Ever wondered why your dog sleeps by the door? It’s not just because they want to be with you. Dogs sleep in specific postures, and one of them is lying on their stomach with their head near a doorway. The reason for this position could be that it helps them get more comfortable in cold weather or when there’s some other disturbance outside, like another animal or person walking by.
Your pet may also be trying to guard you against whatever might be going on outside. This blog post will discuss all the different reasons why your dog might sleep at the entrance of your home!
So, Why Does My Dog Sleep By My Door?
We mainly identify 11 Reasons which are:
- For Your Protection / Being Protective
- To Mark Their Territory
- To Show Leadership
- Separation Anxiety
- For Attention / Extra Attention /Waiting for You
- It wants exercise
- It feels safer there
- Feeling hot
- You encouraged the behavior
1. For Your Protection / Being Protective
Dogs are good at sensing things that humans can’t. This makes them excellent protectors of their owners. In the wild, dogs would stay by the lair to guard against any potential attackers or predators. However, some dogs will lie down beside a door because they feel it’s what they’re supposed to do for their owner’s protection.
Similarly, not all dogs who sleep by doors are inherently protective or guard-like. Some pets will curl up beside the door when they’re cold and need to be surrounded by a warmer surface, like the floor. A cool draft could also cause your dog to seek out warm surfaces around your house.
It might not feel like it since you’re inside the house and your dog is outside, but it’s possible that your pet could be cold. Try to check the weather before you go outside or let your pet in from the yard, so they don’t start shivering.
Solution: If your dog wants to be a protector, you could encourage this behavior by playing guard games with them. Try hiding things like toys and feeding your pet in different areas around the house, so they have to check all of them and see if any predators or strangers are about.
You can also train them on how to search and rescue people and other animals in your neighborhood. This will not only be fun for you to do with your pet, but it can help them gain a purpose and feel fulfilled.
To Mark Their Territory
Dogs like to mark their territory with urine and feces. By sleeping by the door, they can claim that spot as part of their home turf. Sometimes dogs even lift a leg and urinate on the floor near the entrance.
This is generally done on entryways where people will frequently come from outside, so your dog wants everyone to know that it’s his territory.
Solution: If your dog likes to mark their territory, you can help them adjust by keeping them inside more often. When dogs stay in one area for long periods of time, they’re less likely to urinate or poop in those areas as a sign of marking territory.
You can also train your canine companion on how to use a litter box that is more sanitary and will help reduce the odor of their urine markers.
To Show Leadership
If your dog sleeps by your front door, they might show you that they’re trying to take on a leadership position in the house.
Rather than acting like rivals or predators when you get close to the door, your dog wants to bond with you and be higher up in the “pack order.”
Solution: If your pet is trying to take over as leader of the house, it might feel a little awkward. You can strengthen your position by being more dominant yourself.
Try showing them who’s boss when they’re eating or taking treats from you so that they understand that you’re more in charge.
Often, dogs will curl up beside an entrance because it’s the last place they saw their owner before leaving. This can be a sign of separation anxiety, where your dog feels nervous or upset when you’re around them but not actually present for them to see with their own eyes.
Many dogs who suffer from separation anxiety will sleep by doors or windows because they’re hoping to get a glimpse of their owner and feel better.
Solution: If your dog is suffering from separation anxiety, try slowly getting them more comfortable with seeing you leave around the house. This might mean putting on some noise-canceling headphones and playing white noise while you act like you’re packing your things up to go.
Also, leave a specific object with your scent on it by the door so that your dog begins to feel more at ease when they see or smell this item. This can be an article of clothing that you’ve worn recently or even just a scrunched-up paper towel with your scent on it.
Dogs like to explore and investigate new territory. By sleeping near the door, they can feel as if they have a better look at whatever is going on outside while also protecting their home turf.
By keeping watch over where people or animals are coming in from, your dog feels more secure about its surroundings and makes sure that you’re safe from any potential intruders.
Solution: Try playing more active games with your pet near the front door so that they have to stay focused on you instead of what’s going on around them. You can also try putting in a doggy or baby gate that keeps them away from the entryway but doesn’t separate you from them if you want to give them more space.
You can also try making your entrance a little less exciting, so your pet isn’t as curious and tempted to be on high alert when people are coming in or out.
For Extra Attention or Waiting for You to Arrive
If your dog is sleeping by the door, they might be extra-excited to see you when you get home.
Your canine companion could also be so attached to your routine that they’re waiting for you to come back around because it’s something they find comfort in.
Solution: Try ignoring a few of their tricks so that they learn you don’t reward them with your attention every time they want it.
