Why Does My Dog Flip His Bed Over? (13 Reasons With Solutions)

Dogs are, without a doubt, one of the most lovable creatures on the planet. They are always happy to see us and are always there to provide us with friendship.

On the other hand, dogs can also be quite weird at times! I’m sure you’ve witnessed your dog do something strange. For instance, many dogs can’t seem to resist licking their owners’ legs! Always try to remember that even if things like this can be a bit gross, they are often signs of affection as well.

Ultimately, we as dog owners need to be aware of what these weird behaviors mean and we need to know how to respond if necessary.

So, what about dogs that flip their beds over? Why does my dog flip his bed over? Unfortunately, there isn’t a quick and easy answer that explains this behavior. By paying attention to your dog’s overall actions you’ll likely see that your dog is flipping his bed over for one or more of the following reasons: he wants to be sure it’s safe, he’s trying to get more comfortable, he wants to rearrange the bed, he’s anxious, he’s trying to adjust the temperature, he’s bored, it’s become a habit, he’s being territorial, he learned it from another dog, he’s nesting (yes even some male dogs do this), he’s playing, he was trained to, or he’s trying to change the scent.

Making Sure The Bed Is Safe

A lot of what dogs do comes from instinct, and one of your good boy’s most basic instincts is the need to keep himself safe. When your dog flips his bed over, don’t be surprised to learn that he is trying to make sure it’s safe.

If this is the reason why your dog is flipping his bed over, then your pooch is likely checking for anything that could be harmful to him, such as sharp sticks, bugs or any number of other things that could’ve been a problem for his wild ancestors.

Getting Comfy

Sometimes, flipping a bed over is simply about getting comfortable. If your dog’s bed is too hard or too soft, if your furry friend just thinks it’s not the right size, he might be trying to fix the issue by flipping it over.

If you think this might be the case with your dog, (and you want to spoil him!) try switching out his bed for a luxurious dog bed. Though you might find them pricey, your dog will extra love you for it!

The Bed Should Be In A Better Spot

We’ve all been there – you look at a piece of furniture and it just doesn’t seem quite right where it is. So what do you do? You move it around until you find just the right spot.

Well, it turns out our furry friends do something similar when they’re not happy with their beds. Remember when I mentioned that dogs operate on instincts? Your dog might not like where the bed is, or maybe it’s not angled in the right direction, or maybe he’d prefer it to be more tucked away to feel safer.

If your dog isn’t satisfied with where his bed is, he’ll move it to his preferred spot any way he can.

My dog Bella is very particular about where her bed is. If the kids move it around while playing, or my wife or I move it while cleaning, you can bet she’s pushing, pulling, and flipping that bed right back to where she wants it!

So, If your dog seems dissatisfied with his current sleeping arrangement, he might try flipping his bed over as he sets it up how he wants it.


No doubt you’re aware that dogs can get anxious and even suffer from anxiety. Whether it is a one-time thing from something like fireworks or it is a constant issue for your good boy, anxiety can be a major issue for some dogs.

And just as anxiety can come from many sources, there are many ways dogs will cope with anxiety.

It’s possible that your dog is anxious about something and is coping by flipping his bed over. If your dog is typically anxious, there are things you can do to help him, but first, you’ll need to figure out why he’s anxious and address that issue.

Temperature Control

Odds are, the part of your dog’s bed that is on the floor is warmer or cooler than the top of the bed. Don’t discount the possibility that your dog is trying to keep his body temperature at a comfortable level by flipping his bed over. If the top of his bed is too warm or too cool, flipping it over will help.


Another reason your dog may be flipping his bed over is that he’s bored and looking for something to do. Dogs need a chance to burn off energy and have some mental stimulation. Even old dogs that lie around all day need something to exercise their minds once in a while.

If your best furry friend doesn’t have a more natural outlet, he’ll start looking for things to do to entertain himself.

Being Territorial

Your dog may be trying to assert himself or protect his space. By flipping over his bed, he could be trying to let everyone know that this is his space and no one should mess with it.

If this is a sign of territorial behavior, you’ll likely see it come out in other things your dog does as well.

A Buddy Showed Him

Dogs not only pick up on signs to learn what we want, but they also pay attention to what the other dogs they are around are doing (and getting away with!). If your pup has been around another dog that frequently flipped the bed over, don’t be surprised if he starts mimicking his fellow canine’s behavior.


One reason your dog may flip his bed is simply that it’s a habit. He may have had an excellent reason (that has long since passed) to flip his bed at one point. However, because dogs thrive on routine and habit, once something fits their routine, they’ll often stick with it.

