Why Do Beagles Go Under the Covers & Burrow to Sleep?

why do beagles burrow under covers

Finding your Beagle fast asleep under the bed covers is an adorable sight to behold. On a more practical level, they can even make for replacement water bottles during the cold winter months!

Beagles aren’t the only breed of dog who like to burrow under the covers but are very renowned for it; burrowing is a Beagle trait for sure.

Why do Beagles burrow under covers? Burrowing is a natural instinct for Beagles. They can cover themselves as a way of protecting themselves while they are asleep, rather of lying out in the open where predators could easily see them.

Think about how cosy your bed is too… covered with soft blankets and duvets, it makes for an ideal for a Beagle to burrow under the covers.

But just how safe is it for your Beagle to sleep under the covers? Is it even something that should be encouraged? And what if you don’t want your Beagle getting under your blankets due to allergies and hair… how do you enforce boundaries and stop them burrowing?

I am going answer all that, so read on!

Why do Beagles like to sleep under the covers?

I’ve already talking a little bit about why Beagles burrow in your bed; they are burrowers and it’s a trait all owners will need to accept; but it can be prevented if you want it to be.

I believe that your Beagle’s love of burrowing more than likely comes from the instincts of their wolf and wild dog ancestors. They would create and sleep in dens to protect themselves from the elements and other predators out in the wild.

Because of this, your Beagle’s instinct is to burrow under the covers, so they are protected by soft blankets, pillows and other items to create a comfortable nest. Beds usually act as a great place for this, with a soft mattress and blankets and duvets already there to be used.

Additionally, if your Beagle keeps seeking out ways to sleep on or around you when you are in bed, it may be the case that your dog also want to join you to sleep, sharing warmth and also being nearby to the rest of the ‘pack’.

You should take your Beagle creating a den for themselves in your bed as a compliment as it is a sign that they see it as a place of safety and comfort; they feel protected and safe.

Dogs that are uncomfortable in their environment don’t usually fall asleep very easily, so seeing your Beagle zonked out in your bed is definitely the ultimate sign of affection.

Handy Hint: Burrowing under a blanket could be a sign of nesting which happens around the 6th week of a Beagle pregnancy according to this calendar.

Why does my beagle sleep between my legs?

Beagles are famous for being an affectionate breed of dog, loving physical contact and all the attention that they can get. One of the behaviours that you may notice both in beagles and other breeds of dog, is that they will often try and burrow between your legs to sleep.

But why do Beagles like to sleep between your legs?

Dogs are natural pack animals, as are humans in many ways, and naturally, want to cuddle into others when they are asleep. They do this as puppies, as well as when they are adults.

If there are no other dogs around to cuddle into at night, then your dog may seek you out instead. Sleeping up against one another is a good bonding activity for dogs, so for your Beagle to sleep between or tucked up against your legs it is a sign that you are someone that they feel completely safe with.

However, it could also be a sign of anxiety in your Beagle.

Some dogs get bad separation anxiety, even if it just because you are asleep in the other room. This can mean that they struggle to fall and stay asleep in their own bed and so will try and seek you out.

Your Beagle sees you as a place of safety so will want to burrow under your bed covers and try to sleep between your legs.

If you are concerned about your dogs’ sleeping habits or are worried that they may potentially be suffering from some anxieties, please speak to your vet who will be able to check for, diagnose and give you advice for any behavioural issues.

Another classic, if odd, behaviour is when dogs walk around in circles before settling down the sleep. This again can be traced back to their wild ancestors, who would do this to flatten down grass and other bedding materials collected in order to make it comfortable to lay down on.

This has become an instinctive nightly ritual for many dogs, no matter how comfortable the bedding already is.

Is it okay for dogs to sleep under the covers?

Some people don’t want their Beagle to burrow under the covers to go to sleep for fear that they may suffocate or injure themselves. It is a common fear for dog owners, especially owners of smaller breeds, and an understandable one… you want to keep your furry friend safe and don’t want to endanger them or allow them to pose a risk to themselves for the sake of comfort.

