Puppy Won’t Sleep Unless Next to Me [Together or Solo?]

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

Do you find yourself lying awake at night with a furry little companion curled up next to you, snoring blissfully while you toss and turn in frustration?

It’s a common problem among new puppy owners: your adorable, four-legged friend just won’t settle down unless they’re snuggled up right next to you.

While it may seem like a harmless habit at first, this behavior can quickly become a major source of sleep deprivation and frustration for both you and your pup.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the reasons why your puppy won’t sleep unless next to you, and offer some tips and tricks for getting both you and your furry friend a good night’s rest.

So, if you’re tired of spending your nights wide awake with a restless pup, keep reading to discover how you can help your furry friend learn to snooze solo!

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8 Reasons Why Your Puppy Only Wants to Sleep Next to You

Reasons Why Your Puppy Only Wants to Sleep Next to You

It’s heartwarming to see your puppy wanting to constantly sleep next to you.

Waking up every morning to see his adorable little face is surely an experience to behold.

However, when your pup completely refuses to sleep anywhere other than the spot next to you, questions may arise, such as puppy sleep regression.

You’re now probably wondering why your pup wants to sleep next to you even when you already provided him with a comfy bed or crate.

I’ve got many reasons behind that, and by the end of this article, you’ll already know why.

1. Habitual

During his younger days, you must’ve let your puppy sleep next to you because he was crying in his bed.

The next night you did the same because he was still not comfortable with his bed.

This cycle goes on and on until you can no longer put him in his own bed because all he wants to do is sleep next to you, not in any other spot.

Sleeping next to you becomes habitual to your pup, and when you want him to sleep in his assigned place, he’ll refuse to.

Sometimes, the main reason why your dog behaves as he does is because of your indulgent behavior towards him.

When you give in for the first and second time, expect that your pup will be expecting you to do the same thing throughout his lifetime.

2. Pack mentality

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Dogs naturally live in packs.

They do their routines together with their group, from eating and hunting, to sleeping.

If you’ve gotten close to your puppy, and he can sense that you protect him and give him food, he’ll think that you’re part of his pack.

When your pack perceives you as a member of the pack, he’ll be wanting to stay close to you, even at night during bedtime.

Your puppy will want to sleep next to you because of his pack mentality that’s been carved in his being even before dogs have been domesticated.

Your pup sees you as his, and he sees himself as yours. Staying close to you will give him a sense of belongingness.

3. Fear

Some dogs are born to protect, and some are easily scared of sudden noises and movements.

If your puppy easily exhibits fear, he’ll most likely want to sleep next to you.

You are his comfort, and he can sense security in you because you are always together in the daytime, and you provide shelter and food for him.

The fear your puppy feels ebbs down as he sleeps next to you.

4. Puppy love

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Puppies require more attention, comfort, and physical touch because they’ve been so used to being huddled together with their mother and siblings.

Hence, at night when he is all alone in his crate after being adopted, he’ll need to stay and sleep next to you.

He’ll assume that you’re the replacement for his mother’s warmth, and he’ll therefore need to sleep next to you.

Puppies are very social animals, and even while asleep they’ll need to feel that they’re still cared for.

5. Offering protection

Sometimes, dogs can exhibit protective nature even at a very young age.

Some puppies will feel the need to protect you, so they’ll offer you protection by sleeping next to you.

If you have a puppy at home who loves sleeping next to you but is still very alert even at the slightest noise, it’s because he’s there to protect you.

6. Separation Anxiety

A newly adopted puppy will most likely show signs of separation anxiety.

He’s just been plucked from his mother and siblings, so if you make him sleep in a separate place from you, he’ll think you’re gonna leave him too.

Puppies are afraid to be alone. They love moving around and doing things together with other pups or people.

At night, your puppy will be more cautious and lonely because it’s quieter and darker.

And if you’re the only one he can trust, he’ll have a hard time sleeping somewhere away from you.

Separation anxiety makes a puppy more clingy to the point that he’ll just want to sleep next to you.

7. Familiar smells

Your puppy has memorized your scent from all the time you’ve spent with him during the daytime.

Your familiar smell will serve as a comfort to him, and since the bed is yours, he’ll associate it with you.

He’ll think that your bed is a safe place for him to sleep on because it has your familiar smell in it.

8. Poor training

Crate training is important if you don’t want your puppy to sleep next to you.

However, if such training goes haywire and ineffective, your puppy will be more adamant to sleep next to you.

If you’re planning to crate train your pup, make sure you’ll do it religiously and correctly.

