The question of whether or not to allow your dog to sleep with you in your bed is a tough one. Allowing your pup to curl up in bed with you is an easy choice to make when they’re a puppy and crave that closeness with you. They’re so cute and cuddly, it can be hard to say no when they howl or bark and want to snuggle.  However, you should be aware of potential repercussions of allowing a dog to share your bed.

First of all, think about the size your dog will be when they reach adulthood. While allowing a 10lb pup or dog to curl in bed with you may be cute and easy, if that dog will wind up being 80 lbs, you may have a tough time getting comfortable and getting the rest you need as they grow.

Second, a dog who is allowed to sleep in your bed may become more possessive over you and may start to act out and be aggressive with your children or other dogs in your household who do not share your bed. In some cases, dogs have even bitten a spouse who they felt was threatening “their” bed space.

Third, once a dog gets used to sleeping in your bed, teaching them to use their own bed may pose more of a challenge than you realize. Even if you plan to eventually allow them to sleep in your bed at times, it’s best to start things off right with them sleeping in their crate or on their dog bed and then, once they’ve been trained, allowing exceptions.

If you are experiencing problems with your dog acting aggressively, barking, growling at family members, children or other pets in your home, it may be a sign that you need to give the co-sleeping a break. Your best bet if you are trying to change your pet's sleep habits is to get them a dog crate and crate train them. If they're used to sleeping with you, commands to get off the bed and go sleep in their own bed may be ignored and they will likely sneak into your bed at some point during the night. You may experience a fair bit of complaining at first, but if you stick to your gun and don’t give in, things should calm down and your dog will start to enjoy sleeping in their crate.

Some techniques to help your dog adjust to a dog crate include giving your dogs a treat whenever they go into their crate. You can also cover the crate so it’s darker and more denlike and they aren’t able to see everything going on around them. The use of a dog crate cover is especially helpful if the dog barks a lot when in their crate.

If your dog is used to the coziness of your bed, you may also want to get a comfy crate mat or crate bed to ease the transition from your bed to their crate. While it's not absolutely necessary to use a crate mat inside your dog's crate, dogs do love their comfort and it can make their new den just a little bit more inviting.