality too!

Dogs pay attention to personalities too, and 9 out of 10 times, your dog will pick a person who shares a similar personality over one who doesn’t. To be clear, this means if you have a high-energy dog, he or she will probably want to sleep in bed with you if you have the same personality.

Conversely, if you tend to be calm and reserved, you might find yourself paired with a dog who shares the same traits.


When trying to get some shut-eye, how often do you find yourself shifting positions or stretching out across the bed until you locate the sweet spot?

Yes, even canines are capable of this behavior. To maximize his or her own sense of relaxation, your dog may pick and select among potential bedmates. Whether your dog chooses to sleep in a warm, comforting bed or a frigid one is a matter of his personal preference.

In the same vein, dogs are selective about sleeping companions if doing so makes for a more restful night’s sleep.

If your dog isn’t getting a good night’s sleep because of your constant tossing and turning or your loud snoring, he or she may opt to move on to the next person who can guarantee some peace and quiet.

Early Socialization.

For a puppy, the first six months are the most formative. His mind is incredibly open and dynamic. At this point, the activities and routines you engage your pup in may be the ones he sticks with for life. This includes where he sleeps from puppyhood.

Do dogs sleep with the Alpha human?

Do dogs sleep with the Alpha human?

It’s quite interesting when dog owners try to find answers to their dogs’ sudden change of sleeping arrangement. And it gets even more interesting when it’s related to the presence of a new guest in the house. 

While this may not entirely be a lie, a few owners may think that their dogs choose a stranger over them because their dog simply wants to sleep close to the Alpha human. 

We’ve received stories from dog owners stating that their dog wants to sleep with guests all the time because they see them as the dominant male (human).

First off, you need to understand that dogs may not entirely choose their sleeping partners based on sentiments or instinctual behaviors.

Although most dogs will naturally pick a sleeping position close to the alpha male for their own protection, other dogs may do this for other deep-seated reasons. It could be your dog senses a need to protect the visitor, so he will pick the role to be there in case something bad was to happen.

So rather than a race to sleep with the ‘Alpha male’ it could just be your dog saying, “hey! I feel you need a little protection tonight, and I’m here for you.” Or “hey, i find this new person a little interesting or suspicious, I’ll like to see what they’re up to tonight.”

Do dogs sleep with their favorite person?

Dogs may choose to sleep next to the people they trust the most, such as parents or older siblings.

Even if you’re your dog’s favorite person, he can still prefer to share a bed with a kid out of a sense of duty to the kid.

In a similar vein, your dog may choose to sleep with his favorite human simply because he feels a sense of warmth, security, and love from that person.

So while it’s a little tricky to judge this from a human’s perspective, dogs may have different factors that come into play when picking a bedmate.

How to know if you are your dog’s favorite person

How can you tell if pooch is attached to you? There’s lots of ways your dog shows you that you’re his favorite person.

Typically, if you provide your dog’s needs— food, water, toys, exercises, walks, etc., then your dog may have already selected you as his favorite human. However, if you’re still unsure about this, here’s how to know if you’re your dog’s favorite person.

He licks you up occasionally

One obvious way dogs communicate love and affection is by licking the ones they’re bonded to. So, if your dog licks you occasionally, this could mean he takes you as his favorite buddy.

Makes eye contact with you

Dogs will also try to communicate most of their emotions with their human buddies. So, if your dog feels fear, excitement, anxiety, love or affection for you, you should watch out for the eye contacts as they’re not easy to pass off.

He follows you around

If your dog follows you around the house and always wants to follow you out when you’re going out or leaving for work, then chances are that he considers you his favorite person.

He listens to you

Dogs will always listen to the ones they love most. This means when giving command cues or telling your dog not to do something, he’ll readily listen and obey you more than any other person around.

Do dogs get attached to the person they sleep with?

Of course, dogs get attached to the people they sleep with, but this doesn’t happen over a short period of time.

If you’re your dog’s caregiver right from his puppyhood, then sharing the same bed with him right from that time will strengthen the bond you both have. Hence, getting him attached to you. 

So, if you’re ever worried sick that your dog will get attached to a new guest house because he slept over, then there’s absolutely nothing to worry about, as your dog may have other reasons for doing this.

At what age can i let my dog sleep with me

Ideally, most pups can start sharing your bed around 4 months old, but some won’t be ready until they’re 6 months old or older.  But, there’s still some other factors to consider before letting your dog sleep on your bed.

  • Is he potty trained? It’s quite basic that before 6 months, a pup should have been fully or half way potty trained. However, in situations where this isn’t possible, having your dog sleep on your bed may only lead to bedtime disasters like going potty on your sheets.
  • Size: A dog’s size is really important when considering when he can sleep on the bed with you. Ideally, if you own a smaller dog breed, then it is advisable to wait till he is 1 year old before co-sleeping.
    This is recommended because smaller dog breeds have the tendency to be harmed if you should hit or roll over them by accident.

Finally, you shouldn’t give much thought to the numbers, but more on whether or not your dog is ready for this change on a personal level. That’s something only you can decide.

How to make dog sleep with me in bed

Getting your dog to sleep with you in bed can be quite easy or difficult depending on the situation. Most dogs will settle into the role as your sleep buddy naturally and may not require teaching them. However, for some dogs, this may be a role you will have to spend days or even weeks teaching them.

Introduce them to the bed

The first thing you must do if you want your dog to sleep with you on your bed is to familiarize him with it. If he’s just a puppy then the first few nights after his arrival will be perfect for this. However, if you’re dealing with an older dog then you’ve got to introduce him to your bed. Start off by bringing his bed or crate to your room. Remember, do not force him to get on your bed, let him do this when he feels comfortable with it.

Use positive reinforcement. 

Dogs require a great deal of praise and rewards to learn proper behavior. After your dog has settled down and learned to enjoy your room, reward him with treats, whenever he climbs on your bed.

By doing this, your dog already learns that it’s a privilege to climb on your bed. Next, point to the bed and use the command “bedtime.” If he climbs over and lays down, reward him with some treats and praise him.

Create positive associations with the bed.

If your canine companion still doesn’t comprehend the concept of sharing your bed. He may be a slow learner, so it may help to associate pleasant memories with the bed.

You can accomplish this by laying out some of your dog’s favorite blankets or toys on the bed. Feed him in close proximity to your bed, or even on it, if this is not a problem for you. You’ll be teaching him that your bed is a secure and safe space in which to spend time.

In summary

Certain dog behaviors can be a little unnerving. If your dog insists on sharing the bed with visitors, there’s probably a good reason for it. There’s a chance your dog is either wary of your visitor or eager to meet new people. Either way, this sort of behavior from a dog is completely normally and you should have to worry about it.

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