Before you begin on your journey towards teaching your dog not to sleep on the bed, you’re going to need a few supplies. Your dog will need an alternative place to sleep; someplace that feels comfortable and safe. You should choose a quality dog bed with plenty of padding and washable covering. Dog beds should be thick and durable enough that your dog’s joints or bones don’t touch the ground through the material when laying with his full weight. If your dog is a serial bed sleeping offender, he may also need a crate with a closeable door in order to help break the bed sleeping habit at night.
Finally, dog owners looking to untrain this habit should bring a hefty dose of patience and humor. You want training an alternative behavior to be a pawsitive experience for both you and your dog and yelling or anger can quickly undermine that approach. There are various ways to teach your dog to not sleep on the bed and owners should try out any and all to see which is just the right fit for their spoiled, bed-loving pooch.
He freaks out if I leave him alone and won’t sleep unless he is laying right beside me touching me I am pretty sure he has separation anxiety
Hi there. I am going to send you some information on separation anxiety. This is a multi-fold process and does take time to correct. But it is not impossible. The first step in treating separation anxiety is to break the cycle of anxiety. Every time a dog with separation anxiety becomes anxious when their owner leaves, the distress they feel is reinforced until they become absolutely frantic any time they are left alone. Owners should give the dog an acceptable item to chew, such as a long lasting food treat when they go out. The goal is to have the dog associate this special treat with the owner’s departure. Treats might include hollow bones stuffed with peanut butter or soft cheese, drilled out nylon bones, or hollow rubber chew toys such as Kong toys with similar enhancements (place these in the freezer before giving them to your dog to make them last longer). Give the bone to your dog about 15 minutes before preparing to depart. The chew toy should be used only as a reward to offset the anxiety triggered by your departure. Hiding a variety of these delectable food treats throughout the house may occupy the dog so that the owner’s departure is less stressful. In an effort to prevent destructive behavior, many owners confine their dog in a crate or behind a gate. For dogs that display “barrier frustration,” the use of a crate in this way is counterproductive. Many dogs will physically injure themselves while attempting to escape such confinement. Careful efforts to desensitize and counter condition the dog to crate confinement before leaving them alone may be helpful in some cases. However, some dogs rebel against any form of restraint, including restricting barriers and, for them, crate training may never be a positive experience. Crate training and utilizing the crate while people are home can be a positive way to make the crate a safe place. If you utilize it when people are around, your dog won’t necessarily associate the crate with departure and being left alone. Creating nap time in the crate throughout the day can also be helpful. Building Independence Independence training can help fight separation anxiety and loneliness. Independence training can help build confidence and instill obedience. Independence training is one of the more important aspects of the program. It involves teaching your dog to “stand on their own four feet” when you are present, with the express intention that their newfound confidence will spill over into times when you are away. You need to make your dog more independent by reducing the bond between both of you to a more healthy level of involvement. Decreasing the bond is the hardest thing for owners to accept. Most people acquire dogs because they want a strong relationship with them. However, you have to accept that the anxiety your dog experiences in your absence is destructive. Essential components of the independence training program are as follows: Your dog can be with you, but the amount of interaction time should be reduced, especially where attention-seeking behaviors are concerned. You should initiate all interactions with your dog, and they shouldn’t be permitted to demand attention. If you give your dog attention every time they whine, it helps to foster the dog’s dependence on you and increases its anxiety in your absence. You should ignore your dog completely when they engage in attention-seeking behavior, and avoid catering to them when they appear to feel anxious. This means no eye contact, no pushing away, and no soothing talk or body language, all of which will reward their attention-seeking mission. Attention is encouraged only when your dog is sitting or lying calmly. The goal is not to ignore your dog, but to stop reinforcing attention-seeking behaviors so that your dog develops a sense of independence. Minimize the extent to which your dog follows you by teaching them to remain relaxed in one spot, such as their bed. To accomplish this, it is helpful if you train them to perform a sit-stay or down-stay while gradually increasing the time that they hold the command and remain at a distance from you. Providing a treat or toy and encouraging individual play time can be helpful. Once your dog has learned basic obedience commands, you can train them to hold long down-stays while you move progressively farther away. First, your dog should be trained to perform a “down-stay” on a mat or dog bed using a specific command, such as “lie down.” Your dog may have to be gently escorted to the designated spot the first few times. Initially, they should be rewarded every 10 seconds for remaining there, then every 20 seconds, 30 seconds, and so on. Once they have figured out what is wanted, you should switch to an intermittent schedule of reinforcement [reward], as this will strengthen the learned response. Each time your dog breaks their “stay,” issue a verbal correction, indicating that there will be no reward, and then escort them back to their bed. First, your dog can be made to “down-stay” while you are in the room. Next, they can be asked to stay when you are outside of the room, but nearby. The distance and time you are away from your dog can be increased progressively until your dog can remain in a down-stay for 20 to 30 minutes in your absence. Your dog should be warmly praised for compliance. Of course, they need to accept the praise without breaking the stay. Your dog should become accustomed to being separated from you when you are home for varying lengths of time and at different times of day. You can set up child gates to deny your dog access into the room you’re occupying (i.e. reading, watching television, or cooking). Instruct your dog to lie down and stay on a dog bed outside the room. As previously mentioned, you can provide an extended-release food treat or toy to keep your dog calm and distracted. Once they are able to tolerate being separated from you by a child gate, you can graduate to shutting the door to the room so your dog cannot see you. Allowing a dog to sleep in bed with the family can increase dependence. If you decide to prevent your dog from sleeping in your bed, there are some steps to take to establish this routine. First, you need to train your dog to sleep in their own bed on the floor in your bedroom. They may have to be taken to their bed several times before they get the message that you really want them to sleep in their own bed. Alternatively, you can train your dog to enjoy sleeping in a crate to prevent unwanted excursions. Do not use a crate if it causes more anxiety and distress for your dog. Once they tolerate sleeping in their own bed in your bedroom, you can move their bed outside of the bedroom and use a child gate or barrier to keep them out. Always remember to reward your dog with praise or a food treat for remaining in their bed. Develop Departure Techniques Many owners erroneously feel that if separation is so stressful, then they should spend more time with their dog before leaving. Unfortunately, this only exacerbates the condition. Everyone in the family should ignore your dog for 15 to 20 minutes before leaving the house and for at least 10 to 20 minutes after returning home. Alternatively, your leaving can be made a highlight of your dog’s day by making it a “happy time” and the time at which they are fed. Departures should be quick and quiet. When departures (and returns) generate less anxiety (and excitement), your dog will begin to feel less tension in your absence. Remember to reward calm behavior. Teach your dog that your departure and return are just normal parts of the day and are not times to be stressed. You should attempt to randomize the cues indicating that you are preparing to leave. Changing the cues may take some trial and error. Some cues mean nothing to a dog, while others trigger anxiety. Make a list of the things you normally do before leaving for the day (and anxiety occurs) and the things done before a short time out (and no anxiety occurs).Then mix up the cues. For example, if your dog is fine when you go downstairs to do the laundry, you can try taking the laundry basket with you when you leave for work. If your dog becomes anxious when you pick up your keys or put on a coat, you should practice these things when you are not really leaving. You can, for example, stand up, put on a coat or pick up your car keys during television commercials, and then sit down again. You can also open and shut doors while you are home when you do not intend to leave. Entering and exiting through various doors when leaving and returning can also mix up cues for your dog. When you are actually leaving, you should try not to give any cues to this effect. Leave your coat in the car and put your keys in the ignition well before leaving. It is important to randomize all the cues indicating departure (clothing, physical and vocal signals, interactions with family members, other pets, and so on). The planned departure technique can be very effective for some dogs. This program is recommended only under special circumstances because it requires that you never leave your dog alone during the entire retraining period, which can be weeks or months. Timing is everything when implementing this program. If your dog shows signs of anxiety (pacing, panting, barking excessively) the instant you walk out of the door, you should stand outside the door and wait until your dog is quiet for three seconds. Then go back inside quickly and reward your dog for being calm. If you return WHEN your dog is anxious, this reinforces your dog’s tendency to display the behavior, because it has the desired effect of reuniting the “pack” members. The goal is for your dog to connect being calm and relaxed with your return. Gradually work up to slightly longer departures 5 to 10 minutes as long as your dog remains quiet, and continue in this fashion. Eventually, you should be able to leave for the day without your dog becoming anxious when you depart. When performed correctly, this program can be very helpful in resolving separation anxiety. Other Treatment Options Obedience Training Obedience training helps to instill confidence and independence in your dog. You should spend 5 to 10 minutes daily training your dog to obey one-word commands. It may be helpful to have training sessions occur in the room where your dog will be left when you are gone. All positive experiences (food, toys, sleep, training, and attention) should be associated with this area of the home. Exercise Your dog should receive 15 to 20 minutes of sustained aerobic exercise once, preferably twice, per day. It is often helpful to exercise your dog before you leave for the day. Exercise helps to dissipate anxiety and provides constructive interaction between you and your dog. It is best to allow your dog 15 to 20 minutes to calm down before you depart. Fetching a ball is good exercise, as is going for a brisk walk or run with your dog on a leash. Even if your dog has a large yard to run in all day, the aerobic exercise will be beneficial since most dogs will not tire themselves if left to their own devices. This is incredibly helpful in dogs that are working breeds that need a job to expend energy and work their brains. Supplements Recently, supplements have been released to the public that can help dogs with anxiety. Purina created a probiotic that has been shown to reduce anxiety and provide a calming effect on some dogs. Your veterinarian may recommend this product for treating anxiety, or other products that contain L-Theanine or L-tryptophan.
