Lots of dog owners are all too familiar with their canine companion’s desire to sleep by their side in bed.
If your dog keeps trying to do this, you’ll need to take certain steps to stop the behavior immediately.
While it can be tempting to just let your sleeping dog lie, training is a much better option.
Take Note of Your Dog’s Sleep Position
First you will want to observe how your dog sleeps. This will enable you to go to get a bed that it will actually use.
If your dog sleeps with its body stretched out, you’ll want to get a wide, rectangular bed. This way it will have plenty of space.
A round bed is best for dogs that like to curl up into a tight ball when sleeping. If your dog has problems with arthritis, consider getting it a memory foam bed. This will serve to keep your pet comfortable while it snoozes.
Exploring Dog Bed Options
Dog beds come in all different shapes, sizes, and materials. It is therefore important that you take the time to look into some of what is available.
Some of the factors to consider before buying a dog bed include:
- Age: Older dogs often need an orthopedic bed that provides them with adequate support all night long. These beds typically have additional cushioning that is easy on their joints.
- Size: You will also need to factor in the overall size of your dog. It stands to reason that the bigger your pooch is, the larger the bed has to be. It’s better to have a bed that it is slightly larger than they need rather than too small.
- Breed: Some dogs have thicker coats than others, and are therefore more prone to overheating. A cooling bed can help your dog stay comfortable in the warmer months, while a heating bed will keep it nice and toasty through the winter.
Finding a Place for the Bed
It is also very important that you find the perfect spot for your dog’s bed. You’ll want to make sure that it is in a spot that gives them plenty of room for getting in and out. Make sure there is a fair amount of clearance space around the bed.
You also need to choose an area in your home that isn’t particularly drafty or warm. This will help your canine companion to stay comfortable in its bed at all times.
Getting Your Dog to Use the Bed
Some dogs will be apprehensive about using even the most comfy bed for a little while. You might have to be patient with your dog, but you should also take a proactive approach. This means following certain steps to ensure that your dog uses its own bed and doesn’t hop up into yours.
Wear Your Dog Out Before Bed Time
The more tired your dog is, the easier it will be to get them to use their bed. There is no guarantee that they will immediately use it, but it will make them easier to train.
Walk Your Dog to the Bed
Put your dog’s leash on and walk it over to the bed. Wait until it lies down, but don’t force it to do so. It is important that your dog does this of its own choosing.
There are numerous things that you can do to increase the appeal of your dog’s new bed. You can put toys on the bed, or even a treat. This will encourage them to spend time on the bed until they get used to it.
Use Positive Reinforcement
Tell your dog to go to its bed with a firm and commanding voice. When it obeys you, make sure to give it lots of praise and even a tasty treat. If your dog leaves the bed, tell it “No” with a firm tone and lead it back.
Other Useful Tips
Some of the other things you should do while trying to get your dog to stay off your bed include:
- Ignore it: If your dog is coming into your room and whining because you won’t let it on the bed, just ignore it. The last thing you want to do is give your dog any attention, as it will only make training more difficult.
- Don’t punish your dog: You should never try to punish your dog for not using its best or jumping up into yours. It is okay to tell it “No” and scold it verbally, but that is it. You’ll want to follow that up with physically removing your dog from the bed. When done in tandem, these two things can be very effective.
- Just keep trying: The best thing you can do when training your dog to stay off your bed is to not give up. You need to be consistent with your efforts if you want them to be successful. Your dog’s attention-seeking behavior might worsen before it starts to use its own bed each night.
- Many dogs want to sleep in bed with their owners, but it is not the kind of behavior that you should let slide.
- Pay attention to how your dog sleeps so you can get the right bed for it.
- If your dog has arthritis, look for an orthopedic bed that has memory foam cushioning.
- You’ll want to get a bed that is the appropriate size for your dog so that it is comfortable.
- A cooling or heating bed may be necessary, depending on what breed your dog is.
- Always use positive reinforcement when training your dog not to get on the bed. Offer plenty of praise when it uses its own bed.
- Do not punish your dog if it jumps on your bed.
- Lead your dog to its bed with its leash on for the first time or two.
- Be patient and keep working with your dog until it learns to not do this anymore.