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  1. Does your dog sleep with you? Good or bad habit?

    Hello Everyone!

    I am a proud owner of two pitbull pups who are 5 & 3 months old, they are male & female. YES we are crazy! The 5 month old loves to sleep in my bed, I blame myself because when she was very little I could put her in my bed and knew where she was at all times and catch a few extra zzz's. WELL now that we have two and they are getting bigger, as much as I love her cuddling, am I letting her dominate me by doing this? My boyfriend and I do so much research on caring for them, and only get mixed opinions. Some sites say they want to be near my scent, while others say she's dominating me. I even took my comforter and extra pillows and made a bed on the floor for her, but she just looks at me with those eyes like really!
    I would like to know what others do and if its really up to me or is this a behavior I have to correct now? She never shows any signs of aggression when I make her get off the bed, just one big sigh! :)

    Best

    Melissa

  2. It is a good habit if you enjoy cuddling with your dog. It is a bad habit if you want a dog-hair free bed.

    Basically anything you read about 'dominance' has been scientifically proven wrong. Your dog is not trying to dominate you if they sleep on the bed or walk through the front door first.

    If you enjoy your dog sleeping on the bed (like I do!) continue, if it bothers your/your boyfriend teach her to sleep on the floor.

  3. #3
    I'm in the "not dominance" camp. Mine sleep with me but sometimes I wish I had space too. I have one that CAN NOT get close enough to me and puts his entire weight against me and if I move an inch away ... he moves closer LOL ... at times, it's annoying but I still manage to fall asleep, so it's not unhealthy.

    I think it all boils down to personal preference and habit. Nothing more.

  4. #4
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    You should read up on the "dominance theory," many people believe it's a myth/incorrect now. Also have you heard of NILIF? I use NILIF with my pit who came to me as a young adult and who pushes boundaries wherever possible. Your pups might mind you now, but as they get older they will probably start being a little rebellious, to see what they can get away with, so I personally think you should make some rules on this now while they're still little. NILIF basically breaks down to all the good stuff (bed, couch, food, door to outside, etc.) in the house belonging to ME, and the dog has to ask for them if he wants them. Which means he never jumps up on the couch and pushes me out of the way, but sits nearby and indicates what he wants. He also never darts out the door past me but waits for me to release him to go outside. Might be worth looking into for your pups?

    I'm sure a lot of people sleep with their dogs and I do love to nap on the couch with Krieger, but at night he sleeps in his crate. They definitely do like being near your scent (if there are dirty clothes on the floor Krieger will lay on them rather than his bed!), so if you think the pups will have trouble adjusting, you could give them an old shirt or something that smells like you. Being in the crate at night also prevents Krieger from getting into anything or bothering our cats, and he actually loves being in his crate--a few times I've shut the door but forgot to latch it and he's stayed in it all night!

  5. #5
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    I have 3 dogs (APBT, beagle, and a chihuahua/terrier mix) and they all sleep in my bed. Each dog has their own spot and stick to it for the most part. I don't mind having them in bed with me. They keep me warm on cold nights!

  6. #6
    Oh ... and the one that can't get close enough to me will sometimes cuddle under my arm with his head and neck laid across my chest, neck and shoulder. Some might say that is a dominance thing, but to me, it's EXACTLY what two pups sleeping together would do. Just tightly intertwined and packed together.

  7. #7
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    Do you think she's dominating you if you fall asleep on the couch next to her? Or if you sit on the floor? Or if she rides in the car with you? Just being logical - I think the whole bed = dominance thing is outdated and not true.

    Dogs who guard the bed - which is the biggest problem I hear of - when you try to make them move or get in the bed yourself dont' do it because it's the bed, they do it because there is a lack of respect and understanding between you two already. If you don't have problems with her challenging you and and you two have a good relationship, I see no wrong it in. I DO think dogs should earn staying in the bed - for me they just have to wait until I'm comfortably in my spot and then tell them to get in the bed - mainly because the one dog is big enough to take up most of the bed!

    Now, good if you don't mind the hair, the panting, and washing your bedding a lot more than if it were just you. Bad if you don't.

  8. #8
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    I agree its not an issue for us. I did however make sure Harley knew the rules.. if I say get off that means get off.. not ifs ands or butts.. its MY bed and if I dont want a dog on it thats how it goes.. and he is very good about it. When its cold out he will occassionally try and sneak on the bed at night and depending on where he lays down we may let him stay with us. Other times Ill wake up and its cold and Ill call him up (he warms me up just as much as I warm him up). Some nights we just dont want to fight him for space (we have a queen bed and my husbands a big enough bed hog, throwing Harley in leaves me with only a sliver of space lol which is ok when its cold). I never treated it like a dominance issue but rather just a training one since, like Poisoned mentioned, Ive heard many stories about dogs guarding the bed and I wasnt going to tolerate that lol but I love cuddling up for naps and in the evening before my husband comes in Harley and I curl up together and go to sleep.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by MissKitty View Post
    It is a good habit if you enjoy cuddling with your dog. It is a bad habit if you want a dog-hair free bed.