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Hey there. I dont want to sleep with my dog but I want him to come to bed in the morning when I woke up or while I am reading before sleeping. Is it possible to train him this behaviour? I have crate and he is doing great with the crate but I spend time on bed via reading so I want him with me but I am afraid that he would want to come for the night because the bed is accessable for him anymore. Thanks
Hello Seda, Using a crate you can train this, you will just have to be firm when he tests things at other times for a bit. Crate at night and in the morning when you want to sniff with him, give a command like "Up" to encourage him on the bed. Anytime he tries to get on the bed at other times, command off and be calm but firm about it. If he starts crying to get out of the crate when you put him in at night or any other time - just to get on the bed, you can either ignore the crying and let him give up due to consistency, or you can use a Pet Convincer to teach him to be quiet more quickly. To use a Pet Convincer, teach the Quiet command using the Quiet method from the article linked below. Once he understands what that command means, tell him Quiet when he cries, and if he doesn't stop or gets quiet but then starts crying again, spray a small puff of air at his side through the crate whenever he starts crying. When you let him snuggle with you in bed in the morning, because he will have been holding his pee all night and will be awake then, you will likely need to take him potty, then return to bed to prevent a potential accident in the bed. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Hiya. We have two dogs, Dennis and Daisy, who were rescued a year ago when their owner died. Initially we had them sleeping downstairs no problem after 2-3 nights. Everything changed however after new years when fireworks seemed to make Dennis agitated, anxious and difficult to settle. He would bark all night and will only settle upstairs in our room. We've been unable to break him out of this habit despite trying for weeks - he will bark all night and make himself hoarse. We've tried a routine, treats, getting him well settled and praised for using his bed during the day, and discouraging and ignoring him. Daisy sleeps wherever Dennis is with no complaints if she's up or downstairs. We really need to get this sorted before we go on holiday as we're worried they won't settle at my parents house either. They're both well exercised and given plenty of play and attention in the day and they eat a good evening meal. We're at our wits end! We even have a lamp on timer downstairs in case the dark unsettled him. Their bed is large enough, thick and comfy and is in a warm living room but we would be prepared to get another if it makes it more attractive. Help!
Hello Lucille You have two options: 1. You can either reward quietness during the day and ignore the barking. 2. You can reward quietness during the day and gently discipline the barking. For the first option: First, I suggest leaving him in that area some during the day with a food stuffed chew toy, like a Kong stuffed with dog food that has been soaked in water and mixed with a little peanut butter. Ignore any barking, but when he gets quiet go to him and sprinkle a few tiny treats or pieces of dog food (if he loves his food) into the area where he is, then leave again. If he stays quiet for at least five minutes after that, then return again and repeat the treats and leave again. Practice this for a couple of hours every day. As he improves and stays quiet for longer, space your treat rewards out so that he has to stay quiet for longer and longer before earning a treat. At night you can either wait out the barking (Everytime you give in it rewards the barking and encourages it more), or put him to bed in your room while you practice during the day, then when he can handle being alone during the day start nighttime too...there will likely be barking when you first transition if you do it this way, but the barking at that point is probably just protesting the situation and not true anxiety or need and he should adjust if you ignore him for a couple of nights. Option 2. If you discipline it it's important for him to understand why he is being corrected and to practice rewarding him for doing the right thing (which is why I suggest doing the treats and practicing during the day below - you do not want to give food or attention at night because he needs to get into the habit of sleeping. There are a number of ways to discipline but I suggest trying a vibration collar first, or an electric collar, like E-Collar Technologies, that has a vibration option. A vibration or e-collar let's you correct without rewarding with any form of attention at the same time. First, work on teaching the Quiet command. Check out the Quiet method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Next, during the day when you are practicing him being alone in his area like I suggested with option 1, tell him Quiet when you leave. If he barks, tell him "AhAh" then buzz the vibration collar. If he stays quiet for five minutes, reward with treats. While working on the training still you can either ignore any barking at night, or put him to bed in your room temporarily. Ignoring any barking is ideal training-wise but will mean lost sleep. The main goal at this point is not to give into the barking by freeing him when he barks though. Have him start where he is going to stay all night and keep him there all night right now. After you have practiced the training during the day and he can be quiet for the full two hours in his area when left alone, then have him sleep in that area at night (if you are not already doing so). If he barks, correct with the vibration collar but do not go to him or give treats at night. Because he has practiced this during the day he should be able to handle being alone at night and should understand why he is being corrected and have the skills to calm himself after being corrected. At this point stay consistent and don't give in so that he can practice a new habit of sleeping in his spot all night again. Corrections can feel harsh but as long as the dog clearly understands why they are being corrected and does have the skills to succeed because you have spent time teaching them to him, then corrections can actually be better for the dog than the anxious state they would otherwise stay in. The goal of a correction is to interrupt unwanted behavior long enough for the dog to learn how to do something better instead. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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We have two miniature dachshunds, Sandy and Storm. Sandy is female and is nearly 2 years old, while Storm is male and 10 months. We love them both so much, and it's because of their cuteness they get away with so much (well mostly Storm's naughtiness). Sandy is very gentle and calm, and for the most part well trained. Storm on the other hand, has a number of issues that seem to just be getting worse and worse no matter our efforts and we don't know what to do. Firstly, from the time we got him as a little puppy he would freak out in his crate, and Sandy used to always sit at the front of the crate and look at him and whine, so we began crating them together as it seemed they were both happier this way. Before we got Storm, Sandy used to sleep in her crate at night for the most part, with occasionally crying to come in bed, which we'd usually let her when she asked which wasn't often. From the time we got Storm, he BARKS in his crate for hours upon hours until we let him into bed. When we go out during the day, we crate them together and we hear him barking in the garage when we leave, but when we get home he's usually sleeping. We had them both sleeping in the crate together for about a month after getting Storm (and he'd usually still wake up around 5 and want to come to bed), and then when Christmas holidays came around our schedule was off track and they ended up in the bed. After sleeping with us for a week, Storm refused to sleep in his own bed. He will bark for 2 hours straight full volume until we let him into bed. But we also partly do it because we feel bad that Sandy is in there with him while he's having a conniption fit. But if we take her out, he freaks out even MORE and she just sits outside the cage and cries and scratches at it. I should also add that I work from home full-time, and Storm is one of the neediest dogs I've ever met. He has to be touching one of us at all times, with Storm usually cuddled up beside me, or laying over my foot during the day. There are a number of other things that seem to be getting WORSE like him pooping and peeing in the house (we had a month when he was younger where we didn't find one poop or pee and now he seems to do it whenever he wants) and barking A LOT outside the window and at people and other dogs on walks. They are also both fixed. We love our dogs so much, but our sleep is majorly being affected by these sweet pups. Any clear advice would be appreciated!
