Your dog will touch you during his sleep for various emotional reasons, such as if he sees you as his protector, he is seeking warmth from you, he misses you and wants you to be by his side. He is being possessive, or you have encouraged this behavior. You could also be simply too attractive to him.
Whatever the reason, your dog will seek proximity to you when he sleeps, and that’s where the “Sleeping Kiss” comes in.
This is a simple, natural act of affection that your dog is exhibiting to YOU!
Of course, if his “affection” gets out of hand, you should correct his behavior right away!
Never reward excessive affection with attention from you.
He Sees You As His Protector
When your dog sees you as his pack leader, he is expecting that you will protect him from any threat when he is asleep.
He does it by touching you to inform you that he will be leaving his guard down as he will be trusting you to do what is necessary to keep him safe when he is asleep.
This “touching” could be little action, such as nuzzling or resting his head on your chest. It could also be lying down next to you with his paws resting on your feet.
It is a clear sign that he is depending on you to watch over him while he sleeps.
He Is Seeking Warmth From You
Compared to a human whose normal body temperature is around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, a dog’s core body temperature is typically between 100 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit.
So, if you are feeling cold, it is hard for your dog not to be cold too.
That is why when the weather turns cold, you will typically find your dog trying to seek some warmth from you by touching and rubbing against you in order to get some good sleep.
What you can do is to get him a warm dog sweater and put on a pair of dog boots for him. This way, he will be warm and comfortable.
You should also provide him with a warm place to rest and sleep so that he knows that is where he should go when he is feeling cold.
Get him a crate that has been outfitted with a warm blanket and make it cozy for him.
Make sure the crate is warm because this is where your dog will spend most of his time when the weather turns cold.
He Is Missing You
If you have been away from home for a long period of time, your dog is missing you and wants to stay by your side.
By touching you when he is sleeping, he can be sure that you’re not going to leave him again.
This is often a sign of separation anxiety, and you would need to work on correcting this behavior. If not addressed, it can get out of hand and lead to severe behavior problems.
What you can do is create a safe place for your dog to go to whenever he is feeling anxious or depressed. This will help him deal with these feelings in a healthy way.
A crate is an excellent choice for creating a safe place.
Once you have the crate, make sure you reinforce the fact that this is his special place. Get your dog to grow his love for this crate.
If you use positive reinforcement, he will soon learn that going to the crate means he will get something good, such as getting a treat or a chewing toy to play with, and it will also be a place where he will be protected from any threat.
So the next time he finds himself feeling nervous or anxious because he is alone, he will know where to go.
When you are working on correcting this behavior, make sure you are consistent.
Do this every day and in time, he will associate the crate as a place to ease his anxiety.
Don’t forget that your dog is an intelligent animal, and he will soon understand what you are trying to teach him.
Just be patient and keep working until he gets it. It will be worth it in the end.
He Is Possessive Of You
Your dog has considered you as his “property” and is possessive of you.
You see, all dogs are possessive of their owners. It’s just a part of being a dog.
But some dogs are more “possessive” than others. And the “most-possessive” ones are usually those that have been abused when they are still puppies.
They think they own you. They think they can “order” you, control you, and they are in charge.
This is when the trouble comes in. You would need to correct his possessive behavior by becoming his Alpha.
You see, when your dog acknowledges you as his pack leader, he will stop thinking he owns you, and he starts to realize he is answerable to you.
So the first step is for you to start acting like the Alpha by being the dominant force in your relationship with your dog.
You can attain this position by NEVER letting your dog walk in front of you, sleeping in your bed with you, being the first to eat, getting on the furniture, or getting to paw something first.
You Are Attractive To Him
As humans, we tend to give our attention to someone who we find attractive. Dogs will also have similar behavior.
Can you imagine that?
A dog, the most loyal and trusting of all animals, will actually choose an owner based on his or her looks!
Anyway, I think it’s fair to say that almost all owners are at least somewhat attractive. And, what many owners don’t realize is that their dog is noticing everything about them including their appearance.
Therefore, if your dog finds you attractive, he might cling to you, sniff you and touch you more often because he wants to be close to you, even when he is asleep.
This is a sure sign that you are very “attractive” to him!
You Have Encouraged This Behavior
Do you have a habit of letting your dog touch and sleep beside you when you are watching shows or reading a book?
By allowing your dog to do that, you are in fact encouraging him with this behavior, and he is less likely to want to go to his crate or bed for naps.
Over time, he will be obsessive that you have to be with him at all times and will suffer from separation anxiety, sleeping disorder and behavioral problems like aggression and barking when he finds that you are not with him.
So if you are allowing your dog to sleep beside you, you should STOP doing it right now.
You should train him that the crate and his bed are the only space that he can take a nap or sleep in, and he will learn to do it without your presence.
The way to do this will be when you find him getting tired and wanting to take a nap, put him in his crate, do not stay beside the crate and let him rest in it.
If he starts to cry or barks, ignore him and ONLY take him out of the crate and praise him for being so good when he has calmed down.
This will let him know that he will only receive your attention when he is behaving himself, and he will be put in the crate when he needs a rest.