- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


At night - crate or bed?

December 13th, 2011, 05:24 PM
My dog, Rudy, sleeps by my feet at the end of my bed, where he has since he was housebroken. Never been an issue and I have no intentions of changing it. In fact I beleive it improves the bond between Rudy and me which helps in other areas, not too mention he keeps my feet warm. But I just read an article saying that this is ill-advised. And I never thought of it this way, so I'm looking for a debate, pro and cons of sleeping in the bed or in the crate.

The article basically stated that if you allow your dog to sleep in your bed, then he will feel like he is on equal footing to the master, or even worse, like he is actually the alpha male. Which is self explanatory as to why this would be bad.

I never really thought about it this way, but my opinion is that the Master relationship is still intact, at least I haven't witnessed any behavioral problems associated.

Another reason I let Rudy sleep in my bed is because if he really has to go in the middle of the night, he will let me know, rather than force trying to hold it till morning. He has never attempted to relieve himself in the bedroom, whereas in other places in the house he has had the occasional accident, or mark. I believe he knows the bedroom is my 'territory' and he has no intentions of taking it for himself. At least that is my interpetation of his mind.

So what are the varying opinions out there?

December 13th, 2011, 05:45 PM
I used to let my dogs sleep in my bed with me until I had a night without them and realized how much I missed being able to stretch out. Now they aren't allowed in the room at night but they have free run of the couches.

I think it will be a matter of opinion here. I'm not sure if there is anything that definitively says that allowing your dog to sleep with you will nullify your pack leader status. I haven't noticed any change in my dogs behaviour since I kicked them out of the room.

December 13th, 2011, 07:41 PM
Then there is the school of thought that dog/human relationships are more like parent/child relationships (if you are going with the "wolf pack" theory) - in that case it is ludicrous to think your child is challenging your authority by sleeping at your feet in bed.

If your dog takes Your spot and growls when you tell them to move, I'd say crate them. Otherwise, my dogs LOVE sleeping in bed with us. We usually only let the oldest sleep with us because she doesn't get up early and play. Occasionally though everyone gets to stay the night.

My husband often goes to bed later than me, so me and the dogs go to bed and he comes in and puts 2 in their crates before going to bed. When they hear his footsteps on the stairs they all head under the blankets and pretend to be asleep lying perfectly still. hehe

December 13th, 2011, 08:52 PM
It's bunk.
It along with many other dominance reduction exercises (eating first, going through doors first etc. etc.) have been tested in scientific experiments and have been shown to produce no measurable change in dog behavior.
I agree with violagirl, if there is a problem with the dog resource guarding spaces, then I would say no bed (until more training is done). As it is, it sounds fine, and I agree with you in that I think it can increase the social bond between you and your dog.
Bottom line, it's your preference. If you want the dog in the bed, keep him in the bed. :)

December 13th, 2011, 09:55 PM
Have to concur with millitntanimist in that it's your personal preferance Canuck00. :shrug:

Both our dogs sleep on their own beds at the foot of our's. As much as I would love to have them snuggle deep under the covers with me, they both seem to need and want their sleep just as much as I do. They've learned that they are dogs. Sleeping contently on their own beds brings them just as much love then as it does each and every day. :cloud9:

December 14th, 2011, 01:00 PM
Just thought I'd chime in and say I pick "D" All of The Above. :)

The only problem we've had with it is I go to bed before the OH so the dog snuggles in on his side. Try as I might to keep the cover up over the OH's pillow he still complains he's breathing in dog hair all night. So, in other words, no problem. :D

December 26th, 2011, 04:24 PM
Our motto is the pack sleeps together. We actually encourage people to share their bed with their dogs - especially puppies. Heck we have as many as six dogs in the bed at any time - course we are a tad tolerant, and all of the dogs tend to be on my side of the bed. It is a bonding experience and the young pup gains confidence knowing the people are looking out for them. They also tend to sleep more soundly next to a warm body and beating heart.

So if not in your bed at least in your room (crated or not), but not out to roam the house and begin to claim the space and become territorial and barky, or free to soil anywhere but return to a clean, dry spot.

I am amazed at some of the advice we hear from people - do they just make this stuff up? Going out of the door first, eating first and even not allowing your dog to see you pick up their 'deposits' is silly. Your dog doesn't care who is on the same level or who is higher up. How silly is that? The only time it is a problem is if your dog believes the bed belongs to him or even a portion of the bed belongs to him. He sleeps where you say it is okay to sleep and no hogging the blankets. :frustrated:

December 27th, 2011, 09:29 AM
Thanks for the answers everyone!
I so agree. If the dog sleeping in the bed causes no problems...then it's fine.

If it ain't need to fix.

December 27th, 2011, 09:48 AM
In my case it's when they are invited, which is not very often :o
But in the mornings Bree will (sometimes now) jump up on the bed when Mike goes to work and stays at the bottom of my feet until I get up :cloud9::lovestruck:

December 27th, 2011, 10:43 AM
I don't let the dogs sleep in or on the bed simply because I don't like the uncleanliness of it. I shower every evening before I go into my bed, so there is no way I would allow a dog who's been playing outside in their bare feet (hehe) sleep in or on the bed. There is a rare occasion (maybe once a month) where the dogs have been bathed that day and I plan to wash the bedding the next day where I will allow one of the dogs to sleep on/in the bed (the little goes in the bed, the big one goes on the bed).

The little one normally sleeps in his kennel mostly because he will pee in the house if left to roam. The big one sleeps on a dog bed. They both sleep in the bedroom with us, which I think is good for the dog/owner bond. I don't think sleeping on the human's bed increases that bond at all.

I think for most dogs dominance is not an issue. However, I think there are plenty of dogs who are spoiled in other areas who also get to sleep in or on the bed which is just another habit that contributes to poor behavior. In and of itself I don't think sleeping in or on the bed is a trigger for dominant behavior.

It's bunk.
It along with many other dominance reduction exercises (eating first, going through doors first etc. etc.) have been tested in scientific experiments and have been shown to produce no measurable change in dog behavior.

Do you have any links to these "scientific experiments"? I have never seen such a thing done, besides small-time not-so-scientific uncontrolled so-called experiments. Would love to read something more official. :D

December 27th, 2011, 08:24 PM
Sparky sleeps in bed with me. Neither of us can sleep if we're not in the same bed together. He'll walk around all night until I retrieve him, and i'll toss and turn.

As long as he's not 'taking over' or being 'the boss' I think it's fine.

December 28th, 2011, 01:03 AM
I can't get access to the original article but this is the summary of a 2009 study performed by the University of Bristolís Department of Clinical Veterinary Sciences

They have their abstracts available but most you have to pay for :P