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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I have a 13 months old german shepherd mix (she looks exactly like one but much smaller, around half a gsd :D). I got her when she was 5 months old from a shelter and she used to be very anxious and always stuck to my side.
I worked on it, and finally after 2-3 months she started being much better.

To the point that now even if I leave the house she'd stay on her bed and sometimes if I wasn't gone long enough, she wouldn't even greet me at the door when I'm back. Everybody is telling me it's a good sign, it means she trusts me and knows I'll be back.

But around 10 days ago, she started leaving her "night bed" (next to mine) to go sleep in the living room by herself (on the floor or in her kennel).
Don't dogs and wolves usually like to sleep with their pack? Is that weird? A sign of something? Should I allow her to sleep in whatever room she wants in the house or should I tell her to stay in her bed?

Thanks :D Have a good day

Vale
 

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In my experience, a dog can typically sleep wherever. If they are young or feeling insecure (I board dogs in my home and a lot of them have to sleep in my bedroom, if not my bed) then they tend to want to sleep close to the person that they have the closest relationship to.

My dog growing up would always start out on the bed, but would get tired of his humans snoring and kicking and squirming, and eventually drag himself off the bed and to a quieter spot.

Lastly, dogs are not really pack animals per-se. They are definitely social but scientists are closing in on a view of dogs that sees them as a much looser group (as is my experience) than as a highly structured pack. Ask anyone here with a multi-dog household... Their dogs probably sleep all over the house, rather than in a group.
 

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Everybody is telling me
Just a caution to do some research, and ask people as you have done here, you ask good questions. And then, make up your own mind.
I do not think that, for instance, where a dog sleeps is a democratic decision to be decided by a plurality of internet people you don't know.

It is my opinion that basic research and then a lot of reading will help give you knowledge and confidence. I have spent many, many hours reading posts on this site, just to check out various challenges and situations that dogs and dog owners face. I don't always go with the most popular solution, I do what I feel is best for me and my dogs.
 

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Just a caution to do some research, and ask people as you have done here, you ask good questions. And then, make up your own mind.
I do not think that, for instance, where a dog sleeps is a democratic decision to be decided by a plurality of internet people you don't know.

It is my opinion that basic research and then a lot of reading will help give you knowledge and confidence. I have spent many, many hours reading posts on this site, just to check out various challenges and situations that dogs and dog owners face. I don't always go with the most popular solution, I do what I feel is best for me and my dogs.
I don't know where you got the idea that I would go for the most popular solution. In addition to all the books I read about dogs and their behaviour, I'm even taking classes to become a certified dog trainer. I'll have the exam in a few months. That doesn't mean I can't ask on a dog forum to see what's the other people experience.
 

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In my experience, a dog can typically sleep wherever. If they are young or feeling insecure (I board dogs in my home and a lot of them have to sleep in my bedroom, if not my bed) then they tend to want to sleep close to the person that they have the closest relationship to.

My dog growing up would always start out on the bed, but would get tired of his humans snoring and kicking and squirming, and eventually drag himself off the bed and to a quieter spot.

Lastly, dogs are not really pack animals per-se. They are definitely social but scientists are closing in on a view of dogs that sees them as a much looser group (as is my experience) than as a highly structured pack. Ask anyone here with a multi-dog household... Their dogs probably sleep all over the house, rather than in a group.
Well, I honestly think these new theories about dogs not being pack animals aren't going anywhere. There will always be people who state things out of the common beliefs just to try and be innovative. But dogs are definitely pack animals. I have a friend who breeds huskies and trust me, it's impressive to see how each of them has its specific role. Of course then it depends a lot on breeds (huskies are very wolf-like) but as a general rule, dogs are pack animals.
That probably doesn't mean they all have to sleep one next to the other especially in an apartment.
 

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I don't know where you got the idea that I would go for the most popular solution. In addition to all the books I read about dogs and their behaviour, I'm even taking classes to become a certified dog trainer. I'll have the exam in a few months. That doesn't mean I can't ask on a dog forum to see what's the other people experience.
I was giving you some wisdom of my own, not accusing you of anything. I think that if you plan to train dogs, appreciating people who try to help with their own perspective is important.
 

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There will always be people who state things out of the common beliefs just to try and be innovative.
Are you saying innovation is wrong and that we should always follow common beliefs because 'that's the way it's always been done'?
It is common belief, for instance, in America, that dogs should be spayed/neutered at 6 months. I researched and read, and based on what I saw, decided that it was better to wait until the dog is an adult, and possibly not spay at all, depending on what further research shows.
That is just one example, but the point I am trying to make is that new theories are important, and while of course we need not change our perspective with every passing theory, it is important to keep an open mind.
 

