Why Does My German Shepherd Sleep Under The Covers?


I was always the kind of person who enjoyed her peace and quiet during the night. I didn’t like sleepovers because my friends used to snore. All I ever allowed in my room was the white noise machine. No heavy breathing, no snoring, no nothing, thank you.

But, everything changed when I got my German Shepherd puppy. 

I didn’t really think about whether my dog would sleep in my bed. I always assumed he would sleep on his own, in the living room.

Of course, he proved me wrong the first night. 

I couldn’t help but wonder: why does my German Shepherd like to sleep under the covers in my bed?

A little Internet digging helped me come to a conclusion.

Here’s what I found out!

1. He’s Anxious

german sheperd dog sleeping on the floor
Source: iStockphoto

This is a pretty obvious reason. I thought about it myself. Of course, my little pupper was anxious. He just got a new home. Everything was new to him. A small dose of anxiety is absolutely fine. 

If you just adopted a new dog, and especially if it’s a puppy, then you can expect him to hide under the covers with you, just until he gets relaxed in his new environment.

However, if your older dog starts doing this all of a sudden, you might want to check out what’s triggering his anxiety. It might be a change of your routine. It might be someone new in your life. 

Anxiety could lead to a series of other troubles, so better prevent it while you can.

2. He’s Cold

german shepherd dog sleeping on the couch
Source: Pixabay

I know, I know… You’ll definitely ask how a German Shepherd can be so cold when he’s got a thick coat?

Well, didn’t you think that even a German Shepherd might be cold in your apartment? 

My mom’s dogs used to curl up under blankets whenever the heat was off for some reason. I swear to God, I was always freezing in that house. That’s why I crank up the thermometer in my place. 

My German Shepherd probably wasn’t cold because my place was not heated enough. But, still, it can happen. Sure, they’re not usually cold like Doxies or Weims. They have their luscious coat, but the weather can be tricky these days with extreme temperatures.

3. A Medical Reason

german shepherd dog lying on the bed under cover
Source: iStockphoto

Let me continue what I was saying in the first paragraph. 

German Shepherds aren’t naturally prone to being cold like Doxies. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t feel cold. But, what if that cold sensation isn’t because of your cold home. 

German Shepherds can feel cold because they might be suffering from a medical condition. 

Yep, it’s a problem with their thyroid gland… that little butterfly-shaped gland. Gosh, I feel like it brings so many health issues! 

Your German Shepherd might be suffering from hypothyroidism a condition where the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroxine, a hormone that regulates their metabolism. 

Further complications with hypothyroidism can lead to severe hair loss and low blood circulation, which can all be the reason why your dog spends so much time under the covers. 

If I were you, and I notice my dog isn’t acting like usual, i.e., he’s more tired, putting on weight, and his coat doesn’t look fabulous, I’d take him to the vet to run tests on hypothyroidism. 

4. He Likes Your Attention

german shepherd puppy lying on the bed
Source: World of Dogz

My German Shepherd still sleeps with me. And, he’s super clingy… always following me around. 

If your dog is acting the same way… sleeping close to you, snuggling under the covers… let him be. It is a huge sign of affection and you shouldn’t be bothered by it unless it affects your sleep. 

German Shepherds tend to imprint themselves onto their hoomans. If you two share a strong bond, chances are your GSD will always be by your side. So, scooch over a little bit. Make your dog some space under the covers.

All that poor guy wants is your scent near and the warmth of your body. 

5. He’s Scared Of Something

german shepherd hiding under covers in the bed
Source: Puppy Herd

German Shepherds are big and strong dogs. But, even they can be afraid of certain things. Like all dogs, my GSD is afraid of fireworks and firecrackers. Every 4th of July, we escape the city so he doesn’t have to listen to that awful noise. 

As we all know, fireworks are stress triggers to our dogs and we shouldn’t be allowing that. The first time I saw my GSD puppy hiding under the covers on the 4th of July, I knew I would never spend another holiday somewhere where there might be loud explosions. 

A big dog like a GSD hiding underneath the covers could mean he’s afraid of other things besides loud noises, like unfamiliar people visiting you. 

I think it’s best to figure out what’s scaring your dog because fright equals stress, and we all know where that leads.

Should I Allow My Dog To Sleep Under The Covers?

I see no reason why you should stop your dog from sleeping under the covers unless it bothers you. 

If your dog is healthy, without any sign of a hidden medical condition, and he’s not feeling stressed out, then he can sleep under the covers. Let him be because he likes it. 

Dog experts and veterinarians all agree there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this behavior. It’s not a health hazard for either one of you. 

The only thing that could bother you is the presence of your dog in your bed. But, if I could learn how to live with a German Shepherd spooning me every night, you can, too.