The rule of zzzzz's

Elsa, snuggling with my protection pillow. 

Many do it,  Some should, some shouldn't.  Sleeping with dogs.  I awoke this morning before 5am, it was still dark out and I was stuck.  Elsa had wiggled her way down to my legs and was completely on top of me from my knees down.  There was no turning around or moving at all so I asked her to please change her position.  She did without question and curled back up with a deep sleepy moan. 

Elsa is sleeping with me now.  The rule use to be, not until morning.  You see Elsa is one of those 600 lb sleepers.  I was talking to a friend yesterday about her newest family member who as it turns out is also a 600 lb sleeper.  I'm not sure what causes this poundage but I'm thinking perhaps, muscle.  Elsa is solid muscle.  She is also a snuggle monster, never happy with just being beside me.  No, she needs to be touching in a big way.  So before Luke's passing she would sleep with him on their giant bed and join me in the morning so that I could get some sleep. 

With Luke now gone I can hardly ask her to sleep alone.  So I have set up a pillow, strategically placed to ensure that we both sleep.  I have a long body pillow beside me that Miss Elsa can use as her snuggle platform instead of me.  She is not always satisfied with it and like this morning will find the living being under the covers to snuggle with.  Sometimes it is my head, feet or she just clambers over the pillow to get to me somewhere, somehow. 

So many trainers and behavior specialist will say NO to sleeping with your dog.  I have a few rules as far as allowing your dog up on the bed, your bed. 

1.  They need to ask first.  If you are in the bed, then your dog should be given permission to come up or not. 

2.  Your dog should get off if asked, quickly and politely. 

3.  There should be no complaining about being moved or pushed around on the bed from your dog.  You of course can complain.  :)  

4.  If you are dealing with any issue with regards to who the actual boss is in the house, no bed. 

You see, the bed, your bed is prime real estate; and as such the leader of the pack (which should be you) gets first dibs on it.  I have spoken to many people who laugh when telling me that their dog growls when they come into bed at night.  Not funny at all.  If your dog growls at being physically moved or pushed around on the bed, then they should not be on the bed.  What they are telling you is "the lower members do not move the leader."  It is a clear signal that needs adjustment.  Sometimes simply keeping your dog off of your bed can change a lot of problems.

Our bed rule pertains to when we are in it.  During the day Elsa is free to be on the bed when she wants.  But, she must always get off quickly if asked.  If that changes then the bed rule would change.  Just like Luke had his "prime real estate" position on the couch.  He enforced it with my help.  A simple look from him or word "watch out" from me would move anyone in his spot.  That spot which has now been taken over by Elsa. 

Our bed is about the best thing that we own.  Having a good night sleep is very important and as long as your dog follows the rules then everyone can dog pile on it.  :)