For many years there has been the ongoing debate about whether it’s a good idea to allow your dog to sleep with you. This most recently surfaced when Cybersane, Delegatrix and I read and cracked up over an online article on this very topic. This is a behavior question I’ve struggled with since I brought my little Beagle buddy home 9+ years ago. I’ve heard that allowing your dog to sleep with you is a sign of weakness, that it discourages her independence
and that my role as her alpha leader will be eroded if I allow her to sleep in my bed .
Let me set the record straight, my alpha leader status is constantly shifting, depending on the following 4 prevailing conditions:
- If I have goodies on me
- Whether or not she is wearing her gentle leader
- If she is wearing her bark collar
- If she feels like obeying me or not
If all these conditions are met, then, yes, I am the alpha leader of her 2-person pack. Miss any one of these aforementioned conditions, especially #1, and my status is iffy at best. Which means at different times of her life, Abby has alternately slept with me, and not slept with me. (Aside: During my 4 years of marriage I was forced to choose between her and my ex as
my sleeping partner. Obviously, Abby won the longevity test.)
These days, she’s a regular bed guest, happily burrowing under the covers to curl up behind my knees. She may not always start out in my bed, but at some undetermined point in the night, she decides its more comfortable/warmer/snugglier where I am and joins me. On certain nights, for what I’m sure she views as minor infractions, she has been unceremoniously kicked out of bed. (e.g. snoring/squeeking
– yes, I SAID “Squeeking” –
loud enough to wake the dead, REM cycle rabbit chasing) Speaking of snoring, just like those with spouses whose snores have become too unbearably loud, I occasionally have to shake Abby awake to get her to stop. The great thing about a dog though is while she may give me a dirty look for waking her up, she’s fast asleep in a matter of seconds, not minutes.
So, is it right or wrong that she sleeps in the same bed that I do? I don’t think I really care all that much, anymore — for cripes sake, she’s almost 10, I think she’s earned some slack and comfort. And it is nice to have her snugglies on a cold winters night. My only compliant, is that she’s recently begun shedding her summer wardrobe for a winter coat all over my new flannel sheets!