Why does my dog hog my pillow at night?

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More than half of dog owners sleep with their pets and that’s considered to be one of the biggest reasons for insomnia. The dog might just hog the pillows or blankets—or she may stretch out completely, leaving you with only a little tiny corner of the bed in which to sleep.

It really doesn’t matter what the dog’s size is; in fact, one study showed that over 40 percent of dogs who slept with their owners were medium-sized.

So why do the dogs hog? Well, there are a few suspected reasons but the truth is that no one really knows for sure.

• Territorialism. This could well be the biggest reason. In your dog’s mind, the bed is HER possession and YOU are the guest. She thinks she’s being most generous by allowing you to have that little tiny corner in which to sleep. In fact, it’s not unusual for dogs to bring their toys or some treats into the bed with them, so that they can “feather their nest.” But can this ever become an even greater problem, rather than only the inconvenience? Yes, although it’s infrequent, but once in a whiles the dog will become so possessive that it will become aggressive and growl at you when you try to get in.

The solution here may be to make sure she has her own comfortable space, whether it’s a dog bed that you place next to yours. Some dogs even take over the sofa or a special chair.

• Security and warmth. Sometimes you just evoke that oh-so-pleasant memory of the litter and the mama dog. That’s often the case when the dog sleeps very close to you, either lying on your chest, where she can feel your heartbeat, or your stomach.
• Protection. Sometimes the dog will just want to protect you when you sleep. That means staying on the bed.
• Strengthen family bond: Just as puppies in the litter sleep close to one another in an effort to strengthen the family bond, so, too, will the dog sleep close to you—the “pack leader.”

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