Why Did My Dog Stop Sleeping with Me?

You get a new dog and it’s all snuggles and love. Fast forward and you find that your dog prefers to sleep on the floor!

By Nicole Gleichmann

We all know the saying, “dogs are man’s best friend.” And for those of us with these furry family members, we know that the truth is so much more than this. They love us unconditionally, get beyond excited every time we come home, and provide us with a companion to explore the world with.

There is nothing quite like the love of a dog, and one of the most adorable ways that they show it is through nighttime snuggles. Most puppies will fall asleep with you, no questions asked! Yet, for some pet owners, the frequency of cuddles can slowly fade as the dog grows older.

Why is it that dogs can go from full-time cuddlers to connoisseurs of the solo sleeping life? And what, if anything, can we do about it?

The Beginning of the Love Story

Every dog was once a puppy. They put everything in their mouths, get excited or scared by the smallest things, and are more often than not consistent snuggle buddies.

During these early months, it may seem like the only place your dog wants to sleep is your lap. Whether a huge Great Dane or a tiny Shih Tzu, size doesn’t matter when it comes to their desire to sleep near you.

You may allow this cuddle routine to make its way into your bedroom. Maybe your pup sleeps cuddled up in your arms or pushed as closely to you as possible as you play big spoon.

It’s hard not to grow accustomed to this show of affection. You may look forward to that warm ball of fluff that you get to share your bed with each and every night.

When Things Change

Over time, it is not unusual for a dog to become less keen on nighttime snuggles. This can happen no matter the age of your dog. You might notice them sleeping at the foot of your bed—or even curled up sleeping on the floor!

So, what is it that caused this change in your pup? Could it mean that they love you less? Let us assure you, a decrease in bond is not likely the cause of this change.

Why Did My Dog Stop Sleeping with Me?

There is no way for us to know for sure why a dog has decided to stop sleeping with us. We cannot ask our dogs why they do what they do. Many of their behaviors will forever be a mystery to us, just like our behaviors must be to them.

However, there are some plausible explanations for a dog changing their sleeping habits. Here are some reasons why your dog may have left your bed.

  1. Your Dog Wants More Space: Both dogs and humans have the tendency to sprawl at night. Your dog may just want more space to stretch out, particularly if this change happened as he or she was still growing.
  2. You Toss and Turn too Much: Do you ever notice a partner or dog tossing and turning at night? If so, you’ve probably experienced first-hand how difficult that can make getting a good night’s rest. It’s possible that you move around and your dog wants a sleeping area with less distractions.
  3. Your Dog Is Hot: Just like your dog feels like a furnace to you, you feel like a furnace to your dog. It is much warmer to sleep with others than it is to sleep on your own. Your dog may find that the bed with you, pillows, and blankets is too hot.
  4. Your Dog Wants to Protect You: Many dogs want to protect their owners. This could be one reason for a dog sleeping on the floor, particularly if it is between your bed and the entrance to your room. It can be much faster to check out a noise outside if your dog is situated on the floor rather than on your bed.
  5. Your Dog Finds Other Spots More Comfortable: It is hard for us to say what dogs find the most comfortable. Maybe they are like us, with some preferring a hard, firm surface and others a soft, fluffy one. If you and your dog’s preferences differ, you may find them moving to a surface that they find more comfortable.
  6. Your Dog Doesn’t Like a New Addition to Your Bed: Some people may find that their trusted bed companion decides to leave for another spot when someone else joins the bed. Maybe this is a new romantic partner, another dog, or a cat or two. This change may spur your pup to sleep elsewhere.
  7. Your Dog Is in Pain: Just like humans, dogs can experience new aches and pains as they grow older. This can be caused by things like injuries, hip disorders, or arthritis. Because our beds are higher than the floor, it can be tough to get in and out of them.

Is There Anything You Can Do?

If you want your dog to come back into bed with you, try to figure out what the cause is. Maybe set the thermostat lower, add some steps to make it easy to get on and off the bed, or try a larger bed. But understand that your dog may just prefer sleeping alone.


There are many reasons why your dog may stop sleeping with you. It is most likely because they find sleeping elsewhere more comfortable, mentally or physically. Remember, no matter where you dog sleeps, they love you just the same!

Comments (1)

  1. For the first time ever, Our 8 1/2 month old Pitbull puppy King decided to sleep downstairs in his cage tonight?? My Older Daughter is leaving for school (back to college) for her 2nd semester of her Freshman year tomorrow. Is there a possibility that He realizes that She is leaving?

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