Puppies are cute snugly little furballs, and it’s very tempting to just cuddle them and let them sleep with you in your bed.
The puppy’s sleeping arrangements are often subject to debate, there are multiple divergent opinions about where is the best place for a puppy to sleep.
Not all experts and dog trainers agree on the matter but the general tendency is that it’s not a good idea to let your puppy sleep in bed with you.
Should we let our puppy sleep in bed with us?
It is inadvisable to let your puppy sleep in bed with you, he becomes reliant and lacks independence, and the sudden transition to his own bed or crate, later on, will come as a shock and make house training harder.
There are several reasons why you should not let your puppy sleep in bed with you especially when you’ve just brought him home.
Possibility of becoming a velcro dog
Most dogs that get too attached to their owners become reliant on their company, they can become velcro or clingy dogs.
Some dogs develop a hyper-attachment to one owner, they get stressed when that particular person leaves, and nothing seems to help.
To avoid such a situation it is best not to let your puppy sleep in bed with you at a very young age when they are still getting used to leaving their mom and siblings.
Sleeping in his own bed from the start teaches the puppy to have some level of independence and that there will be times when he will be alone.
It is also worth mentioning that velcro and co-dependant dogs are more vulnerable to separation anxiety and don’t get along very well with other pets and sometimes family members.
The transition can be shocking
Many dog owners make the mistake of letting their puppies sleep in bed with them at a young age and move them away later on to a crate, a bed, or a separate room.
When you bring a new puppy home, it’s always a new experience, he’s been taken from the comfort of being with his mom and littermates to being alone with you.
The puppy has to cope with the new situation, making him live that transition phase twice can come as a shock and make the puppy feel abandoned.
It’s always a good idea while still very young to set up the puppy’s sleeping arrangement from day one so he can get used to it.
That is why it is always recommended to crate train puppies from a young age while they still learning house rules and their place in the household.
Crate training can be harder
Letting your puppy sleep in bed with you for a while then trying to crate train him will certainly be harder.
If you’re planning to eventually use a crate for your puppy the best thing you can do is to start from day one.
It’s always harder to crate train older dogs than it is for young puppies, the reason being that old dogs have acquired old habits you need to break before crate training, and that’s exactly what letting the puppy sleep with you in bed for a while does.
Crate training a puppy that has been sleeping in bed with its owner is much harder and takes a lot longer to achieve.
You will face too much resistance at first and your puppy will hate his crate from the start, which is really difficult to manage especially for a new dog owner.
Crate training is all about creating a good association with the crate and this sudden change from the comfort of your bed to a lonely crate is not so great for your puppy.
When sleeping with a puppy in the same bed, there is always the risk that human allergies can be aggravated.
People with allergies can get much worst if they share their bed with a puppy, especially ones that are known for excessive saliva and shedding.
There is also the risk for disease transmission in both ways, although it’s quite rare, still, it’s a factor to consider.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, 15 to 30 percent of all Americans are affected by dog allergies.
Cat allergies are almost twice as common but reactions to dog allergies are more severe, especially for those with asthma.
A study published about human-animal co-sleeping shows that having a dog in your bed increases movements, potentially decreasing the quality of sleep.
A dog that slobbers, snores, or overheats the bed can disturb your sleep, and cause you to wake up tired even after a long night’s sleep.
What explains this situation is the nature of sleep people and dogs have because they’re not similar.
Dogs are polyphasic sleepers, meaning that they average multiple sleep/wake cycles during the night.
People are monophasic sleepers, meaning that they have one period of sleep over the 24 hours period.
While sleeping dogs stay alert to sounds, it’s what makes them good watchdogs, but not ideal sleeping partners.
Aggression and protective behavior
Aggression might sound like an overstatement for simply letting your puppy sleep in your bed with you, but it’s not a direct consequence rather a build-up.
Dogs that sleep with their owners often tend to get too attached to them, and could eventually develop protective behavior.
Overprotective dogs will show signs of aggression toward other people and other pets when they come near their favorite person.
This often manifests in them placing themselves between you and other people and even growling at them.
This can turn into a serious issue if not dealt with properly and early, and taking some distance is always a good way to deal with it.
Is it bad to let your puppy sleep in bed with you?
Bad is a strong word for letting a puppy sleep in your bed, if you are convinced that you can handle the sleeping disturbances and properly socialize your puppy my guess would be that it’s ok to do it.
It is one thing to have a small puppy in your bed, and another if it’s a 50 pounds plus dog at maturity.
You need to be able to socialize your puppy properly to avoid overprotective behavior and potential aggression.
There are also health concerns, but if you’re allergies and Asthma free chances are slim that there will be any health issues.
It’s not bad to let your puppy sleep in bed with you, it’s just that there are too many concerns to keep in mind that the disadvantages outweigh the benefits, which is why it’s not recommended.
Is letting your puppy sleep with you good for bonding?
Sleeping with your puppy in your bed will probably strengthen your bond, there is nothing more comforting for your dog than your nearby presence.
Some old opinions on the matter do state that it replicates the pack experience, but pack theory is rather outdated, dogs do know the difference between a human and another dog.
Letting your dog sleep in bed with you has no impact on the “pack” because there is no pack, Just a human and his dog.
It’s true that sleeping with your dog can help bond, but you don’t actually have to do it overnight, and your dog can still hang out close to you during the day, so there is no point in doing it.
How long should you let your puppy sleep with you?
There is a popular belief that you should let your puppy sleep in bed with you for a while to bond and make him comfortable in a new environment, then move him out of the bedroom.
We strongly recommend that you don’t, it is easier for a young puppy to adapt to a new home than it is for an adult to no longer be able to sleep with you all of a sudden.
There are many ways to bond with your dog and make him comfortable in a new home, you don’t have to sleep together for that.
If you are convinced that you absolutely want your puppy to sleep with you it doesn’t have to be for a long time, a couple of months is more than enough, the older the puppy gets the worst he’ll react to moving out.
When moving the puppy out of your bed to sleep in a crate or his own bed, it has to be done gradually and he should be encouraged for doing so.
Where should your puppy sleep?
Our professional opinion is that the puppy should sleep in a crate that is placed close to your bedroom at first and then placed somewhere else.
This way the puppy has a unique and safe spot where he can relax during the day and sleep in at night.
Consistency is always good when training dogs and having a specific and personal space for your puppy is always a good idea.
The crate is not an obligation and there are other alternatives, but it should not be in your bedroom.
Should your puppy sleep in a crate or playpen?
We’ve always recommended that dogs sleep in crates, it helps a lot with house training, potty training and it’s more convenient for both of you.
The crate provides a safe and personal space for the puppy that he can go to whenever in need of comfort or just to relax.
The playpen is more of a confined play space, although it can be used for sleeping, it can make potty training more challenging.
When sleeping puppies don’t need the extra space a playpen offers, and it’s not cruel to use a crate, it’s basically the same idea, a confined and safe space.
Is it ok to change your puppy’s sleeping location?
It can be confusing for puppies to change their sleeping location from your bed to their own bed or crate.
You don’t want your puppy to see this as some sort of punishment, especially if the puppy gets too attached to you.
This is why we’ve listed this as one more reason not to let your puppy sleep in bed with you if you’re planning to change their bed later on.
The sudden move can be seen as a negative thing from your puppy or create confusion in his mind.
We recommend choosing the perfect location for your puppy from day one and get him used to it rather than change his bed after a while.