Hello Madeleine, I highly suggest taking a firmer approach with Storm and the crate and pushiness. He sounds like he is demanding to get what he wants, and that's not good for his health, Sandy's, or yours! So don't feel bad being more firm with him for everyone's sake. For the crate, Sandy is likely crying because of how unstable he is, but I suspect would adjust to being crated alone if he calmed down. With that said I would suggest working on the Surprise method for crate training Sandy by herself. Her attitude is different than his and the Surprise method is gentler: Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate For Storm I would take a much firmer approach. To start, work on crate manners using the method in the video below: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Second, discipline the barking. First, check out this video from SolidK9Training on treating anxiety. It will give a brief over-view of treating separation anxiety more firmly. This trainer can be a bit abrupt with his teaching style with people but is very experienced working with highly aggressive, anxious, and reactive dogs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5GqzeLzysk Make sure you are implementing what he teaches there in other areas of his life too. Second, purchase a remote electronic collar, e-collar, with a wide range of levels. I recommend purchasing E-Collar Technologies Mini Educator for this. If you are not comfortable with an e-collar then you can use a vibration collar (the Mini Educator is also a vibration mode) or unscented air remote controlled air spray collar. DO NOT use a citronella collar, buy the additional unscented air canister if the collar comes with the citronella and make sure that you use the unscented air. (Citronella collars are actually very harsh). The vibration or spray collars are less likely to work though, so you may end up spending more money by not purchasing an e-collar first. The Mini Educator has very low levels of stimulation, that can be tailored specifically to your dog. It also has vibration and beep tones that you can try using first, without having to buy additional tools. Next, set up a camera to spy on him. If you have two smart devices, like tablets or smartphones, you can Skype or Facetime them to one another with your pup’s end on mute, so that you can see and hear him but he will not hear you. Video baby monitors, video security monitors with portable ways to view the video, GoPros with the phone Live App, or any other camera that will record and transmit the video to something portable that you can watch outside live will work. Next, put the e-collar on him while he is outside of the crate, standing, and relaxed. To learn how to put the collar on him, check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLxB6gYsliI Turn it to it's lowest level and push the stimulation button twice. See if he responds to the collar at all. Look for subtle signs such as turning his head, moving his ears, biting his fur, moving away from where he was, or changing his expression. If he does not respond at all, then go up one level on the collar and when he is standing and relaxed, push the stimulation button again twice. Look for a reaction again. Repeat going up one level at a time and then testing his reaction at that level until he indicates a little bit that he can feel the collar. Here is a video showing how to do this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cl3V8vYobM Once you have found the right stimulation level for him and have it correctly fitted on him, have him wear the collar around with it turned off or not being stimulated for several hours. Next, set up your camera to spy on him while he is in the crate. Put him into the crate while he is wearing the collar and leave the room. Spy on him from outside. Leave however you normally would. As soon as you hear him barking or see him start to try to escape or destroy the crate from the camera, push the stimulation button once. Every time he barks or tries to get out of the crate, stimulate him again. If he does not decrease his barking or escape attempts at least a little bit after being stimulated seven times in a row, then increase the stimulation level by one level. He may not feel the stimulation while excited so might need it just slightly higher. Do not go higher than three more levels on the mini-educator or one level on another collar with less levels right now though because he has not learned what he is supposed to be doing yet. The level you end up using on him on the mini educator collar should be low to medium, within the first forty levels of the one-hundred to one-hundred-and-twenty-five levels, depending on the model you purchase. If it is not, then have a professional evaluate whether you have the correct "working level" for her. If he continues to ignore the collar, then go up one more stimulation level and if that does not work, make sure that the collar is turned on, fitted correctly, and working. After five minutes to ten minutes, as soon as your dog stays quiet and is not trying to escape for five seconds straight, go back inside to the dog. Do not speak to him or pay attention to him for ten minutes while you walk around inside. When he is being calm, then you can let him out of the crate. When you let him out, do it the way Jeff does is in this video below. Opening and closing the door until your dog is not rushing out. You want him to be calm when he comes out of the crate and to stay calm when you get home. That is why you need to ignore him when you get home right away. Also, keep your good byes extremely boring and calm. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5GqzeLzysk Continue to put a food stuffed Kong into the crate with him. Once he is less anxious he will likely enjoy it and that will help him to enjoy the crate more. First, he needs her anxious state of mind interrupted so that he is open to learning other ways to behave. Once it's interrupted, give him a food stuffed Kong in the crate for him to relieve his boredom instead, since he will need something other than barking to do at that point. Practice all of this during the day at first. Once he has learned that e-collar corrections are for barking and is able to calm himself back down during the day, then you can transition the training to night time when he tries to bark then - if you are certain that he does not need to pee at that time. VERY IMPORTANT the dogs should NOT be in the same crate when you do this. Storm absolutely needs to be crated alone, especially for this protocol of he may take his frustrations out on Sandy or cause her a lot of emotional distress just having to listen to him. Crate her in another room while you work on this. For the pushy behavior/clinginess I highly suggest teaching a Place command and working up to him being on his Place while you for for 1-2 hours. This not only gives you a bit of space, but even more importantly helps him learn to be calmer, more submissive, less demanding, and less anxious. Expect an increase in anxiety while on Place at first - he will suddenly he expected to be calm and doesn't know how to in that way. That's just a sign that this exercise is really important for him. As he practices he should come up with ways to sooth himself and relax better. Correct any barking on Place with the collar like you did for the crate if needed. Teach the Quiet command from the article linked below so that you can tell him when to stop, and correct if he disobeys, and reward if he stays quiet for several minutes. Place means stay on that area, but he can stand, sit, or lie down - as long as he doesn't get off until told "Free" or "Okay". Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Quiet - Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Hey there! I got my dog Max in February and since then he has slept with me in bed. As I'm still in high school it has been quite challenging for me to find the time to train Max to stay out of my bed.
He is quite attached to me and gets confused easily to why I suddenly start closing my bedroom door. When he jumps on my bed, he tries to kick me off or when my friends come over and sit on the spot he usually sleeps in he will try and push them off. I really want to teach him how to start sleeping off my bed or just stay off my bed in general, but I have no idea how to teach him without confusing him or something.
Hello Marizzan, There are two ways to do this. First, teach him the Off and Up commands. Only let him on the bed when you say Up; any other time he jumps up there without being invited, tell him Off - if he gets off and goes to his dog bed, toss a treat onto the dog bed. If he won't get off, keep a drag leash attached to him while you are home and calmly but firmly use the leash to move him off the bed - so that he will learn that you mean what you say and he has to do it. Put a dog bed for him in your room, and periodically sprinkle some small treats or pieces of dog food on the dog bed - so that he will find the food and start going to the dog bed on his own. This will take a lot of consistency at first since he is used to being on the bed right now. Don't worry about him being confused at first - that's part of him learning. You just need to focus on being super consistent with your rules - he is only allowed on the bed when told Up, and moved off the bed or told off if he gets on at any other time. The more consistent you are about the rules the easier the transition will be for him and less confusion there will be (my own dog was taught to stay off the couch at five years old - after being allowed on it before - she adjusted fine since everyone was consistent about never allowing her on the couch once the rule began, and she has a dog bed to lie on instead). At night, if he keeps jumping on the bed while you are sleeping, you will need to crate him for a while if you can't enforce the rules because you are asleep. He may protest the new rules a bit, but that doesn't mean it's mean or bad for him - dogs need structure and boundaries too, and being consistent with your rules and enforcing them helps build trust and respect with a dog. To teach up and off, hold a treat in one hand, pat your bed excitedly with your other hand and say "Up!" happily, encouraging pup to jump up. When pup gets up, praise him and give one treat. Next, attach a leash to pup's collar, and show pup another treat in your hand. Slowly lower the treat from his nose the the ground, so that pup has to jump off to get it. Say "Off" happily while you do this - gently give short tugs on the leash a couple of times while temping pup with the treat on the floor if pup doesn't jump off on his own. As soon as he is on the ground, praise and give the treat. Repeat encouraging pup to jump on the bed while saying "Up", then rewarding, and luring pup off the bed while saying "Off" and tugging on the leash if pup needs additional encouragement, then rewarding. Practice both commands several times, then end the training session for that part of the day. Practice 2-3 training sessions where pup is rewarded with a treat for both "Up" and "Off". After those sessions, practice both up and off and praise when pup does either command, but only give treats now when pup obeys Off and not when he jumps up. You want to make Off the rewarding command long-term, and only reward Up long enough for pup to understand what it means. If pup shows any form of aggression at any point, you need to hire professional help from someone who specializes in aggression and behavior issues and will come to your home to help. Don't train on your own with aggression present - and if there is aggression present pup definitely shouldn't be on your bed! Pup will need to sleep in a crate even more for now. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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My dog will not settle at night if she isn't under the blankets and touching me. I have other two dogs so bed space isn't in abundance. My other two will sleep anywhere as long as they are close to us but Lily is very particular. If, for some reason, she gets off the bed at night she will whine/bark until she gets her spot back. I am not a light sleeper so she wakes me up every night. I don't mind her sleeping on the bed but I wish she were more laid back when it comes to where she sleeps.
