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While dogs love every member of the family, they can also play favorites. If you are a big family, you might have already noticed this. Your dog seems to have a favorite person whom he loves hanging out with him. He will also pick another one to cuddle with and another to sleep with. One family member can do all for him. It can be a really depressing thing if your canine puppy chooses to spend most of his time with another more than you. Of course, if you are on the receiving end of things, count yourself lucky.
In today’s post, we’ll look at how dogs arrive at their preferred persons, especially how they choose sleeping buddies. The information can help put things at rest if you are not picked. It will also help you know what to do if you want your pooch to sleep with you.
How Dogs Like To Sleep
Before we find out how dogs choose their sleeping partners, let’s take a look at the basics of sleep in the canine world. Essentially, dogs are pack animals. Granted, each dog can sleep on his own but they prefer snuggling in groups.
In the wild, the entire pack comes together when it’s bedtime. This way, they derive warmth from each other. It also helps keep the dogs safe in a non-vulnerable sleep state. Finally, it strengthens the bond between the pack members. So, the next time your fur baby comes to your bed, just know that it is out of nature and instinct.
How Dogs Choose Who to Sleep With
There are a number of factors that affect the decision of who to sleep with in a dog. These include the following:
1. Alpha Over Beta
This doesn’t apply to every case but if you are the boss of the family, you may be the best sleep buddy for your canine companion. See, dogs live in hierarchies. At the top of the pack is the tough Alpha dog who is the overall leader of the pack. The rest of the dogs submit to him. In return, he provides security, grooming services, and entertainment to the other dogs.
Dogs can perceive who the boss of the family is. And no, it doesn’t have to be daddy. It can be your 12-year old daughter who grooms the pet, keeps him entertained, walks him, and feeds him. Or your wife, who is assertive and knows how to train the dog. Whichever the case, a dog can easily choose to sleep with someone that looks like the Alpha to them.
2. To Offer Safety And Protection
Does your dog prefer snuggling with your toddler rather than you? It could very well be because he feels the need to protect her from harm. While some dogs prefer choosing an Alpha to sleep with for their own security, there are those that go the other way. They know that the toddler needs more protection from harm than the adult and will sleep next to them to step into the role.
In the wild, fierce animals and other dog packs would attack when the dogs were asleep. Albeit domesticated and away from danger, dogs will always know that sleep can bring danger. It may not be your toddler but whoever your four-legged friend chooses to go to bed with is likely the most vulnerable according to him.
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The number three probable reason your pup likes to sleep with one family member over another is purely because of personality differences. Dogs, in general, are attracted to people that match their own personalities. The old adage ‘like poles attract’ comes to play here in more ways than one. Therefore, if you are a bubbly and energetic individual, your high-energy dog is likely to want to climb up to your bed.
On the other hand, if you are laid back and quiet, you may attract a dog that has the same character. Your dog knows that he won’t get surprises when he hangs with you. If he likes his quiet sleep, he won’t expect loud calls and other destructive noises from you.
4. Early Socialization
The most crucial stage of a puppy’s life is when he is 0-6 months old. His brain is very receptive and active. For this reason, any experiences, people, and places influence the dog for the rest of his life. If one person is constant during this phase of his life, the dog will want to spend more of his energy, including sleeping with the individual, more than others.
If you have a young puppy at home, you have a chance of creating a solid relationship with them. Be sure to let him interact with different people, places, and things to enhance his interactions. For instance, a dog that is exposed to men only in his early years of life may have a liking for that gender alone. In such a case, he will be repulsive towards women.
If your fur baby came home after six months of age, don’t lose hope. Continued socialization like daily walks, doggy daycare, and play dates will go a long way in mending the relationship.
5. Attention, Affection, And All
Dogs know and interpret affection and attention directed at them. They are like babies. If you treat your baby right, he will naturally fall in love with you. The same story goes for dogs. Your fur baby will want to hang with you and sleep in your bed if you fill his bowl every morning, go for a walk around the block every evening, and play fetch with him whenever you can.
Physical affection basically solidifies the bond between humans and dogs. If you are unapproachable, distant, and detached from your dog, he will repay the favor by being the same way. Else, if you offer him lots of hugs, pets, massages, cuddles, and grooming sessions, he will love to be with you always.
While you are at it, make sure the affection and attention is genuine and quality. Don’t be in the habit of yelling at the dog during walks, reprimanding him when he makes a mistake, or losing your temper when he chews your shoes. They can pick those cues and will interpret them as well.
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Everyone, including your canine buddy, appreciates sleeping in a comfortable bed. Where and who he sleeps with has a direct relationship with his comfort. Perhaps he prefers your bed over his little crib because his bed is too soft, too hard, too warm, too cold, you name it. Even in the same bed, the dog may enjoy snuggling next to your husband over you because perhaps his area is more comfortable. You’ve seen a dog dig up the sofa or an area in the backyard before resting his head. It’s all in the quest for the best position for maximum comfort.
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7. Positive Association
Last but not least, dogs pick their sleep buddies based on positive associations. If you are a constant source of entertainment for your Fido, he may choose you as his sleep mate. We do that too as human beings. If your mummy is always gifting you, you will always have plenty of love for him. If she never cares how you eat, go to school, or who your best friend is, you will have no motivation to want to spend more time with her.
Your Fido behaves the exact same way. His favorite sleep mate would be the person that deliberately goes out of his way to make the dog happy, comfortable, and entertained.
Different dogs choose different people to sleep with based on a number of reasons. We’ve listed the seven major ones. The good news is that there’s always something you can do to get picked. From enhancing positive associations to keeping socializations going to giving your dog plenty of attention and affection, you can never run out of ideas.