There’s something uniquely special about the bond we share with our dogs. They’re more than just our pets, they’re our best friends.
If he had his way, my dog, Duke, would always be by my side. No matter what! When I can, I take him to work with me. At the office, he’s content to just lay under my desk.
And when I can’t take him to work, Duke is always waiting by the door ready to welcome me home.
Being a good dog owner is as much about enjoying time with your dogs as it is about caring for them. Our furry friends might not be able to speak our language, but they certainly have their ways of communicating with us.
Paying close attention to your pet’s quirks and behaviors can help you understand what they’re trying to tell you, and can even help you detect if something’s wrong.
For instance, my mom’s dog had a habit of licking my mom’s pants when he was feeling anxious. By paying attention to this odd little quirk, my mom was able to realize her dog needed some extra attention when company was over. Which ultimately made sure her dog felt safer in his environment.
So, what about dogs that sleep in peculiar spots? Why does my dog sleep by the door? The quick and easy answer is that your dog is sleeping by the door for one or more of these reasons:
- To warm up or cool down
- The floor happens to be more comfortable by the door
- That part of the room is where your dog feels safe
- Your dog’s ‘spot’ is by the door
- Other dogs are keeping your dog there
- Your dog was trained to be there
- Your dog is missing her person (YOU!)
- Your dog wants you to stick around
- Your dog is curious
The temperature in your house is likely different from the temperature outside. Your dog may enjoy the cool or warm air that emanates from near the door, making it much more comfortable to sleep there compared to other places in the house.
The Floor Is Comfy By The Door
It could be that the rugs by the door provide a cozy place for your pup to relax, or that the flooring near the door is especially comfortable for your good girl.
It may even be something as simple as her liking to lay her head on your shoes that you leave by the door!
Your Dog Feels Safe And Secure There
Dogs don’t usually lie down and rest in the middle of a room; usually, they prefer a protected spot. It might not make sense to us, because it is rooted in their instincts.
Your door might be in a part of the room that feels like a defensible spot for your pooch. Which is a likely reason why your pup loves sleeping there. And it is only a coincidence that it is right next to the door!
It’s Your Dog’s Spot
Your dog may have initially chosen to sleep by the door out of necessity, for comfort, or something else entirely. But now that area of the room, right by the door, has simply become her cozy corner.
Other Dogs Won’t Allow Your Dog Anywhere Else
If you have multiple dogs in your home, one of the other dogs could be preventing your pup from going anywhere else besides right near the door.
It’s important to remember that intimidation isn’t the only reason that your dog might feel she needs to ‘retreat’ to someplace safe. The other dogs could be persistently trying to rough house or they might violate your dog’s personal space in another nonaggressive way.
So, your canine companion may have learned that if she curls up close to the entrance then she won’t be constantly pestered by her four-legged roommates!
It’s Where Your Dog Was Trained To Be
Sure, there’s a chance your dog was trained by a previous owner to lay by the door. But truth is, if you’ve had your dog for a while then it’s probably you that taught her this behavior.
So how did you manage to teach your dog a ‘trick’ without even knowing it? You rewarded your good girl for laying by the door, of course!
Maybe you gave her pets and told her how good she is when you walked passed her as she was laying by the door. Or that might be where she happens to be when you get the afternoon treats out.
No matter what it was, it happened often enough that she started to think that’s where you want her.
And even if you didn’t consciously mean to train your dog to lay there, she’s getting so much love and attention there’s no other way for her to interpret it!
Your sweet pup may also be spending most of her time near the door because she wants to be there when you come home!
Separation anxiety can be a real problem for many dogs. Even if your dog doesn’t suffer from separation anxiety, it doesn’t mean she doesn’t miss you like crazy.
Knowing she’ll see you the second you walk in the door could simply be a way for your pooch to ease her stress about not having her favorite person around – YOU!
To Keep You Home (Or In The Room)
Your dog might be trying to tell you something with her placement beside the door – she doesn’t want you leaving! Some dogs pout when the person they are attached to is leaving.