Hello Taylor, I suggest crating her at night for a few months until she gets used to sleeping by herself - at which point you can try letting her sleep on a dog bed or at the end of the bed. First, work on teaching the Quiet command during the day using the Quiet method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Second, during the day practice the Surprise method from the article linked below. Whenever pup stays quiet in the crate for 5 minutes, sprinkle some treats into the crate without opening it, then leave the room again. As she improves, only give the treats every 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour, 1.5 hour, 2, hour, 3 hour. Practice crating her during the day for 1-3 hours each day that you can. Whenever she cries in the crate, tell him "Quiet". If she gets quiet - Great! Sprinkle treats in after five minutes if she stays quiet. If she continues barking or stops and starts again, spray a quick puff of air from a pet convincer at her side through the crate while calmly saying "Ah Ah", then leave again. Only use unscented air canisters, DON'T use citronella! And avoid spraying in the face. surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Repeat the rewards when quiet and the corrections whenever she cries. Practice for a few days until she is doing well during the day. Continue what you are currently doing at night during this process. Once she is doing well during the day, crate her at night too. When she cries at night before it has been 8 hours, tell her Quiet, and correct with the pet convincer if she doesn't become quiet and stay quiet. You could also teach her the Off command, Place command, and put a dog bed in the room - sprinkling treats on it periodically during the day so that she would associate it with good things. Whenever she tries to get onto the bed uninvited, tell her off and send her to her bed. This approach is great for during the day - but honestly at night involves a LOT of getting up to enforce the command AGAIN so most people end up giving in to get some sleep before it's effective. Using a crate for a few months is a lot easier, doesn't hurt her, and then you can transition away from the crate if you wish after sleeping by herself has become a habit, and use Off and Place to remind her of the rules just as needed later. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Hi-Ollie & Pepper are brother and sister and we got them at 7 weeks old and started off with crate training. once they got too big to sleep together, we began putting them on a big soft bed in a pen in our room. they slept there without a problem for months. Out of nowhere, Pepper (female) would start whimpering and crying to get out and we eventually caved and let them in our bed. Now they sleep on top of us and it's interrupting our sleep and my husband and i both want them to be able to stay in our room but in their own bed. They're too small to jump on our bed, but when we try and put them on their bed, they whine and yip and lean up on the bed. So we always cave. I want to break them of this habit ASAP, but i'm not sure how to get them used to their bed again. Do i pen them or let them roam around the room and cry and whine until they settle? I'm willing to lose a few nights of good sleep if it works, but i'm not sure best way to go about it. During the day, they're fine when we leave and put them in their pen in the kitchen and they're overall, very well adjusted dogs. But they are very attached to me and wherever i am, they are. Thank you in advance for any suggestions you can provide!
Hello Veronica, First, start by sprinkling small pieces of pup's dog food on the dog bed in your room randomly when pups are loose during the day - so that they will find the food and start visiting the bed frequently on their own to check for more. Replace the kibble when they are not around so there is more to find for them often. At first, you may need to lead them to it a few times until they start going there on their own to find it. Second, work on teaching a Place command. Check out the video linked below on teaching Place. Make their dog bed a Place. https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-place-command-the-good-dog-training-tips/ Third, teach Quiet from the Quiet method linked below: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Practice the above during the day. Once pups have learned those things, at night when they cry, tell them Place or Quiet - depending on whether they are crying or jumping around. Only give treats during the day - not at night. If they obey, great! Go to sleep. If pups continue to cry after you have said quiet, use a pet convincer to spray a small puff of air at their side (not face) with unscented air (Don't use citronella), while calmly saying "Ah Ah". This serves as a mild consequence for disobeying your quiet command. Since you taught quiet first, pups should understand why they were corrected and how to avoid a future correction. You should be very calm when you do this, the correction doesn't have to be angry just calm and firm. If pup's don't go to place when you tell them to, use your body to calmly but firmly herd them back toward place, moving toward them so that they back up onto place and go back. Herding them over to Place this way communicates that you are asking them to respect your space also. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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I am trying to train my dog Olive not to sleep in the bed anymore and I have no idea where to start! She never starts the night sleeping in our bed. She likes to sleep on her bed or the chair and then after a few hours likes to get in bed. She sleeps underneath the covers at the foot of the bed. The problem is that when she wants to get into bed she comes over to my side of the bed and barks for me to lift up the covers. She never ever goes to my boyfriends side of the bed. Often she only sleeps with us for a few hours and then gets up again. Because she gets up so much and moves around we are constantly waking up and we sleep horribly. Because the behavior happens in the middle of the night, I don't feel clear headed enough at 2am to know what to do. We got a new bed for her, which she didn't like at first and now loves - one of the memory foam ones from Orvis. Help!!!
Hello Lauren, Because this behavior is happening in the middle of the night when it's hard to effectively train, I suggest purchasing a crate large enough for her dog bed and crating her - at least for a few months until she gets into the habit of sleeping on her own bed and not barking in the middle of the night. Another option - which is harder to enforce is to give a consequence when she wakes you barking. I only suggest this route if you can actually enforce it consistently in the middle of the night. First, during the day teach her to go to her bed on command by teaching a Place command - have her bed be Place and practice the command with her own bed. Place: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-place-command-the-good-dog-training-tips/ At night when she wakes you, tell her to go to Place. If she obeys, great - go back to sleep. Don't give any attention or rewards for it in the middle of the night though because you don't want her to start waking you for treats. If she continues barking or pacing - which she most likely will do. Give a consequence. One option is to lock her out of the bedroom, or put her into a crate to sleep - which you will need to introduce in a positive way during the day ahead of time so that isn't just forcing her to calm down but not scary. Most likely she will continue to bark in the crate or outside your door. You have a couple of choices here - ignore the barking each night until she learns that its ineffective and gives up - which will be hard for you not to give into. OR use a pet convincer to gently discipline the barking. A Pet Convincer is a small canister of pressurized, unscented air. To use it you would calmly walk over to where she is - outside the door or the crate, tell her "Ah Ah" calmly, then spray a small puff of air through the crate wires or through the door that you open - at her side or chest (Do NOT spray her in the face and do NOT use citronella - just unscented air). You can also skip the above routes and when she comes over barking, tell her to go to Place, then if she doesn't and keeps barking, spray the pet convincer at her side then. When using the Pet Convincer you need to stay as calm as possible though. Whatever method you choose, you must be consistent with it for it to work - so choose whichever method you know you can reliably enforce every time, and don't let her under the covers sometimes and not at others or she will continue to want that and ask for it. You are helping her develop a new habit of sleeping on the bed and new habits are formed best when consistent. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Ellie is a 13yr old dog who has always been independent. She never showed much interest in sleeping with me for the first 12 years, thankfully because she is 75 lbs. She would cuddle some, but only for a few minutes, and she wouldn't tolerate much moving on my part while we were cuddling. She loved being in the bed when I wasn't in it but that was no problem. In the summer of 2018 at age 11 she survived a cancer scare and did have her gallbladder, a large portion of her liver, and one of her adrenal glands removed, but that didn't seem to change anything much after she fully recovered. My partner, the dog, and I moved into a new house in December of 2018. Our new bedroom is now upstairs. Ellie started sleeping in the room with us when we moved in, then after a few weeks she seemed to be comfortable enough to sleep on the bed in the guestroom, or downstairs, which was consistent with how she slept in the old house. However, starting in the fall of 2019, around the same time as recovering from a bout of gastritis, but possibly unrelated, Ellie started becoming sort of a cuddle bug. It would start by her getting in bed for a couple of hours at night before my partner and I slept and then back in the bed with my partner for a couple of hours in the morning as I got ready and went to work. But at some point she got in the bed at night and did not get out. Somewhere along the way a monster was created. I am sure, since it was not typical behavior, we at first relished some of the cuddle time, but now it is kind of out of hand. She doesn't just get in bed and stay in one spot all night. She will get up and basically breathe heavily in the face of one of us to let her in on our side of the bed, kind of alternating sides all night long.
