Cats and Dogs
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Do dogs know when youre sleeping?

Why Does My Dog Have to Sleep Touching Me?

Do you ever climb into your bed at night after a long and tiring day to find your dog follows you in to curl up next to you and snore loudly in your ear?

You may ask yourself, why do they insist on stretching out their paws all over your face and pillows?

It might be because they are drawn to the body heat or warm comfort of their owner. Or it may just be their cute way of taking over your comfy bed.

Either way, there is some indescribable security felt when your furry friend crawls up next to you.

But, let’s go ahead and investigate some potential reasons for why your dog insists on touching you while you sleep.

Why Does My Dog Sleep So Close to Me?

So why is your dog so intent on sleeping in your room? Wouldn’t they prefer to roam around the house freely or take up all the space on the couch while you’re not looking?

This may be explained by dogs’ natural instincts to shelter together, coming from what we know about wolves and wild dogs. Cozying up in dens was a way to guarantee a certain level of protection, security, and warmth.

It provides them with a reliable place to lay their head and sense safety.

This desire to sleep with you is likely a natural instinct to stay close for safety and secureness. You being the head of household or of certain authority to your dog, they feel the most secure in your presence.

Why Does My Dog Sleep on Me and Not My Significant Other?

Some dogs will choose one person to develop a deep and trusting relationship with that breeds comfortability. This means that they gravitate towards you because you’re who they’re familiar with.

It’s possible that you’ve developed such a relationship with your dog because:

  • You spend more time with them.
  • You have spent more time playing with them or they were your dog to begin with.
  • You wear a certain perfume or cologne that attracts your dog’s attention. Dog’s have an extreme sense of smell and the chemicals in different scents react with your skin to create a particular aroma.
  • Your dog may just simply prefer you over your significant other and the energy you give off.
  • Your body language can also attract or deter a dog based on how they view your communication towards them and others.

Why Does My Dog Sleep at My Feet?

The main explanation of this is likely protection.

Sleeping at your feet provides the dog with a defense strategy or to sense danger easily. When we hug or cuddle our pets while sleeping, it provides them with limited ability to defend themselves.

Some dogs may just instinctively be aware of their surroundings and potential dangers due to nature, previous situations they’ve been in, or how they were raised.

Dogs naturally sleep at the tail of their mother to avoid being rolled over. They also may sleep at your feet to find a cooler space to sleep, as it gets warm when body heat radiates from one another.

Dog Sleeping Positions With Their Owner

After evaluating all the potential reasons why your dog sleeps touching you, you may be thinking about all the silly positions you’ve found your dog sleeping in while with you.

Dogs and their sleeping positions can explain a lot about how they are feeling, but it’s more interesting to see how they adapt sleeping positions when with their owners.

In Between Legs

This position usually means your dog is extremely comfortable with you and feels safe with your body warmth.

It also allows the dog to hide any potential threat areas that could be exposed if they were not cuddled up with you.

On Their Back With Paws Sticking Up

By exposing their stomach, this indicates that your dog really trusts you and is secure in your presence. It may also mean that your dog is hot and is trying to cool off.

Under the Blanket

Your dog may be seeking comfort under a blanket because they feel a sense of security in smaller or covered spaces. It is also a possibility that they’re cold and it’s just more comfortable under the blanket.

Dogs that sleep like this are also more comfortable with affection.

On Your Neck or Face

A lot of younger pups tend to do this as they haven’t developed any fear responses yet that would make them untrustful of the sight of teeth.

Your dog also may just want to be close to you and feel your warmth. They are extremely comfortable and trusting of you.

On Your Pillow

Besides being generally more comfortable, your pillow carries tiny skin cells which contain your scent, one that your dog is familiar with. This likely offers them comfort and a feeling of security stimulated.

Your dog most likely values you or your authority, and as they see you lay your head on the pillow ritually, they may recognize this as your spot and want to be a part of it.

Sprawled Across Your Bed

Dogs usually don’t understand personal space, as they often group in packs since birth. Sprawling allows them to cool off and become comfortable.

Overall, dogs love to be where you are because you are important to them! Take this as a compliment the next time your dogs may annoyingly insist on touching their paws or fur to you as you try and get some shut eye.

Do Dogs Know When Humans Are Sleeping?

Do Dogs Know When Humans Are Sleeping?

Maybe you did this as a child to snag more video game time as your parents passed by your bedroom. Or perhaps you’ve even done it as an adult to avoid a conversation you didn’t want to have or a task you didn’t want to do.

You know the drill: lights off, covers up, eyes closed.

…and sometimes it works!

But can this same routine work on your pup?

