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Should I Let My Yorkie Sleep With Me? (Safety Tips)

When I was a little girl I had a Yorkshire terrier named Katie. She was my best friend! She went everywhere with me, including in my bed at night. Now I’m an adult I have another little pooch and he also sleeps with me in my bed. When I was talking with a friend the other day she was surprised I let my dog sleep with me, and I was equally surprised at her surprise! It made me wonder do other owners let their small dogs sleep with them? Is it Safe? So I did my own research! I talked with other Yorkie owners, here is what I found out.

Whether or not you should let your Yorkie sleep with you is purely a personal choice. There are risks (like them falling out of the bed and getting hurt) and benefits (benefits of extra cuddles, greater security, and happy hormones for you both) either way you decide. If you do let your Yorkie sleep with you, you should be sure that you are both healthy and parasite free, and take steps to make sure you do it safely.

Even though everyone has their own opinion about why or why not their little Yorkie should sleep in bed with them ultimately you get to decide what’s best for you, so let’s explore all the different reasons that other owners have shared with me about the pros and cons of having their Yorkie sleep in their beds. That way you will have all the information you need to make the decision that’s best for you.

Reasons Why you Should Let Your Yorkie Sleep With You

  • Eases stress and anxiety
  • Extra warmth
  • Greater security
  • Morning cuddles and love
  • Decreases loneliness
  • Releases Oxytocin
  • Helps you bond with your dog
  • Makes your dog feel more secure

Dogs and humans have been sleeping together in some cultures for thousands of years, and for good reasons, just being close to your Yorkie helps to increase your levels of Oxytocin (link to PubMed article) a powerful hormone that will help you unwind, destress, lower your heart rate and feel more relaxed. This is a perfect recipe for a great night’s sleep.

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Research shows that dog owners who share special bonds with their dogs benefit greatly from mental health benefits such as lower blood pressure, decreased stress, less anxiety and depression, and overall better health. Personally speaking, I have experienced the effects of anxiety and depression in my life and having my little guy always near has helped me feel more calm and collected. If having him sleep next to me can help both him and I feel more peaceful, connected, and relaxed, then I say, yes, please!

Extra warmth and morning cuddles is another huge bonus for sharing your bed with a fluff ball! For some reason, I’m always feeling so cold-blooded. In the wintertime, I have my heating pad, a heated rice bag, and my puppy Bear snuggled up to me for extra heat. If you live in a colder climate your Yorkie can be a great little heater crawled up next to you under the covers.

Speaking of extra cuddles if you want to know just how cuddly Yorkies are, get all the facts including the results of a survey where I asked 233 owners how cuddly their Yorkies were in this post I wrote all about Yorkie cuddles!

Greater security is another reason to let your dog sleep with you. Although Yorkies are small and couldn’t do much to an intruder they do make a good alarm. Since dogs have a natural instinct to sense danger way before we can they could potentially save your life by warning you of a fire, or other impending disasters.

Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Let Your Yorkie Sleep With You

  • Sleep quality could be affected.
  • Could make allergies worse.
  • Possible transmission of disease.
  • Possibility of more separation anxiety.
  • Could make resource guarding worse.

There are some reasons that could lead us to hesitate or rethink the decision of letting our Yorkie sleep with us. Dog and Human sleep cycles can actually differ quite a bit. If you or your dog is a fitful light sleeper it could be difficult to get enough deep sleep if your dog is waking you up constantly. If you and your pooch are constantly battling it out then you will probably be better off with them in their own bed.

I found it interesting that research shows smaller dogs actually have more frequent but smaller dreams than larger dogs. Sometimes I can tell when Bear is dreaming because he makes these cute little whining and squeaking noises. I like that I can be there for him when he’s having a bad dream so I can comfort him, but that could be a drawback for some.

If you suffer from seasonal allergies it could be a bad idea to let your little pooch snuggle on your pillow or in the covers after they have spent time going outside to use the bathroom. Their longer hair can trap allergens and bring them into bed with you.

Even though Yorkies are a hypoallergenic dog and one of the best dog breeds for people with allergies if your very sensitive you may have a reaction from having your Yorkie in bed with you.

Something else to consider is your Yorkie well trained or not. Making sure your Yorkie is housetrained before you let them sleep with you can be a good idea. You don’t want to wake up to a little puddle of potty next to your face.

Does your Yorkie resource guard, if he growls at your or others when you get close to his food, his bed or other items he deems are his it’s important that you train him not to do this BEFORE you allow him to sleep in your bed. If this is your pooches attitude sleeping in bed with you could make him feel more dominant over you and less like you are in charge.

If your Yorkie is hiding their food, or toys (link to another paws and learn article) that could be an indication that they are resource guarding.

Does your Yorkie follow you around everywhere? My puppy Bear does, and to tell you the truth, I kinda love it. If you are worried about your little guy having separation anxiety teaching him to sleep in his own bed could be a helpful step towards more independence. This is also helpful if your Yorkie has attached to you and is showing any jealous behaviors. (link to another paws and learn article)

How to Safely Have Your Yorkie Sleep With You

There are few things to consider when keeping your Yorkie safe with you in your bed. Since Yorkshire terriers are so tiny (usually under 7lbs) you’ll want to be sure that we have a good idea where your Yorkie is in your bed especially the first few nights as you are getting used to him being there. Make sure your little guy has enough space and that they can easily move if needed.

Consider the age of your Yorkie. When I asked Yorkie owners what age they let their puppies start sleeping in their beds I got a variety of answers. They said anywhere from age 8 weeks all the way to 1 year old. Although the surprising majority say they let their Yorkie puppies sleep with them from the first day they bring them home. Their advice is to make sure your puppy won’t fall off the bed and make sure they have a secure spot where you won’t roll over on top of them.

Another thing to consider is safety: how high up off the floor is your bed? If your Yorkie jumps off your bed they could easily injure themselves. To solve this you could move your box Springs and mattress to the floor or what we did for our Puppy Bear was get these fabric stairs from Amazon I use these for our 6lb Chi Mix, and they fit perfectly at the end of our bed. We easily trained him to go up and down. Problem solved!

How to Get My Yorkie to Sleep in His/Her Own Bed

If you decide to have your Yorkie sleep in their own bed you will need to train them to do so. It’s best to decide from the beginning that this is how you want to proceed. If you start with them in your bed it will be harder to transition. Crate training is a good place to start.

1.Give them a comfortable bed of their ownThis one from Amazon works great for small dogs like Chihuahuas. Depending upon their attachment to you, you may want to keep their bed in close proximity to where you sleep.

2. Make sure they are tired. Giving them plenty of exercise so they are good a tired before bedtime.

3. Be consistent. If you let your Yorkie sleep in your bed with you sometimes it will be confusing for them and they are going to want to sleep with you all the time.

4. Put something in their bed that smells like you, and give them something to chew on.

5. Make sure everyone in the house is on the same page. If he can go find another bed to sleep in he won’t be sleeping in his own.

What Do Other Owners Do?

After asking a group of Yorkie owners if they allowed their Yorkies to sleep with them I wasn’t terribly surprised by their answers. I received a response from over 150 owners and around 98% said that of course, they let their Yorkies sleep with them. Some owners even went as far as to say that their Yorkie actually owns the bed and allows their humans to sleep with them!

There were quite a range of sleeping positions from under the covers, near their owner’s head and necks, to between the legs, but one thing that seemed clear was that Yorkies definitely prefer to be as close to their humans as possible and their humans wouldn’t have it any other way!

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