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German Shepherd Sleeping With Owner: Is It Safe For You?

german shepherd sleeping with owner

Do you ever wonder what it’s like to share your bed with a German Shepherd? Well, let me tell you, it’s quite the experience! Many dog owners find themselves snuggled up with their loyal German Shepherds at night, and there’s a good reason why.

But, before you decide whether or not to invite your pup into your bed, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons. While sharing a bed can enhance the bond between you and your pup, it may also disrupt your sleep or cause hygiene concerns.

Let’s get started!

Why Do German Shepherds Prefer to Sleep with Their Owners

German Shepherds prefer to sleep with their owners because they feel a sense of security and comfort when they are close to their owners. Additionally, they are very protective of their owners and their territory and feel a sense of warmth and comfort by sleeping next to their human companions.

German Shepherd dogs were bred by a German cavalry officer named Captain Max von Stephanitz in the late 19th century in Germany.

Captain von Stephanitz began his breeding program by selecting dogs that possessed the desired traits of intelligence, loyalty, and athleticism. He focused on creating a breed that could be used for herding livestock, guarding property, and performing police and military work.

These characteristics are the major reasons for most of the German Shepherd’s behavior such as resource guarding, being clingy, and wanting to sleep with their owners.

Why Does My German Shepherd Want to Sleep With Me?

why does german shepherd likes to sleep with owners

Here are a few reasons why a German Shepherd wants to sleep with its owners.

1. Natural pack instincts make them seek companionship during sleep.

German Shepherds are descendants of wolves, which were highly social animals that lived in packs. This pack mentality has been ingrained in their DNA for centuries. Just like their ancestors, GSDs have a natural instinct to seek companionship and form strong bonds with their pack members.

Sleeping close to their owners allows them to feel a sense of belonging and security as if they are part of a pack again.

2. Provides a sense of security and comfort for the dog.

The physical presence of their owners can provide a calming effect, as the dog can feel their warmth and hear their breathing, which can mimic the feeling of being with their littermates. This can help to reduce stress and promote more restful sleep for the pup.

Furthermore, sleeping with their owners allows the dog to feel protected and safe. Dogs have a natural instinct to seek shelter and sleep in enclosed spaces, and sleeping with their owners can provide a similar sense of security.

Snuggling up against their owner can also help regulate the dog’s body temperature. Dogs naturally have higher body temperatures than humans, so curling up together can create an ideal microclimate that keeps both parties cozy during those chilly nights.

3. Dogs are social animals that thrive on human interaction.

For GSDs, being close to their owners is not only comforting but also emotionally fulfilling. Sharing sleeping space allows them to be in constant contact with us and strengthens the bond between owner and dog.

It’s not just about physical closeness; it’s about emotional connection too. Dogs are highly perceptive beings who can pick up on our emotions and moods. By sleeping together, German Shepherds can provide emotional support to their owners and vice versa. It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement that fosters a deep sense of companionship and love.

RELATED: Do German Shepherds Love To Cuddle?

4. Owners provide warmth, reassurance, and emotional support during sleep.

German Shepherds have a strong desire for physical contact, especially when they are asleep. Sleeping with their owners allows them to fulfill this need for touch and closeness.

The warmth radiating from our bodies provides them with a cozy spot to snuggle up against, while the rhythmic sound of our breathing can be soothing and lull them into a peaceful slumber.

Furthermore, having their owners nearby offers reassurance in times of uncertainty or fear. Dogs are sensitive creatures who may experience anxiety or stress when left alone at night.

Sleeping together helps alleviate these feelings by providing constant reassurance that they are not alone and that everything is okay.

RELATED: Why Does My German Shepherd Sleep by the Door?

5. They fear for your and their own security.

Just like humans, dogs can experience fear or anxiety during the night. By sleeping in close proximity to their owners, German Shepherds feel safer and more secure.

The presence of an owner acts as a deterrent for potential threats or intruders, giving the dog peace of mind knowing that someone is there to protect them.

Additionally, German Shepherds are very protective of their owners and their territory. By sleeping with their owners, they are able to keep a watchful eye and be alert to any potential threats during the night.

Their strong sense of loyalty and protective instincts make them feel more at ease when they are able to sleep next to their owners.

