Dog Suddenly Sleeping in a Different Room – What You Can Do

We often want to cuddle up with our pups during the evening and end up sleeping together. It is a nice experience and helps maintain your bond. But what should you do if you found your dog suddenly sleeping in a different room?

Sudden changes in a dog’s sleeping location may result from shifts in comfort, temperature, or noise levels. Understanding your dog’s preferences and ensuring a cozy environment can help ease the transition. There are a few other things you can do to help your dog.

Understanding the reasons why your dog seeks a different sleeping spot

Even though it might seem weird and alarming, this behavior can be completely normal. Although, there are a few cases when you need to pay attention.

Comfort as a motivating factor

Just like us, dogs look for the coziest spot to snuggle up. If their previous sleeping area is less cushy or has become crowded, your pup might be seeking a comfier alternative. Some dogs like sleeping on softer beds, while others feel the hard floor to be more comfortable.

How does room temperature influence their choice?

Dogs are sensitive to temperature changes. If a room has become too chilly or too warm, you might notice a sudden change in your dog sleeping location to a more thermally comfortable corner. This is more common in dogs with thick fur, especially during summer times.

Dr. Mary Jordan, et al. had this to say about the ideal canine temperature:

The normal range of temperatures at which dogs and other species can maintain their body temperatures without expending energy to increase heat production or heat loss (NRC, 2010) is called the thermoneutral zone (TNZ), and ranges from 20°C (68°F) to 30°C (86°F) for dogs.

What role does noise sensitivity play?

Loud noises can startle dogs and disturb their sleep. In fact, “Exposure to sounds above 140 dB can cause immediate damage and physical pain.”, according to Dr. Morgan Garvey, et al.

If you are a loud snorer, your dog might avoid sleeping next to you. Living in a loud neighborhood will also cause stress for your dog and encourage it to find a more quiet spot for rest. This is especially common in dogs that are light sleepers. 

Why might your dog be seeking space?

Just like people, dogs sometimes need personal space. If your room or your bed is not big enough to have your dog, they will find a place that will fit their size. That said, some dogs actually prefer to live in tighter spaces and will seek out these seemingly uncomfortable corners to sleep in.

A different sleep routine

Dogs thrive on routines. The reason why your dog suddenly wants to sleep alone might be due to your new daily schedule. If you started working at different times or started having night shifts, your dog might find it hard to adapt and seek a personal space so it can get its deserved rest.

Can memories and past experiences impact their behavior?

Dogs associate memories and emotions with physical spaces. If your dog had a negative experience in their old sleep spot, they might choose a new one to avoid those feelings. If you have a rescued dog that has trauma from past owners, it might need some time to warm up to you and learn to be relaxed. 

Is territorial behavior a consideration?

Dogs have a natural instinct to mark and protect their territory. Territorial behavior is most noticeable in households that house more than one pet. Your dog might really like its spot and will even choose to sleep there if it means that the other dog won’t take its place.

What role do mental and physical conditions play in this change?

Another reason why your dog is sleeping in a different room might be some kind of health problem. If your dog feels unwell and unable to move around properly, it might choose to sleep in a different spot. This is a natural instinct to hide when sick to avoid getting caught by predators during the night.

The dog is being protective of its owner

If you have a breed known for guarding its home and owner, you might find it sleeping in a spot that is most accessible to intruders. Breeds like the Pitbull and the Rottweiler are usually found in this situation, as they are considered some of the best guard dogs.

Could the dog be in heat?

Female dogs go through heat from time to time, during which their behavior changes. For example, a female Corgi has a heat cycle every 6 months, and during that time it will isolate itself to rest. This does not happen with male dogs though.

How can you help your dog transition to a different sleeping area?

Considering the reasons for your dog’s change in sleep location, there are a few things you can do to get the dog back.

How do you ensure comfort and security?

Making your room more appealing will help your dog, but it will also make your experience better. Firstly, give enough space to your dog so it has where to relax and lie down. Providing a comfy dog bed or a dog crate near your bed can help a lot.

Then, place a comfy blankie that only your pup can use. Try putting your scent on it so it is familiar to it. Add some toys just in case the dog gets bored and keep it company.

What positive reinforcement techniques can you use?

Reward your dog with treats and praise when they spend time in the new sleeping spot. Whenever your pup lays down next to you, rub its belly and give it plenty of hugs so it wants to stick around.

Positive associations can encourage dogs to embrace the change and continue coming back to sleep in this new place.

Avoid using negative reinforcement. This is when you award your dog by giving it extra attention when it does something wrong, like sleeping in another room.

How can you manage room temperature for your dog’s comfort?

If you notice your dog sleeping habits shifting to a new room, consider changing something about the temperature. Use the air conditioner, or get a fan to help you lower the temperature when its too hot during summer. Consider trimming your dog’s fur if it’s allowed to do so.

If the weather is too cold, and your dog can not take it, get some blankets, or try to warm up the room somehow. You can also cuddle up to preserve more heat.

Why is maintaining a healthy sleep routine important, and how can you do it?

Being consistent and maintaining a routine is important for dogs. They love to have a schedule to follow. So you must ensure to have one for them if you want to sleep in the same room together.

You can decide to have some evening exercise every day at the same time. You can also have an evening dinner that signals the dog that sleeping time is close. Decide yourself if you should feed your dog before or after the walk.

What are some gradual transition methods?

Once your dog changed sleeping location, you should try getting it back slowly, without using force. You can do this by slowly allowing the dog to stay in your room during the day. Then, give it more freedom until it feels comfortable to sleep there.

Make sure you adapt as well by keeping noise and ligh levels down. You can also use a calming spray to let the dog relax. Using valerian root for your dog can help it get rid of some anxiety and fears.

When should you seek professional advice regarding your dog’s change in behavior?

If your dog’s slumber changes are sudden, severe, or accompanied by other unusual behaviors, it’s time to consult a veterinarian. They can help with ruling out any medical causes for this behavior. If there is a disease, present, they will try to diagnose and treat the dog. If that is not the case, they will give you tailored recommendation to your case. If behavior problems are the reasons, you can also ask for help from a professional dog trainer.

dog sleeping on the couch

So what should you do if you find your dog suddenly sleeping in a different room? 

Seeing your dog going to another room to sleep might feel bad at first as you start missing your furry friend next to you. But it’s important to consider its needs for rest as well.

Dogs may show this behavior if they find your chosen sleeping place to be unfit. You might be too loud, or the room might be too warm for it to sleep. Maybe the dog doesn’t have enough space to comfortable sleep. Sometimes, the dog may have a more serious physical or psychological problem that prevents it from sleeping next to you.

Your job as the owner is to maintain your dog’s well being and let it get its much needed sleep. Getting a proper routine and using all the tips to make your dog comfortable will get you closer to sleeping together once again.


How long does it take for a dog to adjust to a new sleeping spot?

For a younger puppy that just started feeling some sleeping freedom, a few days to a week would be enough to teach it where to sleep. For older dogs with long-time nighttime habits, you will need weeks of work.

What are some signs of separation anxiety in dogs?

A dog that has been left alone for too long will start getting impatient and destructive. It will bark, howl, and pee everywhere around the home. You might also find this dog suddenly sleeping in a different room.

Why does your dog sleep in the bathroom?

Dogs like sleeping in the bathroom because its a small, cool, and dark place. Which makes it perfect for resting. Sometimes they even choose to curl up in the bathtub or the shower if they find it comfortable.

More dog behavior resources

Here are a few other resources talking about other unusual behavior in dogs and how to deal with them.

You can find a lot more information on weird dog behaviors on our site Dogisa!

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