Also, keep in mind that some dogs like to be alone and might not want constant companionship from you, especially when you get home from work or go out for the evening.
Perhaps if your dog doesn’t want constant attention or is a little more aloof, they might just be sleeping by the door because it’s something that they do to relax or decompress.
It wants exercise
It’s no secret that dogs need exercise and are more likely to go out of their way to get it.
If you leave your pet alone in the house for long periods of time, they might be so bored or pent up with energy that they’re trying to find ways to let it all out by sleeping near entrances.
Solution: Try occupying your dog’s time with more playtime or a couple of extra walks throughout the day. This can also help to strengthen your bond since you’ll get plenty of exercises together and keep them mentally stimulated.
It may seem like dogs are thinking through actions they’re making, but many of their behaviors come from instincts rather than rational thought.
It feels safer there
If your dog is sleeping by the door, it might just feel like a “home base” or a place where they’re more comfortable.
Solution: Give them something that smells like you and wants to help calm their anxiety when they have these feelings of abandonment so that they learn to sleep near the door but not necessarily underfoot in case you need to move around.
Reward your dog with praise and treats for sleeping farther away from the door to reinforce this behavior as a positive one.
It’s older and isn’t moving fast anymore.
If you have an older pet, it might just not be able to get up and move around as quickly or easily anymore.
Because of this, they might also seek out more comfortable sleeping spots that don’t involve so much effort.
Solution: Try making sure your dog has a soft and comfy place to sleep near the door or in another room if you think it’s sleeping there because it’s harder to get up from that spot. Could you keep it clean? If you keep finding your dog sleeping by the door, make sure that you were regularly clean to keep any odors from attracting them back there.
Feeling hot or cold.
By sleeping near doors or windows, dogs can gain better access to cool air if they’re feeling hot or utilize the draft coming in from outside if they’re not enjoying being too warm.
Solution: Find a happy medium by giving your pet a soft blanket that’s clean and provides warmth and ventilation for those warmer days where you want to keep the house a little cooler.
It’s their bedtime
Even if you’re not aware of it, your dog might start sleeping by the door to signal that it’s time for bed.
Solution: If this is happening and you want them to sleep in another room, try creating separate “bedtimes” for your pet and yourself so that they understand their place in the home.
Dogs are creatures of habit, so they’ll likely begin going right to bed when you start getting ready for the night.
This can be especially helpful if your pup has separation anxiety and is trying to get your attention before you go out or leave them alone at home.
It wants to be able to enjoy the view.
In some cases, dogs might want to get a good view of their surroundings, and they’ll seek out open windows or elevated spots for a better vantage point.
Solution: Try creating more hidden places in your home where your pet can go if it doesn’t want company but is also safe.
By having a quieter place in the home, your dog can get some peace while you can keep an eye on them where they’re more likely to be sleeping near windows or by doorways.
It’s too energetic for the inside.
If your pooch is behaving like one of those crazy puppies that never wants to stop playing, it might just need a break from being inside all the time.
Solution: Let your pet have more time outside going for walks or playing in the backyard while you can relax, knowing that your home is a little safer.
If you’re not able to provide enough exercise throughout the day, try keeping them stimulated by feeding them with interactive toys that they can play with on their own.
Boredom might be an issue.
If your pet is always napping near the door, it might just want more to do.
Solution: Give them a stuffed Kong toy to play with and chew on so that they have something fun to stay occupied with.
You can also find games that you can play with your pup, like tug-o-war or fetch, by having them chase a ball or toy to keep their minds active.
It doesn’t want you coming and going.
By keeping their sleeping area near the door, your dog can ensure that they know when you’re leaving and arriving back home, which comforts them.
Solution: Try keeping doors closed while you’re gone so that it’s not as obvious when you leave or come back.
Some dogs are more sensitive than others, so it might just take some time for your pet to get used to the changes in your schedule and demeanor before they’re able to feel secure again.
You encouraged the behavior.
Remember that adage of training your pet like a dog? Well, if you’ve been rewarding your pooch when it sleeps near the door or by windows, it will continue to do so.
Solution: By giving them some extra attention or treats whenever they sleep in their own bed instead, you can help discourage napping where you don’t want them to be.
If you’re not sure how your dog will respond, start small by rewarding only when they sleep in designated areas of the home and gradually increase the criteria until they get the hint.
It senses that something is wrong.
Dogs have an innate ability to sense when there are changes in their environment that could affect them.
Solution: While it’s not scientific, your dog might think that sleeping in the open where they have an advantage will help protect them if something does happen to you or another member of your household.
If you’ve noticed a change in their personality when you get home from work or school, try making sure to give them extra attention to let them know that everything is fine.