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Where Does Your Dog Sleep?
In your room? In your bed? In your arms?

Dogs are social animals. Most of them feel comfortable being near the rest of the family and that includes at nighttime. Humans, too, often enjoy having their canine companions with them while they sleep.

Many people have their dogs in their room on a dog bed, in a crate or on the floor by the bed. Others allow them the foot of the bed. Still others snuggle with their pup right next to them, even under the covers.

The advantages to having your dog near you while you sleep are many. They are less likely to become stressed either by being alone or in response to something startling, whether it’s lights from cars going by or a thunderstorm. In the morning, you’ll know when they have to go out right away or if they are sleeping in that day without having to leave your bed to check.

If your dog is in or on your bed, any cold weather will seem a lot less harsh with a living furnace right next to you. Sharing sleep is one way to feel really close to each other, and that’s always a plus.

On the down side, some people find a dog keeps them awake, either because the dog snores, or because there is not enough room in the bed or enough covers to go around. It can cause considerable friction in a relationship if one member of a couple loves having a dog in the room or on the bed and the other person doesn’t.

I like having dogs sleep in my room, and I think it’s usually best for the dogs, too. Large dogs, those who hog the bed and dogs who crawl all over us at night have a standing invitation to enjoy a cozy dog bed on the floor next to me. Little dogs, calm dogs and dogs who won’t impersonate a cat by trying to play with us in the middle of the night have usually been permitted on the bed.

Where does your dog sleep and why?

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Karen B. London, PhD, is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and Certified Professional Dog Trainer whose clinical work over the last 17 years has focused on the evaluation and treatment of serious behavioral problems in dogs, especially aggression. Karen has been writing the behavior column for The Bark since 2012 and wrote The Bark’s training column and various other articles for eight years before that. She is an adjunct professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Northern Arizona University, and teaches a tropical field biology course in Costa Rica. Karen writes an animal column, The London Zoo, which appear in The Arizona Daily Sun and is the author of five books on canine training and behavior. She is working on her next book, which she expects to be published in 2017.

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