Why Does My Dog Bark At Me In Bed?

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Why does my dog bark at me in bed?

That’s what you’ll be wondering if you have your furry friend share your bedroom with you at night. There are several reasons why your dog might be “talking” to you when you’re trying to sleep or if you’re trying to read in bed before you turn in for the night.

Please keep reading to find out what triggers that barking behavior and learn how to stop it.

What Triggers Your Dog’s Barking?

Angry barking dog

Sometimes, it can be pretty easy to work out why your dog starts barking at you when you’re in bed.

For example, your dog might need to go out for a bathroom break before he settles down for the night, so he barks to ask you to let him out. In that case, the problem is easily solved. Take your dog outside for a potty break right before you go to bed. The toilet stop will quickly become a part of your pet’s nighttime routine, and the barking should stop instantaneously.

However, sometimes, the reason for the barking behavior is not as clearcut. Try keeping a journal for a week to figure out why your dog barks. Make notes of who is in the room at the time of the behavior, whereabouts they are in the room in relation to the dog, and what everyone is doing at the time.

Is your dog in his crate when he starts barking at you? Is your canine companion on your bed with you? Is your pet roaming loose in the bedroom? All those factors can be crucial in working out why your dog is barking at you.

Resource Guarding

Often, when a dog barks at people when he’s on the bed, the pup is displaying a version of a common behavioral issue referred to as “resource guarding.”

Resource guarding is a common canine behavior that’s defined as a dog using threatening, aggressive behaviors or avoidance to keep control of food or other resources in front of another animal or person.

The behavior can be subtle. For example, your dog might display mild aggression or avoidance behaviors, such as pinned back ears, a crouched, stiff body posture, lip licking, or even physically blocking whatever resource he is guarding. The behavior might escalate to more obvious signs of aggression, including growling, biting, and snapping.

Common Resource Guarding Triggers

Dog barking and howling

As you might expect, the most common resource guarding triggers are food and food-related items.

That said, a dog might guard other resources that he regards as valuable, such as toys, his crate, and where he sleeps, i.e., your bed. Even certain people can be guarded, especially by dogs that suffer from anxiety-related conditions, such as separation anxiety.

Resource guarding can have a genetic component and might affect male and female dogs of any breed. Age is not a factor, and resource guarding can be displayed by dogs of any age. Sometimes, the behavior manifests gradually over a period of time, or it can appear abruptly after a change in routine or environment.

Dominance?

It’s a common misconception that dogs exhibiting resource-guarding behavior are trying to establish their place in the “pack” by becoming dominant.

That sometimes leads to force being used to show the dog who is in charge. However, that approach doesn’t work and can even make resource-guarding behavior worse. If you punish your dog or try to use force to correct his behavior, you’ll make your dog confused and fearful of you.

To change the behavior, you need to address the underlying emotion and motivation behind the behavior. Reward-based training methods and positive reinforcement are the most effective techniques to use when it comes to managing resource guarding.

So, in the case of a dog that barks at you or at another person in your bedroom, it’s likely that your pup is resource-guarding. The dog either regards you or the bed as his resource.

If a stranger enters the room, your dog might be guarding you and warning off the intruder. If your pup barks at you while you’re both on the bed, your cheeky canine is probably telling you that you’re encroaching on his resting place.

How To Manage The Problem

dog barking on a white background

Essentially, managing the problem of your dog barking at you when you’re in bed involves removing the triggers that cause the dog to bark. It’s important to take action quickly since the longer the resource-guarding behavior goes on, the more established it becomes and the more difficult it is to stop.

The easiest way to stop your dog from barking at you when you’re in bed is to not allow your dog on your bed anymore.

After all, the bed is your place to rest and recuperate after a busy day, not your furry friend’s! So, get your dog a comfortable bed and put it down beside your bed. That way, your dog can still be right beside you but in his own special space, not yours.

Alternatively, you could consider training your dog to spend the night in a crate. That way, you can still have your dog with you overnight, but he won’t be tempted to climb out of his own bed and onto yours.

Desensitization

Once you’ve removed your dog from the situation that triggers his barking, you can start retraining him.

So, you know that your dog is barking at people from the bed because something is upsetting him. It could be that he views the bed as his personal resource, and he’s warning you and others off. That said, the reason for the barking behavior could be something else entirely.

Start by setting up a dummy scenario:

  • Allow your dog to get onto the bed again.
  • Now, enter the room and approach the bed to trigger the barking behavior.
  • Right before the dog starts barking, toss him a treat.
  • Get into bed and give the dog more treats.
  • If the dog starts barking, reset and try again.
  • Repeat the technique in 30-second training sessions.

Gradually, your dog will understand that what previously upset him could be a good thing after all.

Final Thoughts

Did you enjoy our article on why my dog barks at me in bed? If you found our tips helpful and interesting, please share the guide before you go.

The most common reason for a dog barking at you while you’re in bed is a common behavior called resource guarding. The dog perceives your bed as his own resting place, and your cheeky pup is trying to tell you to vacate it by barking at you!

The easiest solution to the problem is to stop your dog from sleeping on your bed. Provide your pet with his own bed or crate him overnight to stop him from climbing onto your bed while you’re asleep. However, if you want to share your bed with your dog, retraining him using desensitization techniques might be helpful.

How did you stop your dog from barking at you while you were in bed? Tell us in the comments box below

Meet our writer

Alison Page was brought up with dogs and various other pets! For a few years, Alison worked as a Practice Manager in a small animal veterinary clinic. Alison is now a full-time writer, specializing in creating articles on the care and training of dogs, cats, and fish.

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