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.
I want her to sleep in a dog bed at night. She usually sleeps in bed with me at night. She is in her crate during the day. When we are home she naps on the couch, floor, and my bed (only if I am in my bed).
Can she be trained to sleep in my bed at night and be able to nap wherever during the day????
Hello Dayna, Yes, it will just take a bit longer to teach her to stay off the bed only at night. The key here is for her not to get on the bed when you are on the bed and wanting to sleep... It has more to do with you being in bed, than time of day. Teach her the Off command and be very consistent about enforcing it and making her stay off any time she tries to jump up, make her bed a rewarding place to be by placing treats on it during the day so that she prefers her own bed more - no food at night though. If she is getting on your bed while you are asleep so you can't enforce off, then use a chew-proof leash, like VirChewLy, screw an eye-hook into the baseboard or a stud in the wall by her dog bed, and attach the leash to the eye-hook and the other end to her normal collar or back clip harness. Make sure there is enough slack in the leash that she can get comfortable and use something like VirChewLy that is less likely to tangle her up. While you are awake, enforce the off-command yourself so she will learn, but when you get ready to go to sleep, clip her to the leash while she is on her bed to keep her near there during the night. Once she has learned the rules at night, becomes good at staying off the bed when you tell her to, and gets into the habit of sleeping on her own bed at night, you may not need the leash to be clipped to her anymore - the key is to create a new habit of her sleeping on her own bed - which can take some time since she is already in the habit of sleeping with you, so stay consistent. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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