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Benefits of German Shepherds Sleeping with Owners

There are several potential benefits of German Shepherds sleeping with their owners:

1. Alleviates separation anxiety in dogs prone to It

Some dogs may experience separation anxiety when left alone. Allowing your pup to sleep with you can help alleviate this anxiety.

When they are close to their owner during sleep time, they feel secure and reassured. The presence of their human companion provides a sense of comfort and reduces the stress levels associated with being separated.

2. It can be an amazing source of emotional support for you

Dogs are known for their ability to provide emotional support. (AKC) Sleeping with your doggy can offer comfort and companionship, particularly during times of stress, anxiety, or loneliness. Their presence and warmth can be soothing and reassuring.

3. Security and comfort

GSDs are protective by nature, and having them sleep with you can provide a sense of security. Their presence can help you feel safe, especially if you live alone or in an unfamiliar environment.

4. Improved sleep quality

For some individuals, having their pup sleep with them can promote better sleep. The rhythmic sound of their breathing and their calming presence may create a relaxing environment, leading to improved sleep quality. (Research)

5. Co-regulation and synchronization

It is believed that spending time with a calm and relaxed animal can positively affect our own emotional state through a process known as co-regulation.

When you sleep next to your pup, your breathing, heart rate, and overall body rhythms may synchronize, creating a harmonious environment that supports relaxation and potentially enhances the likelihood of theta brainwave activity.

6. Enhances the bond between you and your GSD

Sharing a bed or sleeping area with your German Shepherd strengthens the bond between you two. By allowing them into your sleeping space, you create an opportunity for shared experiences. As you both drift off to sleep or wake up together in the morning, you deepen your emotional connection through these intimate moments.


Potential Drawbacks of German Shepherds Sleeping with Owners

why does my german shepherd want to sleep with me

While there are potential benefits to German Shepherds sleeping with their owners, it’s important to consider some potential drawbacks as well:

1. Space constraints

One of the potential drawbacks is the issue of space. These dogs are known for their large size and need for ample room to stretch out during sleep. However, when they share a bed with their owners, space can become limited, leading to discomfort or disrupted sleep for both parties involved.

Imagine trying to get a good night’s rest while constantly being jostled by a sprawling German Shepherd who seems oblivious to personal boundaries.

It can be challenging to find a comfortable position when you have limbs draped over you or a furry friend hogging the blankets. This lack of space can cause restless nights and leave you feeling tired and irritable in the morning.

2. Increased risk of allergies or asthma

While these loyal companions bring joy and love into our lives, they also come with pet dander and fur that can trigger allergic reactions in susceptible individuals.

Pet dander refers to tiny flecks of skin shed by animals like dogs and cats. It contains proteins that some people’s immune systems recognize as allergens, leading to symptoms such as sneezing, itching, watery eyes, or even difficulty breathing.

When you share a bed with your GSD night after night, you expose yourself more frequently to this allergen source.

Moreover, German Shepherd’s thick double coat sheds throughout the year, and this shedding can intensify during certain seasons. When you sleep with your GSD, you are in close proximity to their fur, increasing the likelihood of inhaling pet dander or having it come into contact with your skin.

RELATED: Are German Shepherds Hypoallergenic?

3. Possible disruption of healthy sleep patterns

Just like humans, dogs can experience restlessness or snore loudly during the night, which can affect not only their own sleep but also that of their owners.

Imagine lying awake in bed while your doggy tosses and turns restlessly beside you. Their constant movement and shifting positions can make it difficult for you to find a state of relaxation and fall asleep.

Some dogs are prone to snoring, especially those with certain anatomical features like short muzzles or elongated soft palates. While snoring itself may not be harmful, it can disrupt your own sleep if it reaches high decibel levels.

RELATED: German Shepherd Sleep Habits From Puppyhood to Senior Years

4. It may reinforce dependency

Allowing your dog to sleep with you might lead to a potential drawback: difficulty establishing boundaries and an increased risk of separation anxiety.

When a German Shepherd dog becomes accustomed to sleeping next to its owner every night, it may develop a strong dependence on this closeness. While it may be endearing to have your dog constantly by your side, it can create challenges when you need to spend a night away or if circumstances change and the dog cannot sleep with you.

Also, if your doggy has behavioral issues such as separation anxiety, resource guarding or aggression then letting it sleep with you could make them worse.

