Get your older dog involved in his bedtime routine and teach him to tuck himself into bed. When you teach your dog to tuck himself into bed, not only does he know it's time to settle down and go to sleep for the whole night, but he's also playing an active role in the process of getting to bed.
An older dog might be confused or anxious. This is a trick you can use during the day or at night to ease any tension. Tucking into bed will give your older dog a place to be when it's time for sleep and when he is feeling some anxiety, which is common for older dogs. Just imagine giving your dog a very simple command to 'go to bed' and watching him pull a blanket over himself and settle down before he goes to sleep for the night. If you can get your older dog to enjoy snuggling with a blanket or a pillow or even a soft lovey toy, you can teach him to tuck himself into bed. Training this trick is fun and rewarding for you both.
Training your older dog to tuck himself into bed is an incredibly cute trick. He can have a bed and a blanket that he rolls into or a crate with a blanket inside or on top that he pulls over top of himself before going to sleep. He can even use a blanket as a lovey to increase his sense of security when he's anxious. Whichever method you choose to use or wherever your dog sleeps, you may need to teach him some other commands before teaching him to tuck himself in. Since he is older, he should know basic commands such as 'sit', 'stay', and 'down', but you may also want to teach him the ‘take it’ command or even a 'roll over' command if he doesn't know them yet.
Depending on the personality and needs of your dog, don't expect him to stay wrapped up in a blanket the entire night. Be sure to use this command during the day when you need your older dog to settle down a bit. He may ditch the blanket as many of us do throughout the course of his sleep or he may carry his new blanket around in his mouth much of the day
To prepare for training your older dog to tuck himself into bed, have his bed set up in the place where he's going to sleep every night. Choose the blanket he will use and get him used to having that blanket around, even during the day. Some larger dogs may just want a light blanket while some smaller dogs with higher anxiety might want a heavy weighted blanket. This blanket needs to be something that is not so heavy that your dog can't move it. Be prepared for lots of repetition and practice and with some great rewards as well. Remember, your older dog might need additional time to create new habits.
How can I get him to go in his house when it rains
Hello Vicki, Some dogs will naturally go in if they don't want to get wet. You can further encourage it by sprinkling treats into the house for pup to go in and eat (just don't leave food in there for ants). Do this often so that pup starts to get excited about going in to eat them. I would also look at the construction of the house. How warm is it? How comfortable is the ground? You don't want to put anything soft that will get gross, but you also want to make sure its a better temperature in there due to insulation, and has a floor that's not uncomfortable - like if the floor is rocks or concrete adding a rubber horse stall type mat can add some firm comfort. Location of the house can also impact pup wanting to go in. If the house is located really far from your own house door, pup may choose to sit by your backdoor, opposed to if the dog house looks to your house door where pup feels like they can keep a better eye on things. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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