Do you always find your dog sleeping on your pillow? If it’s been bothering you, causing you to have sleep problems, or you simply want your pillow back, you might want to look into the very reason why your pet canine might be doing so.
While we’d love to have our dogs in bed with us, it’s not always the right sleeping environment for you. Large dog breeds can roll over you, or your puppy might roll on your head when you’re asleep, or they might entirely hog your pillow and prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep.
If you want your pet to stay out of your pillow, the very first thing you need to do is understand why he or she is doing the behavior in the first place.
There are many possible reasons as to why your dog loves sleeping on your pillow. Let’s discuss some of them:
Dogs sleep in the spot that’s most comfortable to them. Your pet might have chanced upon your pillow and found it warm, comfortable, and cozy, and developed a liking to its fluffy features. If your dog feels anxious, lonely, nursing an injury, or going through an illness, he might be more attached to your pillow than usual.
Your pillow might have your personal scent on it and provides some form of feeling of security for your dog. They love your scent and would want to be as close to you as possible at all times, which can explain why they might want to snuggle with your pillow even when you’re not on the bed.
Sleeping close to your pillow can also help them calm down or help them sleep better.
Dogs are highly protective of their pack leader, and in this case, your pet might be sleeping on your pillow as an act of protection. Dogs know that you can be vulnerable when you’re asleep, and sleeping on your pillow could be his or her way of staying on guard.
This is particularly true with family guardian dogs that stay in the room when they know someone vulnerable is inside, such as a newborn baby.
It could also mean your dog is marking his territory. He could think that he is the leader of the pack with you as his subordinate, so he’s making a mark on your pillow and by sleeping on it, it’s his way of expressing his dominance over you.
How Do You Teach Your Dog to Stop from Sleeping on Your Pillow?
If you’re one of the dog owners who want your pet to stop sleeping on your pillow, there are a few things you can do. Here are some tips:
1. Consult a Dog Trainer if Your Dog is Being Aggressive
As mentioned earlier, your dog might be sleeping on your pillow to show a sign of dominance. He might be showing aggressive behavior towards you or other people and pets in the house, and he’s communicating this to everyone by hoarding the very object that gives you comfort and peace.
Consulting a dog trainer or behaviorist if you believe your dog is showing aggressive behavior can help you get to the root of the problem and possibly help train your dog to become more cooperative with you and everyone else in the house.
2. Buy a Dog Bed
If your dog is sleeping on your pillow for its warmth and comfort, maybe buying a soft and cozy dog bed might just be the answer. You can buy dog beds such as Paw’s premium orthopedic pet beds that feature an innovative memory foam unmatched by regular dog beds. Comfortable, warm, and cozy, these dog beds might just be the next best thing to your pillow.
3. Train Your Dog to Sleep in His Spot
If your dog already had a sleeping spot that he abandoned, it may be time that you train him again. You can add your unwashed pillow cover so your dog can still have the comfort and security he felt when sleeping on your pillow. You can also practice positive reinforcement by giving him treats each time he starts sleeping on his own spot.
Related: Why does my dog sleep so much
The Bottom Line
There may be many reasons why your dog may be sleeping in bed and especially on your pillow. The key is to figure out what’s causing this, and to provide solutions that can help your dog make the transition easier and more comfortable for him.
Bear in mind that it can take time and patience, and a lot of trial and error. But once your dog gets the hang of sleeping in his own bed, or going back to his sleeping spot, you can finally enjoy a good night’s sleep without your dog hovering over you.
Related: 10 Adorable dog sleeping positions