The average pet dog sleeps almost 18 hours a day. All that time spent asleep means that dogs usually have favorite napping spots, such as their bed or by their owners feet. But what about dogs laying by the door? If you notice that your dog prefers to sleep in the doorway, there may be a reason for this behavior. Read on to learn more, as well as tips to train your dog to sleep elsewhere.
Is sleeping by the door normal dog behavior?
Sleeping in doorways is normal dog behavior. It goes back to dogs’ natural guarding instincts, as well as a desire to keep their pack in the eyeline. But tripping over your dog can be annoying and potentially dangerous. If your dog snoozing by the door bothers you, read on to learn some positive reinforcement techniques to get your dog to sleep elsewhere.
Should I encourage my dog to sleep somewhere else?
There is no real reason that your dog should be shooed away from sleeping in the doorway, unless they are tripping you or otherwise in the way. If that is the case, consider getting them a dog bed and putting it by the doorway to encourage your dog to sleep elsewhere, and reward them for doing so with a treat or a toy.
What are the dangers of a dog sleeping by the door?
Dogs laying in the doorway can be problematic. For one, you could trip over them, especially at night. In fact, over 80 thousand Americans a year are sent to the hospital due to tripping over a pet. This habit could also be dangerous for your dog– if your dog sleeps by a door that opens to the outside, there is the risk of them escaping whenever someone comes in or goes out.
Why does my dog sleep by the door at night?
There are several reasons dogs sleep by the door at night, but all of it relates to pack instincts. Dogs hold on to behaviors from their wolf ancestors, such as guarding, especially when we are sleeping and vulnerable. Your dog may want to lay by the door to guard the home, or just to make sure that their “pack” doesn’t leave without them. The reason could also be simple loyalty– dogs lay by the door to make sure they can always see their owner.
Why does my dog lay in front of the bathroom door when I am in there?
Do you open the bathroom door to find your dog sitting there? This clingy behavior in common dogs– especially “velcro” dogs such as pugs and german shepherds. This behavior is endearing, if a little annoying, and comes from a desire to be by you at all times. But if your dog appears distressed to have you out of their sight for even a second, that could be a sign that they have separation anxiety.
What does it mean when your dog sleeps by your bed?
Dogs are famously loyal. A dog sleeping by your bed is doing so because they view you as a member of their pack. In the wild, wolves sleep together to keep each other safe from potential threats. When your dog chooses to sleep by your bed, it’s because they view you as family and want to keep you safe and vice versa.
Why does my dog sleep in my room only at night?
If your dog only sleeps in your room at night it means that your dog is comforted not by the room itself, but your presence in it. If your dog generally follows you around the house (a “Velcro dog”) then they are likely going to follow you when you go to sleep, and to sleep nearby for protection and company.
Why does my Husky sleep by the door?
To know why Huskies sleep by the door, you need to know a little bit about the breed. Huskies are an Arctic breed of dog, originating from the harsh tundras of Siberia or Alaska. They were bred to be working sled dogs, pulling sleds across miles of ice and snow. In addition to being working dogs they were raised in a family setting, not kept out on their own. Early Huskies often slept inside with their owners for comfort and warmth. Therefore it makes sense that a husky would want to sleep by the door, just to be near and make sure you don’t leave! Huskies are also known escape artists, so they could be waiting by the front door to take off.
Why does my German Shepherd sleep by the door?
German Shepherds were bred for Shepherding, obviously. Early breeds were charged with moving sheep, goats and cows from one location to another, and many German Shepherd Dogs are used for exactly that to this day. They are protective of their flock, as well as their owners. Modern police forces often use German Shepherds because of their natural protective instinct, high intelligence and fearless attitude. If you find your Shepherd sleeping by the door, it is likely because their instincts are telling them to guard the home from potential threats– such as intruders.
Why does my dog lay in front of my bedroom door?
Dogs are driven to protect their owners. If your dog is lying in front of your bedroom door while you are inside, it is because they want to be able to keep an eye on you while guarding against possible intruders. On the other hand, if your dog is lying in front of your bedroom door when you are not there, they could want to go in your bedroom simply because it is more comfortable for them there, especially if your dog sleeps on the bed!
Why does my dog stare at me?
Finding your dog’s intense eye contact a little uncomfortable? There is a good reason your pooch stares at you all day. In the wild dogs live in packs, usually led by the oldest dog in the group, or the “alpha.” The other dogs look to their alpha for reassurance and guidance, especially if they feel vulnerable. If your dog is staring at you all day it is just because they view you as the leader. Your dog could also be suffering from separation anxiety, and be concerned that you are going to leave without them– causing your dog to follow you around and stare at you intently.
Why does my dog come into my room and then leave?
Dogs are social creatures. If your dog comes into your room just to leave again, its probably because they are checking on you to make sure you are okay, or are coming to you seeking reassurance that nothing is wrong.
Does my dog guard me while I sleep?
Dogs are natural protectors– they get this instinct from their wolf ancestors. In the wild wolves are most vulnerable when they are sleeping. If your dog likes to sleep by your bed or the door, they are likely guarding you in your sleep the same way wolves guard the pack when they are sleeping.
Why does my dog sit in my spot on the couch when I get up?
There are two theories why your dog takes your spot on the couch when you get up– one is that your dog is testing their boundaries with you as pack leader. They could be trying to take your seat in an attempt to show you who is boss. If your dog is exhibiting other boundary testing behaviors such as ignoring commands, resource guarding, or aggression, seat-stealing should be treated seriously. These gestures should be gently corrected because it could lead to your dog challenging you for leader of the home, and re-training may be required. The second theory is less insidious– your dog steals your seat on the couch just because they like the warm spot you have left!
Why do dogs spin before they lay down?
Fido spinning before bed? This funny behavior has its roots in wolf instincts– in the wild wolves circle before bedtime for a lot of reasons, including looking for pack stragglers, trying to find a comfortable spot, looking for threats before bed and laying upwind to catch the smell of potential danger. While household pets do not have to contend with the same dangers as their wolf counterparts, they do inherit their habits!
Wolf Behaviors that may Explain Why Your Dog Sleeps by the Door
Theory #1: Dogs sleep near the door as a guarding technique
Dogs are social animals, and protective of their pack. Your dog may be sleeping by the front door in an attempt to keep you safe from threats while you are sleeping and vulnerable.
Theory #2: They never want to be left at home
Separation Anxiety is very common among dogs, especially high energy breeds. Dogs may sleep by the door to ensure that their owner cannot leave the house without them knowing.
Theory #3: Your door is where all the action is at!
Like security for an event, your dog wants to see who is coming in and out! They might be excited by people moving about, or want to “vet” everyone who comes in. Either way your dog wants to be where the people are!
Theory #4: The doorway is comfortable
This last theory is the simplest– your dog is laying in the doorway because they find that particular spot to be comfortable.
How to get your dog to stop laying by the door
Use positive reinforcement training
Pick an area where your dog can sleep that is out of your way and make that area comfortable with a dog bed or a blanket. When your dog goes to investigate, reward them with a treat for sleeping in their new spot. Over time your dog will come to prefer the spot you have chosen over the doorway.
Make sure that it is getting enough exercise
Your dog might be laying by the door because they want you to take them for a walk. Regularly walking your dog is one of the best ways to make them an ideal pet and companion– walking your dog on a leash gives them exercise and builds trust between the two of you. If you walk your dog enough, they will be too tired to pester you at the door.
Give them a comfortable place to lay down
If you don’t already have one, consider getting your dog a very comfortable dog bed or at least a blanket. Older dogs are prone to joint problems and can benefit greatly from an orthopedic dog bed.