Sami is a well mannered good natured dog. He's shown no other signs of aggression towards me, my wife, any of the people he's meet or the vast number of dogs he's meet and plays with. Yet, come night time when I climb into he growls, barks and will even lunge towards me. This will continue for a few seconds, even when it looks like he is awake (eyes open looking at you).
I've read that this is common behavior when waking or startling a sleeping dog. My question is, how do I deal with this or correct it? We know it's not his fault.
I wouldn't let the dog sleep in bed until you go first. Close the door to your bedroom so he can't get in. He can sleep in the living room or something until you go to bed and invite him to come with. That is if you want him to sleep in bed.
I myself do not sleep with my pets, my bed isn't big enough! ha
I think he may also think this is his bed and don't want to share it??
Both of my dogs growl when pushed or kicked (no one is trying to be mean to the dogs - this sometimes happens when we roll over in bed) while sleeping. If I hear the growl I say their name and tell them sorry (I'm polite to my dogs).I know if I wasn't expecting a push or kick I would B@#$%, but if the person is sorry how can I stay mad. If for some reason one keeps growling I pull the covers off of that dog and tell it to get out of my bed. After the dog gets off the bed I lay back down like I'm going to sleep. Usually I have eyes looking up at me, and a scratching paw on the side of the bed begging to be let back in the bed. After a few minutes I allow the dog back in bed. If the dog can't forgive right away it always has a bed on the floor to go sleep on.
My husband wishes we never got into the habit of sleeping with dogs. He doesn't like it when the dogs lay on him and then growl when he moves. My husband works late hours a couple days a week and he is the one who has problems with the dogs (they bark at him when he comes home if they are awake and one of my guys if we are already sleeping will growl at my husband if he comes into the dark room and my other guy will jump up and just stand there between us). I think the dogs are protecting me. Protecting an owner is different than guarding things from an owner. Protecting one owner from the other owner can get to be a bad thing, but my dogs have never tried to protect me during the day so I haven't forced them to behave differently at night.
If your dog is guarding anything from you he doesn't respect you as the head of the house. This is what bothers my husband about our dogs barking or growling at him. I tell him he needs to realize that I'm the boss and until he realizes that the dogs will just keep reminding him.