How to Train Your Dog to Not Sleep on the Bed

Easy
1-2 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

It’s time to admit to a harsh truth. While we all love our dogs and enjoy spending time with them, there are some moments where it would be nice to get a little bit of peace and quiet. Sure, it’s nice waking up to Fido’s expectant face, but there are times when you want to sleep in instead, not to mention your pooch’s penchant for snoring, rustling around in the middle of the night or getting fur all over the nice clean sheets. If Fido has picked up the human bed sleeping habit, a lifelong sharing of the covers isn’t inevitable. It’s possible, and easier than you may think, to teach your dog to not sleep on the bed.

Defining Tasks

It may seem like a cute and cuddly behavior when your dog is a small puppy, but as your dog grows and ages his size and presence could prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep. Sleeping in your bed isn’t all that great for your pet either. Jumping up and down off the bed can cause hip or joint issues or potential injuries from slipping or impact. In short, there are plenty of reasons for your dog to have his own special spot to catch a few winks and you’ll both sleep better and be healthier as a result of teaching the dog not to sleep in your bed.

Getting Started

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.

The Less Attractive Bed Method

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Step
1
Brace yourself
Breaking the bed sleeping routine is the first step towards teaching your dog that human mattresses are off limits. Your pooch has most likely slept in your bed for some time so it may take a number of days or weeks until he learns that the rules have changed. If your dog whines or cries at night, try giving him a bedtime snack or toy to help establish comforting bedtime routines not associated with your bed.
Step
2
Reduce appeal
Making the bed a place where your dog can’t or doesn’t want to be is one of the first methods frustrated owners should try when training their dog not to sleep on the bed. Start out by keeping your bedroom door closed so that your dog starts to break the habit of hopping up when the mood strikes him.
Step
3
Limit access
Next, dog owners should attempt to make the bed inaccessible to their pet. Owners can raise the bed to a height that isn’t reachable by Fido. Placing a pen or barrier around the bed can also prevent unwanted canine visitors. Finally, leaving several upturned laundry baskets or other obstacles on the bed can also make the spot less roomy and therefore less attractive to your dog.
Step
4
Improve the doggy zone
The next step in project human bed aversion should be making Fido’s personal sleeping space a much more comfortable prospect. Make sure your dog’s bed is extra thick and fluffy. While you may be tempted, move your dog’s bed out of your bedroom to avoid the temptation or association of your sleeping space with his own. You may want to also consider adding bolsters or other items for your dog to lean against for extra comfort.
Step
5
Crate train
In order to thoroughly break the habit and get your dog used to not sleeping in your bed, you may need to crate him at night. To do this, place his new bed inside the doggy crate and shut the door firmly. You should give your dog calming treats or toys to help create a safe space and positive associations with his confines. Eventually, you may be able to leave the crate unlocked or remove it entirely and have your pooch returning willingly to his new favorite sleeping spot.
Recommend training method?

The 'Off' Method

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Step
1
Lookout
Teaching the 'off' command is another method for teaching your dog not to sleep on the bed. Start off by catching your dog in the act of sleeping on the bed. You should refrain from rewarding or petting him for this behavior, even if he looks darn cute snuggled up in your comforter.
Step
2
Lure 'off'
Using a treat or tasty toy, lure your dog into following you off the bed (or couch or furniture) and onto the floor. Once he's got all four paws on the floor, praise and reward with treats.
Step
3
Add a command
Once your pet is exiting the bed quickly with the lure, start adding in the cue of a hand gesture or verbal command such as “off”. Your dog will soon start connecting the lure and treat reward with the cue.
Step
4
Lose the lure
Give your pet the “off” command without a lure. The first few times they perform the task you should praise and reward heavily.
Step
5
Reduce rewards
Slowly taper off the rewards so that your pet doesn’t receive a cookie or treat every single time he performs the task. This will reinforce the behavior and have your dog looking to perform the command faster in order to potentially get a cookie or snack. Use the 'off' command liberally to get Fido off the bed and then keep him off for good!
Recommend training method?

The Alternative Behavior Method

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0 Votes
Step
1
Sweet spot
Rewarding your dog for going to their place or sleeping on their own bed is a great method for training your pooch not to sleep on human beds. The first step should be in purchasing and setting up a comfortable spot for your dog to go. The bed should have plenty of toys and be free of crinkly fabrics that may be off-putting in sound or comfort.
Step
2
Lure him in
Next you’ll want to lure the dog to his bed by throwing small treats onto the bed. Get your dog’s attention and toss a treat. Once he retrieves the treat, praise him as closely as possible to when he is gobbling up that cookie.
Step
3
Add a cue
Once your dog is reliably running to the bed for his treat, start adding in a verbal command or cue. “Place” or “bed” are common commands to teach dogs to go to their spot. Continue using both treats and the cue so that your pooch word makes a connection between the word and the behavior.
Step
4
Lose the lure
Next, remove the treat bribe and instead use the verbal cue. Your pet should run to his bed to sniff for a treat if you’ve properly reinforced the cue. Once your dog reaches the bed, immediately reward him with a treat.
Step
5
Practice
Slowly increase the difficulty by requiring your dog to lay down, put all four feet on his bed or settle in place. Use the verbal cue without treating on every instance. Vary the reward levels of treats, mixing in things such as hot dogs or cheese with dried cookies to leave your dog guessing which time will result in bonus rewards. This type of training will have your dog reliably going to his bed in no time, which means he won’t be snuggling up in yours!
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
R2
Cavapoo
4 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
R2
Cavapoo
4 Months

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

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
494 Dog owners recommended

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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Question
Dennis
Terrier. Mongrel
Nine Years
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Dennis
Terrier. Mongrel
Nine Years

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!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
494 Dog owners recommended

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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Question
Storm
miniature dachshund
10 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Storm
miniature dachshund
10 Months

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!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
494 Dog owners recommended

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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Question
Max
German shepherd husky cross
11 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Max
German shepherd husky cross
11 Months

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.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
494 Dog owners recommended

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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Question
Lily
Catahoula mix
Two Years
0 found helpful
Question
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Lily
Catahoula mix
Two Years

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.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
494 Dog owners recommended

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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Ollie & Pepper
Morkie
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Ollie & Pepper
Morkie
1 Year

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!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
494 Dog owners recommended

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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Olive
Lab mix
7 Years
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Olive
Lab mix
7 Years

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!!!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
494 Dog owners recommended

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
Collie/Golden Retriever/Sharpei/Chow(DNA test)
13 Years
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Ellie
Collie/Golden Retriever/Sharpei/Chow(DNA test)
13 Years

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!

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
15 Dog owners recommended

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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Phineas
English Bulldog
5 Years
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Phineas
English Bulldog
5 Years

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?

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
15 Dog owners recommended

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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