My dog Duke used to be a prime example of this. He figured out that if we let him in the backyard and told him to ‘go potty’ it meant we were leaving the house for a while and he wasn’t going to get to come.
So, he started refusing to go to the bathroom when we were leaving! Even if his pouting did make me chuckle and marvel at how smart he is, the whole situation was also annoying!
Knowing we were leaving a dog who hadn’t gone potty home alone for a while was worrying. But, fortunately, he never had an accident!
Back to your dog sleeping by the door. She might be lying there to not just show her dislike of you leaving her home alone but to subtly try to slow you down or even stop you from leaving her. Or she might even be trying to stop you from going to another part of the house!
Curiosity (It’s Not Just For Cats!)
Perhaps your four-legged pal has heard something or caught an intriguing scent coming from the other side of the door. Of course, she can’t open the door so she’ll lay as close as possible in an attempt to find out more information about what lies beyond!
Kind of like when your dog stares out the window trying to see what the neighbors are up to, but with nose and ears!
How Do I Stop My Dog From Sleeping By The Door?
As we’ve discussed, dogs enjoy snuggling up near the entryway for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately, this behavior can be disruptive – especially if your pup is also barking or scratching at the door when people come in and out.
Fortunately, there are some simple steps that you can take to help stop your dog from sleeping by the door. Read on to learn more about how to stop your dog from sleeping by the door!
Don’t Encourage The Behavior
If your dog has taken to sleeping by the door, and you want them to sleep elsewhere, it’s important not to encourage this behavior. So, don’t give your pooch attention or treats when she’s laying by the door.
If you have been accidentally rewarding your dog for sleeping by the door (see above), then try ignoring the behavior. That will go a long way to start discouraging it.
Be sure to make sure that everyone in your home understands this strategy and follows along with it. Otherwise, if someone gives your dog attention while she’s near the door, everyone else’s work may be for nothing!
Also, start rewarding your dog when she lays away from the door.
Give Your Dog Her Own Comfy Spot
Once you have stopped encouraging your dog from sleeping by the door, it is time to give her a comfy spot of her own. Pick an area that is away from the door and make sure to provide a cozy bed or crate.
Let her know this is her own place by giving her praise and even treats when she goes there on her own. And make sure your dog feels comfortable in her new spot. This can mean providing blankets or pillows to lay on and ensuring that the bed is in an area where your dog feels safe. Reinforce your dog’s desire to sleep in her new spot by creating a consistent routine; making sure your good girl always sleeps in her special place.
By keeping a routine, praising your dog, and giving her treats for going to her new sleeping place, you will help establish positive associations between being rewarded and being in her new place (Away from the door!).
Don’t Punish Your Dog
It’s important to remember that punishing your dog won’t help her learn. If you scold or punish her for sleeping by the door, she may become confused and start having anxiety around the door or even sleeping in general instead of learning to sleep elsewhere.
Rather than punishing your pup, try using positive reinforcement techniques like rewards when she sleeps in her bed or crate. As I discussed above, praise and treats can encourage her to associate her new sleeping area with comfort and safety so she’ll be more likely to return there on her own.
Wrapping It Up: Why Do Dogs Sleep Next To The Door?
In summary, there could be a variety of reasons why your pup is sleeping by the door. It may have to do with feeling safe or secure in her area, missing you when you leave and wanting to be there when you come home, trying to stop or slow down someone from leaving, or simply being curious about what lies beyond!
Understanding these behaviors better helps us appreciate them even more and strengthens our bond with them. If you’ve decided your dog needs to sleep elsewhere, there are a few easy steps you can take to nudge your dog in the right direction.
It’s important to remember that dogs can’t help what they do naturally and they aren’t always aware that they are doing something that we don’t want them to do. Sometimes, our furry friends just need a little help in adjusting their behaviors.
If your pup is sleeping by the door, there are things you can do to discourage this behavior. First, don’t encourage your dog when she’s sleeping by the door by giving her treats or other rewards; second, give her her own comfy spot where she feels safe; and third, never punish your dog as this could lead to further issues.
With patience and consistency, you’ll find that your pup will no longer be drawn to sleeping at the door but will instead choose her designated area every time!