Can you help with my research?

A few blogs ago I mentioned the strange piece in the Times that suggested you could catch Sars from sleeping with your dog. After 17 radio interviews in which I suggested maybe retiring Chief Vet Fred had had an Edwina Currie moment - as you catch Sars from infected humans sneezing on you, and it was a disease we didn't have in this country in any case I got some interesting calls. First there was a lady saying that the whole story was a smokescreen to distract from the MRSA problem in pigs. (Interesting, but not my area of expertise!) And then I got a call from the people who did the research from Defra.
Turns out the research that provoked The Times to put out what was at best a very peculiar article is sensible serious stuff and not anti-dog. I've spoken to the professor at Liverpool Uni and the team are all dog lovers and they were just as upset by the article in the Times as all of us were!
Anyway, I'm writing something about the research in the July issue and wondered if I could do a bit of my own research too!
According to the study 1 in 5 of us have a dog sleeping in the bedroom. One in seven have them on the bed.
From my own research, there is a further level of information we need!
If you sleep with your dog are they on top or below the covers?
Do you tolerate dirty paws, or do you have a bedtime regime where you clean teeth and feet?
I am looking for the most dogs sharing a bed and would love photographic evidence! Are there any multi-species sleepovers? What's the biggest dog that shares a bed?
Where does the dog/s sleep - feet end or head end? Who gets the lion's share of the duvet.
On one of my radio interviews one of the DJs brought up the indiscreet subject of emissions. Anyone share a bed with a real stinker or a dog that snores?
Anyone fallen out with a human partner over where the dog sleeps?
Please email me full details of your canine bedroom habits and also send any photos please asap! Email Or leave a comment here to encourage others to open up and share!
Is 1 in 7 a true figure or are some people too shy to reveal all!


Flowerpot said…
Our dog sleeps in the bedroom but on the floor beside our bed. She isnt allowed on the bed as that's the cat's territory and he was there first. Not much help to you Beverley except to say that Mollie jumped up and licked my face to say hello this morning and I sleepily thought about Germs and decided I wouldn't worry!
Anonymous said…
Hi Beverly,
That is a very interesting idea for some research! I think I will do similar research here in Sweden, and find out is it really more common that dogs sleep on beds/in bedrooms here. Basically everyone I know has their dog/s in bedroom or on/in the bed. When I used to live in Ireland, everyone waas hcked t hear that dogs were allowed ustairs, or even in the house!
A friend of mine who used to have 2 Great Danes had them in the bed, underneath the cover!!
Best Regards,
Mia Orellano, greyhound mum and dog training instructor, Sweden
Anonymous said…
Well my Bulldog sleeps on the bed with me. He snores so loud it's ridiculous but it doesn't keep me awake now. He can't get onto the bed himself so sits there and grumbles till I assist him up.
He sleeps on top of the duvet, not under it and I do keep a cover over the top.
He usually sleeps on his back and does not worry about pushing me out of the way!
If I am away I actually miss his snoring! It was never supposed to be like this and I started well when he was a pup but it didn't last!
Em said…
Mollie dog spends most of the night in her crate by the bed - but towards the early hours and when the alarm goes off, she creeps (very noisily usually) onto our bed. Depending on the temperature in the room she'll either try for under the duvet or under the covers on top of the duvet - but usually it's under the duvet, by my partner's feet.. Mollie isn't that big so it's not a huge problem - she's a long legged JR :D And the bed is king size.
bugs said…
One of our dogs, Tess, sleeps on the bed, and in the winter will get under the duvet with us. She is a large Staffy. My other 2 dogs sleep in their bed, next to my bed, and one of them snores like a train. Tess has access to the bed once she has dried off from her walks. She tends to lay right between us, and I have 2 covers on the bed, one hanging further my side, and the other hanging further on my hubbys side. That way, we have covers to keep warm.
Anonymous said…
Molly (SBT) sleeps in our bed - usually under the duvet, but she comes rushing out panting after a while when she's got too hot and body-slams us on top of the duvet! She likes to be in between both of us, whether thats under or on top of the duvet. She does snore - and sometimes wakes us with her dreaming, but I love that noise! Ray often complains he's got no duvet when she's on the top, but I just tell him he's bottom of the pack in our house and has to get used to it!
I always thought that getting under the duvet was a terrier thing - being underground.
When Penny was old and sick and could no longer climb the stairs, we moved our bed downstairs and slept in the dining room for at least a year. I couldn't bear the thought that she had to sleep alone on top of being ill. Ray even made her a little step covered in rubber with hi-vis tape around the edges so that she could still climb up on her own. We must be mad!
I've never worried about germs though and Staffies aren't smelly dogs - I'd draw the line at sleeping with a stinker!
Rosie x
Linda Ward said…
Both my dogs share my bedroom, Fred, mixed terrier, and Beauty - a greyhound.

Beauty goes up first to warm up the bed - I deliberately leave the covers pulled down a bit so she can lie on the bottom cover. Fred and I go up next, and after all the ablutions I go back into the bedroom, Beauty vacates the bed and I get into a lovely warm snuggly bed. Once I'm covered up she is invited back on the bed, on top of the covers, although in the winter I do chuck the bedspread over here, then she sleeps where once there was a husband (I've got a better deal these days, I have to admit!)

Fred, the terrier, sleeps under and over the covers, where he pleases. Some nights he's at my feet, other times he keeps my tummy or back warm.

I don't wash them, nor do I really care if they are dirty (Fred usually is due to his habit of diving face first into muddy puddles) - I don't appreciate sneezing or drooling (for their bedtime biscuit) but I do both anyway, so they are forgiven for any dampness. All my sheets fit into the washing machine, unlike the dogs.

