If your dog loves to snuggle up and sleep with you, you're not alone. Many dogs choose a sleeping spot based on the fact that it smells like their owner, aka the pack leader. If this is your bed with you, great! If not, they'll choose a spot with your scent for the next best thing.
Some dogs will choose one person to develop a deep and trusting relationship with that breeds comfortability. This means that they gravitate towards you because you're who they're familiar with.
Dogs choose their favorite people based on positive interactions and socialization they have shared in the past. Like humans, dogs are especially impressionable as their brains develop, so puppies up to 6 months old are in their key socialization period.
For example, a dog will most often sleep with the family member they most strongly relate to. If you are this person, consider yourself lucky! If you want to know why your dog sleeps with you, keep reading this AnimalWised article.
Bonk told The Dodo. “If a dog is taken care of by a female, they're more likely to prefer females, [whereas] if they're primarily taken care of by a male, they may prefer males.” And in some cases, these associations can be negative.
Signs of a Strong Bond
There's no mistaking a dog who feels a real emotional connection with you. There's a real light in their eyes; they smile, wag, rub into you, and makes great eye contact. When you come home, they brighten up, becomes animated, and may even vocalize their joy.
Your dog likes to sleep with you.
They place their noses to the wind to pick up threatening scents and their backs to other pack members to form a protective circle. The fact that they are willing to snuggle with you on the couch is a sign that they feel safe with you and consider you part of their pack.
Sleep is vulnerable! If your dog chooses to sleep with you or next to your bed, this means they trust you. You're basically a pack member.
If your dog sees you as the alpha, they will permit you to eat first and refrain from snatching or stealing food. This is a sign of respect. In your home, you set your dog's feeding schedule. If your pup sees you as the alpha, he or she will patiently wait for food or subtly ask for table scraps.
If your dog follows you into the bathroom, it's likely a result of their animal instinct and pack mentality. Canines who do this are referred to as “Velcro dogs,” due to their desire to be attached to your side. They may follow you around, even to the bathroom, to protect a part of their pack.
If you have the feeling you're not your dog's favourite person, don't despair. You can improve and increase the bond between you. The easiest (and most fun) way is to spend at least 30 minutes of focused, one-on-one time together each day. This doesn't include walks, yard time, or watching TV together.
It's not unusual for dogs to grieve the loss of a person they've bonded with who is no longer present. While they might not understand the full extent of human absence, dogs do understand the emotional feeling of missing someone who's no longer a part of their daily lives.
Often dogs will follow their owners if their bond is paired over time with a great deal of reinforcement. For example, if a dog learns that good things, such as food, pats, and fun activities come from a particular person, they may be more likely to follow that person.
It means they like your company and consider you a member of the pack. Sleeping by your side also proves their loyalty, trust, and willingness to protect you. However, if your dog isn't one to hop on the bed and snuggle with you throughout the night, don't worry.
If your dog follows you everywhere then it's a sign that they trust and love you and that you make them feel safe. Following you very closely can be a sign that they're bored, they want something, they're feeling scared or are just being nosy.
According to Animal Behaviorists, 'dogs don't understand human kisses the same way that humans do. ' When kissing a young puppy, you may not notice any signs of recognition at all because they have yet to associate kisses with affection.
So, yes, a puppy can definitely think of you as his “mother” — that is, his provider and protector — and develop as strong an emotional bond with you as if you were blood-related. Your puppy will also quickly learn to pick you out among strangers, both by sight and through his powerful sense of smell.
It's true there are some health concerns related to co-sleeping with your dog. Human allergies can be aggravated, for example. There is also the risk of transmission of disease, from both the dog to the human and the human to the dog.
Sleeping together gives dogs an emotional connection to their owners. Dogs feel love and gratitude towards you, just like you feel towards them. This time together can create a stronger bond, and show your dog that you are a source of comfort to them.
Male dogs are usually more affectionate than females, and some positively crave human attention. You'll find it's always you who brings the cuddling and fussing to an end – he could happily go on like this all day!