5. Hygiene and cleanliness

Dogs can bring dirt, allergens, and outdoor debris into your bed, which may affect the overall cleanliness of your sleeping environment. Regular grooming and cleanliness practices can help mitigate these concerns, but it’s important to consider potential hygiene implications.

Should I Let My German Shepherd Sleep With Me?

It’s not a good idea to let your German Shepherd puppy sleep with you. However, they can sleep next to you, just not on your bed. It’s important for your puppy to have a consistent schedule, learn to be independent, and see you as the leader. Once your pup is 4-6 months old, it can be okay for them to sleep with you.

It is recommended to have your puppy sleep in a crate or a dog bed on the floor next to your bed. Once your pup is grown up, fully trained to go potty, sleeps well, and is comfortable in its crate, you can allow it to sleep with you in your bed.

RELATED: How to Crate Train a German Shepherd Puppy?

This study concludes that as long as the dog is healthy and doesn’t have any behavior problems, it’s okay for them to sleep with their owners. But if your dog does have issues like aggression, resource guarding, or separation anxiety, allowing them to sleep with you might make those problems worse.

RELATED: How To Potty Train a German Shepherd Puppy Easily

How to Train My German Shepherd to Sleep in Bed With Me?

Training your German Shepherd dog to sleep in bed with you can be a gradual process that requires patience and consistency. Here are some steps you can follow to help your dog feel comfortable sleeping in bed with you:

1. Create a comfortable sleeping space

Make sure your bed is large enough to accommodate both you and your doggy comfortably. Provide a soft and cozy bed or blanket for your dog to sleep on.

2. Establish a bedtime routine

Dogs thrive on routine, so establish a consistent bedtime routine that signals to your furry friend that it’s time to sleep. This can include activities such as a walk, brushing their teeth, or a calming bedtime treat.

3. Teach the “bed” command

Start by teaching your doggy the “bed” command. Use positive reinforcement techniques such as treats and praise to encourage your dog to go to their designated sleeping spot on command.

4. Gradually introduce your dog to your bed

Once your pup is comfortable with the “bed” command, gradually introduce them to your bed. Start by allowing them to sit or lie on the edge of the bed while you’re reading or watching TV. Reward them for calm behavior and gradually increase their time on the bed.

5. Reinforce calm behavior

Encourage your doggy to remain calm and relaxed while on the bed. Reward them with treats and praise when they display calm behavior, such as lying down and settling. Avoid rewarding overly excited or restless behavior, as this may encourage undesirable habits.

6. Respect personal space

It’s important to respect your own personal space during sleep. If your German Shepherd dog takes up too much space or disrupts your sleep, consider establishing a specific area on the bed for them, such as the foot of the bed or a designated side.

7. Be patient and consistent

It’s important to be patient and consistent throughout the training process. Your doggy may take time to adjust to sleeping in bed with you, so be prepared for setbacks and continue to reinforce positive behavior.

While some Shepherds may enjoy sleeping in bed with their owners, others may prefer their own space. Pay attention to your dog’s cues and body language to ensure they are comfortable and happy with the arrangement.

Safety Precautions for Sleeping with a German Shepherd in the Same Bed

Before you let your pup sleep with you in the same bed, it is important to take certain steps to ensure safety and comfort for both you and your dog. Here are some precautions to consider:

1. Establish boundaries

Teach your pup appropriate behavior on the bed. Set clear boundaries and rules to prevent any potential dominance or aggression issues. Use commands like “off” or “down” to indicate when your dog should get off the bed.

2. Use a comfortable bed

Choose a bed that is large enough for both you and your doggy to sleep comfortably. A bed with enough space can reduce the chances of accidental injury during sleep.

3. Trim nails

Keep your dog’s nails trimmed to minimize the risk of scratches or accidental injuries while sleeping together.

4. Ensure your dog is well-exercised

GSDs are high-energy dogs and require plenty of exercise to stay mentally and physically healthy. Before bedtime, make sure your dog has had enough physical activity to tire them out. This will help them settle down and sleep more soundly through the night.

5. Train your dog to sleep on command

It’s important to teach your doggy a command for settling down and sleeping. This can be as simple as using a specific word or phrase, such as “bedtime” or “go to sleep.” Consistently using this command will help your dog understand when it’s time to relax and sleep.

