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Tips to get your dog to bed

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  • 20 July 2018
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Tips to get your dog to sleep in their dog bed

Use These Three Steps to Train
Your Dog to Sleep in His Own Bed

Many pet parents in the 21st century (about 1 in 3) prefer to have their dogs sleep with them on – or in – their beds. While that may be a comfortable situation for some, it isn’t for all. So, for the 2 out of 3 pet parents who prefer that their dog have his own place to sleep, here are three tips to make the process of training Scruffy to sleep in his own special place somewhat easy and definitely positive.

  1. Establish a Hierarchy

If you’re starting with a new puppy, establishing a hierarchy begins with training her to stay off of your bed and the furniture. Dogs establish their hierarchy in part by height. That’s why allowing your dog to always sit or lay down at the same level as you is not a good idea. It tells her that she is equal to you and that you are not in charge. You can begin training your pup, however, by repeatedly and consistently using the good old-fashioned word “no,” along with gently, physically removing your pet from your bed or furniture. Doing this will establish a hierarchy she will understand and give her a foundation for learning where her own bed is.

  1. Create a Special Place

Begin creating a special place for your pet to sleep by purchasing a dog bed or mattress. Getting the right bed or mattress will depend on how your dog likes to lay down and sleep. Dogs that stretch out will be more comfortable on a rectangular bed. Those who curl up will prefer a round shape. Heavier dogs and those with joint problems (like arthritis) will require more support from a stiff pillow or memory foam, while smaller, lighter dogs may not need as much support. For best results, place the bed or mattress anywhere in the house except in your bedroom, and preferably away from where you eat your meals. Your dog’s special place should also be a low-traffic area, away from where you and others in your household spend most of your time. Type of flooring and the room temperature may be other factors for you to consider.

  1. Spend Time Training

Take a morning or an afternoon to train him by using his favorite toy and some treats. Lay the toy on the bed and use his name along with the command “go to bed,” while pointing to the bed. Each time he stands, sits or lays on the bed, reward him generously with a treat. Repeat the procedure until he can do it on your first command. While training, be sure to use a release word such as “come” when you want him to leave the bed, otherwise he may think the bed is a punishment or that he can leave it whenever he likes. Gradually extend the time he spends on his bed while training, continuously rewarding him for staying on the bed and for coming when he is released. For the first few nights you send him to bed, continue to give him a treat, eventually giving it randomly and then phasing it out.

Excellent pet parents help their dogs live in the world of people by establishing the proper hierarchy, creating space for their pup, and shaping their canine’s behavior in positive ways.  Using these three tips to train your dog to sleep in her own place will help ensure safety, comfort, and security for her – and for you.