We got a king bed when we moved into this house and suddenly it is no longer big enough! We have noticed in general she might be getting clingier, following us around and always a little restless. she seems calmest when shes in bed with one of us. we suspect she is losing her hearing, and we want to make her later season of life comfortable and happy, but something has to give. Help!
Ellie is a beautiful dog! Thanks for the question. I can see myself easily getting into this situation; we do love our dogs very much, and after all she's been through, it is understanding that she has become somewhat clingy. I know how you feel about wanting to comfort her as she gets older and I do think that this bed sleeping habit may be hard to break. The best suggestion I have is to buy Ellie a new bed that she can sleep in (still in your room). Take the time to shop for the perfect bed and determine if it's best that she has a round bed (if she sleeps curled up), or a long bed (if she loves to stretch out). Should she have one that is directly on the floor, or one raised a few inches off? Or even a child's cot that is very similar to a bed? Place treats on the bed throughout the day when she isn't aware so that she will seek the bed out on her own. Try giving her a Kong that has some dog-safe peanut butter (no xylitol!) in it and give it to her on the new bed to enjoy when you are doing something in your room. As well, have an infuser of dog appeasing pheromones beside her bed and turn it on at night; it may allow her a more peaceful sleep. The next thing is to determine whether you have the will to not allow her back in your bed. Does she know the "off" command so that you can keep her off the bed? This article has a few good tips for making the transition: https://www.thesleepjudge.com/how-to-stop-dog-sleeping-in-bed-with-you/. All the best to you and Ellie!
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I adopted my dog two years ago. I think he had a bad experience with crates because he never liked his. I allowed him to sleep in my bed and lie on the couch because it seemed to provide him comfort. The sleeping situation has become a problem. It is very disruptive and no one is getting a good night's sleep. I've bought him several beds that he seems to enjoy, but then he pees on them and I have had to throw them away. I am moving in a few weeks. I will have a new bed and a new couch and I don't want Phineas on them. Besides buying him a nice new bed, how do I help him adjust to not getting on the couch or sleeping in my bed?
Thank you for the question and for the picture of adorable Phineas. I think the best solution for you may be to have Phineas sleep in a crate. I say this because dogs typically do not want to pee in their crate, and the fact that he pees on his bed means he may pee on the new one. Make the crate as welcoming as possible, with toys and treats. Use these tips as ways to get Phineas accustomed to the crate: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate. The Fun and Games Method may work as a transition to getting used to a crate. This guide has good suggestions, too: https://wagwalking.com/training/crate-train-a-beagle-puppy. As well: https://wagwalking.com/training/sleep-in-a-crate. Try dog appeasing pheromones to calm Phineas at night; these are emitted into the room via an infuser. Allow Phineas to sleep in his crate in your room. If you think Phineas would feel calmer, drape a sheet over three sides of the crate. You may have a few nights or weeks of crying but in the long run, this may be the best alternative. Another option is to potty train him all over again. You could try a real grass litter box and get him used to using only that, and then transition him back to outside only. Here is a great litter training guide: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy. All the best to you and Phineas!
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Hi there. We got Cooper a few days ago, as his previous owners were unable to train him/look after him properly. We have bedn trying tl break him of the habit of sleeping on our bed, as that is what he did with his precious owner. We seemed to be getting through but last night he started biting at me when Inwas guiding him to his bed, almost like out of frustration. then when he got into his bed starts to bite and pull and rip at it. We want him to sleep in his own bed but also want to get him out of biting at us and the bed when he gets he gets told no. Also, any ideas on any general training we can do as he is a bit disobedient at the moment. Seems to be his recall is the thing we cant seem to get him to do! Any help or advice would be great.
Hello Chloe, Check out the article linked below for the recall (if you are really struggling with this one, the Reel In method is what I recommend; the treat method is good for more motivated dogs also): https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall As far as the biting, I suggest switching out the soft bed for a cot type bed or something more durable like those covered with ballistic nylon or www.primopads.com. Most puppies are not ready for soft beds during the first year of their life. You need something durable enough that pup's attempts to tear it apart aren't effective. Second, check out the Surprise method from the article linked below. Practice that method during the day often for shorter periods of time to familiarize him with his spot at times other than just bedtime. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Finally, check out the crate manners exercise and practice the principles of that exercise also - where pup goes to their spot, can't get off until given permission, isn't allowed to rush off, then is freed on command. Practicing a bit of structure can help with the respect part of them going to their spot, and create a habit of calmness in relation to their spot - instead of protest. This needs to be repeated a lot for it to teach calmness - you want this to become a boring exercise it's so routine. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mn5HTiryZN8 Stay consistent - pup is essentially having a puppy tantrum - trying to bite and protest to see if that will get them their way. If you are calm but firm - pup learns that that is ineffective and to cooperate. If you give in and allow pup to sleep elsewhere, pup has learned that biting is a good way to get what they want and will try it again. If you are angry and overly harsh, pup looses trust. The best way to gain a dog's respect is through calmness and following through with commands and boundaries you have given consistently. I also commend you for teaching pup to sleep somewhere more structured at this age. That can have a lot of benefits for pup later in life - with potty training, travel, separation anxiety prevention, and destructive chewing habits being prevented - so stay encouraged. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Get Rhylo to not sleep with us and sleep with the other two dogs or himself
Hello, I think if you set up an exercise pen sleeping area for Rhylo, that may do the trick. This will keep him in a confined area but yet, not in a crate when the other two dogs are not. Many dogs love a den area, and chances are that Rhylo will, too. Leave the pen area accessible during the day and you may find him going there for naps. Here is an article on the pen (minus the potty area, of course): https://www.preventivevet.com/dogs/how-to-set-up-puppy-long-term-confinement-area. Get a nice comfy bed for the spot. Rhylo may complain with barking or whining the first few nights but persevere and soon he'll get used to it. If Rhylo is used to sleeping with you, set the pen up in your room so that there is no anxiety over the separation. Good luck!
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Our 8.5 month old pup, Raffy, has had pretty intense separation anxiety due to us being home all the time during covid.
Prior to quarentine, he was in his crate for 2-3 hours/ day more or less and also sleeping in his crate at night.
Now, he’s almost never in his crate during the day and was in it at night until recently. He’s never liked his crate and has always cried for the first little bit when going in it.
Recently we decided he’s old enough to learn to not need to sleep in his crate at night and we are working Towards leaving him home alone. So far at night, he just wants to sleep with us though and we want him to sleep on his bed. During the day if we leave him home alone (only ever for 1 hr or so) he barks and cries the entire time (we have a baby cam hooked up to our iPhones). He’s not destructive but clearly has severe separation anxiety.
Would love to know how to teach him to sleep in his bed not ours but that he doesn’t need to be in his crate anymore. Also interested in the process of working through separation anxiety in general!
Hello, if you do not want Raffy in your bed, you may have to go back to crating him. First, though, you can try an exercise pen area in your room and keep Raffy's bed in there. It's a large enough area that he won't feel cramped, but at the same time will feel like he has his own den space. Make it welcoming with a nice cushiony new bed, and some new toys.You may have to put up with some whining and crying at night for a few days or weeks, but he should adjust eventually. When you are out, put Raffy in his pen area as well. Start with going out for short periods and stretching them out each time. Prepare a Kong to give to Raffy before each outing: Take a Kong and fill it with some moistened kibble and a smear of dog-safe peanut butter (no xylitol because it is toxic to dogs!). Place the Kong in a ziploc bag and put it in the freezer overnight. When you place Raffy in the pen, you give him the Kong. It's a long lasting treat that should keep him busy for a while. Soon, he'll see the Kong and be happy to enter the pen. You can also give him interactive feeder toys. Feed him half of his breakfast and the other half in the feeder toy before you go out. Make sure he knows how to use it by practicing a few times. The exercise pen area should help with the anxiety. Often, dogs do not like to be left alone in the big house alone and prefer the smaller space. You can also try dog appeasing pheromones, they are natural and emit a calming scent via a diffuser. Good luck!
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Loki walks nicely in his own, but when walking with our other dog he pulls like crazy and is very reactive to dogs barking at him from their homes/gardens. It's too difficult walking them at the same time although they walk nicely separately.
