Why Do Dogs Like To Sleep Under The Bed?

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Key Takeaways

  • Dogs may sleep under the bed for various reasons, such as seeking comfort or anxiety.
  • Natural instincts and the desire for a den-like space can play a role in this behavior.
  • Monitoring your dog's behavior and seeking advice can help ensure their well-being.

Diving into the cozy mystery: why do our canine companions prefer the snug space under the bed for their slumber?

Dogs often sleep under beds due to instinctual behavior for security and comfort. This enclosed space mimics a den, providing a sense of safety, warmth, and protection from disturbances, aligning with their ancestral habits.

As a seasoned dog behaviorist, I've seen firsthand how our furry friends seek comfort. You've probably noticed your dog's under-bed retreats too. It's not just a quirky habit; it's a deep-rooted instinct for security and solace. My years of experience have shown that this cozy nook offers them a den-like haven, echoing their ancestral needs.

In this article

Why Do Dogs Like to Sleep Under the Bed?

Have you ever wondered why your dog loves to sleep under the bed? Many dog owners have asked the same question, as it can be perplexing to see your furry friend tucked away beneath your sleeping space. This common dog behavior can be attributed to several potential reasons, ranging from comfort and security to anxiety and sickness.

Dogs have a natural instinct to seek comfort, especially in enclosed spaces that resemble small dens. Sleeping under the bed provides them with a safe environment, away from foot traffic and loud noises.

For some dogs, hiding under the bed can also be a coping mechanism to deal with stress or anxiety, such as separation anxiety. In other cases, dogs may seek refuge under the bed due to illness or pain, as this private space allows them to rest undisturbed. Let's explore some of the most common reasons why your furry friend might prefer to sleep under the bed.

Anxiety, Sickness, or Pain

When experiencing anxiety, illness, or pain, dogs may seek comfort in enclosed spaces. Hiding under the bed provides them with a safe environment, allowing them to cope with their distress. Signs of anxiety, sickness, or pain may include excessive panting, noise phobias, or destructive behavior. Reach out to a veterinarian if you notice any new behavior or other symptoms that might suggest your dog is struggling with anxiety, stress, or illness.

  • Behavior Sign: When dogs feel anxious, unwell, or in pain, they might suddenly hide under the bed, often coupled with signs like reduced appetite, whimpering, or less interaction with family members.

Comfort and Privacy

Dogs are den animals by nature, and they find comfort and safety in enclosed spaces. Sleeping under the bed offers them a quiet, snug space that mimics the feeling of a den. It is their way of seeking a safe space to rest and relax, away from the foot traffic and commotion of your home. This destructive behavior is particularly common in dogs that live in noisy households or with young children.

  • Behavior Sign: Seeking comfort and privacy, dogs may choose the secluded space under the bed, usually indicated by their relaxed posture and peaceful sleeping in this quiet spot.

Closeness to Pet Parents

As your dog's natural instinct is to seek out a warm space beneath, sleeping under your bed can be their way of staying close to you. This closeness provides them with a sense of security and comfort, knowing that their beloved pet parent is nearby. It also offers an opportunity for them to keep an eye on you while still enjoying the privacy of their own little den.

  • Behavior Sign: Dogs desiring closeness to their owners often sleep near or under the bed, showcasing this through frequent check-ins and a tendency to stay close to their human's daily activities.

Recovery from Embarrassing Moments

Believe it or not, dogs can feel embarrassed. If they’ve experienced shame or humiliation, they may choose to sleep under the bed as a coping mechanism. It helps them to avoid eye contact and keep a low profile while they recover from the embarrassment.

  • Behavior Sign: After embarrassing moments, such as loud noises they caused or a mischievous act, many dogs might retreat under the bed, often with a hesitant or sheepish demeanor.

They've Been Naughty

Sometimes, not all dogs know when they've been naughty, and they may choose to hide under the bed to avoid facing the consequences of their actions. This is especially true when your dog is already aware that their behavior will not be met with praise or treats.

  • Behavior Sign: If they've been naughty, dogs might hide under the bed, usually accompanied by other signs like avoiding eye contact or a subdued attitude when called out for their mischief.