Generally, dogs are intelligent enough to use their senses to pick up subtle clues to determine if a person is asleep or just pretending. To tell the difference, they use the person’s scent, movements, noises, and appearance to tell the difference.

In this article, I will explain how dogs can tell you are actually sleeping. I will also go into depth about a canine’s true level of intelligence…*hint, they’re way smarter than you probably think they are!

Ready to find out how your dog can figure out your sleep-faking tricks?

Well, settle in and pull up the covers…but you won’t want to fall asleep for this one.

Table of Contents
Can Dogs Tell If You Are Sleeping or Just Pretending to Sleep?
Your Dog Is Not as Dumb as You May Think
What a Reminder of How Incredible Dogs Are!

Can Dogs Tell If You Are Sleeping or Just Pretending to Sleep?

If you’ve ever tried to pull the old sleepytime fake-out, sorry to break it to you…you’re likely not as slick as you wish you were. Your pup is totally capable of sniffing out whether you are truly sleeping!

Luckily, your pup can’t call you out for your sneaky snoozing ways. But just because they aren’t able to say anything doesn’t mean they don’t know what’s up.

Dog’s senses are naturally more heightened in comparison to humans. Through their highly intuitive and sensitive observation skills, they can tell if you are genuinely asleep or if you’re just faking it.

Here aresome of the ways your dog can do this:


Crazily enough, your dog’s nose is strong enough to sus out a particular scent that alerts them that you are waking up. Right before you rise, your body pumps out an extra dose of the hormone cortisol.

Since your dog has likely experienced you waking up several times, the scent of cortisol is probably deeply linked to this event in their mind.

Your pup may think: “Oh, there’s that smell I recognize! Yay, my human is about to open their eyes…playtime!”


Your pup can sense if you’re genuinely waking up based on changes in your body tension. Try as you might, if you’re attempting to fake-sleep in front of your pup, they can feel that you aren’t serious! You won’t likely be able to force your body to be as relaxed as if you were naturally sleeping.

Your dog is used to knowing what your body feels like when you’re genuinely knocked out cold and you’re coming back to life vs. you just being very still. Not to sound creepy, but your dog knows what your body looks like and feels like when you’re dead asleep.

This is something you simply haven’t experienced this as an onlooker. But your pup has! He’s keenly aware of your precise sleep posture, body positioning, and movements. You can’t fool them.


Your dog is totally familiar with the noises you make when sleeping and waking. Your dog knows exactly what your stretches, breathing patterns, and the wrestling of your sheets sound like.

If you have a set pattern in your morning routine, your pup knows the sounds associated with that too. Your dog may be used to your alarm going off at a certain time. They may be used to hearing you yawning or reaching over for your cup of water or phone on your nightstand.

Your pup will notice if there’s a change in any of these things.


The things your dog sees you do as you wake up are definitely distinctly imprinted in their mind. Your dog knows the way your eyes rest peacefully as you slumber. They’ve seen how your arms lay in your favorite position and how your chest rises and falls with each breath you take.

Your pup is likely perceptive enough to tell what this looks like when it’s genuine as opposed to when you’re faking it.

Remember, he’s seen you do these things day after day, probably for several years!

Your Dog Is Not as Dumb as You May Think

You probably don’t think your dog is literally dumb. But you likely underestimate how smart they really are!

You may be impressed to learn that researchers estimate that dogs are about as intelligent as a 2.5-year-old human child.

Your dog’s special intelligence is mostly a result of their heightened senses. Essentially, your pup has been gifted with certain superpowers that are uniquely their own.

For example, your pup’s keen observation and attunement to your body language and cues actually enable them to figure out human social hierarchies. Your dog may even be able to distinguish a helpful human from an unhelpful one.

Your pup’s sense of smell also aids in their intelligence and navigation of the world. For example, tracking dogs can identify criminals based on just their scent alone!

Dogs have also been shown to excel in athletics and can even be proficient in math. Crazy to think when many of us humans may be struggling just to balance our checkbooks!

What a Reminder of How Incredible Dogs Are!

Dogs are known as “man’s best friend” for so many reasons. Not only are they cute, cuddly, and loyal companions, but they’re also very smart!

So smart, in fact, that your dog can literally tell if you’re really sleeping or just fake-sleeping. There is no fooling the one who observes you possibly more than anyone else on earth. Your movements, sounds, appearance, and even smell are a kaleidoscope of clues for your pup to piece together the truth.

Aside from knowing when you’re sleeping and knowing when you’re awake, your dog’s intellect can be such a helpful and practical asset to daily life.

Having a furry friend who knows you so intimately is a beautiful thing!

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