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Hi,


But around 10 days ago, she started leaving her "night bed" (next to mine) to go sleep in the living room by herself (on the floor or in her kennel).
I've had numerous GSDs over the years and all of them eventually altered their sleeping areas at about the same time as they matured AND they all took places in the house which were interestingly in the same places. All of the GSDs I had/have were one at a time.

Each one started off in the bedroom on the floor with the door closed, so they had no choice. Once the dog could be trusted throughout the house, the bedroom door was left open but the dog(s) remained in the bedroom for a few months to sleep each night. As each dog matured, they started to spend the first few hours in the bedroom and then move to a different area(s) of the house to sleep for the majority of the night and then return to the bedroom about 2 hours before we would get up in the morning. The different positions in the house they chose seemed to be consistent with two factors. One, was strategic in nature as the position allowed the dog to monitor the entrances into the house and the other position would be one providing a more comfortable temperature for the dog such as a cooler floor versus carpeting. This place in the house also offered the dog strategic value as well.

IMO, all the GSDs I have had, have taken these positions out of the bedroom to place themselves in an area where they know they will become aware if anyone tries to enter the house. It could be as simple as the dog's innate guarding tendencies coupled with the conditioning over time as to the layout of the house.

I do not know if your situation with your dog is the same as mine but I do not see anything "weird" that a dog might choose to sleep elsewhere in the house.

Your thoughts and others regarding pack theory is a great debate and I have my opinions but will abstain and try to keep the thread on topic.
 

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I've had numerous GSDs over the years and all of them eventually altered their sleeping areas at about the same time as they matured AND they all took places in the house which were interestingly in the same places. All of the GSDs I had/have were one at a time.

Each one started off in the bedroom on the floor with the door closed, so they had no choice. Once the dog could be trusted throughout the house, the bedroom door was left open but the dog(s) remained in the bedroom for a few months to sleep each night. As each dog matured, they started to spend the first few hours in the bedroom and then move to a different area(s) of the house to sleep for the majority of the night and then return to the bedroom about 2 hours before we would get up in the morning. The different positions in the house they chose seemed to be consistent with two factors. One, was strategic in nature as the position allowed the dog to monitor the entrances into the house and the other position would be one providing a more comfortable temperature for the dog such as a cooler floor versus carpeting. This place in the house also offered the dog strategic value as well.

IMO, all the GSDs I have had, have taken these positions out of the bedroom to place themselves in an area where they know they will become aware if anyone tries to enter the house. It could be as simple as the dog's innate guarding tendencies coupled with the conditioning over time as to the layout of the house.

I do not know if your situation with your dog is the same as mine but I do not see anything "weird" that a dog might choose to sleep elsewhere in the house.

Your thoughts and others regarding pack theory is a great debate and I have my opinions but will abstain and try to keep the thread on topic.
Thanks, that's very interesting, it's exactly what my dog does. She would start the night in my bedroom (on her bed), then she goes to spend the rest of the night in the living room and sometimes she comes back in the morning. I think the cooler floor could be a factor, but the guarding thing I'm not so sure, as the place she goes to sleep to, it's not very good for guarding. It kind of feels like she feels that the living room is more "her house" than my room... perhaps because we spend most of the day in it, while never go to the bedroom if not for sleeping...
 

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Well, I honestly think these new theories about dogs not being pack animals aren't going anywhere. There will always be people who state things out of the common beliefs just to try and be innovative. But dogs are definitely pack animals. I have a friend who breeds huskies and trust me, it's impressive to see how each of them has its specific role. Of course then it depends a lot on breeds (huskies are very wolf-like) but as a general rule, dogs are pack animals.
That probably doesn't mean they all have to sleep one next to the other especially in an apartment.
With all respects to your friend, who I'm sure is very experienced, I walk and train dogs full time. I have supervised dog play and watched groups of dogs interact for literally thousands of hours. I can only summarize my observations by saying that the term "dogpile" did not just appear out of nowhere. Dogs interact much like a hodge-podge of neighborhood kids. Not once have I seen dogs choose a specific order to walk, eat or greet strangers in, either amongst dogs that are totally new to each other OR dogs that have known each other for years.

For general interest I wrote an article exploring the origins of pack theory and detailing how the guy largely responsible for making pack theory popular among dog trainers is now trying to claw back what he said and busy his old myths in favor of his newer, more accurate research: The Deal on Dominance – The Dog Nanny
 
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