You allowed your dog on the bed or the sofa, he immediately looks for a pillow, cuddles his head in there, and sleeps comfortably. Or he waited for you to get up from the bed and directly goes for your pillow.
If you’ve experienced any of the scenarios mentioned, you might be wondering why your dog would always want to share your pillow with you. In this post, I’ll be revealing what drives such a habit in your dog.
So, why does my dog sleep on my pillow? It is possible that your dog loves the comfort and warmth he gets when he sleeps on it, your dog is trying to protect you, and he’s attracted to the scent of you. He may also be seeking your attention or merely imitating your past actions.
Having mentioned some possible reasons why your dog might feel like sleeping on the pillow with you, you must know how to react and what to do if you want to prevent him from continuing the behavior. I will discuss all these extensively below.
Why does my dog sleep on my pillow next to me?
Dogs exhibit different kinds of weird behaviors that do not make sense to us. Below are the reasons to best understand why your dog is sleeping on your pillow
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1. Your dog truly loves your scent
Dogs love the scent of their owners. They look for different ways to catch a smell of you. They could go as far as sleeping on your laundry or any of the belongings that have the scent of you.
According to a study, dog owners’ scents activate the parts of a dog’s brain associated with pleasure, which means that it creates a sense of excitement whenever he perceives your smell, just like the scent and fragrance of loved ones trigger a reaction and memory in us.
Your scent is heaven to your dog, and it makes him feel comfortable and protected. Try to see it as a compliment. Your dog is demonstrating just how much he loves you, and he’s trying to get enough of you by sleeping on your pillow, especially when you are not home.
2. Comfort and Warmth
The primary reason why your dog sleeps on pillows is that they are very comfortable to sleep on. Being the softest place on the bed with the most padding, it’s the perfect place for your dog to pass the night on. The warmth provided by your pillow could also be responsible for such behavior, especially on a cold night.
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3. Your dog is protecting you
Besides companionship, one of the other benefits of owning a dog is protection. Naturally, most dogs have such a strong instinct to protect their loved ones from harm, when in public or vulnerable. A well-trained dog sees protecting you as his responsibility. Even though your dog protecting you is demonstrated in different ways, him sleeping on your pillow with you is one of them.
He sees it as the right moment to get so close to you and keep his watch closely over you through the night. Don’t be surprised if he does check on you when you’re sleeping as well; he’s just doing his ‘routine checks’.
Humans get bored, but so also is your furry friend. When there’s a lack of activity, especially for a long duration either because you are busy at work or don’t have the time, your dog gets bored. Your dog sleeping on the pillow above your head or next to you is known to also be a result of boredom because he has nothing better to do and he’s just seeking your attention.
It could also be that he likes the way you react to it whenever he lays on your pillow. You may have triggered a sense of play or game in him when you respond in specific ways to his actions. In this case, it’s considered to be a learned behavior.
5. Pack behavior:
Dogs being pack animals usually sleep close together in their pack. Him sleeping on your pillow might be a form of acceptance of you being his leader. When lying in bed, the most ventilated area is your pillow, and your dog would always choose this spot to have a better sleep.
6. He feels secured
As much as your dog is obligated to protect you, you also provide a sense of protection to him when he’s beside you. According to a recent study, dogs feel safe, just like children when with their owners. It was also found that it improves their level of interest.
Should I Let My Dog lay on my pillow?
Well, this depends on you and the reason why your dog displays this habit. If it’s for reasons like warmth and comfort, seeking your attention, and smelling your scent, then it’s your call to decide if you want him to continue with it.
However, if allowing your dog sleep to sleep on your pillow and bed disrupts your sleep efficiency or if you have insomnia, then I’ll advise you to stop him.
Other things to note that can influence your decision of your dog laying on your pillow include: Your pillow and bed will become his territoryPossibility of accidents happening those expensive pillows and bed linen could be destroyed.
How Do I Get My Dog Off the Pillow?
If the reasons mentioned above bother you, and you would like not to share your pillow with your pooch, I’ve got some tips for you. Even though it’s encouraged to set boundaries the moment you bring your dog home, it’s not always easy changing the rules after he’s used to the existing regulations.
Get him a comfortable bed that’s well-cushioned to sleep on. By doing so, you’re making sure that he enjoys the same comfort he has when he sleeps on your bed. You can also get him his pillow or a sofa-style mattress with a headrest that is well-padded and gently guides him there. Eventually, he gets it and goes to sleep in his place. If nothing else, at least you can see this as a sign of affection
While he’s in his bed especially when he’s using the headrest or pillow as the case may be, give him some treats to create a positive association to encourage him to further stay in his bed.
Put a pillow cover that has your scent beside him on the bed. This will give him a sense of being close to you and safe. Also, you want to make sure his bed spot is cozy.
Having outlined the reasons why your dog may want to lay on your pillow, most are nothing to worry about, and it’s his way to express his fondness for you, to get comfortable, and to look to get your attention.
For what different reasons your dog may be sleeping on the pillow with you or when you’re gone, you want to make sure you allow him to continue with it once it doesn’t hamper your own convenience, or he shows any form of dominance and aggressiveness.
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