There’s no doubt that Cavalier King Charles spaniels are one of the most popular breeds of dog in the world.
One of the things that makes Cavaliers so special is their willingness to please and be close to their owners.
For example, many Cavaliers will sleep on their owner’s head at night. This might seem a little strange so why do they do it?
Why do Cavaliers sleep on your head?
There are a number of possible reasons for your Cavalier to sleep on your head.
Being protective is one explanation. For many dogs, their person’s head is the highest point on their body, making it the best vantage point to watch over and protect them.
It could also be a sign of affection. While it might not be the most comfortable position for you, your dog may simply enjoy being close to you and your scent.
Another explanation is that it’s simply the warmest spot in the bed.
Dogs are attracted to warmth, so it makes sense that they would gravitate towards the spot where they can best soak up your body heat.
- Spencer, Charlotte (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 236 Pages – 10/23/2017 (Publication Date) – Pet Education Publishing (Publisher)
Status-wise, sleeping on your head might also be a way for your Cavalier to assert their dominance.
In the dog world, elevated positions are often seen as a sign of power and leadership.
By sleeping on your head, your dog could be claiming you as their own.
Likewise by sleeping close to you your dog could be raising their own status in the eyes of other dogs ( and humans too).
By being in such close proximity to the “alpha”, your dog is indicating that they are also of a high ranking.
Some experts believe that Cavaliers who sleep on their owner’s head may be suffering from anxiety.
This theory is based on the fact that many dogs who suffer from separation anxiety tend to sleep in close proximity to their owners.
It’s often learned behaviour
Whatever the reason, it’s important to remember that this behaviour is often learned.
If your Cavalier has been sleeping on your head since they were a puppy, chances are it’s normal for your dog.
As long as you’re comfortable with it, there’s no need to worry.
However, if you’re not a fan of sleeping with a dog on your head, there are a few things you can do to discourage the behaviour.
Should you stop your Cavalier from sleeping on your head?
Whether or not you should allow your Cavalier to sleep on your head is ultimately up to you.
If you’re comfortable with it and your dog seems to enjoy it, then there’s no harm in letting them continue.
However, if you’re not a fan of sharing your pillow with a dog, there are a few things you can do to discourage the behaviour.
How to stop your dog from sleeping on your head
One option is to ignore your Cavalier when they jump on the bed and settle down on your head.
Dogs are quick to learn that certain behaviours are rewarded with attention, so if you make it clear that you’re not going to give them any attention when they sleep on your head, they’ll eventually stop doing it.
Another option is to provide your Cavalier with their own bed that’s close to yours.
This will give them a sense of security and a comfortable place of their own to sleep and may help to dissuade them from jumping into bed with you.
When your dog uses his bed reward the behaviour with praise or a treat to reinforce that this is where he is supposed to sleep.
You can also try using a pillow or blanket that has your scent on it to create a more inviting space for your dog.
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of why Cavaliers sleep on your head.
It could be a sign of affection, anxiety, or simply learned behaviour.
Ultimately, whether or not you allow your Cavalier to continue this behaviour is up to you.
If you’re not comfortable with it, with a little patience and training, you should be able to get your Cavalier to sleep in their own bed so that you can get a good night’s sleep.
Last update on 2024-02-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API