Why Does My Dog Sleep on Top of Me?


Becoming a dog parent involves spending a lot of time getting to know your dog and understanding the meaning of their actions. Every pup is unique, and living with your pooch involves many new things that you will both experience together.

Most dog owners ask a common question: why does my dog sleep on top of me? Keep on reading to find the answer.

Dogs Sleeping Habits and What they Show

Your pup’s sleeping habits can tell a lot about their mental and physical health. Every twitch or move can tell you how your dog is feeling and coping with their life.

You need to understand the standard sleeping pattern of your pup. This will help you detect any changes that might show that there’s something wrong with your dog.

Dogs usually have a favorite sleeping position, but they can change their sleeping habits based on the person they’re sleeping near to, the time of the day, and what they have experienced throughout the day.

If you notice something odd about your dog’s sleeping pattern, it’s recommended that you take them to the vet to make sure that everything is fine. Here are some of the most common sleeping positions.

Curled Up

Puppies and dogs like to curl up in a ball when they’re sleeping. This position is something that most animals practice in the wild because it keeps the body warm, and the animal can easily get up.

Your pup might prefer this position when the weather is a little cold, or when it’s not comfortable. Nevertheless, it doesn’t necessarily show that your dog feels threatened.

On the Side

Dogs can sleep on their side when they’re incredibly comfortable and safe. Puppies usually sleep in this position, especially when they’re given enough care and attention.

This position keeps the internal organs exposed, so it makes the dog quite vulnerable. Dogs that prefer this position are usually easy-going and affectionate. However, your dog might switch to another sleeping position if it’s sleeping near someone they don’t know or if they have recently moved to a new location.

On the Tummy

This position allows the dog to quickly get on all fours, so most watchdogs will prefer to sleep on their tummy. Puppies also prefer this position because they like to nap then jump and play.

In some cases, the dog will take a quick nap and spring up to take part in every activity in the house. It’s a common position in high-energy dogs that like to be involved in family life.

On the Back

Dogs will choose this sleeping position only when they’re extremely comfortable in their environment. This position leaves all the internal organs exposed, so it might not work if the dog is shy or is currently living with another competitive pet in the same household.

Some pooches prefer this position in the summer months because it helps the body cool off. A new dog is unlikely to sleep in this position because it won’t feel comfortable enough.

Back to Back

It’s quite common in a household with multiple pets to see your dog sleeping with their back touching another pet. It can also sleep with a human in the same position.

This position shows that the dog is comfortable and loves the person or pet they’re touching. They also know that they’re safe.

Why Does My Dog Sleep on Top of Me?

It is quite common for your dog to crawl up in the middle of the night and end up sleeping on top of your body or covering your face. This can be a pleasant experience, especially if you have a young puppy or a small-sized dog that feels like a comfortable warm blanket covering your body.

However, it might be a little bit challenging when a large mature dog is sleeping on top of you throughout the night.

Dogs sleep in this position to show that they love you and can’t get enough of you. They feel safe when you’re around, and they also want to protect you.

A dog that prefers this sleeping position is extremely affectionate towards its parent. It’s likely that you spend a lot of time together when you’re both awake.

Being loved unconditionally by your dog is a wonderful experience. Nevertheless, there should be some boundaries.

A small dog can get hurt when it’s sleeping on top of you if you accidentally push it away. A larger dog can make it harder to breathe and can make you extremely uncomfortable when it’s hot in the summer months.

Here are a few things that you can do when your dog is sleeping on top of you.

  • Make sure that you spend enough time training your dog to be independent. This position shows that your dog is dependent on you and can’t imagine being separated from you.
  • Assertive training is needed if you feel that your dog is acting selfishly. This sleeping position can show that your dog doesn’t respect your needs and will only pay attention to theirs.
  • You need to make your dog see you as the alpha. This will teach them to respect your personal space. Use the waking hours to establish dominance and teach your dog to follow the rules.
  • Prepare a soft and comfortable spot where your dog can sleep comfortably. Encourage your dog to use their bed more often and use assertive and positive training to establish this behavior.

Where Does my Dog Sleep?

Your dog will think a lot before it picks the place where it sleeps. Unless there’s a special bed that you’ve set up for your dog, it might end up sleeping with you in the same bed. The location tells a lot about how they feel towards you.

At the End of the Bed

When a dog recognizes you as the alpha, they will try to sleep close to you. Your pup might choose to sleep at the end of your bed because they will have more room to sleep freely, but they also want to be near you.

In this position, the dog might not touch you. This shows that it respects your personal space and boundaries.

Next to the Bed

Although your pup is capable of getting onto the bed with you, they might not prefer to do this. Instead, your pooch might lay on the floor right next to your bed.

This sleeping location shows that your dog loves you and wants to show their devotion towards you. A pup can sleep in this position to guard you. It shows that they want to be close to you, but they respect your personal space.

Under the Bed

The dog’s ancestors used to sleep in dens, and the pup will find comfort in a closed and confined space under the bed. If your pooch prefers this position, it means that they’re still in touch with their roots and that they find comfort by sleeping close to you.

At the same time, this position shows that your dog thinks that they’re safe when you’re around.

In Their Own Bed

If you don’t mind sharing your bed with your dog, and they still prefer to sleep in their own bed, then you’re dealing with a confident pup. This dog loves you but doesn’t feel that they need to stick to you all the time.

Larger dogs might prefer this choice because they can sleep more comfortably. Your dog might be extremely fond of you but still likes to have a special space where they can snooze peacefully.

Final Thoughts

The place where your dog sleeps and the sleeping position they prefer can tell a lot about their character and their relationship with you. Some dogs like to sleep on their owners because they can’t stand being separated from them.

Teach your dog to respect your boundaries and make sure that they have a comfortable space where they can sleep. Train your dog to be less dependent on you using positive and assertive training.