We all have this vision when we bring a dog home. Before we get home or before we go pick up the dog, we may stop at our favorite pet store where we plan to spend much of our free time with our new dog. While at the store, we purchase food, of course, a few toys we know the dog will love, and the best dog bed available.
Often enough, the dream fizzles once the dog is home. This beautiful and potentially expensive dog bed becomes a piece of unused furniture in your home. Your dog shows no interest in it; he would rather be in bed with you or lying next to you on the floor while you both sleep. Dog beds around the world go unused, become donations down the road, or show up in veterinary offices and shelters in hopes of finding a dog who will sleep in it.
Don’t let this happen to your dog bed. You can teach your dog to sleep in his bed. With a little bit of patience and time and a lot of repetition, your dog can learn his dog bed is only for him, is safe, and is the perfect place to sleep.
Training your dog to sleep in his bed is going to take a lot of repetition. Having a new puppy can be stressful enough, but young dogs are sponges searching for knowledge of their world. It doesn't mean he will be there all the time, but dogs, especially puppies love the safety and security of routine. His bed will become exactly that -- a safe and secure place to routinely sleep. Training your dog to sleep on a dog bed might also involve knowing how your dog sleeps and where he would like to sleep. It is possible your dog doesn't have the right size or shape bed for his sleeping positions. If your dog likes his dog bed but doesn't sleep in it, it is also possible that your dog's bed is not in the right place. If your dog's bed is in your kitchen away from where you sleep, he may not want to be there because that's not where you are. If you are training your dog to sleep in his bed, you may need to consider his sleeping habits before you expect complete success.
In order to train your dog to sleep in a dog bed, pay attention to how your dog sleeps before you buy a bed, if at all possible. If you have a small breed dog, you could probably get away with a small bed with high sides. These high sides will help keep him snuggled and safe. If you have a larger dog who likes to stretch out, a bed with sides may be in his way. Other than the bed, pay attention to where your dog likes to sleep. Have some tasty, high-value treats on hand for training sessions as well as for bedtime.