12 Reasons Why My Dog Wants To Sleep With Me All Of A Sudden

Oftentimes, dog owners find their dogs being extremely clingy. While that is how most dogs are, you will also find your dog lingering around in your bed while you’re trying to catch some sleep. The common question will then pop into your head, “Why does my dog want to sleep with me all of a sudden?”

Dogs are extremely energetic and love having company. However, if the case comes where it wants to sleep next to you all of a sudden or has an abrupt change in sleeping patterns, it could be due to a bunch of factors. Let us get through them in this article.

12 Reasons Why My Dog Wants To Sleep With Me All Of A Sudden

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Common Reasons for Sudden Behavior Change

Dogs laying on you or wanting to sleep with you can be influenced by three key factors- environmental changes, emotional factors, and health issues. Let’s understand why these factors impose such behaviors on dogs.

1. Environmental Changes

Environmental changes in their residing territory can bring dogs some sort of overwhelming feelings. If you have moved houses or if there are some changes to the settings, your dog will notice such dynamics. A change in the immediate environment that the dog has become acclimated to over time may induce consequent dog behavior changes.

Recent changes in the household or living situation

Household changes can be as stressful for dogs as it is for humans. For instance, recent environmental changes such as moving houses will make your dog feel a sense of unfamiliarity in the new environment.

This can also happen when there are some changes in the living space, like the installation of appliances, new furniture, etc. Such new objects can alter the sights of their surroundings, making the dog feel as though it’s in an unfamiliar place.

It can stimulate them to remain within the proximity of their familiar human associates. This is rooted in their inherent reliance on recognizable elements to foster a sense of reassurance amidst the evolving domestic landscape.

New family members or pets

Most dogs always tend to stay closer to their preferred human or humans, no matter the size of the family they belong to. However, the addition of a new family member or even a new pet can cause them some discomfort. They tend to have a sense of unfamiliarity and detachment from the new member.

Hence, they cling to their familiar owners a lot more than they usually would. However, this is usually a transient behavioral alteration and does not last for very long because dogs are good at socializing.

Noisy surroundings

Dogs are very sensitive to loud noises, and an environment prone to noisiness can affect dogs in a negative way. Events and festivals in houses often come with a lot of loud noises from firecrackers and music speakers.

This can cause fear in dogs and lead to behavioral changes. This is why dogs often sleep next to their preferred human to feel less frightened by the noise.

2. Emotional Factors

The canine attachment that develops between pets and their owners through time spent together helps the animal rely on and trust their human companion. Hence, a dog depends on their preferred human for almost everything.

From seeking comfort to having protective instincts, your dog’s emotional needs become one of your priorities. So, let us see some of the emotional factors that promote clinginess in dogs.

Separation anxiety and fear of isolation

For a dog raised within a human home environment, their owner is their constant companion in a world full of variables. Much like we rely on close loved ones in times of uncertainty, dogs, too, draw comfort from their human pillar of stability.

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However, when separation anxiety sets in, even small absences from their human companion can trigger a fear of isolation or abandonment in such pet animals.

Separation anxiety is caused due to hyper-attachment to human owners and an overreliance on their presence. This may lead to an excessive attachment or clinginess upon the return of their owner, causing the dog to try and sleep on the same bed as them.

Seeking comfort and security from their owner

A dog bonding with a dog owner is an emotional conditioning for both parties. So, at times of distress and discomfort, your dog is bound to come and seek comfort from you.

This is a more common happening because seeking comfort from time to time is mentally healthy for a dog and its owner. Hence, if you find your dog trying to sleep on your bed, it could be that it needs some comfort for the time being.

3. Health Issues

Another reason for this sudden dog behavior change can be concerning their health. When dogs are facing some sort of health issue, it puts them on edge.

This may lead to them seeking comfort in your presence and wishing to spend more time around you; they might start sleeping with you suddenly. Here are some health-related matters that could lead to such behavior:

Physical discomfort or pain

Unaddressed physical pain and discomfort could be a significant factor driving your dog’s desire to sleep beside you. Dogs, like humans, seek comfort when they’re not feeling their best. When they’re dealing with pain from an injury or an underlying health issue, being close to them might provide relief.

Your presence offers a sense of security, and the warmth of your body could soothe their discomfort. So, if your dog suddenly craves your company during rest, it’s worth considering if they’re trying to cope with some unseen physical distress.

why my dog wants to sleep with me all of a sudden

Aging and mobility change

Most dogs start to face old-age signs like slow mobility, loss of appetite, weight loss, etc., from the 7-8 years age line. This phase makes dogs more vulnerable to diseases, both physical and mental.

Post-partum depression

The heightened inclination of your dog to sleep by your side could be linked to postpartum depression. Similar to humans, mother dogs may undergo this phase after delivering pups.

Referred to as maternal or postpartum depression, it emerges from hormonal shifts and stresses that the dog undergoes throughout pregnancy and while giving birth. Indications may comprise appetite loss, decreased puppy attention, and an augmented desire for human interaction.

