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Do German Shepherds Like to Sleep with Their Owners?

Time works very differently for dogs than it does for humans.

An entire night away from their owners can feel like forever, especially if that dog has separation anxiety.

Many dogs like to sleep in the same bed as their owners to spend as much time as possible with them.

Even if your dog has their own bed, it may prefer yours.

Do German Shepherds Like to Sleep with Their Owners?

German Shepherds are no exception to the dogs who like to sleep with their owners. These dogs, more than some other breeds, prefer to stay close to their owners during the nighttime. There are many reasons why they do this, but the biggest one is out of love. 

Like many dogs, German Shepherds have a lot of love in their hearts for their owners.

They will want to sleep with their owners to show that they love and care for them. 

These dogs also just want to spend as much time as possible with the ones that they love, especially if they can’t see their owners during the day because of work or errands. 

German Shepherds want to spend time with their owners to make sure that they are okay as well. 

Your German Shepherd may be checking on you during the night to make sure that everyone is safe.

Your German Shepherd Might Have Separation Anxiety

For owners who spend a lot of time at home and with their dogs, their dogs may have separation anxiety. 

This is when your dog gets anxious and fearful when you are away and want to be around you at all times. 

You’ll start to notice this anxiety whenever you are about to leave. 

Your German Shepherd may start to pace around or whine and just get generally upset when they think you’re leaving. 

This separation anxiety may manifest itself with your German Shepherd insisting to sleep in the same bed as you at night.

An entire night away from you will seem like too much so they will try to be as close as possible.

It’s good to help your German Shepherd manage social anxiety if they are showing signs. 

One way to help manage it is to make sure they get enough exercise to use up any energy that would be used in anxiety.

You can also condition your German Shepherd to remain calm and happier when you leave the house through treats.

German Shepherds Have the Instinct to Herd

German Shepherds are historically known as herding dogs.

They would help sheep owners keep all the sheep in line by herding them to where they needed to be. 

Since then, herding has become an instinct in German Shepherds.

Your German Shepherd may be insisting on sleeping in the same bed as you because it is herding you. 

They want to keep their people together the same way they would want to keep sheep together. 

By sleeping in the same bed, they have “herded” everyone to the right space. 

As a part of their instinctual working habits, they also have the instinct to stay with their owners as much as possible. 

Back in the German Shepherd working days, they would spend a lot of time with their owners working alongside them. 

This has evolved into German Shepherds wanting to spend a lot of time with their owners even if they don’t work together. 

German Shepherds Want to Protect You

German Shepherds are also known as service dogs and guard dogs partially for their protective nature. 

These dogs are incredibly loyal and protective of those that they love and will do anything to protect them. 

By “anything,” this also includes sleeping in the same bed as their owners in order to guard them.

If your dog has any reason to think that you might be in danger during the night, whether that be from the area you live in, overnight guests, or even past trauma, your German Shepherd will insist on protecting you through the night. 

If the reason why your German Shepherd insists on sleeping with you at night is because of their protective nature, they will be super protective at other times of the day too.

Notice how they react to guests or other people outside. 

If they seem to be super protective then, they might be protective at night as well.

It Might Be Too Cold in the House

While German Shepherds have coats that allow them to withstand colder temperatures, these dogs highly prefer the warmth. 

They might be trying to sleep in the same bed as you because they want to be extra warm at night. 

This reason will usually pair with other reasons, such as separation anxiety or out of love, but these dogs sure love being warm. 

Your German Shepherd Might Have Been Trained to Sleep with You

If any pattern of behavior goes on for long enough, it can become a habit. 

German Shepherds are incredibly smart and pick up on new behaviors easily. 

However, these behaviors might not be desired behaviors.

You may be inadvertently training your German Shepherd to sleep in the same bed as you by allowing the behavior. 

Giving your German Shepherd attention when they get in bed with you is encouraging the behavior and will cause them to do it more often in the future.

If you have adopted your German Shepherd, they might have picked up the habit from their previous owner

In that case, they are already used to sleeping in the same bed as their owner and will then continue that behavior with you. 

How Do You Train Your German Shepherd to Stop Sleeping with You?

While many people have no problems with their German Shepherd sleeping in the same bed as them, there are many people who don’t want to share a bed with a large dog. 

Training your German Shepherd to not sleep with you will take time and persistence.

You have to be consistent with your behavior so that you don’t give mixed signals to your German Shepherd.

First, you will want to stop giving extra attention to your German Shepherd when it hops into your bed. 

Even if your first move is to give some attention and pets, you need to ignore your German Shepherd. 

This helps show that they are not wanted on the bed. 

Next, you’ll want to establish a spot for your German Shepherd to sleep in. 

This can be in their own dog bed or even on the couch. 

Whatever works the best for you and your German Shepherd.

You’ll also want to reward your German Shepherd when they don’t sleep in the same bed as you. 

For every night that they sleep in the spot that they are supposed to, give them a toy or a treat.

This will condition them to sleep in their own space instead of sleeping in yours. 

Make their new sleeping space appealing. 

Add blankets, toys, treats, or anything else that they like to make the spot a place they enjoy being in. 

If they enjoy the space, then they are more likely to spend time and sleep there instead.

Consistency is Key

But most of all, be consistent in your actions

If you shoo your German Shepherd from the bed one night but give them lots of attention the next, they won’t understand what you are trying to teach them. 

You have to consistently train them to stay out of the bed in order for long-term effects to take place. 

Also, don’t punish your dog for sleeping in the same bed. 

It is always better to reward wanted behavior than to punish unwanted behavior. 

Keeping a happy and healthy relationship between you and your German Shepherd is important for their happiness.

Final Thoughts

German Shepherds love to sleep in the same bed as their owners and they are many reasons why they love it so much. 

From separation anxiety to their instincts to just wanting to be warm, your German Shepherd has many reasons to sleep in the same bed as you.

German Shepherds are full of so much love and they also love to show it. 

Many times, they show their love by being with their owners as much as they can. 

Be aware that your German Shepherd might be prone to separation anxiety.

Not everyone wants to share their bed with their dog, so there is the option of training your dog to not sleep in the same bed as you. 

Through consistency and rewarding your German Shepherd when they don’t sleep in your bed, they will over time learn to sleep in their own space instead of yours.

Dog owners love their dogs and want to give them the best life that they can.

Even if you have to make compromises with your dog, just remember to give them plenty of love back. 

Having a good relationship with your dog helps ensure a happy and healthy life for it.