6. Address any behavioral issues

If your pup has any behavioral issues, such as aggression or separation anxiety, it’s important to address these before allowing them to sleep in your bed. Seek guidance from a professional dog trainer or behaviorist to help you work through these issues.

7. Monitor behavior and hygiene

Before allowing your dog on the bed, ensure they have good hygiene habits and are free from fleas, ticks, or other parasites. Regular grooming, including brushing their coat and cleaning their paws, will help maintain cleanliness.

8. Allergies and respiratory issues

If you have allergies or respiratory conditions, it’s important to consider the potential impact of sleeping with a doggy. Dogs can trigger allergies, so ensure you have appropriate measures in place, such as using air purifiers or allergy-friendly bedding.

9. Consult with a veterinarian

Before allowing your furry friend to sleep with you, it’s always a good idea to consult with your veterinarian. They can provide guidance specific to your dog’s needs, such as any medical conditions or behavioral concerns

Remember, every dog is unique, and not all GSDs may be suitable for sleeping in the same bed. Pay attention to your dog’s behavior and well-being, and be prepared to adjust the sleeping arrangements if necessary.

How do I Get My German Shepherd to Sleep in its own Bed?

To get your pup to sleep in its bed, you can follow these steps:

1. Choose a comfortable bed

Make sure you provide a cozy and comfortable bed for your doggy. Look for a bed that is the right size for your dog and has enough padding to support its body.

2. Use positive reinforcement

Encourage your pup to sleep in its bed by using positive reinforcement. Whenever your dog voluntarily goes to its bed, reward it with praise, treats, or a favorite toy. This will help create a positive association with the bed.

3. Make the bed appealing

Make the bed more appealing to your furry friend by placing their favorite toys or a familiar blanket on it. The familiar scent will make them feel more comfortable and encourage them to sleep in their bed.

4. Be patient and consistent

It may take some time for your pooch to get used to sleeping in its bed. Be patient and consistent with the training. If your dog tries to sleep elsewhere, gently redirect them back to their bed and reward them when they comply.

5. Provide a comfortable sleeping environment

Make sure the sleeping area is quiet, dark, and free from distractions. Avoid placing the bed in a high-traffic area or near noisy appliances. This will help create a calm and peaceful sleeping environment for your pooch.

Remember, every dog is different, and it may take some time for your doggy to adjust to sleeping in its bed. Stay consistent with the training and provide lots of positive reinforcement. With time and patience, your furry friend will learn to love its bed and enjoy a good night’s sleep.


In summary, allowing your German Shepherd to sleep with you can be a rewarding experience that strengthens the bond between you and your furry companion. However, it’s important to consider factors like comfort, safety, obedience training, and individual preferences when making this decision. By understanding your dog’s needs and taking appropriate steps, you can create a positive sleeping environment for both of you.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can letting my German Shepherd sleep with me affect their behavior?

Allowing your GSD to sleep with you may not necessarily cause behavioral problems. However, it’s important to set clear boundaries and provide consistent training so they understand where they should sleep. If any behavioral issues arise, consult with a professional trainer or veterinarian for guidance.

2. Will co-sleeping help alleviate separation anxiety in my German Shepherd?

Co-sleeping can provide comfort and security for dogs prone to separation anxiety. However, addressing separation anxiety requires more than just sharing a bed. Establishing a routine, providing mental stimulation, and gradually desensitizing your dog to being alone are crucial in addressing this issue.

3. What should I do if my German Shepherd prefers sleeping with me?

If your doggy prefers sleeping with you, it’s important to create a safe and comfortable sleeping area for them nearby. This can be their own bed or crate placed in the same room as you. By providing an alternative sleeping spot that is still close to you, you can meet their need for companionship while ensuring everyone gets a good night’s sleep.

4. How can I train my German Shepherd to sleep in its own bed?

To train your GSD to sleep in its own bed, start by creating a comfortable and inviting sleeping area. Use positive reinforcement techniques such as rewards or treats when your dog chooses to sleep in its designated spot. Consistency and patience will be key in establishing this new habit.

5. Is it safe for my German Shepherd to sleep on the same bed as me?

Sharing a bed with a large breed like the German Shepherd can pose safety risks if not properly managed. Ensure that there is enough space for everyone involved and be cautious of potential injuries or accidents that may occur during sleep. It’s important to prioritize safety and make adjustments as necessary to ensure a secure sleeping environment for both you and your dog.

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