Why does my German Shepherd dig my bed before sleeping? This is a question on the lips of many German Shepherd owners, including me. To understand more about this behavior, I did some research and discovered some of the reasons behind it. Keep reading to find out.
Seeing your dog sleep is one of the cutest scenes any dog owner can witness. And when you watch them sleep, they feel so relaxed and comfortable that they sometimes assume funny positions.
But have you noticed that some of these dogs have the habit of “digging” or “scratching” the place where they sleep before going to bed? To be frank, this is a dog behavior that surprises me, and I can’t figure out why my dog digs my bed before sleeping. This is not just about me; many trainers or owners don’t also understand why dogs dig their beds.
The truth is that there are different reasons why this happens, and we are going to look at them today. Want to know what they are? Keep reading to find out!
Why does my German Shepherd dig my bed before sleeping?
After researching and monitoring my German Shepherd as he scratches or digs his bed whenever he wants to sleep, I have come to the conclusion that:
1: Dogs digging in the bed before bed is a matter of instinct and comfort.
Just like human beings, whenever we want to lie down on our beds to get a very nice sleep, we usually adjust the pillows and bed sheets to make them more comfortable to sleep in. This is the same reason why my German Shepherd digs my bed or his own bed before sleeping.
Digging creates a comfortable and cozy nest-like environment for dogs to sleep in. But in this case, they act on pure instinct with the aim of making your bed or the dog’s bed as cozy and welcoming as possible.
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This is also common when they lie down to sleep on their owners’ sofas; they often dig a pillow or roll up the sheet. If you notice the dog digging anywhere before going to bed, you don’t need to worry because most of the time this does not necessarily indicate destructive behavior. He just wants to relax in a more comfortable environment! But when this behavior becomes excessive, it becomes destructive behavior and should be tackled as soon as possible.
2: Dogs dig the bed to keep warm.
Dogs are animals sensitive to temperature changes and therefore can feel cold. In most cases, my German shepherd dog uses the technique of digging my bed, sofa, or his own bed to keep warm. This is the way he tries to regulate his body temperature and heat the place where he is about to lie down.
It is worth noting that the opposite can also happen: if the temperature is too high, then the dog digging in the bed is an attempt to cool it down. Anyway, it’s always good to be aware of sudden changes in temperature to keep the dog comfortable without getting cold or hot.
3: A dog can mark territory by digging its bed before sleeping
Remember we are still on my question, “Why does my German Shepherd dig my bed before sleeping?” Now, contrary to what many may think, dogs do not mark territory just by peeing in the wrong place. There are other ways they do this, and one of them is digging up the dog’s bed before going to bed.
But how is this possible? Simple: the dog’s paw has structures called dog coxins (also known as dog pads), which release a specific odor that helps to mark the territory. That smell is easily recognized by other dogs, and that’s how other dogs know that the specific place already has an owner.
4: Dogs digging the bed excessively can indicate some problems; be careful.
The dog digging its own bed is not usually a reason for concern, but it is important to observe that this behavior is not following an almost obsessive pattern. Sometimes, the reason why my German Shepherd digs my bed or his bed before going to bed is because his nails are overgrown and may somehow be disturbing him. Therefore, it is recommended that you trim your dog’s nails at least once a month.
But if the dog has its nails trimmed and is still compulsively digging in the bed, maybe it’s time to seek the help of a professional.
Is your dog getting the recommended amount of physical exercise? What could be driving this more destructive behavior? Is the dog anxious or stressed about any situation? It’s vital you look into these questions and answer them in order to figure out why your dog is digging the bed before sleeping.