7 Best Dog Breeds If You Have Trouble Sleeping
Once you officially decide to adopt a dog, you'll want to be on the lookout for certain breeds and personality types that match your lifestyle. Outdoorsy? Find a dog with lots of energy. Homebody? Look for a pup who'd be cool with chilling on the couch. And so on.
But what if you have trouble sleeping? While this won't be the only factor that helps you decide on a certain dog, it can be important to consider dogs with personality traits that'll contribute to a secure, restful atmosphere. For example, "if you live alone and feel nervous at night, a [protective dog breed] can be very helpful," Mychelle Blake, MSW, CDBC, a certified dog behavior consultant, tells Bustle. "If it's more of an issue of needing companionship, really any breed of dog would work well, but [you may want to] gravitate towards dogs known for being more affectionate."
Of course, it's also helpful to look for breeds that are less likely to keep you up at night, possibly by barking or feeling anxious themselves. To learn more about a dog's habits, "talk to the shelter or rescue staff to find out how the dog interacts with volunteers and staff it's familiar with to find out more about its personality," Blake says.
You can narrow down your search by considering the breeds listed below, which experts say can make great companions if you're looking to feel safe and secure. And that may just help you get good sleep.
1. Pit Bulls
"Many Pit bulls we meet treat snuggle time like an Olympic sport — they’re fully dedicated and in it to win it," Sarah Fraser, certified dog behavior consultant and co-founder of Instinct Dog Behavior & Training, tells Bustle. Of course, it'll come down to the dog's individual personality, "but the ones who love to snuggle (and there are many) really, really love to snuggle," she says.
These dogs also tend to look strong and stocky, which can contribute to your comfort factor, as it may help you feel protected and secure. But keep in mind, "just the presence of a dog — large or small — is a huge deterrent when it comes to home safety," Fraser says, so no need to go out looking for an actual guard dog.
If you're searching for a dog who will sleep next to you every night, consider a Rat Terrier, or terrier mix. "These little guys are generally A+ snugglers who love being close to their humans," Fraser says. "Most are big fans of bedtime and love nothing more than to crawl underneath the covers next to you — even in the middle of summer."
Terriers do need a lot of exercise, Fraser says, so you'll want to make sure they play and get plenty of walks, as well as lots of attention during the day, so they'll be tired enough to sleep.
Another breed that's pretty much guaranteed to curl up in bed? Greyhounds, of any variety. "Dogs that are short-haired [...] tend to enjoy sleeping with their humans for the added warmth," Fraser says. So you may have good luck with Chihuahuas and Great Danes, too, if you're looking for a dog who wants to jump into bed.
"Many large dogs with lots of hair are more likely to choose resting places that are cool, rather than cozy," Fraser says. "So, while they may love attention, they may opt out of prolonged cuddling in bed or on your couch, simply because they get too hot."
Don't let their hair length factor in too much, though. You never know how snuggly a dog will be until they get used to you, and feel comfortable in their new home.
4. Golden Retrievers
In terms of affectionate dogs who will want to sit by your side and provide lots of companionship, nothing beats Golden Retrievers. Again, it's all about the individual, so when you're visiting a shelter you'll still want to "look for dogs that are very affectionate upon meeting them," Blake says, no matter their breed.
Should you come upon a happy Golden Retriever or other mix in a shelter, chat with the staff about his personality. If he seems happy and cuddly, he may be more likely to act the same way once he comes home. And if you're looking to relax with a big cuddler, that's just what you need.
5. Bichon Frises
Another highly affectionate dog, Blake says, is the Bichon Frise. They're likely to be sweet and friendly. And thanks to their small size, can make a great addition to your life, especially if you live in a tiny apartment — and have a tiny bed.
6. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
"If you’d like a smaller dog to snuggle with at night, it is hard to beat a Cavalier," Ben Team, senior content editor of K9 of Mine, a site dedicated to taking good care of dogs, tells Bustle. "These are exceptionally sweet and loving dogs, who rarely like to be far from their owner."
Due to their smaller size, they fall right into the lap dog category, which is a group of dogs known for forming tight bonds with their owners, Team says, as well as being the perfect size to curl up pretty much anywhere.
7. Labrador Retrievers
"Although Labs differ in personality pretty significantly, most are rather cuddly dogs, who love body contact with their people," Team says. Many also have a slow and steady nature, which can be calming to be around, and may help you feel secure come bedtime.
Of course, you should never rely too heavily on a dog to improve a sleep problem, because there are likely several factors at play if you're lying awake at night. But if you're simply looking for companionship, with a touch more security, a dog with a cuddly and affectionate personality, and a calm demeanor, may be a good bet.