Some dog owners find it adorable to co-sleep with their pets, while others soon realize it isn’t the best idea when they get woken up by the loud snoring or frequent movements of their beloved canines. You might find that you don’t have enough space on your bed to comfortably lie down or move around in it. Also, letting your dog sleep on your bed can make them prone to injuries if they accidentally fall off. For everyone’s comfort and safety, it’s a good idea to teach your dog to sleep in their own bed.
If your pup has gotten used to the warm and comfortable feeling of your bed, it can be quite tricky to make your precious pup leave. But with the right pet items, a bit of patience, and some training, it can be done. Here are some practical tips for teaching your dog to retreat to their bed so everyone can have a good night’s rest.
Get a Comfy Dog Bed
One of the first things you need to do to encourage your pooch to leave your bed is to provide them with a comfy place of their own to rest. You can give them a dedicated cushion to use or opt for customizable dog beds that suit your pet’s size. So if your dog is of a large breed, get a doggie bed large enough to fit them even when they’re stretched out so that their entire body remains properly cushioned.
Choose a dog bed made of comfy materials so your pup won’t have trouble sleeping on it. You must remember that your canine companion spends 12 to 14 hours a day sleeping, so picking the right bed for them affects their health and well-being. If your dog has joint pains, getting an orthopedic dog bed is the best choice because they’re made of high-quality materials like memory foam to gently cradle your dog’s body. This ensures your dog’s body doesn’t sink into the mattress, provides your pup’s weight with even support, and relieves any of their joint and muscle pains.
Make Their Bed Inviting to Sleep In
Making their bed a cozy space for your precious pup can help them choose it over yours. To do this, place familiar items on their bed, like their favorite dog blanket or plush dog toys, to make the bed feel extra comfy. You can also rub your hands over your pet’s bed so your scent sticks to the item and makes the bed appealing for your dog to rest on. Alternatively, leaving one of your worn shirts on your dog’s bed helps replicate the comfort your pet gets when they lie down next to you and encourages them to stay on their own bed.
When teaching your dog to sleep in their bed, place the doggie bed in a room other than your bedroom, such as the guest room or the living room. This way, they won’t be tempted to jump into your bed during the training process.
Assign a Go-To-Bed Command
Whenever you’re training your dog, choose a command that will signal the result you want. It will help your pup understand what you want them to do. In this case, you can opt for verbal cues like “go to bed,” “settle down,” or “bed”. Just make sure the command is different from the others they know to prevent your pet from getting confused.
Also, use the command consistently throughout the training to help your pup become more familiar with the new command. Once your pup associates the command with their bed, they will go to their bed from anywhere in the house without you needing to lead them there.
Use Treats During Training
The best way to encourage your pup to go to their bed is to use treats. Hold on to a treat and lead your pet to their bed. Then, give the command to have them settle down in the bed. If your dog needs a bit of help getting into the down position, direct them by holding the treat between your fingers and placing it in front of their front legs. Once your dog lies down to access the treat, say the command and let them have the treat.
During the early phases of training your pup, give them some affection and utter the command again whenever you see them resting on their bed without being told to. This helps them further understand what it means and encourages good behavior. Eventually, they’ll get the hang of resting on their bed.
Reclaim your space by training your dog to sleep in their own bed. Remember to set up a comfortable place they can rest, so they will find it more appealing than climbing to yours. With repetition, encouragement, and some treats, your dog will learn that they have a cozy place of their own to retreat to whenever they want.