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Why Does My Dog Sleep on Me and Not My Husband?

Dogs are creatures much like us who have their own quirks, personality traits, and preferences.

Some dogs like their independence and like to sleep on the living room couch at bedtime. Others want to be close and sleep on the floor of your bedroom, and some like to snuggle up close, right in the middle of you and your partner!

But sometimes, our dogs have all too clear preferences that might result in some hurt feelings between partners.

In some cases, you and your husband may love and adore your dog equally, but your dog only wants to cuddle with you at night, not your husband.

And sometimes it could be the other way around with your husband getting cuddles and you feeling left out.

So if you’ve been asking yourself: “why does my dog sleep on me and not my husband?”, know that there are some possible reasons why your dog has the preferences that he does that may help you better understand him. 

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10 reasons why your dog sleeps on you and not your husband

Your dog may sleep on you and not your husband for various reasons, including comfort, familiarity, scent, or body temperature.

It’s possible that your dog may associate you with positive experiences, such as receiving affection, treats, or comfort, making you a preferred sleeping partner.

Here are 10 reasons why your dog sleeps on you and not your husband:

Your dog prefers a quiet sleeper

One of the first possible reasons your dog chooses to sleep on you and not your husband is simply because you are quieter than your husband.

If your husband snores loudly or talks in his sleep, it might disturb your pup’s sleep just as much as it keeps you up.

While being on your side of the bed may not decrease the noise much, your dog may still be less surprised or disturbed by sudden or loud noises. 

Your dog prefers a still sleeper 

Another possible reason your dog may prefer to sleep on you instead of your husband could be that your husband moves around too much in his sleep for your dog’s liking.

Some people are like a rock throughout the night and don’t move an inch, while others often toss and turn without even realizing they are doing it.

It’s only natural that your dog would choose to sleep on your side rather than your husband’s if your dog is worried about ending up on the floor because of all the movement happening on the other side of the bed. 

You have a stronger bond

It’s possible that your dog may just feel more comfortable with you or have a strong bond and connection with you.

This, of course, doesn’t mean that your dog doesn’t love your husband, just that your dog is more connected to you. This can happen due to several reasons. 

The first and easiest explanation would be if you had your dog before you met your husband. You and your pup were living the single life and always had each other. And while your dog loves having him around now, you and your dog will just always have that special bond. 

Another possible reason is simply that you are the dog’s primary caretaker. If you are home more often than your husband or are the one that always remembers to feed the dog on time, chances are, your dog feels a closer connection to you. 

Your dog misses you 

One possible reason that your dog may choose to sleep on you and not your husband is that your dog misses you!

If your husband is home more than you are, your dog probably feels like dad gets enough attention during the day. If you work long days, bedtime is the best time for your dog to get to spend time with you! 

Your dog could be protecting or guarding you

Your dog may sleep on you instead of your husband because he feels like you need more protection than your husband does.

You may cry out in your sleep or start twitching when you have a bad dream. It’s possible that your dog just wants to comfort you in the same way we comfort our dogs when we see them whimpering or running in their sleep.

You are the perfect temperature 

As mentioned earlier, our dogs have gotten to be quite spoiled animals over the years, and they certainly have their preferences.

Some dogs get hot easily and like to lay on their owners or the cool tile floor to cool off. Others might get cold and want to snuggle up underneath layers of blankets.

It is possible that you are “cooler” or “warmer” than your partner and that temperature is more to your dog’s liking, which explains why your dog sleeps on you and not your husband.

If you feel cool to the touch, and your dog gets hot easily, or if it’s vice versa and you run hot, and your dog always needs a blanket, you’re the perfect pair! 

Your dog prefers your scent

Dogs have an incredibly keen sense of smell. In fact, it is believed that they have up to 300 million sensory receptors for scent.

It could be that you just smell better than your husband! If you are putting a vanilla, coconut, or even a pumpkin spice-scented lotion before you crawl into bed, it’s likely that your dog will be intrigued by that scent and want to stay close.