I will try to remember to take a few photos tonight!
Anonymous said…
I am going to email you later but I am happy to admit that my dogs sleep on the bed with me. Not just my own, but rescues that come in do too. If it is good enough for my lot then it is good enough for them!
My dogs have been allowed on my bed since I remember. It has never done me any harm and the rescues that come in are not always as healthy as my own.
If I have taken a dog in with very bad mange (as an example)then I am not going to have my lot sleeping in comfort and the mangy dog shivering in a dog bed. They are treated on arrival and then are wrapped up in a duvet/blanket and can sleep on the bed if they want.
I got a double bed so that the dogs could all fit on there and at the time I had 9 dogs of my own and we all squeezed on there very comfortably!
Recently I had two rescue dogs come in, a GSD x Lab and a Mastiff x Staffie and both these girls and my own all slept on the bed.
There are rules though! They are 'allowed' to sleep on the bed as long as Harry (my Cocker Spaniel) has his spot next to mummy, Annie (my Yorkie x) sleeps my mums head and Monty (my Chihuahua x) sleeps the other side. They all have their own spot for sleeping! The others can go anywhere else on the whole bed.

It makes for a very quiet nights sleep because I don't have to worry about dogs barking downstairs or chewing things up. They always sleep very quietly and we never have any problems during the night.

Yes, they fart, yes they snore, but so do men!!!

Anonymous said…
Before I go into this I'm going to sound so dirty but I'm quite healthy and never catch the illnesses going round at work.

My three dogs sleep in the bedroom. They have their own bed but are allowed on the bed. In fact I actually encourage it in winter when its chilly.

My staffie sleeps under the covers if he's feeling cold, he nudges me to let him in.

I look after their health (maybe more than my own) they're de-flea'd and wormed.

I never bath them unless they've rolled in something revolting and then I only wash the mucky patch.

They go in the garden for a last wee before bed and its not unusual for them to bring a tiny bit of mud upstairs and onto/in bed.

I've seen them step in wee and it doesn't bother me.

On rare occassions after eating disgusting things they shouldn't, they have thrown up on the bed (had to throw the duvet out).

If they want they'll bring up toys which have been well chewed or even dragged round the garden.

I draw the line at real bones and try to contain those to the kitchen.

When they've had operations they're even more likely to be tucked up IN the bed to keep warm, even if they have a freshly stiched wound.

Obviously I have to change the sheets on a very regular basis but I don't worry about a bit of dirt.

As for smelliness, the wind isn't too bad and they are certainly less stinky than men!

*Hangs head in shame* but you did ask for honesty.

Chapstaff said…
Enjoying this one hahaha

My dog sleeps in the kitchen, in an open crate, next to the radiator.

Maybe I'm more likely to get illnesses as I won't have the healthy immune system of people with dogs in their beds :-)

Tala, my Staff always comes up in the morning with whoever gets up first, & has a cuddle in the bed.
Ems said…
Four on the bed, one on the sofa but she will come up from time to time..

Deerhound on the bed.. is that big enough?

We bought a superkingsize bed so that theres more room for us all, and even visiting dogs (foster Monty greyhound, part time collie x Leela), they sleep on the bed too!

May venture bedroomwards with camera later but I bet they will either not pose.. or pose completely indecently! (Collie does 'modern art: inverted collie with shiny balls and furry knickers')
Anonymous said…
It all started well when she was a puppy when she slept in the kitchen in her cosy bed without any fuss. But we now fight for space on our bed with one of the cats, who likes to sleep ON my legs! and the dog who sleeps between us, although generally above the covers. The other cat likes to come for a cuddle about 4am and if it's cold he will go under the covers until he has warmed up!
We have decided we definately need a bigger bed!! We are not worried about germs and neither of us tend to get ill easily. None of the animals are smelly luckily, and although one of the cats does snore very loudly the dog doesn't stir all night and has to be persuaded out of bed in the mornings.
Jan said…
I always let my dogs (I have 5) sleep in or on my bed, Jack my greyhound goes to bed first to warm it up for me to get in to. He does move for me to get into bed then he snuggles up. The other dogs squeesze in where they want. Jack has dreams and he kicks out even to the extent of pushing me out of bed. I don't worry about dity feet or hairy covers they can be washed. Jess sleeps on the floor in the bedroom and she snores for England but then she is 17 years. It would appear that loads of people let their dogs sleep with them. I think if you have a dog they should be part of the family in every way.
Anonymous said…
I slept for 5 happy years with a little staffy cross in my bed, under the covers, spooning with me, head on the pillow. Days she wasn't allowed on the bed, she would sneak in at my feet (under covers) at about 5am. She also slept ON the bed (in her own bed) all day every day.

when I first got my current two dogs (collie cross and whippety type cross) they both slept - one in and one on - the bed. The trainer/behaviourist type told me they shouldn't come upstairs so now, they sleep downstairs. I must say it is a lot more peaceful and much MUCH cleaner! The cat still sleeps on the bed (and does 5 minute stretches under the covers). I am no less ill than I was before.

When we camp, both dogs sneak into or onto the sleeping bags at about 6am and are happy to wait until getting up time! The whippety dog likes to sleep in the crook behind my knees. The collie cross likes to be spooned.

Illnesses? Nothing that I'm aware of, and certainly nothing worse than I would get from a lick on the face (occassional accidental snog) and from not washing my hands between touching them and touching me/food. (Not preparing food, but in general).

I know plenty of others that have dogs in their bed with no ill effects... unless that is why one particular womans has started peeing up lamposts...
Vynor said…
Husband and I, Jack Russell and collie share the bed, collie always seems to end up in the middle, pushes both pillows a bit apart and spreads himself on his back. Jack Russell starts off on my feet, sometimes sleeps behind my knees or if hot tries to take over the pillow - he also snores as does husband - joy!! Can't actually sleep without them there now though.

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