Do you allow your dog to sleep on your bed with you? Did you swear (or promise to your partner) that it would NEVER happen - yet those puppy eyes and offers of extra warmth & snuggles won the day? You are not alone.
I read this excellent article in Psychology Today, in which it says that nearly 60% of us owners let our dogs sleep with us on or in our bed. The good news is that this offers us only a very little reduction in interrupted sleep. It also states some of the benefits - such as enhancing our personal wellbeing & that we feel more secure when we sleep & less vulnerable to intruders (a home-made barking alarm). It's interesting stuff.
But what of the actual decision to let them in in the first place? In our case it was a question of Barney nudging in cm by cm, closer....closer and then bam - he had claimed our bed as his.
As with our children, we have tried different options. We moved Barney's bed to the floor our or bedroom - which only offers him stealth like abilities to make his move in the middle of the night - from his bed to ours. In the morning, he is found snuggled up, sleeping soundly by our our feet or spooning with me in the curve of my tummy. It's interesting how he moves only into my side of the bed, being the softie of the family.
So if I was a harder dog-parent, I'd shut him away downstairs as we vowed we would in the early days, but I can't help it, there is just something so lovely about him being with us.
Dogs are pack animals and love to be as near to us as can be - well, Barney in particular evidently.
Barney see us as his pack, we are to be protected at all times. I read that much of the separation anxiety dogs feel when left alone is actually their worrying about us - not the fear of being abandoned. They worry about what we are doing, if we are safe and how they are not with us to protect us. This makes sense.
It's understood that a dog being left alone is ok for up to four hours at at time, I guess any longer than that, they not only need a wee break but anxiety rises off the scale. I have no educated understanding of dogs and keep promising myself that I'll listen to more dog training podcasts and read more books to increase my knowledge of these gorgeous animals although as I am sure you know by now, I absolutely adore Barney and he utterly adores me.
So what happens at night in your house? I'd love to know