Hello. I am going to send you some training exercises you can use to help make your walks or outings a bit more peaceful. The first step is to reframe what an oncoming dog means to your dog. From a safe distance — your dog determines the distance, not you — have your leashed dog view another dog. As the new dog comes into view, drop a lot of enticing meat treats just in front of your dog’s nose. Ignore any hysterics for now, but back up and create more space if your dog is unwilling to eat. This part is hard for humans — I understand. It helps to see your dog’s behavior for what it most likely is: fear vs. disobedience. The training reinforcer MUST be a great one, such as real meat. It is critical that the appearance of the new dog causes meat to fall from the sky. When the other dog is out of your dog’s view, all treats stop. We want your dog to predict that other dogs near him means that YUMMY FOOD will appear! As you are reframing your dog’s opinion of seeing other leashed dogs, be careful where you take your dog, and be protective of what he is exposed to. One fight can create a reactive dog. Consider not walking your dog for 30 days as you reprogram his opinions of other dogs. Instead, sit on your front porch or in your garage with your dog on leash, and practice treating every time another dog comes into your dog’s line of sight. During this time, engage your dog’s mind with mind puzzles, obedience work, and fun stuff like games in the house or yard. You know you have made great progress when your dog sees another dog, and he turns his head away from the once-threatening dog and looks into your eyes, expecting a treat. Once your dog is looking at his (former) trigger and then looking expectantly up at you for a treat, you can begin to put this skill on cue. Tell the dog, sit, "watch me" or whatever command you want to use for this exercise. Remember to go slowly. You will see a significant change in his behavior after a month of consistent practice.
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My 2 month old puppy will not leave me for a second during the day and night. He follows me everywhere and also sleeps with me. I can't get him to sleep in his crate which I made so comfortable for him.
I need assistance to train the little king🙏
Hello Jessica, Check out the Surprise method from the article linked below. Know also that it's normal for puppies to follow you everywhere - they have to learn through practice how to self-entertain and self-sooth through things like the Surprise method and providing dog food stuffed hollow chew toys. This process will involve crying for most puppies, but that is normal. Following the Surprise method can help pups adjust sooner though. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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My dog is a fully trained service dog who alerts me for my panic attacks, grounds me during dissociative episodes, and leads me to quiet places during sensory overload.
We spent the past 5 months quarantined, without going anywhere. Now, he's getting easily distracted.
Our relationship is strained because he's losing focus, and it's causing me stress and even more anxiety.
Since I've been more stressed, he's become more clingy when we're at home, and I'm thinking about training him to sleep in a crate instead of in my bed (he's been hogging blankets and waking me up by running in his sleep).
I'm worried that preventing him from sleeping next to me will weaken our already strained bond, but I can't keep losing sleep.
What should I do?
Hello! My recommendation with this is to have him sleep on his own. What you can do to strengthen a constructive bond between the two of you is to spend about 10 minutes a day going over training commands. This will stimulate his brain, and it will rekindle a healthy bond between the two of you again.
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Got my doggy from the resque. He just loves people likes to sit very close or on top of you. From day 1 he didn't want to sleep in his own bed so he sleeps with my husband and I. My husband does not want him to sleep on our bed anymore. How do I teach him to sleep on his own bed. If you lock him out of the room he sit and wine in front of the door. We don't mind him sleeping in the room but on his own bed. The other yorkie also from the resque sleeps in her own bed next to our bed.
Hello Linda, At first, you will either need to lock pup out of the bedroom and deal with the whining or crate pup in the room, since it's hard to enforce a new rule while asleep and pup will likely jump onto the bed while you are sleeping, until they develop a new habit of sleeping off the bed. If your end goal would be for pup to sleep on their bed in your room, rather than in another room, which it sounds like it is, I suggest setting up an exercise pen with a dog bed, or crate with bed in the spot where you want pup to learn to sleep long-term. During the day, leave the crate or bed open and periodically sprinkle treats onto it. At first, show pup where he treats are, then just leave them randomly once pup begins to look there. The goal is for pup to start going to their bed on their own in hopes of treats, creating a good association with the location. Also, practice Place with the bed in the crate or pen in the day. Place command: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Teach pup the Quiet command as well. Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark At night, place pup in the crate or pen, tell pup Quiet. If they bark or whine to be let out and you know they don't need to go potty, either ignore the crying, or spray a small puff of air from a pet convincer at pup's side through the wires while calmly saying "Ah Ah", then go back to bed. Repeat the corrections each time pup cries until they go to sleep. It's important to reward pup for going to the bed during the day to help prepare pup for the night ahead of time though too. Don't use citronella spray - only unscented air canister, and don't spray in the face. After about 6 months of pup sleeping in the crate or pen, you can try removing it and use the Place command pup now knows to enforce pup sleeping there whenever they try to get on the bed. Using the pen or crate first should help pup develop a habit of sleeping there before giving more freedom. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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He’s been jumping up on the bed and is not allowed up there ever. He has a second home at our son’s house and there he is allowed to sleep in the bed with him.
Hello, I am assuming this is happening when you aren't in the bed. If so, check out Part 3 of the article I have linked below. I would use a deterrent in your case. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-train-dog-stay-off-couch/ If pup is also doing the behavior when you are in bed, check out Part 2 of that same article. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Kaizer knows basics like sit, stay( sometimes), up.
Problems: pulls on leash while walking. Jumps on people. Nips (whether it’s playful or not). Recall. Co-sleeping in bed. since puppy. Bullying
Hello Debbie, I recommend the following articles. For the jumping: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-australian-shepherds-to-not-jump Out - which means leave the area - for the bullying: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It method - for the nipping: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Heel- Turns method - for the pulling https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Come - Reel in method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Sleeps on my bed instead of his crate
Hello Ethel, Check out the article linked below and you can practice the surprise method to introduce pup to the crate. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate/ At night, don't give treats, practice with treats during the day. At night, ignore pup's crying until it has been at least 2 hours since pup last went potty. When pup wakes after at least 2 hours, take pup potty on a leash but keep the trip as boring as you can - no play, no food, and little talk. Return pup to the crate immediately after they go potty and ignore any crying in the crate when you know their bladder is empty. Expect a couple of weeks of some crying in the crate while pup learns. The surprise method during the day should help also though. I do recommend crating at night until pup is past the destructive chewing phases and fully potty trained, for pup's own safety and preventing bad behaviors that could actually decrease pup's freedom later (crating now the right way, tends to equal more freedom the rest of the dog's life as an adult because of the bad habits that are prevented and pup kept safer when unsupervised). Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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we have just merged houses and now have 4 dogs sleeping on our bed! this results in no sleep for us and is destroying us during the day. HELP!
Hello Donna, I recommend crate training all the dogs and having them all sleep in crates with their own dog beds at night, so that you won't be fighting enforcing dogs staying off the bed while trying to sleep. Once the dogs are used to sleeping there, you may be able to leave the crate doors open at night if you prefer. Check out the surprise method from the article below to introduce the crates during the day with the dogs. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate/ If you find that one or more of the dogs are persistent night barks in the crate, then I recommend the following for that dog/dogs. First, work on teaching the Quiet command during the day using the Quiet method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Second, during the day practice the Surprise method from the article linked below. Whenever pup stays quiet in the crate for 5 minutes, sprinkle some treats into the crate without opening it, then leave the room again. As he improves, only give the treats every 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour, 1.5 hour, 2, hour, 3 hour. Practice crating him during the day for 1-3 hours each day that you can. If you are home during the day, have lots of 30 minute - 1 hour long sessions with breaks between to practice this, to help pup learn sooner. Whenever he cries in the crate, tell him "Quiet". If he gets quiet - Great! Sprinkle treats in after five minutes if he stays quiet. If he continues barking or stops and starts again, spray a quick puff of air from a pet convincer at his side through the crate while calmly saying "Ah Ah", then leave again. Only use unscented air canisters, DON'T use citronella! And avoid spraying in the face. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Repeat the rewards when quiet and the corrections whenever he cries. If pup doesn't bark when crated during the day, only at night, then just work on the Quiet method and skip the Surprise method practice during the day, then address nights the way I outline below either way. When he cries at night (in the crate - where he needs to be sleeping for now) before it has been 8 hours (so you know it's not a potty issue), tell him Quiet, and correct with the pet convincer if he doesn't become quiet and stay quiet. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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We’ve got a mini dachshund and we’ve had him since he was 8 weeks old. Hugo doesn’t allow us to go upstairs with out him. He will bark and howl, this is also the same if we go to bed out of the kitchen door. If we leave out of the patio door to leave the house or use them doors to go to bed he’s quiet and doesn’t cry or bark. Iv tried to do small stints upstairs and then treating him when he’s quiet but he normally starts barking as soon as we’ve closed the door. He’s not interested in his food or chews when he gets him self in a state, so we’re stuck to know what to do.
