When we first got our Cavapoo, Rosie, we crate trained her straight away in order to instil independence, keep her out of trouble and to assist with potty training. One year on, and she is struggling to settle in her crate at night – often barking into the early hours. Now that she has conquered all her puppy milestones, should we consider letting our Cavapoo share our bed and sleep with us?
Sharing your bed with your Cavapoo should be your choice – and not your dog’s. Although you should not let your Cavapoo share your bed if you are crate training or are a light sleeper, 50% of pet owners like the comfort that a dog being in their bed brings.
I appreciate that this is probably a controversial subject, so I am going to play devils advocate here and highlight both the benefits for and against letting your Cavapoo share your bed.
It can be incredibly tempting, especially with a new puppy who has just left their mum, to comfort them by allowing them on the bed. After all, it is instinct for them to sleep as a pack for warmth and security, so it makes sense for your Cavapoo to want to be as close as possible to you at all times.
But whilst there are some advantages to having your Cavapoo sleep with you, there are also plenty of reasons why you should refuse. Below we explain more.
Reasons to not let your dog sleep with you
Around half of all pet owners allow their animals to sleep in their rooms at night, with the majority of adults saying that it helps them to sleep better.
But, a study undertaken into the effects of dogs on human sleep in the home, concluded that although having a dog in the bedroom overnight might not be overly disrupt to our sleep, it does effect our sleep efficiency. There are many reasons for this such as:
(1) Dogs are inherently bad sleepers
Although it may seem like all your dog does is sleep, the amount of time they spend in REM is 50% less than that of humans. REM is the period when the brain is at its most active and dreams are most likely to occur. You have probably seen your Cavapoo when they are in REM sleep, as you will have noticed their bodies trembling, paws tapping and even their eyelids twitching. And who wants to lie next to that.
In addition to that, dogs tend to doze off whenever they want, but as your protector they are constantly alert, so it is not unusual for them to wake suddenly and jump to attention. For more information on how much sleep your Cavapoo needs, see our informative guide.
(2) Sharing a bed can lead to dog behavioral issues
There is a link between bed-sharing and dog behavior problems, although sometimes it is the behavioral issues that then drives the need to share a bed with our dogs.
For example, a dog that suffers with separation anxiety might actually be better off sleeping in a crate or on the floor in the same room, so that the condition is not exacerbated, yet often we see the solution as providing them with additional attention.
(3) Cavapoos snore
Ok, so Cavapoos may not be serial snorers like short snouted breeds such as pugs, bulldogs and boxers are, but you will hear the odd snuffle and snort from your dog at night. Especially if they like to sleep on their backs. This is because the air flow in the nasal passageways or the throat is restricted.
Dogs also snore when their tongues drop back towards the throat, blocking the breath from moving easily.
And, if your Cavapoo is a big fan of treats, then one too many can also cause noisy breathing, as overweight dogs can have a build-up of excess fat in the throat.
(4) Dog farts stink
Just like humans, when it comes to a dog, what comes in, must come out – which is no mean feat when you see the things that our Cavapoo hoovers up.
After a meal, bacteria in the intestinal tract breaks down the food into nutrients that the body can use. During this process, stinky hydrogen sulfide gas is released as a by-product of digestion for certain foods in the colon. If that gas becomes trapped then farting is the only way for your dog to release it. Yuck!
If your dog farts change in smell or regularity, then as a responsible owner, it is worth taking them to the vet for some additional advice.
(5) Dogs take up bed space
Your Cavapoo may look small and squishy when they are cuddled up in your house, but place them on your bed and they will soon be stretched out to the max, legs akimbo whilst taking up all available space. And where does this leave you? Balancing precariously on the side of the bed!
(6) Dogs don’t like to be disturbed
Your Cavapoo might get so comfortable in your bed that they forget to inform you when they need a wee! Worse still, occasionally when your pet poops its curly coat collects little nuggets of poo. Failure to notice or wash it in time, can result in it being spread across your bed. Mmmmm, nice!
(7) Cavapoos can overheat
Overheating is very dangerous in dogs, as it can very quickly lead to illness and even death. This is because they struggle to control their body temperature.
