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Why do dogs sleep at the foot of the bed?

Updated on July 7, 2009

Dogs are great sleepers. Did you know that these animals sleep more than 14 hours every day? Of course these long hours would be broken into a long doze and several naps. Have you heard about the joke that tells how a dog sleeps with an eye open?  Dogs may sleep a lot but they awaken very easily too. A watchdog may be dozing but once it senses danger it would instantly awaken. Because these animals sleep a lot you may think that the dog would lay down its body and sleep instantly anywhere. This is far from the truth. Dogs are very particular with where and how they sleep.

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The sleeping quarters of a dog

In the wild, a dog would choose the place where it would sleep carefully. The spot has to be sheltered from draft. The bed may be made of tamped down leaves, grasses and twigs but it should provide the dog security from predators. Domesticated dogs no longer need to worry where they would bed down. Comfortable beds or padded crates will be provided by the owner. The dog may even be invited to sleep on the master’s bed.

How do dogs sleep?

Some dogs would lay all curled up. Experts tell us that is an instinctive protective position. Dogs in the wild usually assume this position. Curled, the dog protects its vital organs from the attacks of predators. A dog may sleep like an upended table, with all the feet in the air. A dog sleeping in this position is trying to cool itself. The dog sleeping with the master may hug the pillow and take more space. The pet may also sleep at the foot of the bed.

Sleeping at the foot of the bed

Dogs are pack animals. We love our dogs but it would be necessary to make them understand that they are at the bottom of the hierarchy. Dogs will be confused if the master does not have what it takes to be the alpha male. Dogs are affectionate pets. They like to be cuddled and hug. However, when you train the dog to sleep at the foot of the bed you are not being mean. You are actually being kind to the pet. The dog would be happier if you assume the position of being the leader of the pack. Since it is in the dog’s nature to be submissive to the alpha male, it would actually expect you to have the best sleeping quarters, to eat first and to have the choice cut of the prey. Sleeping with you even at the foot of the bed would be enough for the pet.

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      aiden 4 years ago

      Brilliant thank you, my dog is forever sleeping with his legs in the air now I know when to turn the heating down

    • Xpheno profile image

      Xpheno 5 years ago

      Awesome and very informative. I never wondered why my dog likes to sleep at the end of my bed, or why they stick their feet up in the air. Thanks to this Hub, I will now be more observant and heedful about what my animals do, thank you for this.

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      GenTeq 6 years ago

      I honestly don't mind sharing any part of my bed to a pet. I accually feel better when my pet (my cat for instance) sleeps towards the head so I can hold him. As far as the dominance chain goes, I mostly stay towards the middle. I don't mind sharing, just don't be pushy.