Do you have a dog who just can’t keep off you? Whether this has you gushing or squirming away, I’m sure you’re wondering if this attachment has an underlying motive.
I’ve realized that love, possessiveness, security, and attention-seeking are just a few of the reasons why my dog has to sleep touching me.
How Affectionate Are Dogs?
Ambrose Bierce says, “the most affectionate creature in the world is a wet dog.” I truly agree although we think dry dogs aren’t any less adoring.
We all know dogs make for the most devoted pet. But, did you know that a dog’s love for you can exceed the love you have for your partner or kid? Crazy I know!
Dog studies have proven that your dog’s oxytocin levels increase up to 57.2 percent after they play with you. On the other hand, your oxytocin levels rise to 40-60 percent after you interact with your partner or child.
It’s no wonder then that your dog loves to sleep by your side!
All Bark but No Bite
Do you ever notice your dog barking at a fallen leaf or quite harmless things? That’s because dogs are always looking around for threats. Possessiveness and the need to protect what’s theirs is an innate nature in dogs, and it takes many forms.
Dogs will growl at anyone daring to ring the doorbell, and they won’t let anyone come near their toys. Resting their paw on your lap while asleep is just another possessive act. Your theirs and they won’t let anyone or anything hurt you.
A Sense of Security Is What We All Look for
Although your fluffy friend doesn’t look like it, she comes from a wolf lineage. Domestication changed a lot in dogs. However, it’s necessary to remember that they were originally brought up in packs.
The pursuit of an alpha still runs in their blood. If you manage to prove the leader of the pack, your dog seeks a feel of security and safety from you. Cuddling might just be her way of getting it.
Warmth Makes for a Good Night’s Sleep
Don’t we all love when it’s raining outside, and we’re wrapped in the covers like a sandwich? This night’s sleep is always so deep and satiating.
Despite dogs’ naturally high body temperature and fur-covered bodies; dogs too like to snuggle and feel cozy. Always remember to give them their own little cover too!
Attention Seekers, But Cute Ones
We all know that dogs are the kings and queens of attention-seeking. They would give you the puppy eyes, give their tail a little wag, and then have you wrapped around their paw.
Sometimes when you’re too focused on your work or you’re watching a good show, you’ll find your little one coming to nuzzle at your neck. They will feign sleep but keep on fidgeting.
That’s because they don’t actually want to sleep but are trying to get your attention! So take them for a little walk or play some games with them.
Over-attachment and Separation Anxiety
Due to their instincts and their domesticated nature, dogs are very attached to their owners. Having them follow you around and always sticking to your side is adorable. But this can be a sign of over-attachment and separation anxiety.
This means they would let out cries and howls of agony if you leave for work or choose to have them sleep in another room.
Separation anxiety could also be the reason why your dog is destroying your furniture or scratching at the door when you’re away.
Make sure that your dog’s choice to sleep touching you doesn’t have an underlying issue as separation anxiety. Otherwise, feel free to cuddle your furry friend as you please!
A Dog’s Radar Misses Nothing!
Last but not least, your dog could be touching you when you’re asleep for you. Dogs are very smart and realize when you’re not feeling well emotionally or physically.
Fleeting seasonal colds, migraines, period cramps, and even more serious conditions like cancer, narcolepsy, and seizures can all be picked up by your puppy’s radar. This is why your dog is being extra gentle.
Dogs can also understand that you’re sad or crying and their first instinct is to help and comfort you. So, your dog sleeping in your arms could simply be that she is trying to be there for you in the only way she knows.
Should You Encourage or Discourage Your Pup From Touching You While Sleeping?
Before we delve into this question it’s worth noting that not all dogs are clingy. Some dogs feel uncomfortable with intimacy and would rather have their own space.
That doesn’t mean that your dog doesn’t like you, it just means that there are many other ways dogs express their love.
Are you torn between teaching your dog to be more cuddly or teaching them to keep their distance? We’ll give you the facts to help you decide.
Reasons for More Cuddles
- Dogs choose a favorite parent to cuddle with. If they choose you, then you ought to accept that honor.
- Dogs are happy when they sleep touching you. That’s because their brain releases a ton of oxytocin.
- Your brain too releases oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine when you cuddle your furry best friend.
- You can notice anything wrong with them physically, lumps for example, when they are in your arms.
- A sense of security for both of you.
Reasons To Limit the Cuddles
- If your dog is carrying any fleas or has worms they could easily transfer to you.
- You might not be allergic to dog fur but being in such close proximity with the allergens on your dog’s fur isn’t a good idea.
- No matter how much you clean your dog, they could still have unclean paws.
- Research has proven that for a good night’s sleep, have your dog sleep in the same room as you. However, don’t let it sleep with you on the same bed.
- Some dogs become over-protective and aggressive when they sleep touching their owner.
How To Enforce and How To Stop Dogs’ Touchiness?
Now that you know the perks and the downsides of having your dog sleep touching you, we can move on to the next step!
If you choose to enforce the hugs, here is how you can do that. Like most tricks; treats and belly rubs will always work on your dog. You can also invite your dog to sit by your side, and show excitement when they lean on you. Your tone makes all the difference.
If you want to dissuade your dog from sleeping in your bed, make her one of her own. You can make it comfortable with bundles of sheets, preferably ones that have your smell. And give her time to get used to it.
If it proves a difficult task, try taking your pet for a long walk before you take her to bed so she would be too tired to struggle. Also, sit by her side as she lies in it, and pet her.
Always tell her to go to her bed sternly when she jumps onto yours. But, also give her a treat when she goes off the bed. A dog could feel rejected when you refuse to give her the physical intimacy she desires.
Dog Breeds That Like To Sleep Touching You
Although each dog has their own personality, we can still tell that certain breeds are more affectionate than others. If you want a tender dog that gives you kisses all day long and fends the loneliness away, check out this list!
- Golden Retriever: they’re known for being the sweetest and most playful.
- Italian Greyhounds: they’re famous for being fragile and finding solace in your arms.
- Chihuahua: they’re very tiny but easily aggravated.
- Australian Shepherds: their favorite hobby is being with their human friend!
- Pugs: they’re bred to be lap dogs, so they make the greatest cuddle buddies.
If you plan on having a pup in your life, watch out for that ball of fur sneaking into your bed.
If you feel that the downsides of having them in bed are too much for you then let them down gently. But if you’re cuddly yourself, don’t miss out on the warmest, fluffiest hugs.