Because if it results in poor training, your puppy will only be more persistent in trying to sleep in the same spot as you.

Learn this: When do puppies start drinking water and eating food?

How Do I Get My Puppy to Sleep Without Me?

How Do I Get My Puppy to Sleep Without Me?

Establish a sleep routine

From the very start, you have to establish a sleep routine.

Before you get a puppy, you must ask yourself whether you want him to stay next to you in bed or not.

If you don’t wanna share the bed with him, establish a sleep routine wherein you’ll send him to his own bed with a moment of petting, before you go to your own bed.

This will help your puppy understand that you have different spots to sleep on. 

Doggy says, you might be keen to read this too: Over tired puppy

Create a safe and comfortable space with crate training

Invest in a high-quality and comfortable crate that your puppy will fall in love with.

Place his favorite toys in it so he’ll be more than willing to test the comfortability of the crate.

He might not want to sleep on it at first, but positive reinforcements will eventually encourage him to sleep in the crate.

If your puppy loves being surrounded by your familiar smell, it’s ideal to place your used blankets in his crate.

Your scent will bring comfort to your dog’s crate.

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Provide plenty of exercise and playtime

Tire your pup out by providing plenty of exercise and playtime.

By the end of the day, he won’t even mind where he’ll be sleeping so long as he gets his well-deserved rest.

He won’t have the energy to resist sleeping in his crate when he had spent his whole day doing a lot of physical activities.

But don’t tire him too much that he’ll already be so fatigued!

Ensure consistency

Ensure consistency with the sleep routine.

Don’t give in to your pup’s cute eyes when he begs to sleep next to you.

When you give in for one night, he’ll only be more confused about whether it’s alright to sleep next to you or not.

Replace yourself with comforting items

Just like what I said earlier, your dog might love sleeping next to you because of your familiar smell.

Your smell brings comfort to him.

If this is the case, bring everything that gives comfort to your pup in his crate.

His favorite toy, your bedsheet with your familiar scent, or even his favorite treats.

These items will replace you in the sense of comfort. Your pup may no longer need to sleep right next to you just to be comfy. 

Use positive reinforcement with rewards

Encourage your pup to sleep in his crate.

If he sleeps in his crate, give him his favorite treats in the morning or when he wakes up.

Praise him in your most soothing and joyful voice to let him know he’s doing the right thing.

Consider natural remedies

If the reason why your dog wants to sleep next to you is because of his anxiety and unexplainable fear of being alone, they consider natural remedies.

A natural remedy I can think of is putting two drops of lavender oil in your pup’s blanket.

The lavender oil soothes the nerves of your puppy, which will let him sleep peacefully alone in his crate.

You can easily buy olive oil over the counter, and it’s widely available so you always choose it as a solution for your puppy’s dilemma.

Avoid giving in to your puppy’s cries

When your puppy cries because he wants to sleep next to you, I know your heart is getting pinched.

But please don’t give in to those cries.

If you give in and let him sleep next to you, he’ll never understand the need to sleep in his own crate.

The cycle will continue until the time that you can no longer crate-train him.

Getting another dog

If your dog is lonely and is looking at you as his missing member of the pack, you should consider getting another dog.

A new dog in the family will make him less lonely, and he’ll have someone to cuddle with in the crate.

Check with a veterinarian or behavioral specialist

Sometimes, the best option is to consult a vet or behavioral specialist on what to do with your dog.

They’re more than suitable to advise you with useful tips on how to let your puppy adjust to his new crate. 

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why does my dog sleep at my feet?

Sleeping at your feet makes your dog feel like he’s as close to you as he needs to be. Being close to you makes them feel safe by maintaining a physical connection with you.

When do puppies sleep through the night?

Puppies can sleep through the night at around 16 weeks. However, several personal factors like anxiety or fear might cause a puppy to wake up from time to time.

Should you let your puppy sleep next to you?

You should only let your puppy sleep next to you if he’s already crate-trained. This is so you can always have the decision whether or not you wanna let him sleep in bed for the night without your pup whining or crying.

Where should an untrained puppy sleep?

An untrained puppy should sleep in a comfortable crate so that he can get familiar with crate training. Sleeping in a crate also allows your dog to feel safe.

In Conclusion: Puppy Won’t Sleep Unless Next to Me

Remember: you need to understand that your puppy’s reluctance to sleep alone is a natural behavior that can be overcome with patience, consistency, and a little bit of training.

By following the tips and tricks we’ve outlined in this blog post, you can definitely help your furry friend learn to snooze solo and enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep, both for you and your pup!

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Daily Dog Drama!

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