Dogs sleep in the weirdest ways. You might find them sleeping on their back, with all fours up in the air and just their heads touching the bed. Or they may wedge themselves in a tight space and situate their body so that one leg stretches out behind them and the other is tucked underneath. Then there’s your dog who likes to sleep on your head.
As a group animal, it is normal for your dog to prefer lying next to your head, particularly at night, when he feels more safe and comfortable. There are several more underlying causes for your dog’s behavior, but you may still teach him to break the habit.
So Why Does My Dog Want To Sleep With Me?
There is no one answer to this question, as each dog may have their own reasons for sleeping on its owner’s head in bed.
Your dog wants to sleep by your head because they think that you’ll protect them. Sleeping on our heads allows them to be as close to us as possible while still getting some rest. If you notice how two dogs from the same pack sleep together, you’ll see that they do this for comfort and security. Your dog may also be more protective if bred to be so.
If your dog was bred to be a working dog, such as a police or military dog, then it may have been bred with the instinct to protect its pack leader at all costs. In this case, sleeping by your head gives your dog a direct line of communication with you in case something happens during the night.
Since you and your dog sleep together, they feel safe and secure. So naturally, if the dog feels more secure with you around, it will follow suit by sleeping on your head (and not moving an inch). If your bed is near a window or door, the dog may be trying to keep watch over whatever may come through that opening while you’re asleep.
If you’ve had your dog since it was a pup, there’s a chance that it remembers its mom sleeping on top of them when they were still in the litter. Once weaned, the mother dog will lay over her pups to keep them warm and protect them from danger (since their sight and hearing are not yet fully developed). Your dog may be trying to recreate this behavior with you as the mother figure.
It is normal for your new puppy to feel lonely during his first few weeks in your home, and he will try all he can to adjust to his new surroundings. One way he may do this is by attaching himself closely to his new pack leader, which includes sleeping on your head.
Another reason your dog may be sleeping on your head is that he’s trying to mark you as his territory. Sleeping on your head gives them a higher rank in the pack and makes them feel more powerful. Dogs in the wild also sleep on their heads as a way of showing dominance and claiming the pack leader as their own. For domesticated dogs, this behavior may simply be a sign of affection and loyalty.
Some dogs may also sleep on their owner’s head as a way of gaining warmth. Dogs don’t regulate their body temperature, as well as humans, do, so they often seek out warm places to sleep. Your dog’s body temperature drops during sleep, and he may find it more comfortable to snuggle up against you for extra heat.If your dog wants a warm place to sleep, he will always choose to sleep next to your head.
Many pets suffer from separation anxiety. When we leave them alone all day, they don’t know what to do with themselves and your dog will keep trying to find ways of coping. He may feel insecure and develop odd behaviors such as sleeping on your head.
What Can You Do To Break Them of the Habit?
While there are a few reasons why your dog sleeps on your head in bed, you should not worry too much about it. It is normal behavior for dogs and does not always indicate that something is wrong. However, if you would like to break this habit, you can start by training your dog to sleep in another spot in the house.
The first step in assisting him to quit this attitude is to provide him with a nice mattress and a lightweight blanket or cover. Make sure to keep the place clean, and free of pests. If you have a smaller dog, teach him to sleep on the floor next to your bed. Once he does this consistently for about 2 weeks, you can start to move the bed further and further away from your head until he’s sleeping on his own.
Deal with its separation anxiety by spending more time at home with it, and leaving it for shorter periods of time. Provide your pet with plenty of toys and bones to chew on, so it will feel like you’re still around. You can also ask a friend or family member to come over and spend time with your dog while you’re away.
Try not to reward him in any case when he wakes you up by sleeping on your head. If you give any attention at all, even if it’s just petting or talking to him, you’re inadvertently reinforcing the behavior. Be consistent with your actions and soon your dog will realize that there is no benefit to sleeping on your head and will stop doing it altogether. It will take some time and patience, but eventually, your dog will get used to sleeping in his own bed.
If all else fails, and your dog is still persistently sleeping on your head, you may need to consult a veterinarian or animal behaviorist for assistance. There could be an underlying medical condition causing the behavior, or your dog may simply be trying to get attention in a disruptive way. In any case, it’s best to get professional help to resolve the issue.