When I brought my puppy, Soleil, home, I put her crate next to my bed for her to sleep in, all decked out with cozy blankets and a snuggly toy. I was so naive. Soleil didn’t sleep a single night in it, and now, three years later, I’m pretty sure her crate is somewhere in my garage (likely next to her home grooming kit).
Many dog owners love having their dog sleep in bed with them. They’re warm, cuddly and provide a sense of security. But is it good for them to sleep in bed with you? What does it do to a dog’s psyche? What does it do to our psyche? What are the risks and benefits of having our dog sleep in bed with us?
King / Queen of the Heap
The Dog Whisperer himself, Cesar Millan, says in his book it’s perfectly fine to have your dog sleep with you under consistent parameters. Never let your dog come up on your bed as he pleases; he must be invited. Don’t let your dog sleep or lie above your head. The highest point is reserved for the alpha or pack leader, so allowing this tells the dog that they are in charge. This is not only a nightmare for obedience, but it makes the dog feel they are responsible for our safety, which could lead to aggressive behavior toward others in the home.
BOTTOM LINE: Sharing a bed with a dog can be a positive experience, even beneficial to our health, if you set boundaries, ensure safety and remain consistent.