Hello Chloe, For the barking, I suggest combining a few things in your case. You need a way to communicate with him so I suggest teaching the Quiet command from the Quiet method in the article I have linked below - don't expect this alone to work but it will be part of the puzzle for what I will suggest next. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Next, once pup understands what Quiet means you will choose an interrupter - neither too harsh nor ineffective. A Pet Convincer is one example of an interrupter. A pet convincer is a small canister of pressurized, unscented air that you can spray a quick puff of at the dog's side to surprise them enough to help them calm back down. (Don't use citronella and avoid spraying in the face!). In situations where you know pup will bark or is already barking, command "Quiet". If they obey, reward with a treat and very calm praise. If they bark anyway or continue to bark, say "Ah Ah" firmly but calmly and give a brief correction at their side. Repeat the correction each time they bark until you get a brief pause in the barking. When they pause, praise and reward then. The combination of communication, correction, and rewarding - with the "Ah Ah" and praise to mark their good and bad behavior with the right timing, is very important. Once pup understands the routine, wait until pup stays quiet for gradually longer and longer before rewarding them - so that they don't just bark and get quiet in hopes of a treat. At that point, reward pup just for staying quiet, like when you leave to go upstairs and they don't bark at all. Just correct if they bark, without the treat reward right after once they are at this point in the training. A Place command is also a great command to build pup's self-control. Place command: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s As far as leaving, intentionally go upstairs without pup too just to practice pup being left alone. Putting a baby gate at the bottom of the stairs may be the easiest way to start this. If they aren't trustworthy left alone unsupervised, crate them while gone. Whenever pup stays quiet alone for 5 minutes, return and sprinkle some treats near pup without opening the gate, then go back upstairs again. As he improves, only give the treats every 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour, 1.5 hour, 2, hour, 3 hour. Practice this during the day for 1-3 hours each day that you can. Don't worry about whether pup will eat the treats at first. Correcting will probably come first, and pup may not eat the food until they are making good progress just with corrections and short intervals of leaving. Once pup has learned to relax more, at that point they will probably want the treats, and the treats will help things go faster at that point. Whenever he cries while alone, tell him "Quiet" (once you have taught it as described above). If he gets quiet - Great! Sprinkle treats in after five minutes if he stays quiet. If he continues barking or stops and starts again, return and spray a quick puff of air from a pet convincer at his side while calmly saying "Ah Ah", then leave again. Only use unscented air canisters, DON'T use citronella! And avoid spraying in the face. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Repeat the rewards when quiet and the corrections whenever he cries. Gradually space out the rewards until pup can stay quiet for 2 hours with just a dog food stuffed chew toy to chew on. For longer times alone, once you have worked up to 1+ you can give dog food stuffed hollow chew toys in place of as many treats. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Molly is with us after her owner, my mum, passed away suddenly 18 months ago. She was passed around quite a bit before coming to us. She needed dental work and spaying. At first she would sleep downstairs all night no problem. But she had a phantom pregnancy just before spaying, and one night wouldn't sleep alone. She scratches at the door incessantly and barks. We have a young son so gave in due to the noise, and she sleeps upstairs with us now in our bed, like she did with my mum. But this is too much for us, we need her settled downstairs again. What can we do? I am so sleep deprived!
Hello Annabelle, First, work on teaching the Quiet command during the day using the Quiet method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Second, set up an area where you want her to sleep at night. During the day practice the Surprise method from the article linked below in the area where you want pup to sleep at night, like a crate, exercise pen, or dog proofed room, where she can't access your room and door. Whenever pup stays quiet in the sleeping area for 5 minutes, sprinkle some treats into the area without letting her out, then leave the room again. As she improves, only give the treats every 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour, 1.5 hour, 2, hour, 3 hour. Practice having her in this area alone during the day for 1-3 hours each day that you can. Whenever she cries in the area, tell her "Quiet". If she gets quiet - Great! Sprinkle treats in after five minutes if she stays quiet. You can either ignore barking and crying, or if she is persistent, and continues barking or stops and starts again, spray a quick puff of air from a pet convincer at her side through the crate while calmly saying "Ah Ah", then leave again. Only use unscented air canisters, DON'T use citronella! And avoid spraying in the face. surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Repeat the rewards when quiet and the corrections whenever she cries. Practice for a few days until she is doing well during the day. Continue what you are currently doing at night during this process. Once she is doing well during the day, have her sleep in that area at night too. When she cries at night before it has been 8 hours, tell her Quiet, and correct with the pet convincer if she doesn't become quiet and stay quiet, but don't give food at night time. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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I am now pregnant and need to get Hugo out of the habit of being in our bed. We have wanted to do this for a while anyway as he wakes us up numerous times in the night to get in and out of the duvet and also for the toilet some nights. If we put him in his crate downstairs all he does is howl. It’s becoming really difficult
Hello, I can understand the difficulty. Hugo does not want to make the change. I can give a couple of suggestions. Since Hugo is used to being in your bed, chances are the crate downstairs is a lonely and scary place at night. Does he do okay in the crate during the day when you leave? Or is he really not used to the crate at all? Firstly, you can try setting up an exercise pen area in your room with a super comfy big new bed. This gives Hugo lots of room, he is still near you, and yet he is confined. Take a look at this article on exercise pens: https://www.preventivevet.com/dogs/how-to-set-up-puppy-long-term-confinement-area. This may work for both of you and still make it possible for you to hear Hugo if he needs a nighttime pee break (feel free to hold food and water back for 2 hours before bed to try and help him make it through the night). The second suggestion is to bring Hugo's crate into the bedroom and try him in there at night. Once he gets used to sleeping in the crate, you can gradually start to inch it (only inches per night) out of the room until he is no longer in your room. This will take a while but he should not notice the inch by inch per night. Either solution may mean a bit of howling from Hugo and you'll have to persevere. Or he may settle in! Tips for helping Hugo to like a crate: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate (the Surpirse Method may help). Good luck!
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I have a 10 month all shih tzu, she is the best. But it turns out I have some allergies to dogs and now I need to retrain her to sleep on her bed and not mine. The problem is since we are wfh she loves to be on our bed while my wife works next to it. So at night when we want to sleep she still plays with us there and doesnt want to go anywhere else. It seems she doesnt understand when to go to sleep and also where. Because she is many times of the day in our bedrooM. Any advice on what to do its been 3 days without sleep lol
Hello Juan, I recommend crate training her, placing her dog bed into the crate, and having her sleep there with the door closed at night, to help her learn to settle down and not pace around or jump onto the bed, and to get you back to sleeping sooner. I would crate her in your room at night with the crate door closed (or wherever you need her to sleep to help with your allergies), for several months, sprinkling treats into the open door crate during the day for her to find, to help her want to go in there even more. After several months (at least 6) of her sleeping in the crate, you can begin to leave the crate door open and enforce her going back to her crate and getting off the bed if she tries. By then she should be comfortable in the crate and adjusted, so enforcing that without having to keep the door closed at that point should be easier. You can also simply allow her to continue sleeping in the crate though. Check out the Surprise method from the article linked below to help her get used to the crate. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate If she barks in the crate at night, you can either ignore the barking for a few nights until she adjusts, only letting her out if it's been at least 8 hours so you know she needs to go potty, or you can correct the barking by doing what I have detailed below. First, work on teaching the Quiet command during the day using the Quiet method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Second, during the day practice the Surprise method from the article linked below. Whenever pup stays quiet in the crate for 5 minutes, sprinkle some treats into the crate without opening it, then leave the room again. As she improves, only give the treats every 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour, 1.5 hour, 2, hour, 3 hour. Practice crating her during the day for 1-3 hours each day that you can. Whenever she cries in the crate, tell her "Quiet". If she gets quiet - Great! Sprinkle treats in after five minutes if she stays quiet. If she continues barking or stops and starts again, spray a quick puff of air from a pet convincer at her side through the crate while calmly saying "Ah Ah", then leave again. Only use unscented air canisters, DON'T use citronella! And avoid spraying in the face. surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Repeat the rewards when quiet and the corrections whenever she cries. Practice for a few days until she is doing well during the day. When she cries at night before it has been 8 hours, tell her Quiet, and correct with the pet convincer if she doesn't become quiet and stay quiet. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Molly is an adopted dog who we have recently got. She spent the first 3 years of her life with an old lady and the last 12 months with a holiday home. Both houses she has always slept on human beds. I tried to put her downstairs in the kitchen on the first night and she screamed the house down. She will go to her bed but sneaks onto my bed when I’m asleep. How do I stop this?