    Basically anything you read about 'dominance' has been scientifically proven wrong. Your dog is not trying to dominate you if they sleep on the bed or walk through the front door first.

    If you enjoy your dog sleeping on the bed (like I do!) continue, if it bothers your/your boyfriend teach her to sleep on the floor.
    What a great way to say this!

    My 6yr old dog and the 4.5yr old dog sleep loose. They primarily stay on the floor because they are super fuzzy and its too hot for them up on the bed. However the older one always gives me husky ball snuggles from about 6am till getting up time.

    The busy puppy sleeps in his crate in my room!

  10. #10
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    Does your dog sleep with you? Good or bad habit?

    Your bed, your choice.

    You want the dogs to have unlimited access? Give it to them. You want them only to come on the bed with your permission? Teach and enforce that. Don't want them on the bed at all? No soup for you, doggy!

    This is one question that doesn't have a right or wrong answer. It's up to you!

  11. #11
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    its really your choice. i don't agree with the dominance theory.
    my 8 month old dog has slept with us since she was a couple months old. it was until we could trust her during the night out of the kennel that she was able to sleep in bed with us. if she has to sleep in her kennel she is just fine. sometimes i do wish she wouldn't take up so much room but i wouldn't have it any other way !

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by chey308 View Post
    its really your choice. i don't agree with the dominance theory.
    my 8 month old dog has slept with us since she was a couple months old. it was until we could trust her during the night out of the kennel that she was able to sleep in bed with us. if she has to sleep in her kennel she is just fine. sometimes i do wish she wouldn't take up so much room but i wouldn't have it any other way !
    I agree. I'll often take naps with mine, but on the couch and not on my bed. If I want one of them to move or get off, I say so and they do. So, I don't think it's a dominance issue with us.

  13. #13
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    That dominance theory of dogs sleeping in the bed is pure myth. I cram myself into my bed with four dogs (minus the Bullmastiff thank God) most nights, and if they are dominant over me then I'm certainly clueless. I'm still the big boss in my house as far as I know...

  14. #14
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    Max has been sleeping on the bed since day one. Aside from the odd kick to the groin, and headbutt. He more than makes up for it as a energy efficient heater.

  15. #15
    My idiots sleep in bed with me, they know when I tell them to leave though. I prefer they sleep in my bed otherwise I'd have one growling at every flake of snow of leaf moving out the front window

  16. #16
    Molly prefers to sleep on her dog bed at the foot of the bed. Lemmy sleeps with us, but only when we invite him up and he knows to get off when we tell him. In fact he's rarin to go the second he sees one of our eyes open. When we want some extra zzz we pretend to be asleep LOL.

  17. #17
    Mine sleep in my bed. I even got a bigger bed so that there would be enough room for everyone haha. They won't come up until I invite them up though. They lay on the floor until I say "up", then they jumped up and curl up in their own spots that they sleep in every night. Although sleeping on the bed has nothing to do with dominance, I am big on making sure my dogs respect me. Nothing annoys me more than seeing people with dogs who have absoutely no respect for their authority. They don't get to do anything without my permission (jumping up onto bed or couches, eating their meals, initiating and ending play, etc.)

  18. #18
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    my dog sleeps in a crate

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sun Valley Pit Bulls View Post
    Mine sleep in my bed. I even got a bigger bed so that there would be enough room for everyone haha. They won't come up until I invite them up though. They lay on the floor until I say "up", then they jumped up and curl up in their own spots that they sleep in every night. Although sleeping on the bed has nothing to do with dominance, I am big on making sure my dogs respect me. Nothing annoys me more than seeing people with dogs who have absoutely no respect for their authority. They don't get to do anything without my permission (jumping up onto bed or couches, eating their meals, initiating and ending play, etc.)
    ... I bought a bigger bed for our dog too lol. My 3 1/2 year old sleeps with us as well. We couldn't cut it with a full size anymore so we had to upgrade to a queen. Even still I end up on the couch some nights if I stay up late doing reading for cl$#@!.
    This is your decision. Don't buy into outdated theories about dogs.
    Do what you want, your bed your rules.
    You can't get much worse than me lol. Husband, 3 1/2 year old, 10 month dog and men one bed. It makes for interesting nights.
    I do have to say that I change the sheets every 2 days :(

  20. BK has taken over my bed..and next is the world..I can see it in his eyes..But untill he can open the fridge and get his own chicken..I am still the bossa him!

    BK just loves sleeping with someone..if I sleep on the couch he sleeps there..in the bed..he sleeps there...lay on floor, hes right beside me..
    When my daughter is home and I leave for work in the morning ..he goes to her bed to sleep there with her.

    I dont see a problem..unless dog in bed and you on the floor..then you may have an issue..lol

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