Bedtime routines: Where does your dog sleep?

Sleepy wolf. #dogdaysofsummer
Nap time on our dirty kitchen floor.

Where does your dog sleep?

For the past year, Pyrrha slept in her crate. She likes her crate; it’s her safe place. When she feels overwhelmed by a situation, she’ll retreat there, and we’ve always left that as an option for her.

As of last week, though, we’ve been experimenting with a new routine: Pyrrha getting to sleep wherever she wants in the house.

For a while now, I’ve wanted to give her this freedom in the house, and I think this is a good way to ease her into it. She has proven herself to be very reliable in the house, and she has not shown any inclination to get into things she’s not supposed to. Pyrrha is kind of the perfect house dog in that way; I can count on one hand the number of things she has chewed up that she wasn’t supposed to.

So, this is Pyrrha’s new sleep routine: We leave her crate door open, and say “Goodnight!” I think this confused her the first few nights; she would run into her crate, and then when I didn’t close the door, she’d peek her head out and look at me, like, “Um, mom? You forgot something…” But she’s adapting quickly. I think she sleeps in crate still, but she also has a dog bed in the living room (and she also considers our couch fair game for naps).

The weird thing she does now, though, which is not my favorite, is that she comes into our room at 5:30 a.m., sticks her nose in my face, and wags her tail against my nightstand. I mumble, “Chill out,” and then she lies down on the floor next to me, until I wake up (around 6:15–6:30). I’m not sure why it’s been exactly 5:30 a.m. every day. It’s not light out yet, so I’m curious why that time has a trigger for her.

All in all, though, it’s been going well!

Where do your dogs sleep? Did you ever transition them from one routine to another?

Our sleeping pets

Sleeping dog. Photo by Flickr user zseike.

“The satisfaction that washes over us as we watch our pets sleep is the ancient reminder that when all is well in their world, all is well in ours.”

— Meg Daley Olmert, Made for Each Other

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(Isn’t that such a sweet quote?) Happy Friday, everyone! Hope you have beautiful weekends. We have a really busy and crazy month of May, so my posting here will probably be sporadic at best, but I will sure to keep you apprised of all the important happenings as we inch closer to adopting a dog of our very own…

Where does your dog sleep?

Does your dog sleep in your bed? A bed of her own? In a crate? Outside?

Source: Wikimedia Commons.

There are a lot of varying opinions on this topic. Traditional dominance-based trainers are strongly against allowing dogs in human beds, saying that it makes the dog think she can be the “alpha.” This theory is now considered bogus (dogs don’t want to be tyrants; they just want to be comfortable and close to their humans!), but it’s still a belief that persists among many. Other people think dogs ought to always sleep in their own crates. Still others keep dogs locked up in garages or laundry rooms, or worse, outside and chained to a tree.

Growing up, Emma had a bed of her own in the living room, but she quickly decided that was not her thing, and slept the rest of her days in my sisters’ beds. My sisters shared a room and Emma seemed to prefer that room to sleeping with me, to my long-lasting dismay. I tell myself she slept with them because there were more bodies to watch over in that room (my baby brother often joined them on the floor, so she had three kids to watch instead of one moody teenager, me), but I don’t really know why. I’m sure she had her reasons.

I’ve shared a few beds with dogs and the experience has been that dogs are bed hogs. Yep. One of my best friends and I shared a double bed with her adult lab/GSD mix, Ava. Ava wanted to sleep right between us and pound her legs into my back and/or face throughout the night. (I think she was trying to push me, the interloper, out of the bed…) The best animal bedfellow I’ve had was a cat, truth be told: Beloved Kitteh, my Denver roommate. A cat is a good size for a bedfellow, especially a cat with a temperament like this one: Endlessly snuggly and gentle; not the type to bat at one’s eyeballs.

Anyway. My husband has made it clear that he’s not really fond of the idea of sharing our bed with a full-grown German shepherd. And, as dog-crazy as you all know me to be, I find myself agreeing with him on this point. I think it may be a hard thing to prevent–as we both love cuddling with dogs–but I want to make that a house rule from the beginning.

So, how do you make a dog bed appealing? I’m thinking of putting it at the end of our bed, or on either side of our bed. And getting a really comfortable one. While they tend to be a bit pricier, Drs. Foster & Smith has a great selection of high-quality dog beds.

What are your sleeping arrangements with your pooches?

Pup links!

Three danes in a room. Click for source.

Dog-related links from around the Web this week!

What Dogs Want. This might be one of the best things I’ve seen on the Internet. Cartoonist Lisa Hanawalt shows us what dogs really want: To chase pigeons with hot dogs in their beaks. A tennis ball bride. A house made of old fish. (The Hairpin)

Dog Walking Bliss. Karen London reflects on why it’s always good to take a walk. (The Bark)

Is a Half-Hour of Exercise Just Enough to Make a Dog Hyper? Professional dog walker Lindsay shares her experiences and thoughts on the topic that a typical walk may be enough just to rev your dog’s engine–not to wear him out. This makes me feel guilty for thinking my 20-minute walks with the SPCA dogs are enough to sate them for a few hours. If only we all had more time! (That Mutt)

The World of Dog Walking: 5 Surprising Facts. Another professional dog walker shares some interesting bits of new research about walking dogs. For instance, dogs tend to act more aggressively when they are walked by men. Interesting… (The Hydrant)

Dog Photos by Mark Peckmezian. Charming and faded photographs of dogs by photographer Mark Peckmezian. (Miss Moss)

Sleeping Dogs Lie. A collection of photos of sighthounds sleeping in piles. (DesertWindHounds)

The Welcome Decline of the German Shepherd. Quoting from Susan Orlean’s new book, Rin Tin Tin, which I just finished, this blogger reflects on why it might be a good thing that the GSD is not as popular as it once was. (The Hydrant)

I Got to Get Better. One trainer’s ambitious and inspiring list of her goals to become a better dog trainer. (Raising K9)

Diversion Dog. That is one crafty beagle. Have you ever seen a dog pull a stunt like this? I think I have… Just proof that dogs know how to get what they want! (Animals Being Di*ks)