However, as mentioned above, for the most part, it is entirely fine for a Beagle to sleep under the covers. While dogs may act like big, furry babies, they don’t just lie still when covered over by a blanket (which is a common cause for cot suffocation) but they instead will simply move to a position where they are able to breathe.

If your Beagle isn’t comfortable with a blanket over them or is struggling to get out from under a blanket, then they will make it very obvious to their owners very quickly.

The only real danger is for small, weak or younger Beagles who may find escaping from underneath covers difficult, especially heavier blankets. If you are concerned, please speak to your vet for further advice, or find lighter blankets or use heating pads to give them the same feeling of comfort without risking their safety.

How to stop your Beagle sleeping in your bed

While it is perfectly natural and rather cute for your Beagle to sleep in your bed, there are many reasons why you may not want them to do this. It might be because you want to keep boundaries in place, avoid yourself overheating (especially in the warmer months), to keep your bed free of hair or dog-smell, for allergy-related reasons – or just to give yourself some quiet time to at night.

A lot of unwanted behaviours can be easily trained out of your Beagle and sleeping in your bed is no exception. However, instead of just scolding them and refusing to allow them into the bedroom, which can cause your dog anxiety and distress, you will need to give them an equally tempting alternative.

Buy your dog their own bed, either in their crate or a classic doggy bed. Make sure that is the right size for your dog so that they can comfortably sleep in it without falling over the edge or feeling too swamped in it.

Your local pet store and online shops have a lot of different types of dog bed, making it easy to shop around. I recommend something like the Plush Pet Bed on Amazon. It’s basic, but comfortable and comes in a range of sizes to suit different breeds. It’s ultra-soft, machine washable and comes in a neutral gray tone that is perfect for both modern and traditional home décor.

For something a bit more high end, and probably more comfortable, check out this Round Memory Foam dog bed on Amazon. With a memory foam cushion that holds your dog’s shape and alleviates pressure points to help with arthritis or other physical health conditions, this pet bed is an incredibly comfortable alternative for your dog to sleeping in your own bed.

The circular, wraparound design is perfect for dogs who like to curl up to sleep, creating a feeling of safety and security. This bed is entirely machine washable and made of pet-friendly material.

By setting up your Beagle’s bed either in your bedroom or in another room that they feel comfortable in, this comfortable alternative bed will allow your dog to burrow and cover themselves over in blankets without you having to worry about them sleeping in your bed.

Can my puppy breath under the covers?

While older dogs are usually very capable of taking care of themselves when sleeping under blankets, there is a somewhat of an increased risk for smaller dogs and puppies.

This is because larger and heavier blankets may make it harder for them to move around or escape from, causing them distress and potentially even risking suffocation.

Until your Beagle puppy is older and larger, it is important to keep an eye on them when they are sleeping with a blanket or under the covers.

Make sure that they are comfortable with it and that it is light enough to allow them to breathe and get out from underneath. If you are still worried about the possibility of suffocation, please consult your vet who will be able to advise you.

Can my Beagle sleep under my weighted blanket?

Weighted blankets are a great way to relieve anxiety and insomnia in humans, with many people using it for added comfort and security. However, there can be potential risks to your pets.

While some animals dislike the feeling of being swaddled, which is the sensation that weighted blankets creates, others love it and will try and get underneath your weighted blanket alongside you.

Weighted blankets can weigh between 2 and 20 pounds, depending on whether it is a child’s blanket or an adult’s one, meaning that the heavier the blanket the more difficult your Beagle may find it to move around at night and may even find itself trapped.

Larger dogs may find weighted blankets easy to lift and move, but smaller and younger dogs may become distressed and can even struggle to breathe because of the increased weight.

Again, if you are concerned about your Beagle’s safety around your weighted blanket, try and create an alternative sleeping place for them so they can sleep safer.

Conclusion

That’s a very quick overview of why Beagles like to go under the covers, with some additional advice on their sleeping habits. If you own a Beagle, check out these other guides:

Marc Aaron

I write about the things I've learned about owning a dog, the adventures we have, and any advice and tips I've picked up along the way.

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