Seeking proximity to you by sleeping in your bed possibly extends solace and reassurance, assisting them in managing this emotional phase effectively.  

4. Behavioral Cues

Understanding your dog’s behavioral cues is incredibly valuable for detecting changes in their sleeping habits. Dogs express emotions through behaviors, and alterations in slumber patterns can serve as indicators of deeper shifts.

Be attentive to signs like restlessness during the night, and consider questions such as “Have I ever observed my dog staring at me while I’m sleeping?” or “Does my dog sleep between my legs?”

If a puppy starts sleeping outside of its crate, despite previously favoring it as its designated sleeping area, and now seeks your bed, it could signal a desire for companionship or possible discomfort.

Other signs, such as frequent shifts in posture, or struggles to settle, might point to uneasiness or an underlying health concern. Furthermore, if your dog is becoming clingy all of a sudden, it will show certain behavioral patterns like excessive whining, knocking down objects, or even obstructing you from leaving their company. These are very common comfort-seeking behaviors in dogs.

By closely observing these behavioral cues, such as whether your dog cries in their sleep, and considering various potential factors, you can gain valuable insights into your dog’s evolving sleeping preferences. This enables you to address their needs with compassion and insight.

Dog Breeds and Sleeping Habits

Dogs of different breeds and sizes often have particular dog sleeping patterns that they stick to. For example, hyperactive dog breeds like Boxers and Golden Retrievers tend to have less sleep than home breeds like Huskies and Pugs.

Similarly, large dog breeds, like Bull Dogs, Mastiffs, and Great Danes, tend to sleep for at least 16 hours a day. Even smaller dog breeds like Maltese, Pomeranian, and Yorkshire Terrier tend to sleep more than medium-sized dog breeds, which is over 14 hours of sleep in a whole day.

As different dog breeds have different sleeping habits, it tends to affect their willingness to sleep with their owners as well. Sometimes, energetic dog breeds can be active throughout the day but sleep calmly with their owners for the time being. On the other hand, as home breeds often spend much time sleeping, it does not affect them if they have company during sleep or not.

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Interestingly, some dogs develop a preference for sleeping in enclosed spaces. For instance, a Labrador retriever might enjoy sprawling out on the living room floor, while a smaller dog like a Chihuahua may feel more secure in a cozy crate. In fact, it’s not uncommon to find that a dog sleeps in a crate with the door open, finding comfort in the confined space even when they have the freedom to roam.

Nonetheless, anxiety and stress can lead any dog breed to become clingy, regardless of their traits. A dog suffering from isolation fear will automatically spend less time sleeping regardless of their common sleeping pattern. Hence, anxiety can make any dog emotional attachment to its owners grow significantly.

dog sleeps with owner

Positive and Negative Aspects of Co-Sleeping

Letting your dog share a bed with you may sound like an ideal solution, but it comes with a range of both positives and negatives that you must consider before making such a move. These include:

Benefits of allowing dogs to sleep with their owners

Many dog owners enjoy having their furry friends sleep in bed with them at night. This cozy arrangement can actually provide several benefits. Sleeping together can strengthen the bond between dog and human, providing security and companionship.

Allowing close contact at night can be especially calming for anxious dogs or those with separation distress. For senior dogs or those with medical issues, sleeping nearby allows owners to monitor their pet’s health and attend quickly to any needs.

As long as the dog is clean and well-behaved in bed, letting them snooze by your side can be a rewarding experience for both owner and pet.

1. Strengthening the human-dog bond

Sharing a sleep space can profoundly deepen the connection between humans and dogs. Co-sleeping nurtures intimacy, fostered through the extensive physical contact that ensues during the time spent asleep. This helps in building trust and mutual understanding.

Physical closeness reinforces the emotional bond that already exists, fostering a sense of security and comfort for dogs. The experience cements a stronger, more resilient relationship between owners and their canine companions.

2. Providing emotional support for both the dog and owner

Sharing sleep provides dual advantages for both dogs and their owners. Dogs become a source of companionship and warmth, countering isolation-related emotions. Owners reciprocate by offering reassurance, protection, and solace to their dogs through their presence.

This shared cycle of comfort during sleep nurtures a balanced, symbiotic relationship, cultivating a sphere of emotional well-being and mutual support for both sides.

Emotional support and comfort from dogs can be therapeutic for both owners and their furry companions. As a result, co-sleeping can serve as a stress reliever for both parties.

Drawbacks of allowing dogs to sleep in the same bed

While there are benefits to co-sleeping, there are disadvantages to it as well. Let us take a good look at the drawbacks of letting dogs sleep with you.

1. Disrupted sleep patterns

Studies show that dog movement can cause an increase in human activity. Hence, while sleeping, your dog’s movement is likely to disrupt your sleep. This also goes the same for dogs, as an increase in the owner’s movement can keep them on high alert. Hence, both parties face sleep pattern disruption every time you consider co-sleeping.

