Dear Dr. Zeus,
It always seems to mystify my owners when at bed time I tear my whole bed apart before I settle down to rest. I love to dig, scratch, and push my bed around before I settle down. For some reason they do the opposite and make their beds before getting in it. Why do I like to mess up my bedding and they do not? Tearing it up in Alabama – Tony, FlatCoat Retriever
This is a great question, Tony. Everyone has a bedtime routine and we dogs definitely have a different one than our human counterparts. People brush their teeth, comb their hair, change clothes, tell stories, and then lights out while we paw, scratch, yawn, and dig. But if we really want to take a closer look at as to why we do the things we do, think about this: dogs have only had soft, comfy beds to sleep on for give or take the last century or so. Before the age of the pampered pet and ultimately the dog bed, we had to settle down for the evening on hard, rough, potentially cold, and drafty settings. Dogs would “rearrange” the ground, or their bed, to create a cozy hole or hollow in the ground that could accommodate them. Aren’t we innovative?!
These days, even though we are (hopefully) given comfy beds to sleep on, the instinct is so deeply embedded within us that we still try to contour our night time bedding to our liking for our comfort and protection. Each and every dog has their own bedtime routine, just like our humans. It’s all about comfort and ritual! But there is also one more interesting reason as to why we dig at our beds! It is also marking our territory and claiming that area as our own. That way no one steals our spot!
So I hope this helps you out Tony! Don’t worry, a messy bed is a good one!
Regards, Dr. Zeus
Category : Ask Dr. Zeus