When It’s Not About You – Why Your Dog Does THAT

Boots and Bee Photography - By Brittany Graham

Boots and Bee Photography – By Brittany Graham

I have been a selfish being all my life, in practice, though not in principle – Jane Austen

There’s been a change in Porter’s sleeping routine lately. Not one I’ve instilled. Nope, he’s done this one on his own. Let me explain the former routine:

I’d get ready for bed and Porter would follow me the whole time. Once I got into bed, he would sit very patiently to see if he would be invited up that night. Sometimes he would and sometimes he wouldn’t. On the nights he wouldn’t be invited up, he would curl up in his bed next to mine and sleep contently.

However, lately, the routine has changed. Once I climb into bed, he either stays in his bed in the living room or goes into his crate to sleep. Sometimes, in the middle of the night he’ll come back to the room and curl up on his bed next to me, but many times he chooses to sleep on his own.

Boots and Bee Photography - By Brittany Graham

Boots and Bee Photography – By Brittany Graham

At first I was upset by this. I wanted him to sleep with me. I liked knowing that he was next to me and in his comfortable bed. I didn’t want him sleeping on his own or in his crate. I wanted the comfort of having him by my side. And then I realized, I was thinking about this only in terms of what I wanted.

There’s nothing wrong with him sleeping in the living room or his crate. In fact, both sleeping arrangements are very comfortable. It’s not like I’m making him sleep outside with no shelter and no warmth. He’s making this choice, and I have to get over my own feelings about it.

Boots and Bee Photography - By Brittany Graham

Boots and Bee Photography – By Brittany Graham

It’s a lesson that we all need to pay attention to. What are we projecting onto our pets? Are our motives selfish? When I found myself trying to call Porter into the room, I would make myself re-evaluate the situation. I was doing that for me. That’s clearly not what he wanted, and it wasn’t hurting anything by having him sleep where he wanted, so I needed to get over the fact that I needed his comfort.

We tend to want to dissect each and every one of their decisions. However, I don’t need to know why Porter wants to sleep in the other room. Maybe it was because my phone fell on him once. Or quite simply he likes the other beds better. It doesn’t matter. What matters is, it’s fine if he sleeps in the other room. He doesn’t destroy anything, doesn’t pace, he just sleeps. So, I need to get over my own wants and give him what he wants. A nice peaceful sleep.

 Keep calm and pilot on

Danika Migliore
Darwin Dogs, LLC
Dog Training in Cleveland, OH

2 thoughts on “When It’s Not About You – Why Your Dog Does THAT

  1. Our previous GSDs, Caesar and Dakota, would put themselves to bed at 8 pm. They would wait for us to follow, heave a heavy sigh when we didn’t and climb the stairs to bed. I guess they trusted us to put ourselves to bed without their assistance. :-)

  2. Lily had been sleeping between my husband and me for many months. A couple of months ago she changed her pattern. We (Not Lily) usually read for a while before turning off the lights and going to sleep. A few minutes after lights out, Lily goes to her bed on the other side of the room. We have no idea why she does this. When I awake, in the morning, Lily and I go outside for her morning constitutional. While I go take my shower, Lily goes back to the big bed. Maybe we snore too much or thrash about trying to sleep. Don’t know. She has a comfy bed and she is happy.

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