I have three dogs and one of them, Bones, sleeps on the bed with me.Bashir, the oldest, sleeps on a dog bed in the bedroom and Sisko sleeps on the sofa in the living room. When asking the question, "Where should dogs sleep?" the answers are variable and depend on the individual dog, his age, his behavior and his training. Let's take a look at those variables.
A Crate Becomes Security and ComfortI consider teaching a puppy to sleep in a crate one of the necessary things all of my puppies need to learn. When sleeping in the crate at night, the puppy learns to control his bladder and bowels as few puppies wish to soil their bed. When the puppy cannot be supervised during the day, he can spend some time in his crate with a toy or something to chew on. If things are busy in the house, perhaps when guests come over, the puppy can go to his crate so he doesn't become overwhelmed. When I have a new puppy, I have him sleep in the crate each night. I keep the crate in my bedroom close to the bed. If the new puppy is worried, I like to be able to reach off the bed and put my fingers in the crate so he can smell them. I generally have my puppies sleep in the crate through adolescence (generally 9 to 14 months of age). Since the crate confines the puppy when he can't be supervised at night (after all, I'm sleeping), he can't get into trouble and perhaps turn those behaviors into bad habits. Providing a crate and teaching the puppy to use it when he's young will make sure he's comfortable in it at various times for the rest of his life. Although he won't need to spend each night in the crate throughout his life (he can if he wants to of course), being comfortable in a crate will help him when he goes to the grooming shop and the veterinary clinic, both of which will need to put him in a crate or cage. If you travel with your dog, a crate is necessary on a plane and can keep him safe in a car or RV. Crating your dog in a hotel can help him feel secure. I like to compare a crate for a puppy to the blanket fort that kids create with the dining room chairs and a couple of blankets. My blanket forts were my special place where I was alone with my toys while feeling close and comforted.
Sharing Your BedFor many years dog trainers told dog owners not to let their dog sleep on the bed with them. The common opinion at that time was that dogs, being pack animals who wanted to assert themselves over their owners, would push and shove to get you to move over. Thankfully, we now know that dogs aren't nearly that devious and if they shove you it's just to get closer to you, often using you as a source of heat. There are only a few concerns about allowing your dog to sleep in bed with you. If you are a light sleeper who wakes up easily, your dog could prevent you from getting a good night's sleep. Most dogs don't sleep soundly all night long; they move, shift, get off the bed and back on and if it's warm, they pant. If this is going to be a problem for you, don't have the dog sleep on the bed. If you have a young dog who is going to get down off the bed and roam the house, looking for things to amuse himself, don't ask him to sleep on the bed, crate him instead. If your dog isn't well housetrained, don't invite him up on the bed. He needs to be in a crate also. Essentially, if your dog has any behaviors that you don't want him to practice when you can't supervise, don't give him the freedom of sleeping on the bed (and jumping off when he wishes). If your dog is well-behaved and you'd like to have him sleep on the bed, teach him where to sleep. I prefer that Bones sleep next to me; not up near my head as I don't want to wake up to a face full of dog hair. As much as I think he's a great dog, that's too much. I also like to move my feet at night so I don't want my feet pinned down by a heavy dog. When he sleeps right next to me we're both happy.
Dog Beds are GreatMy oldest dog, Bashir, prefers to sleep on a dog bed right next to my bed. Although I've invited him up on my bed, after a few minutes he gets hot and begins to pant. He prefers to sleep by himself and that's fine. Sine he's getting older and his bones need some cushioning, I have a raised bed for him that allows him sleep about 6 inches off the floor. In the summer that's all he has, but when the weather cools, I add a fleece blanket to his bed. There are many dog bed options that range from cushions to real furniture with wooden frames and nicely sewn cushions. You can even match them to your home's decor. Your dog doesn't care about the decor, though; all he wants is the comfort. The placement of the dog bed is going to have to be a joint decision between you and your dog. Bashir may not want to sleep on my bed, but he wants to be close so his dog bed is right next to my bed in a place where I won't trip over it.