Letting your Dogs sleep on the Bed

Should you allow your dog to get on the couch, sleep in your bed or be on any furniture at all?

This is a question that we get a lot.  There are plenty of us who allow our dogs on all the furniture in the house and many of us pick out furniture with the dogs in mind.  However, there are also plenty of people who think that dogs should not be allowed on furniture all. For some, it's simply a personal preference. Others believe it can cause resource guarding, aggression or other undesirable behavioral issues.

What’s the right decision?

Despite what some people believe, allowing your dog on the furniture will not make him think he is in charge. Nor will it suddenly cause aggression or dominance.  Letting your dog sleep in bed with you or snuggle up on the couch with you for a good movie isn’t likely going to cause any issue.  Dogs are very social pack animals so it’s natural for them to want to share spaces with their family.  And, when you’re not there to snuggle with, curling up someplace that has their humans smell is comforting.  Ultimately, it’s up to each individual family to decide what’s best for their home and their life and then to stand firm on the decision.  This means that everyone needs to be one the same page.  It will be very confusing for your dog if it’s allowed to be on the furniture with the kids but then later gets scolded when Mom and Dad catch them on the furniture.

However, even if you’re okay with the hair left behind from your snuggle session or waking up in the middle of the night with Fido’s head on your pillow, there are some behavioral issues that you should be on the lookout for that aren’t caused by being on the furniture but can often be observed when dogs are on the furniture.  For instance, dogs that growl or snap at you when you try and sit down should immediately be removed from the furniture.  Likewise, if you go to sit down and your dog jumps up and snags your spot, he should immediately be removed.  These are signs that Fido is thinks he’s boss and if not addressed, could escalate into other areas of your life.  There’s also nothing wrong with allowing your dog to sleep in bed with you.  Our advice…start early with teaching him how to move over and make room for you!