If you don’t believe me, try feeding your dog a couple of hours later than normal! He’ll go nuts asking for food!

So, if your dog flipped his bed over for a good reason for some time, don’t be surprised if he continues doing it even if there’s no longer a real reason behind it. 


One reason your pup might be flipping his bed is that he’s nesting. While this is more likely to be true for pregnant dogs who are getting prepared for their puppies, female dogs who aren’t pregnant and even male dogs can act on a nesting instinct.

They’ll flip their bed over and over until they get it just right for their ‘upcoming’ litter of puppies. Nesting usually is more involved than just bed flipping so you’ll probably see other signs if this is what your dog is up to.


Your dog might flip his bed over simply because he’s just goofing around and being playful. After all, when it comes to dogs, never discount simply playing and having fun as their reason for ‘why’.

If you notice that he only does it when you’re not around, he might be trying to tell you that he’s bored. As I mentioned before, dogs need mental stimulation as well as physical activity, so be sure to give your good boy plenty of toys to play with and lots of opportunities to run and roam. 

You Accidentally Trained Him To 

There’s your sweet dog with his bed in his mouth, about to flip it over. You start moving towards him and just as you get there he flips it over. You pat him on the head as you tell him he’s a goofball in an endearing voice.

Oops! You’re well on your way to accidentally training your dog to flip his bed over.  Dogs are quick learners, and if they think they can do something to make you happy and get some positive attention, they’ll do it.

While you shouldn’t punish your dog for flipping his bed over, you’ll want to stop the praise if you’re trying to get him to stop.

To Change The Scent 

One final reason why your dog might be flipping their bed is because he’s trying to change the scent. Dogs have a keen sense of smell, and sometimes they just want their bed to smell differently.

Maybe another dog or cat lays in your dog’s bed during the day and he’s trying to cover up the other animal’s scent. Or the bottom of his bed picked up some yummy scent from your recently shampooed carpet.

Pay attention to when your dog flips his bed and you may notice he only flips his bed when there is an issue with its scent.

Is It Okay For My Dog to Flip His Bed Over?

Should you be worried if your dog flips his bed over from time to time? Probably not.

Unless there is some negative underlying reason for this behavior or your dog is somehow being destructive then flipping his bed is unlikely to cause any harm.

How Do I Stop The Behavior?

The first step is to figure out why your dog is flipping his bed over in the first place. I’ve gone over the most common reasons for this behavior, including boredom, anxiety, temperature, and more. Once you’ve determined the reason for the bed flipping, you can begin working on a solution. 

For instance, if you think your dog may be anxious, try to think of what may have changed in his environment recently that could be causing him stress. Has there been a new baby in the house? A move? A change in routine? Once you identify the source of his anxiety, you can start working on helping him feel more comfortable.

If your dog is bored, make sure he is getting enough exercise. Plenty of walks and playtime and toys go a long way to keep dogs stimulated and happy.

If there isn’t a reason that can or needs to be directly confronted, some good old fashioned dog commands like ‘no’ and ‘leave it’ will help teach your dog that you don’t want him to flip his bed. Remember to be stern (but not mean) and to exercise patience as your dog figures out that you always don’t want him to flip his bed, not just this once.

If you are worried your dog is flipping his bed as part of a larger problem like being territorial or aggressive, it might be smart to discuss it with your vet.

Finally, don’t punish your dog for flipping his bed over.

Wrapping It Up: Why Do Dogs Flip Over Their Beds?

Have you ever come home to find your dog’s bed in another spot and upside down, or maybe you watch him curiously from the other side of the room as he flips his bed over and over again?

And then, just as suddenly as he started going wild flipping his bed, he stops and runs up to you with a wagging tail and a pleased expression on his face, as if to say, ‘Ta-da!’. It can be quite a perplexing sight.

But have no fear! There are perfectly good reasons why your dog might flip his bed over, and once you understand them, you can rest easy knowing that your furry friend is just being…well, a dog. 

Your dog is likely flipping his bed over for one or more of these reasons:

  • He wants it to be safe
  • He wants to be comfortable
  • He wants the bed to be arranged in a way he likes
  • He is anxious
  • He is too hot or too cold
  • He is bored
  • He does it out of habit
  • He learned it from another dog
  • He is protecting what’s his
  • He is nesting (yes even a boy dog can nest)
  • He is playing
  • He was trained to do it
  • He wants to change the scent

There you have it! The likeliest explanations for why your dog might be flipping his bed over. If you’re ever unsure about your dog’s behavior, it’s always best to consult with a veterinarian. They will be able to give you the best advice for your individual dog.

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