Pets become part of the family. It stands to reason that they want to be close to you as much as possible whenever you’re home. This includes sleeping on your bed. For many pet owners, this works well. But if your dog is taking more doona at night that your partner, it might just be time to train them to sleep in their own bed either next to your bed or in another room of the house. Here, we’ve collated a few simple training tips to ensure you both get a good nights sleep:
If your puppy is new, it’s important to start them off and get them into a sleeping routine right away. So this means training them to sleep in their own bed. Make sure that you purchase a comfortable bed for them to sleep in that’s machine washable. Gradually move them for sleeping in bed with you, to next to you in their bed, then onto the floor. Gradually move their bed each night a little closer to the door.
If you want them to sleep outside your room, the first few nights they sleep outside of your bedroom will be a little hard as they will most certainly whine and scratch. It’s important that you ignore this. Whenever possible, pick up your puppy when he/she falls asleep and gently place them in their bed, to help them get used to the idea.
Use positive reinforcement
For all dogs of any age, the message should be, sleeping and sitting in my bed is a good thing. So this means:
- Every time they go and sit in their bed they are rewarded. This could be both with praise and lots of pats and also with treats.
- The bed should never be a place to banish your dog too. Never say, ‘get in your bed!’ to get them from under your feet. As frustrated as you may feel, stay calm and always use positive reinforcement when they lay in their bed or on their mat.
- Every time your dog goes to get onto the bed or you find them on there, command them to get off immediately.
The right bed for your dog
Your dogs bed should be the right size and shape for your pet. Invest in a quality bed that provides comfort and support:
- If you have an older dog, try to purchase a bed that doesn’t require stepping into. You can even purchase beds that comfort dogs that suffer from arthritis and aching joints.
- Ensure that it’s machine washable- you want to be able to give it a wash if it gets a bit smelly or dirty.
- Dogs beds that repel fleas- If your dog is prone to getting loads of fleas, look into purchasing a dog bed that is made using fibres that repel fleas.
- Put a few toys in your dog’s bed. Gnawing and chewing actually helps dogs to de-stress and by having these toys there, you may find they will even put your dog to sleep.
The bed linen we buy for ourselves should be of a certain quality to make sure we get a healthy, good night’s rest. If you invest in the bedding you buy for your dog, you should find that they’ll be comfortable and happy to sit in their bed all night long, and with a bit of positive re-enforcement, you should find that you’ll both be sleeping soundly night after night!