2. Potential behavioral issues

Co-sleeping can lead your dog to be excessively clingy and territorial towards you. Dog territorial behavior can cause dogs to be dependent on your presence while sleeping. This happens as co-sleeping can become a habit, and they might lash out in your absence.

Training and Solutions

While co-sleeping with your dog does not have much harm to it, it still can become a bad habit for your dog. Hence, you have to train your dog to have certain limitations while adjusting to the reasons for wanting to sleep with you.

Setting Boundaries

You have to be more strict with dogs when it comes to setting boundaries within your physical interactions. Your dog has to be aware of when they are intruding on your space. Hence, you have to assign them a fixed sleeping spot near your room.

Positive reinforcement for dogs entails rewarding desired behaviors with treats, positive words, toys, or other favorable stimuli. This technique helps dogs link their actions to favorable outcomes, strengthening the chance of repeating those actions.

In terms of establishing limits for your personal and sleeping areas, positive reinforcement holds great importance. For example, if you intend your dog to honor your sleeping space, positive reinforcement is useful.

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When your dog avoids the bed, reward them with treats or a favored toy. This interaction signifies that choosing not to use the bed leads to positive outcomes.

Gradually, they will associate avoiding the bed with affirmative rewards, encouraging them to honor those limits. This fosters a harmonious and respectful coexistence in mutual areas.

Creating a Comforting Environment

While you assign your dog a spot, make sure you are providing a sound environment for sleep. To be more cautious, you set up a comfortable sleeping mattress somewhere near your room, in a small box or crate. This provides a home-within-a-home situation for your dog, creating an even more hospitable environment. This way, your dog can sleep in its own space while also being comforted by the knowledge that you are around.

Through dog scent-marking behavior, your dogs will be able to recognize their bed as their own territory, feeling less overwhelmed to sleep. When a dog marks its own sleeping area, it creates a familiar and comforting scent environment.

This scent association can provide a sense of security and familiarity, making the space more inviting for them to rest. Additionally, the act of scent marking reinforces their sense of ownership over the sleeping area, reducing anxiety about being separated from their human family members. Placing toys that your dog usually plays with on the bed can also add to the level of comfort.

Implementing Behavioral Modification Techniques

Now that you have incorporated a nice and comfy bed for your canine friend, you have to ensure that your dog sleeps there too. Transitioning your dog to independent sleep habits requires patience and consistent training.

Begin by creating a comfortable and inviting sleeping area for them. Gradually introduce this new space during the daytime, using treats and positive reinforcement to associate it with positive experiences.

As bedtime approaches, guide your dog to their designated sleep spot, rewarding them for settling there. Over time, increase the duration of independent sleeping and gradually reduce physical proximity.

If separation anxiety underlies their newfound desire to sleep with you, desensitization techniques can be effective. Start by practicing brief periods of separation during the day, gradually extending the time as your dog becomes more comfortable.

Reward calm behavior and offer treats when they remain composed. Simultaneously, create positive associations with your sleeping space. Allow them to explore the room without immediately sleeping there. Over time, this process reduces their anxiety about being separated from you and strengthens their confidence in sleeping alone.


My dog’s sudden urge to cuddle with me at night can be attributed to factors such as emotional states, health concerns, or alterations in the environment. The sudden desire of our canine companions to sleep with us holds a treasure trove of insights into their emotions and needs.

It’s a reminder of the profound bond we share with them, a connection rooted in trust and affection. By understanding the factors at play and responding with empathy, we can ensure their well-being while nurturing a deeper, more harmonious relationship.


1. Could my dog be experiencing separation anxiety if they suddenly want to sleep with me?

A: Yes, it is very likely that your dog is suffering from dog separation anxiety if it wishes to sleep with you all of a sudden. Separation anxiety can trigger fear of isolation in dogs. Hence, they don’t prefer to sleep alone during this phase.

2. Is it safe for my dog to sleep in my bed, or should I train them to sleep elsewhere?

A: In case of severe anxiety or discomfort, you can allow them to sleep next to you. However, this should not turn into a habit. With time, you can guide and instruct them to sleep in a separate area with gradual training.

3. What are some behavioral cues that indicate my dog wants to sleep with me all of a sudden?

A: Clinging, whining, and defensiveness in your absence are some behavioral cues that indicate that your dog is trying to sleep next to you.

4. How should I respond to my dog’s sudden change in sleeping habits to reinforce positive behavior?

A: Handle your dog with gentleness to reinforce positive behavior in your dog. Use consistent language, treats, and direct instructions to guide your dog’s behavior. 

5. Are there any potential drawbacks to allowing my dog to sleep with me?

A: Allowing dogs to co-sleep can disturb sleep patterns in both dogs and their owners. Additionally, it can also cause them to assert a defensive attitude in the owner’s absence.

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