Cavapoos have relatively thick, curly fur, which works like insulation, keeping them cool in the summer and warm in the winter. This means that they get hotter faster than short haired breeds, and if they are wrapped up in your bed covers then they are likely to overheat quickly.
Your Cavapoo will be much more comfortable on the bedroom floor or in their crate at bedtime where they can chill out without getting too hot, especially if you keep a door or window open.
(8) Dogs don’t understand privacy
Cavapoos love people, and as much as we love them back, there are times when we need to be alone. Whether that is for a romantic liaison or simply to spend time alone in the bathroom, we want space away from prying eyes and smelly dog breath.
Humans and dogs have been sleeping side by side for centuries. In Australia, the aborigines sleep with their dogs for warmth and to safeguard them from evil spirits, and in Egyptian times the famous pharaoh, Ramses the Great, had a hound named Pahates who was given the title “Bed Companion to the Pharaoh.”
But the main reasons that many people like to share their beds with their dogs is that is psychologically comforting. A Cavapoo is a breed that is a loving companion that likes to be close at hand, and often owners feel less lonely with a pooch by their side when it is dark at night. Dogs are also always on “guard duty,” so this is another reason why we feel safer when our dogs are in the same room.
In the olden days when we didn’t have adequate heating systems, people used their dogs as natural heaters, in order to keep them warm on cold winter nights. A natural furnace if you feel the cold, then you dog will provide you with plenty of heat.
Here I have answered some of your other FAQ’s, around where your Cavapoo should sleep:
What age is it safe for a Cavapoo puppy to sleep with you?
There are several factors that determine whether or not a dog is old enough to sleep with their owners, and it is doesn’t always come down to age.
Ideally you want to await until your puppy has been potty trained and is capable of letting you know when they need to go outside for the toilet. This will not only save you precious time cleaning your sheets, but proper toilet training helps your puppy to learn how to control their bladder throughout the day too.
Also, most Cavapoo puppies are not fully grown until they are at least six months old, so by placing them in your bed at night might actually be putting them at risk of you rolling or crushing them in your sleep. We therefore suggest you hold off until they are big enough.
Finally, if you are a light sleeper, you might actually prevent your Cavapoo from getting a good nights sleep. Likewise a twitching puppy is not conducive to a restful slumber, so as nice as it sounds, you may want to wait until your puppy is older.
Can a Cavapoo sleep outside?
Cavapoos are sensitive to changes in temperature, so sleeping amongst the elements would not be ideal for these dogs. They also crave companionship, so leaving them outside of the house could impact them emotionally and cause separation anxiety.
Should you let your Cavapoo puppy sleep on your lap?
There’s nothing wrong with letting your puppy sleep on your lap from time to time. However, your puppy might become too dependent on you to fall asleep. That’s why it’s a good idea to train your puppy to sleep in a dog bed or a crate so that they learn to self-soothe.
Should you let your puppy cry through the night?
Puppies sleep in a pile with their siblings for comfort and warmth, right up until the point that you take them home. By pulling them away from this and expecting them to sleep on their own is a huge step – and one that Cavapoo puppies often find difficult to adjust to.
Crates are great as the offer our puppies a safe place in which to go and relax – but often, when it comes to night time sleeping, a little pup may struggle to settle and cry out at night.
You should never let your puppy cry through the night (even if you are crate training them), instead you should build up their confidence to be left alone with plenty of cuddles, empathy and reassurance.
If they start to whimper (and the cries persist for longer than 10 minutes), we recommend going back in so they can see that you have not left them for good and are comforted by your presence. After a while your pup will soon learn that you are there to support them if they need it, but that they will not gain your attention by crying at night.
Your puppy will probably need to go to the toilet in the night as they do not like to defecate in their own beds, so this might be another reason why you should not ignore your pup crying. For further tips on crate training your Cavapoo check out our blog.
For a well-adjusted, well-behaved dog, it’s quite unlikely that sleeping in your bed or bedroom will do anything except delight your dog, comfort you, and enhance the dog-owner bond at bedtime.
It really is a personal preference but for now, we will continue to encourage our Cavapoo to use her dog bed, reward her with treats, toys and plenty of fuss when she sleeps through the night and re-enforce all good behavior. If her barking persists, then we will seek further advice, but for now I am putting it down to the teenage dog years (may they be short-lived in comparison to our daughters!!).