I don’t think she’s ever been left alone. I recorded her whilst at Asda the other day and she howled and whimpered the whole 40 minutes I was gone.
Hello, I would try Molly in an exercise pen area in the bedroom at night. The fact that she settles in her bed at night is a good sign. This confinement area is large enough for her to move around but cozy enough to feel like her own den area: https://www.preventivevet.com/dogs/how-to-set-up-puppy-long-term-confinement-area. Also, she may like to have this area to stay in while you are out and she'll feel safer than being left in a house all alone. To help teach her that the exercise pen is a good place, leave it open for her to go in and out throughout the day and try the Surprise Method listed here: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate. Also, when you go out, give her a kong. Prepare it this way: take the kong and add a little moistened kibble with a smear of peanut butter (no xylitol as it is toxic to dogs!!). Freeze the kong overnight, and give it to Molly in her exercise pen before you go out. It should keep her busy a while! Have one prepared and in a ziploc bag in the freezer for whenever you need to go on an errand, Good luck and all the best to Molly!
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my dog has been sleeping with me for 4 years and i feel like she has depression anxiety. my boyfriend first like it how can i change the behavior fast
Hello Rikki, First, work on teaching the Quiet command during the day using the Quiet method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Second, during the day practice the Surprise method from the article linked below. Whenever pup stays quiet in the crate for 5 minutes, sprinkle some treats into the crate without opening it, then leave the room again. As he improves, only give the treats every 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour, 1.5 hour, 2, hour, 3 hour. Practice crating him during the day for 1-3 hours each day that you can. If you are home during the day, have lots of 30 minute - 1 hour long sessions with breaks between to practice this, to help pup learn sooner. Whenever he cries in the crate, tell him "Quiet". If he gets quiet - Great! Sprinkle treats in after five minutes if he stays quiet. If he continues barking or stops and starts again, spray a quick puff of air from a pet convincer at his side through the crate while calmly saying "Ah Ah", then leave again. Only use unscented air canisters, DON'T use citronella! And avoid spraying in the face. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Repeat the rewards when quiet and the corrections whenever he cries. Practice for a few days until he is doing well during the day. You can either continue what you are currently doing at night during this process or go ahead and jump into what I explain below for night time training - waiting until the day is good before starting the night or starting the night and day both at the same time. When he cries at night (in the crate - where he needs to be sleeping for now) before it has been 8 hours (so you know it's not a potty issue), tell him Quiet, and correct with the pet convincer if he doesn't become quiet and stay quiet. If you go straight to nights and days like this you will probably have about 3 rough nights, with lots of correcting before he gets quiet - don't give in and let him out or this will take much longer! But the overall process will go faster if you can stay strong. If you practice the daytime routine first while he sleeps in your room for a few more days, then start the nighttime routine once pup understands the new rules, the night should go easier when you do make the transition. Either way you need to stay very consistent for this to work - expect pup to protest and for you to have to correct a lot. You may want to pretend like you are all going to bed two hours early and read in bed with the lights off - anticipating having to get up a lot the first couple of hours to correct - so that you don't loose as much sleep. Choose whichever option seems less stressful for you ultimately and is something you can stick to. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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My dog wines and barks at night. His bed is next to mine in my bedroom he may smell I. His bed for an hour then he wines a d barks to get in my bed. He will not sleep unless he is laying right beside me touching me.
Hello! The process for this can be a bit tedious if he isn't liking the idea of his own bed right right now. Dogs are creatures of habit. They also enjoy comfort and being close to us. So there is a lot to work with here! Your have the right idea of putting his bed next to yours. Start teaching him a command like "bed time" or "go to bed". Give him a few treats when he goes to his bed. If he jumps up with you, or whines to sleep with you, keep redirecting him to his bed until he finally stays. You may want to go to your bed about 30 minutes before you actually need to go to sleep so you can practice this without being too tired. This may take a few weeks, but he WILL get it and start sleeping on his own. And then after this, put his bed in the location you want him to sleep in. By then he will be out of the habit of sleeping in your bed.
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Hello I am trying to figure out how long it would take me to stop having my dog hog my entire bed at night.. she's been doing this since day 1 of getting her she was gotten to protect me and our family mostly she is following me everywhere no matter how much i get up on a daily basis, I am starting my new job soon and need to find out how long it would take to break her to not sleep in our bed.
Hello Heather, How long depends largely on the dog and your own consistency with training. With crate training, you could have her out of your bed in one night, but you would need to expect a couple of lost hours of sleep while you work on enforcing quietness and calmness in the crate for likely a week, with some amount of occasional training still needed for up to a month. I generally recommend going to bed a couple of hours early those nights to prevent as much lost sleep, and just read under the covers pretending to be sleeping in the dark, knowing you will probably be getting up a lot at first to train. I also recommend practicing crate training with treats during the day for 1-3 hours at a time to help pup adjust to the crate quicker in general, at a time when you aren't tired and you can use food rewards to further the training (you don't want to give treats at night). Once pup is used to sleeping in the crate for a few months, you can either continue to have pup sleep there, or open the crate door and ease pup into sleeping on a dog bed without confinement after they have developed a habit of not sleeping with you. To go this route, start by, during the day practicing the Surprise method from the article linked below. Whenever pup stays quiet in the crate for 5 minutes, sprinkle some treats into the crate without opening it, then leave the room again. As she improves, only give the treats every 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour, 1.5 hour, 2, hour, 3 hour. Practice crating her during the day for 1-3 hours each day that you can. Whenever she cries in the crate, tell him "Quiet". If she gets quiet - Great! Sprinkle treats in after five minutes if she stays quiet. If she continues barking or stops and starts again, spray a quick puff of air from a pet convincer at her side through the crate while calmly saying "Ah Ah", then leave again. Only use unscented air canisters, DON'T use citronella! And avoid spraying in the face. surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Repeat the rewards when quiet and the corrections whenever she cries. You can either continue what you are currently doing at night during this process. Once she is doing well during the day, crate her at night too. When she cries at night before it has been 8 hours, tell her Quiet, and correct with the pet convincer if she doesn't become quiet and stay quiet, or you can do nights at the same time you are doing daytime practice, not waiting for the day progress first, and just expect that the overall process should be quicker but you will have more lost sleep that way. For the following, I recommend building some independence by practicing Place, and Down-Stay. Work up to pup staying on Place for 1 hour at a time gradually, while you go about your business and she isn't following you, and work up to pup doing a Down Stay from further away using a long training leash. Place command: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Nala started to sleep in our bed this time last year as the storms on our conservatory windows were really loud and upsetting her. It was meant to be temporary but a year later she still sleeps on the bed and freaks out whenever anyone leaves her on her own.
We would like to train her to be on her own and to sleep in her own bed.
Hello Bethan, First, you will need to physically confine somewhere so she can't get to your bed at night, and practice independence in that area during the day too. This area can be a crate, exercise pen, or gated off room in the home. Work on teaching the Quiet command during the day using the Quiet method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Second, during the day practice the Surprise method from the article linked below. Whenever pup stays quiet in the crate or confined area for 5 minutes, sprinkle some treats into the crate without opening it, then leave the room again. As she improves, only give the treats every 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour, 1.5 hour, 2, hour, 3 hour. Practice crating her during the day for 1-3 hours each day that you can. Whenever she cries in the crate, tell him "Quiet". If she gets quiet - Great! Sprinkle treats in after five minutes if she stays quiet. If she continues barking or stops and starts again, spray a quick puff of air from a pet convincer at her side through the crate while calmly saying "Ah Ah", then leave again. Only use unscented air canisters, DON'T use citronella! And avoid spraying in the face. surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Repeat the rewards when quiet and the corrections whenever she cries. Practice for a few days until she is doing well during the day. When she cries at night before it has been 8 hours, tell her Quiet, and correct with the pet convincer if she doesn't become quiet and stay quiet. Once she is in the habit of sleeping on her own in the confined area for a few months - needs to be long enough to create a long term habit, then you can gradually give more free reign of the room or house if you want to, to have her sleep on a dog bed or with the crate/gate open if you prefer. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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