For many married couples, dogs are like children. They’re fun, loving members of your family and a joy to have around. A home feels more like a home with a dog around!
However, you may notice that your dog seems to enjoy your company more when it comes to bedtime. Every night, your dog sleeps on top of you while your husband sleeps with content, with no extra weight on his body.
If you’ve ever wondered “why does my dog sleep on me and not my husband,” the answer isn’t that your dog hates him. There’s much more to the situation than that.
Why Does My Dog Sleep On Me and Not My Husband?
`Here are reasons why your dog sleeps on you and not your husband:
Like us, dogs have a personality. We see it with the decisions that they make and the way they act around others. Some dogs will go crazy when someone drops by to visit and others won’t, even in the same breed. Dogs will have favorite toys, favorite places, even favorite foods!
That personality difference will play into your dog’s decision to sleep on top of you. Your dog is recognizing that your personality is a closer match to its own and choosing to match itself with you that way.
It’s the same way that you and your husband could meet someone else, like a coworker’s spouse or a personal trainer, and not agree on if they like them or not. One person in the marriage might find the personality the new person brings fun or endearing, while the other thinks they are tiring. We select others based on their personalities and dogs can do the same.
This isn’t a problem, but instead, a chance for your husband to see what parts of his temperament may be causing your dog to choose you over him. Making one or two changes could be the difference between shared and sole custody of the dog at night!
Your Dog Makes Associations
We all know that dogs are very smart. They learn tricks and about the world around them and notice changes quickly. This also applies to the bedroom.
If your dog is choosing you as their sleeping partner, they have decided that you’re the better choice for them to get through the night. Maybe you’re more comforting to the dog when a storm rolls through during the night. Maybe you don’t move as much while sleeping, meaning your dog isn’t disturbed as much throughout the night. No matter what reason, your dog made the association that you are the better pillow during the night.
Again, the way to change this is to find what association your dog has made and work to change it. If you roll around during your sleep, you might need to change your mattress or sleeping habits. Acting more comforting when your dog is spooked could help them learn that you can be there for support in your dog’s mind. It will take some time, but eventually, you’ll be able to convince your dog that your husband is a good choice, too!
Your Dog Has Emotions, Too
Why does my dog cuddle with me and not my husband? In addition to being smart, dogs are empathetic, too. They respond to the emotions that we express. That’s why you can say something in a sweet or angry tone and your dog will respond in kind to the emotion, not the words.
When it comes time for bed, your dog may be recognizing that you have a more welcoming mood than your husband. Perhaps your husband goes to bed in a bad mood often, so your dog seeks out the comfort you provide as the happy one. In either case, your dog is picking up on emotional cues and responding in kind.
This could just come down to how you and your husband are before bed. If your husband wants more time with the dog at bedtime, he may need to evaluate what his demeanor is like beforehand. Just like with many of our other solutions, this solution comes down to mindfulness and habit changes.
Why does my dog sleep between me and my husband? Maybe there’s no difference between you and your husband’s temperaments and moods around bedtime. You both equally soothe, feed, and tend to the dog’s needs. Yet, the dog still has a preference for you over your husband. In this case, familiarity could be the difference.
Dogs naturally seek out comfort and familiarity, just like many other animals. This means that your dog will want to spend more time with the person it already spends time with, which could be you.
This isn’t necessarily anyone’s fault. If your husband works more or has to spend more time out of the house, then your dog will see you more than your husband. It doesn’t mean your dog loves your husband less, but instead means that your dog views time with you as the norm. Since sleeping is something that leaves you vulnerable, your dog is seeking comfort that counters that vulnerable feeling.
Finally, a dog’s strongest sense may play a factor in your favorability. Dogs have great senses of smell, allowing them to smell things we never detect. Dogs can smell between 10,000 to 100,000 times better than we can, after all!
The reason your dog may prefer you as its sleeping buddy is because you smell better than your husband does. There aren’t many scents that can upset a dog, but some strong scents can discourage them. Alcohol, smoke, and sweat are the main scents that could make your dog choose you over your husband.
If you think the scent is an issue, a shower before bed could help. Mild soaps without a strong scent would help clean away whatever is causing the smell while keeping a new scent from offending the dog. Also, habits like drinking and smoking can cause these scents to cling to your skin, so kicking these habits could make you smell better to your dog.
So, why does my dog sleep on me and not my husband? Just like us, dogs are complex creatures. They have things that they prefer when it comes to scents, temperaments, and familiarity. Any of these could be the deciding factor in why your dog sleeps on you and not your husband.
By being mindful of what choices you and your husband are making around your dog, and these tips, you should be able to figure out your dog’s reason. Once you solve that reason, you can get that load off your chest and share it with your husband!