I got an email from a new beagle parent asking why does his beagle dig its head inside some covers or snuggles under the pillows?
In the past, beagles lived in the wild and slept in burrowed pits. Over time, beagles were domesticated, but few of their natural habits were passed down through their DNA. One of them is to snuggle under something. This instinct makes them feel safe, so they snuggle inside blankets and covers.
The reason why your beagle likes sleeping under blankets and covers
Not just beagles. but all the dogs are said to be the descendants of wolves. They used to sleep in the wild. To stay safe from other wild animals at night, they would dig a den-like structure in the ground and sleep there.
They would also dig during the birthing process. In fact, after birth, their puppies would live in that hole until they get capable to walk properly. The den-like environment would keep the newborns safe from predators.
Over time, dogs were domesticated, but few of their natural habits were passed down through their DNA. One of them is to snuggle under something. This instinct makes them feel safe and protected, so they snuggle under blankets and covers.
Other common traits
Your beagle might push and pull the blankets and pillows to create a perfect den before sleeping. My dog usually brings in his favorite toy under the blanket and falls asleep (#CutestThingEver).
Another common thing among them is that they dig in the bed. I have also noticed that my beagle digs even when he is under the blanket.
Beagles also like to snuggle and cuddle humans. Numerous times I have found my beagle hiding under my blanket in the morning.
Is it Normal?
Yes, it is very much normal. If your beagle is in the habit of snuggling under blankets and covers, don’t be too concerned. It is actually a very natural instinct. Absolutely nothing to worry about! If your cute beagle cuddles next to you, it probably means you are family, and he feels safe beside you.
Can you stop a beagle from getting under covers?
Making a den-like environment from blankets and pillows and getting under it is the beagle’s natural instinct. This is what makes them feel safe and secure. Well, will you want someone to stop you from sleeping in the position you feel most comfortable in? Of course not, and the same goes for your dog. They feel comfortable and relaxed, snuggling under blankets and pillows.
Can my Dog breathe under the blankets or covers?
It’s a common concern for every beagle parent whether their dog can breathe under the blanket. Yes, the dog can breathe, and sleeping under the blanket won’t exactly suffocate them. And if the dog cannot breathe under the blanket, he will struggle his way out. Just to be extra safe, whenever possible, you can slowly make a small opening for air circulation. The only concern will be if the beagle is a small puppy who is not strong enough to find his way out. In that case, be extra careful and do not keep heavy blankets around him.
Although beagles are light sleepers, they would wake up immediately if they are hot or unable to breathe properly under the covers.
Should you Encourage this Behaviour?
If your dog has been sleeping with you under the covers for years then stopping it suddenly would just make your dog confused and sad. It might make your beagle feel as if you are punishing him. Although if you have concerns about your dog sleeping under the covers, instead of completely disallowing him, you can try to make him sleep half-covered.
Other reasons for getting under the covers
Fear: A loud continuous sound could make a dog panic, and in this situation, he might get scared and rush inside a cover. During such situations, it is necessary for you to calm your four-legged friend. Go sit next to him, cuddle him, and hug him if possible.
Anxiety: Beagles are social animals; they want people around them. Leaving your dog alone for a long time will cause separation anxiety in them. To find comfort when they are lonely, they usually get under covers. It is not at all advised to leave your dog alone for a long time. Consider asking a friend to company him for a while.
Health Issues: Your dog might get under covers when he is unwell. If he is not active enough for more than a day, take him to the veterinarian and have him checked for any health issues.
Does every dog do this?
Being a natural instinct from their past, most dog breeds tend to have this similar habit of burrowing and sneaking inside a blanket or a cover. Surprisingly many small dog breeds have this instinct.