Tuesday, February 11, 2014

On Bed Time with Barry

I've heard differing opinions on having/allowing your dog to sleep with you in your bed. Everything from, "If you allow your dog to sleep with you he will think he's alpha dog and will run the show," to, "They need comfort like humans too!" I think you go with what works for you and your dog. If your dog starts acting like alpha dog and starts commanding that you do this and do that (and you actually listen to him) then maybe set some rules for bedtime. If you enjoy sleeping next to your dog and he's not bothering you or your partner and he's well behaved then keep on keepin' on.

Let's talk about a part of Barry's personality. He's lovable and affectionate. He needs to be held and touched. It's true that many dogs do not like being touched really or held much, if at all. Many dogs can be fairly affectionate. For the most part, though, they don't enjoy tons of hugs and being pulled into your lap constantly. That's okay, that's normal and there's nothing wrong with that. Barry cannot help himself. He loves being touched and near us pretty much at all times. He wants us to rub his belly. He licks our faces. He crawls onto our laps. He sleeps next to us at night. He's not needy, though. It's a good balance of looking for attention from us and playing in the back room with his toys by himself. 

If you recall when we first brought Barry home we attempted to have him sleep on his own doggie bed. As we've gotten to know Barry and his personality over these last couple of months we've quietly decided (and by quietly decided I mean that my husband and I haven't discussed this) that his sleeping in our bed isn't a bad thing. It hasn't affected the fact that we are the leaders in the home. He listens to us and knows that we are in charge. He's not suddenly turned against us or become aggressive (as I've heard this opinion stated as well). We get 6-8 hours of sleep each night, depending on what time we go to bed. Barry's presence in our bed at night doesn't affect anything negatively. I love him sleeping next to me and my husband. He's super sweet and mostly sleeps well through the night. That's it. There's not much more to it than that. He does occasionally hog the foot of the bed but that is quickly remedied by one of three options: change your sleep position, lay your feet directly over the dog, or physically move him parallel to your body thus allowing you to stretch your legs out.

If you are against having dogs sleep with you in your bed that is fine and I respect that. You probably have a good reason for your choice. For my husband and I we just don't have a reason to not let Barry sleep with us at night as he's not a bother to us and we like it. Do what's best for you and your animal!

If you like to let your dog sleep with you then my only recommendation is to wash your comforter and sheets much more frequently and make sure your dog doesn't have parasites! Other than that, enjoy their warm bodies and don't take them for granted.


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