How to Train a Dog to Sleep With You

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Sleeping next to your dog sounds like a cozy idea. Dogs are pack animals, so they like to be close to their family. You'll both feel protected, and you can get extra cuddles and quality time together. There are safety and health considerations to keep in mind before training your dog to sleep with you, and sometimes, the best dog bed is one that's completely his own.

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Dogs like to be close to their family.
Image Credit: Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

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Training your dog to cosleep

If you want your dog to sleep in your bed, once she is fully potty trained, place her favorite blanket in her new spot. This will give your dog her own space and protect your bedding from accumulating fur and dander, which can cause respiratory distress.

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It's a good idea to continue to allow your dog access to a crate or her own bed while training her to sleep next to you. If your dog still prefers to sleep elsewhere, let her choose to sleep where she is comfortable. If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, crate training before taking this step can help encourage her to be more independent.

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Dogs who are extra cuddly may be more likely to be a good fit for sharing your bed. The most affectionate breeds include the dachshund, golden retriever, Great Dane, Italian greyhound, boxers, Brussels griffon, pug, mastiffs, bichon frise, Newfoundland, and Labrador retriever, so these may be the best dogs to sleep with.

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Positives of cosleeping with dogs

Dogs who are extra cuddly may be more likely to be a good fit for sharing your bed.
Image Credit: Boris Jovanovic/iStock/GettyImages

Sleeping in bed with your dog each night can offer an extra layer of protection and sense of safety. Whether you live alone or simply want an extra security system, you'll probably sleep better knowing your canine, who sleeps lightly and listens to all the sounds around you, is nearby and will react if an intruder enters your home or if something dangerous happens. In addition, cosleeping with your canine can boost your mental and physical health, helping to lower blood pressure as well as anxiety, depression, and stress levels.

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Cosleeping with your pet can also lead to a stronger bond. Sharing a bed with your dog provides quality time together, which is especially important if you work outside the home, and your pet spends a lot of time away from you.

Negatives of dog cosleeping

Since dogs and humans have different sleep cycles, sharing a bed with your canine may impact the quality of rest you receive each night. Dogs wake three times nightly in comparison to humans' monocycle of sleep. In doing so, they may interrupt your sleep.

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If you have an allergy to dog dander, allowing your dog to sleep in your bed may aggravate those symptoms. An allergy shot can help you manage them, though. There are also some diseases that can be spread from dogs to humans, though those are rare. To further prevent them, keep your dog clean and up to date on vaccinations and make regular annual visits to the veterinarian.

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Best dog beds

If your dog does not want to share a bed with you or it's not working out for other reasons, getting your pet a bed made just for her can provide comfort. Some dogs are more aggressive than others, but if your pet is acting extra territorial or seems hostile, provide her with her own bed to sleep on.

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Sleeping in bed with your dog each night can offer an extra layer of protection and sense of safety.
Image Credit: Klaus Vedfelt/DigitalVision/GettyImages

Dog beds come in a variety of sizes and shapes as well as a variety of inner and outer materials. Different styles include the nest bed, pillow bed, flat mat, and orthopedic bed. Your veterinarian may be able to help you choose the best dog bed for your pet's specific needs.

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references & resources
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