Usually, pet owners are focused on keeping their dog off the bed, especially if you have a large breed dog--what is cute as a puppy may not be cute when your dog weighs 100 pounds! But what if your dog won't get up on the bed, and you want him to join you there. Well then, you will need to teach him to jump on the bed and maybe provide a little aid, depending on what the issue is that is preventing your dog from joining you on his own.
For some dogs, jumping on the bed with their owners is not something that comes naturally. It may be that your dog has a physical limitation due to size or an orthopedic condition, in which case you will need to provide your dog with an aid to help him get up on the bed. Doggy stairs that allow your dog to reach and jump onto furniture can be homemade or purchased commercially through pet supply stores. Sometimes, the dog is just afraid to jump on the bed, and training is required to overcome this anxiety. If you have recently added a mature dog to your family that was taught not to jump on furniture in their previous home, and you want your dog to join you on the bed now, you will need to help your new dog understand that he is now welcome on the bed. This will require some patience and training so as not to confuse your dog. Ideally, you will ask your dog to jump up on the bed by patting the bed and providing a verbal signal, such as 'come on up', or 'jump on the bed'. Your dog will then jump up and join you on the bed for cuddles, or to curl up and sleep.
Many pet owners enjoy having their dogs sleep on the bed with them for company, or to keep their feet warm, and most dogs love to join their owners, so motivating your dog to jump on the bed is usually not hard, but a dog that has experienced pain when jumping on furniture due to a medical condition, is anxious about jumping, or was previously taught not to jump on furniture will require some assistance learning this behavior.
My dog seems confused. She used to jump on the bed and stay the whole night. Now she whines to get up onto the bed, and even though we 'invite' her by slapping our hand on the bed, she continues to whine and not jump up. Some times she will eventually jump up, then jumps off, roams a little and starts the process again. It's severely affecting our sleep and she seems stressed. Please help!
Hello Barbara, It sounds like one of two or three things might be going on. If Stella was not allowed on the bed or thought she was in trouble for being on the bed at some point, then she wants to get on but is afraid she will get in trouble. If Stella has never gotten in trouble for being on the bed she was probably kicked or rolled onto during the night while you slept, so now she wants to be with you but is afraid that it will happen again. Lastly, if her legs or joints are sore for any reason, then she might be hesitant to jump because it hurts, which makes her feel upset. If she is being kicked during your sleep or is sore and it hurts for her to jump, then I would advise you to teach her a "Place", "Bed", or "Crate" command and have her sleep in her own bed in a designated area. If she is crate trained or you are willing to crate her, then I would recommend using the crate, at least at first, until she gets in the habit of sleeping in her own location so that you do not have to work on enforcing the command during the night while she is developing a new sleeping habit. If you want her to sleep on the bed with you and you think she is willing, then during the day teach her to stay on the bed when you give her a command like "Bed" or "Sleep". Teach her this during the day when you can enforce the command and prevent her from getting off. When it's time to get off the bed tell her another command like "Okay" or "Off". To teach her that do what you would do while teaching a "Place" command but simply substitute the. "Place" for the bed and tell her "Bed" or "Sleep" instead of "Place". This training will only work if she is not being kicked at night during your sleep. If she is being kicked, then she simply needs to learn to sleep in her own bed for the whining to stop. To teach her to be on her bed, attach a leash to her, quickly lead her over to your bed and use her momentum to get her to jump up on the bed. As soon as she jumps up place a treat on the bed and tell her "Bed". If she tries to jump off block her exit and calmly tell her no. When she stops trying to jump off or lays down, then place another treat on the bed. Give her another treat every ten minutes that she stays on the bed. Block her whenever she tries to jump off. When you are ready for her to get off, tell her "Off" or "Okay" and give a gentle tug on the leash and praise her when she gets off, but do not give her a treat for that part. Practice all of this until you can tell her to get on the bed and she will jump up on her own and stay there until she is told to get off. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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