Ways to Prevent Your Dog from Sleeping Under the Bed

If you own dogs, you may have noticed your furry friend's habit of sleeping under the bed. Although it's a common dog behavior, it's important to address this issue because it can be caused by anxiety, fear, or other reasons. In this section, we'll discuss how to prevent your dog from sleeping under the bed by using several methods, like physical barriers.

Block Access to the Bed with Physical Barriers

One effective method to prevent dogs from hiding under the bed is to use physical barriers like dog gates or a low fence to block access to the bed. By doing so, you can redirect your dog's habit and create a safe environment for it to sleep elsewhere.


  • Easy-to-install
  • Stable and secure
  • Your dogs sleep peacefully
  • It gives you control over your dog's sleeping habits


  • It can be difficult for pet owners with limited mobility if not installed correctly.
  • The dog sleep may be expensive

Provide a Comfortable Alternative Dog Bed

Offering your dog a comfortable alternative dog bed can make a difference in its sleeping habits. A cozy bed in a quiet place can provide the security your dog needs and prevent it from hiding under your bed. It's essential to choose a bed that suits your dog's size and preferences.


  • Creates a safe space for your dog
  • Reduces dog’s anxiety and stress
  • Your dogs sleep with comfort
  • Easier to keep clean compared to hiding under the bed


  • Some dogs may still prefer sleeping under the bed

Use Positive Reinforcement Training

Using positive reinforcement to create training can help redirect your dog's sleeping habits. When your dog chooses to sleep in its designated bed or crate train, shower it with praise, treats, and rewards. This method will encourage your dog to associate its bed with good behavior, eventually making it the preferred dog sleeping spot.


  • Encourages good behavior
  • Strengthens the bond between you and your dog
  • Can improve overall dog behavior
  • Your dog sleeps peacefully


  • Requires consistent effort and patience from the owner

Limit Access to the Bedroom

Another effective technique to prevent your dog from sleeping under the bed is to limit its access to the bedroom. By doing so, you can condition your dog to sleep in a different area where its bed or crate is located. It might take some time for your dog to adapt, but consistency will yield results.


  • Enhances cleanliness in your bedroom as the dog sleeps well
  • Ensures a more comfortable dog sleep


  • It may cause initial stress for dogs with separation anxiety or noise phobias

Comparing Sleeping Spots for Dogs

Each of these sleeping spots caters to different needs and preferences of dogs, reflecting their unique personalities and lifestyles. Let's find out.

Under the Bed

Under the bed offers a unique combination of security and comfort. This spot is appealing to dogs who prefer a quiet, enclosed, comfortable space that mimics a den-like environment, offering them a sense of safety. It's particularly suitable for anxious dogs or those in noisy households.

Dog Bed

A dog bed provides a comfortable, designated sleeping area. It's a controlled environment, often tailored to the dog's size and comfort needs. Ideal for dogs that need easy access to their human companions, dog beds can be placed in any room, ensuring the pet feels part of the family.

Couch/Owner's Bed

Sleeping on the couch or the owner's bed is often favored by dogs seeking closeness with their humans. This option offers comfort and warmth but can disrupt human sleep patterns and raise hygiene concerns. It's best suited for dogs that require constant companionship.

Outdoor Kennel/Dog House

An outdoor kennel or dog house provides a sense of freedom and space, which is especially beneficial for larger breeds or dogs that enjoy the outdoors. This option allows for fresh air and more room to move, but it's highly dependent on weather conditions and might limit the dog's interaction with its human family.

Here’s a table comparing sleeping spots for dogs:

Sleeping Spot Pros Cons Ideal For
Under the Bed Feel secure, quiet, temperature controlled. Harder to clean and can be isolating. Anxious dogs, dogs in noisy households.
Dog Bed Comfortable, designated spot. It may not offer the same security feel. Dogs that need easy access to humans.
Couch/Owner's Bed Close to owners, often very comfortable. It can disrupt human sleep and cause hygiene concerns. Dogs need close contact with their owners.
Outdoors (Kennel/Dog House) Fresh air, more space to stretch. Weather-dependent, less human interaction. Dogs that prefer the outdoors have larger breeds.