How Do Dogs Decide Where To Sleep?

Dogs have a natural instinct to find the most comfortable spot to sleep, but how do they decide where that spot is? From their bed to the couch, dogs have a variety of places they can choose from when it comes to catching some z’s. In this article, “How do Dogs Decide Where to Sleep?”, we will explore the different factors that influence a dog’s sleeping habits and preferences.


When it comes to choosing a place to sleep, comfort is key for dogs. There are two main factors that contribute to comfort: temperature and softness.


Dogs prefer sleeping in areas that are slightly cooler than their body temperature, which is around 101°F. This means that they may seek out cool surfaces such as tile or hardwood floors, or even the air conditioning vent. Additionally, they may curl up next to a window or door where cool air can enter the room.


In addition to temperature, dogs also prefer soft surfaces such as beds and couches. They may also seek out blankets or pillows for extra cushioning. Dogs may even try to burrow under furniture or blankets if they feel the need for extra warmth and security.


Dogs often choose to sleep in places that make them feel safe and secure. This is why familiarity and proximity to their owners are two of the most important factors when it comes to deciding where to sleep.


Dogs are creatures of habit and prefer to sleep in familiar places. They may choose a spot they have slept in before, or one that smells like their owner. This helps them feel comfortable and secure.

Proximity to Owner

Dogs also prefer to sleep close to their owners, especially if they are feeling anxious or scared. According to the American Kennel Club, sleeping near their owners helps dogs feel safe and secure, as well as providing them with a sense of companionship.


When a dog is deciding where to sleep, it will take into account the accessibility of the area. This includes factors such as:

Ease of Access to Food and Water

Dogs need access to food and water in order to stay healthy and hydrated. When choosing a place to sleep, they will look for an area that is close to a food source and has easy access to fresh water.

Ability to Move Around Easily

Dogs also need the ability to move around easily in order to explore their environment. They will look for places that provide them with enough space for them to move around without any obstacles or barriers. Additionally, they may prefer areas that are close to trails or other areas where they can explore and exercise.


Noise Level

When it comes to where dogs decide to sleep, noise level is an important factor. Dogs are sensitive to loud noises and can become easily startled or anxious when exposed to them. Therefore, when deciding where to sleep, dogs tend to prefer quieter spaces.

Avoidance of Loud Noises

Dogs are known for their acute hearing and can detect sounds that humans cannot. This means that they may be more sensitive to loud noises than humans and therefore try to avoid them. Dogs may even try to hide in a quiet space if they are exposed to loud noises for too long.

Preference for Quiet Spaces

When looking for a place to sleep, dogs will often choose a spot that is away from any potential sources of noise. This could be anything from a busy street corner or a loud television set. Dogs may also prefer sleeping in enclosed spaces such as closets or under furniture as these areas tend to be quieter than other parts of the house. Additionally, dogs may also seek out quiet spots outdoors such as under trees or in grassy areas away from any potential sources of noise pollution.

Smells and Scents

Dogs rely heavily on their sense of smell to help them decide where to sleep. They use their noses to detect familiar smells and scents that they associate with safety and comfort.

Familiar Smells and Scents

Dogs will seek out places that have familiar smells such as:

  • Their own scent
  • The scent of their owner or family members
  • The scent of other animals in the home, such as cats or other dogs
  • The scent of a favorite toy or blanket

Dogs will also seek out places that have comforting scents, such as freshly laundered bedding, a recently vacuumed room, or the smell of food cooking in the kitchen. All these smells can help a dog feel safe and secure when choosing where to sleep.

Avoidance of Unfamiliar Smells and Scents

Dogs may also avoid unfamiliar smells and scents that could indicate danger. For example, if a dog encounters an unfamiliar person or animal in its sleeping area, it may be more likely to move elsewhere. Similarly, if a strange odor is present in the area, such as smoke from a fire or the smell of an unfamiliar animal, the dog may choose to avoid it. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), dogs are able to detect odors up to 100 million times better than humans can (USDA, 2016). This heightened sense of smell helps them make decisions about where they feel safest when selecting a place to sleep.


It is clear that dogs have a natural instinct to find the most comfortable spot to sleep, and there are a variety of factors that influence their sleeping habits and preferences. From their bed to the couch, dogs have many options when it comes to catching some z’s. Ultimately, the best way to ensure your pup is getting a good night’s rest is by providing them with a comfortable environment and plenty of love and attention. For more information on how to create the perfect sleeping environment for your pup, visit A Pet’s Home.

If you are looking for more content about dogs, you can find it right here at A Pets Home.