Why Does My Dog Sleep on My Pillow?

You come home and find your dog laying on your bed, on your pillows. Maybe you are watching TV and your dog lays on the pillow next to you. What’s going on here? Why does my dog sleep on my pillow?

Mimicking Your Behavior

One reason why a dog might sleep on your pillow is to mimic your behavior. Dogs may not be the smartest creatures on the planet, but they can still put 2 and 2 together. If the see you always using a pillow when you lay or sit down, the dog may actually realize this and catch on.

Yes, dogs have instincts that come from nature. However, they also tend to take directions and cues from the pack leader. Yes, this is you, or at least it should be. Even if it doesn’t know what the purpose of that pillow really is, the dog knows you use it, and it wants to be just like you.

It’s Comfy

Why do you as a human use a pillow? Because pillows are comfy, that’s why! Dogs like creating their own beds, they like soft surfaces, they often like surfaces that can hold warmth, and they like malleable items which they can move around and mold to their liking. Simply put, your dog finds laying on a pillow to be comfortable, warm, and relaxing. It’s no different than a human using a pillow.

Showing Dominance

Yet another reason why your dog might lay on your pillow is out of dominance. Yes, dogs are pack animals, and the thing with pack animals is that all of the top contenders always try to assert their dominance over the pack.

Everybody wants to be the pack leader, and of course, in your home, all humans should be above the dog in the status ladder. Humans before dogs. If your dog is laying on your pillows, it could be a way for the dog to try and assert its dominance.

If you think that this is the case, don’t let the dog use your pillows. If a dog is trying to assert its dominance, you will probably notice it being very possessive over the pillow.

It’s Own Security

Dogs do like to feel secure. Dogs will often move their blankets and bedding around to create some sort of wall they can lean against. Due to security issues, dogs like being in a corner or against a wall when they rest. The more walls there are, the fewer areas a predator or competitor can approach from.

This is why dogs enjoy being in dog houses, sitting under patios, and laying down under tables. Being in an enclosed space with barriers provides a feeling of security. If you notice your dog laying against a pillow, thus effectively creating a wall or barrier with the pillow, then this is what is going on.

For Your Protection

Dogs often feel very protective of their owners. After all, you walk, feed, and bathe the dog, you pick it up, pet it, and play with it too. You are the dog’s friend and caregiver. It therefore makes sense that a dog would want to protect you.

Once again, dogs are pack animals, and packs take care of their own. A dog lying on your pillow, especially when you are also on the bed or couch, is a way for the dog to keep a protective watch over you.

They Want Attention

Dogs can be a lot like kids in the sense that they want attention and love to play. If you’re in bed or on the couch watching a show, and your dog plops down on the pillow next to you and starts harassing you, it wants to play.

This is often going to be the case with puppies and breeds of dogs known for their playful natures. In this case, the pillow is honestly quite irrelevant. It would sit on anything as long as its next to you, close enough to bring on some playtime.

Bonding and Socializing

Dogs are very social creatures, which is why they are called man’s best friend. This all has to do with the pack mentality. Wild dogs, wolves, and other such canines stick in packs, they bond with each other, and they create what amounts to a family.

In a home with humans, the humans are a part of the pack, and therefore the dogs want to bond with those humans. It’s all about creating a close bond with their humans and maintaining that pack lifestyle.


Unless you notice your dog growling at you or being possessive of the pillow, this is no big deal. Besides wanting to be comfortable, a dog laying on your pillow is a sign of inclusiveness, bonding, and pack life.