Dogs spend about half of their day sleeping. Over the years, many people have asked me where their dog “should” sleep. They’ll somewhat sheepishly ask if it’s “okay” for the dog to be sleeping in their bed with them. I tend to think that there’s no one right answer to that question. Some behaviorists do say that dominant dogs probably should not have the privilege of sharing your sleeping space. But if you have a well-adjusted dog who isn’t trying to rule you with an iron paw, it probably doesn’t make any difference where your hound snoozes.
The main thing is that you should be the one to decide. You should always be leader of your little household pack, so if you decide it’s not okay for the dog to sleep on the bed, the dog never should. In our house, our dogs have never been allowed on the bed or other furniture. It doesn’t seem to bother them. However, they do have their own beds in our bedroom where they retire. Each dog knows which bed is his or hers, and happily runs into it when we give the “go to your bed” command.
Most dogs like sleeping in your bedroom at night because you’re in it. Dogs are pack animals and it makes them feel secure to be with the pack even when they’re sleeping. If you’re not home, they may prefer to retire to the bedroom just because the smell reminds them of you.
The type of dog bed a dog likes often depends on the dog. Dog beds can range from the simple to the very elaborate. If you’re in the market for a dog bed, look for one that is durable and washable.
At our house, we have a number of types of dog beds, and a crate/sky kennel. In our bedroom, we have four dog beds we made. To keep the dog (and the hair) off the floor, my husband built wooden platforms out of plywood and 1×10 lumber. The bed frames look more or less like the ones you see in catalogs for $200. (Let’s just say, we didn’t spend that kind of money.) Inside the frame are baffled pillows that I made out of sheets and polyfil stuffing. For each one, I also made a cover like a giant pillowcase out of a sheet. Again, the cost was minimal, and I can throw a covers or even the entire bed in the washing machine when they get dirty.
We also have a couple of more conventional dog beds in our living room. We have a large round “bean bag” type bed with a removable cover. And we have a smaller one that is a foam nest shape with a washable cover.
Although many dogs actively will choose to sleep in dog beds, not all dogs prefer them. For unknown reasons, our golden retriever avoids all the dog beds in the living room. And Cami the Samoyed mix always prefers to sleep in her sky kennel. No other dog ever ventures in there.
If you’re trying to keep Rover off the furniture, investing in a dog bed might be a first step.