One study found that scents like coconut, vanilla, ginger, and valerian help calm anxious dogs. It could also just be that your dog finds your scent comforting. Additionally, your husband may have strong smells emanating from him that your dog isn’t as big a fan of.

For example, if your husband smokes or drinks, scents from cigarettes and alcohol can linger, especially for dogs. These smells could be a deterrent for your dog.

It could also be because of your husband’s hobbies or occupation. Maybe he works in a woodworking shop all day, works on cars, or works in a hospital setting. The smell of wood, oil, fuel, or even antiseptic could be less appealing to your dog. 

You’re the cool parent 

Your dog sleeping on you may indicate that they see you as the more fun parent compared to your husband being seen as the disciplinarian.

Try not to rub this one in your husband’s face, but in some cases, you may just be the cooler or more fun parent, so your dog feels closer to you.

Maybe you act especially silly and excited when you see your dog after a long day, or maybe, you’re the one that sneaks a little bite of chicken under the table for your dog!

Your dog prefers women 

Your dog may just choose to sleep with you because of a preference for women. This can simply be because the women your dog has met have been more soft-spoken and gentler than men.

Or it could be that your dog has experienced past trauma that your dog associates with men. While your husband and dog may still have a good relationship, your dog may still have difficulty being vulnerable around men. 

Your dog is scared of your husband

Your dog sleeping with you instead of your husband may be due to fear. They may have had a bad experience with your husband, such as rough handling or being stepped on.

Although dogs have a strong ability to live in the moment and overcome past abuse or neglect, they also have a memory that lasts. This means they can remember past hurts, especially if it happened recently.

Signs that your dog is avoiding your husband include:

  • Lip licking
  • Heavy panting
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Trembling
  • Tail tucking
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How to encourage your dog to sleep with your husband

The key to getting your dog to sleep with your husband instead of you is three-pronged approach: bonding, positive reinforcement and making the other person smell like you.

Remember that some dogs may simply prefer the comfort of one person over another, but with patience and persistence, your dog may eventually come to enjoy sleeping with both of you.

Let’s take a closer look at each.

Encourage bonding 

If your husband is feeling a bit hurt and left out that the family dog is choosing to sleep on you rather than him, there are ways to help him get his dog cuddle time, too.

Help your husband work to increase their bond. For example, change it up and start having it be your husband’s responsibility to prepare breakfast and dinner for your dog. 

Also, encourage your husband to spend more time with your dog. Instead of just watching a movie with the dog on the couch, have your husband get outside and play chase, hide and seek, or a game of fetch with your dog.

Bonding can also be increased through activities like grooming and training. Encourage your husband to pick up a brush the next time they are watching tv together and start brushing the dog. Or encourage him to try to teach your dog a new trick. 

Make your husband smell like you

Have your husband take a shower using the same scent of body soap you use, or put on the same kind of lotion before bed. If your husband smells more like you, your pup might just thank you! 

Positivement reinforcement

Maybe your dog just doesn’t realize that cuddling up next to dad is even an option because it has never been done before.

Dogs are creatures of habit, and they like their routines. But sometimes, it is okay to switch things up! Encourage your dog to cuddle up next to your husband by excitedly patting his side of the bed and asking your dog to get up.

When your dog does come up on the bed, lead him over toward your husband’s side. Encourage your dog with positive reinforcement like praise and treats when cuddled up next to your spouse. 

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Final Takeaways 

As you can see, there are many reasons why your dog may prefer to sleep on you instead of your husband.

Things like snoring, too much movement, or being too hot can all be things that will keep your dog on your side of the bed. In these cases, maybe your husband will just have to get cuddles during the day!

If it’s because your dog sees you as the primary caregiver, the cool parent, or has a stronger bond with you, there are plenty of ways that your husband can foster a closer connection with your dog.

Maybe soon you’ll even be able to stretch out a little in bed because your dog will be fast asleep on your husband!

Photo of author
Lisemaine is a dog lover. She currently owns two Frenchies and enjoys working with and training them. She'll share her best tips with you to keep your Frenchie happy, healthy, and active.

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