4 min read


Why Do Dogs Touch You When They Sleep



4 min read


Why Do Dogs Touch You When They Sleep




Your dog’s sleeping habits can tell you quite a lot about them. Their individual habits and body language are their means of communicating with us. But what is your dog trying to tell you by snuggling up to you? There are several reasons that can be behind why your dog has to touch you when they are sleeping. Experts from many different canine related fields have weighed in on this topic over the years. Despite the varied opinions on the matter, there is one thing that most agrees agree on in this instance. Your pup is trying to tell you something by touching you while he or she sleeps.

The Root of the Behavior

Our sweet fur babies have their own unique ways of showing affection, bonding, and complimenting us. And just like there are different ways of saying the same thing, your dog has different meanings for different actions. Deciphering those meanings may take a little work and a lot of patience on your part. When it comes to your pup needing to be close or touch you while sleeping experts have found that there are several possible motives behind the action. It is entirely possible that your dog is paying you a compliment by always cuddling up to you. One way in which Spot may be saying "hey, I think you're really special" is to sleep against you. This closeness shows just how much you mean to your fur baby and that he or she wants to be as close to you as possible. And let's be honest, is that really a bad thing? 

Despite what some people argue, many dogs are instinctively pack animals. When it comes to the pack mentality there could be a couple of different reasons your dog sleeps so close to you. As their pack leader, your pup sees you as their protector. So it stands to reason that he or she will want to stay right against the alpha for security and protection. Also, in a pack canines will sleep touching one another for warmth. Perhaps your fur baby just absolutely adores you, plain and simple. For a lot of us our dog is our best friend, and we are theirs. Think about it like this. If someone you love is away all day long you are overjoyed to see them when they come home. The same is true for your dog. And the act of them sleeping all snuggled up to you could be their way of getting some quality one on one time with you.

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Encouraging the Behavior

If you are one of the lucky ones who has a clingy sleeper on your hands you may wonder if this is something that you should deter. Well, that is entirely a personal preference. Since there is not usually any underlying health issues that would cause your pup to be so snuggly, letting him or her sleep against you shouldn't be a cause for concern. Some breeds are naturally more cuddly than others, it is just part of their DNA. One thing to remember is that to your dog, you are not a human. Instead, Spot most likely sees you as a peculiar, two-legged pack member. Keep this in mind when deciding whether or not to allow your pup to sleep with you. Even allowing them to remain close for a few minutes while napping is an option. 

Simply pushing your fur baby away can lead to them feeling unsure about their place in your life. This is especially true if you repeatedly move them away from you. Even if you choose not to allow your pup to sleep in your bed, putting his or her own bed close by can make them feel still part of the pack. Being close to you, and other members of their "pack," makes them happy and feel safe. And we all want that feeling of love and security for our fur babies.

Other Solutions and Considerations

Something to keep in mind even before adding a new furry member to the family is whether or not you want a cuddler. Some breeds such as Lhasa Apso, Maltese, Pomeranians, and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are all known to be a bit more on the clingy side. Even some of the larger breeds are viewed as more affectionate as well. This includes breeds like Golden Retrievers, English Bulldogs, and Collies. Taking time to research the general personality traits of different breeds may be the first step before bringing home a new puppy. You can talk with your veterinarian or local trainer on pointers for the right breed for you.


Warm, cozy snuggles from your fur baby can be just what you need when you are having a bad day. And as much as those snuggles help your mood, remember that they are just as important for Spot's happiness as well. So, cuddle up with a furry friend and enjoy spending a little quiet time with your canine BFF. 

By a English Mastiff lover Dena Withrow

Published: 03/16/2018, edited: 01/30/2020

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