If you’re like most pet owners, you keep your pooch inside with you at night. While not everyone lets their dog sleep on their bed, maybe you’re the exception – or maybe you’ve just noticed that any time your favorite friend gets permission to come up, they go wild. Your dog might jump up and down, spin around in circles, dig at the blankets, or even bury themselves under the covers like they’re getting ready to go to sleep! But why does your dog do this? Are they just happy to share a space with you, or is there something more going on? Read on to find out!
The Root of the Behavior
Like we talked about in our article "Why Do Dogs Make Circles Before They Lay Down," dogs are instinctively encouraged to pat down any bedding and make themselves comfortable. Many people think that your dog circling on your bed is connected to this same behavior, especially if you’re a pet owner who encourages your dog to sleep with you at night. Your dog is simply trying to find the best spot for themselves, even if the search can look a little crazy at times! Dogs also experience periods called “zoomies” or “frapping” (frenetic random activity periods), and this may be impacting your pup’s behavior. If you have a high-energy dog that hasn’t gotten enough exercise during the day, you may find them going wild on your bed as a form of protest (“Don’t go to sleep yet, friend! There’s still time to play!”). It’s important to remember that – unless your dog is elderly, infirm, or justreally lazy – dogs want and need to move. Your dog might just want to move more than you do!
Some breeds of dogs, like terriers, also just love digging. They think it’s fun, and to them your blankets are a new and interesting challenge. They dig just like they do at the ground outside, but nothing happens and they don’t get any deeper! And if you have an unsprayed female dog, you might want to keep a close eye on her if she starts exhibiting unusual bed wildness – especially if she looks like she’s trying to build a nest or hide something. Your dog might just be expecting or might even have a hormonal imbalance that makes her think she should be getting ready for puppies. There are a lot of different reasons your dog might be going wild on your bed. It’s important to note that the majority of the reasons are fairly harmless and aren’t a cause for concern. It’s only if your dog is exhibiting this behavior suddenly or can’t seem to stop that you may need to be worried.
Encouraging the Behavior
Some pet owners think that this type of behavior is really adorable and want to encourage their dogs to play and have fun on the bed. If that’s you, then all you have to do is give your pooch positive attention; they’ll gladly emulate the behavior any time you want! For most of us, though, we’d rather our dogs not tear up our sheets or bounce up and down incessantly off the bed. If your dog exhibits this hyperness both on and off the bed, you may want to spend more time walking and playing with them.
It’s possible that your pet is under-stimulated and needs more activity in their lives to be tired out when it’s time for bed. If your dog is digging as a form of entertainment, try finding and using a few of their favorite toys at bedtime as a distraction. Whenever your dog jumps up on the bed and starts running around and digging at the blankets, entice them with their toy instead. Keep reinforcing the toy over the bed – and giving them treats and positive attention when they take you up on your offer – and you’ll soon be able to have a peaceful bed without digging!
Other Solutions and Considerations
It’s important to distinguish between extra activity and a dog simply settling in, especially if you encourage your pet to sleep with you. If your dog circles a few times and digs at their preferred spot before lying down, that’s normal and you don’t want to discourage that behavior. If your dog develops sudden “bed crazies” out of nowhere, or is exhibiting other signs of emotional distress, you may want to go to the vet. They may have anxiety issues or a hormonal imbalance that is causing their behavioral shift. That’s why it’s always important to monitor your dog’s behavior; since they can’t talk, we have to be attentive to their needs!
Whether you think it’s cute or it drives you wild, dogs going crazy on beds is a pretty normal behavior, especially for young or active dogs. Follow our tips and tricks to help convince your dog that playing on the ground is better for both of you, and you’ll be able to enjoy a peaceful bedtime – whether your dog is sleeping by your side or in their own bed!