Does Your Dog Hog the Bed?
26 August, 2013

Some dog owners love it when their dogs sleep with them.  They have a spot on their bed that is reserved just for their pup and can sleep through the night without a hitch.  But, what if you are a light sleeper?  Or maybe you have a puppy that wants to sleep with you which can leave you with no sleep and a potential ‘accident’ which can be messy!

If you and your dog are healthy and your dog does not develop any particular behavioral problems, there really is little harm in letting him sleep on your bed with you.  Or you can also purchase a doggy bed and have your dog sleep in your room right next to you.

If you want your dog OFF your bed, the below might help you:

Teach your dog to jump on and off the bed

First you need to teach your dog to jump on the bed. This might seem like a waste of time, but if your dog is already getting on the bed, you aren’t going to teach him anything he doesn’t already know. Instead, you are teaching him a command that invites him into the bed. Your goal is to teach him that unless he is invited, he shouldn’t get on the bed.   And, then teach him the command to jump off the bed!

Give your dog treats as he responds to the on/off command

Place a treat on the bed and ask him to jump on the bed and praise him and give him a treat.  You can also get him off the bed the same way.  Say ‘off’ and toss a treat onto the floor. When he hops down, he gets the treat and praise. Repeat the up and off until he seems to understand the commands. Gradually stop rewarding him with a treat each time. If your dog does what you ask without the treats, he understands the commands.

Show your dog how fun the floor can be

Show your dog that the floor is a great place to be!  Try sitting on your bed and petting your pup while he sits on the floor. If he has a favorite toy, play with it while you are on the bed and he is on the floor. If he gets excited or simply wants to join you, tell him off, and continue what you are doing.  Then, give him the toy as a reward.

Have a bed or place to sleep for your dog

Make sure to have a place for your dog to sleep. If you care if he sleeps in his crate, but you just don’t want him sleeping in the bed, get him a dog bed and place it in your room close to your bed. If you don’t want him sleeping in your room at all, put a bed or great blanket in a spot where your dog already hangs out during the day.

Watch your dog closely as you train him

Watch your dog closely while you are teaching him to stay off the bed.   You don’t want your dog to think he is allowed in your bed when you are in another room. If you consistently keep him off the bed, he will learn that he isn’t allowed there. If you want to make absolutely sure he isn’t hopping on the bed when you aren’t around, close the bedroom door or block it with a baby gate so he cannot have access to the bed.

Remember, there are some advantages to having your dog sleep in bed with you.  If your dog is next to you sleeping that means he is not roaming through the trash or chewing on your newly purchased couch!  And as a dog ages, he or she can find some comfort in being right near you.  Of course, the choice is yours.

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