Your dog is your best friend, but that doesn’t mean you want to be with him 24-7. After all, you’ve tried sleeping with your dog in your bed, but you just couldn’t get a good night’s sleep. However, now your dog is used to climbing into your bed at night to try to cuddle with you instead of sleeping in his own bed, and you’re wondering how to initiate a new sleeping arrangement by keeping him off yours.
So, how to keep your dog off the bed? By using a positive reinforcement training method, you can teach your dog to stay off your bed and ensure that both of you have restful nights ahead. Here are some tips.
Start With Crate Training
From the time your dog is a puppy, you should be teaching him that his crate is his safe place where he can cozy up and go to sleep any time of day. When he’s a puppy under six months of age, you can leave him in a crate up to four hours a day, and place the crate in a den, living room, or another area where he won’t be disturbed.
Make sure your dog can comfortably turn around in the crate, but that it’s not so big that he feels like he can go to the bathroom in it. You can always get a crate with a divider at the pet store for when he’s a puppy, and then remove the divider as he gets bigger. Never use the crate as a punishment; instead, give him treats to convince him to go in it at first until he starts to like it. Also, fill it with a soft bed and blanket.
One great option for a crate dog bed is the Best Friends By Sheri Cozy Ilan Cuddle Cup Dog Bed. It’s made with AirLOFT fibers, which offers relief for stiff joints and tired muscles, and the round shape allows your dog to curl up and get a good night’s sleep.
Put His Bed in Your Room
Let the dog sleep in your room! If you have a dog that enjoys being around you, then you can always put his comfy bed in your room and train him to stay in it at night. That way, you and your best friend can be close to one another, but not so close that you have to share your bed with the bed hog.
Close Your Bedroom Door
One simple solution is to close your bedroom door when you go to sleep at night. Then, you can teach your dog that there is a clear boundary and he shouldn’t disturb you when you’re trying to catch up on your zzz’s.
If your dog is in an open room without a door, then you can always install a baby gate to keep him confined to that one area.
Teach Your Dog the “Off” Command
Whenever you don’t want your dog to go on your bed – or any other type of furniture for that matter – you can train him to obey the “off” command. This means that when your dog jumps up onto the bed, point to the floor, say “off” in a firm voice, and reward him with a treat once he jumps off. Eventually, you won’t need to give him a treat once he gets the hang of it. With dog training, he'll learn that good behavior is always rewarded.
Stop Letting Him on the Furniture
Pet owners may find that once they let their dog on one piece of furniture, the dog jumps on all pieces of furniture including chairs, couches, and the bed. If you teach your dog the “off” command for all furniture, then he’s going to be less likely to try to get on your new bed. Only letting him on some furniture could be confusing for him, but if you’re consistent with your training, then he’ll understand better.
Give Him Ample Exercise for Brain and Body
One of the best ways to convince your pooch to go to bed in his own crate is to make sure he gets plenty of exercise throughout the day, and then tire him out right before you both go to bed. If he is full of energy, he’s likely going to bouncing all around the house and jumping on and off your bed because he wants to play with you. But if you give him a walk or play fetch with him with his favorite toy at night, then he’s going to be more likely to lay down and fall asleep soundly in his bed.
Some options for good toys to play with before bedtime include the Floppyz Donkey Dog Toy, which makes a squeaking sound that your dog won’t be able to resist, and the Hide A Squirrel Plush Dog Toy Puzzle, which will stimulate your dog and is gentle on his teeth and gums. That makes it the perfect toy for Fido no matter what age he is.
Mental stimulation is equally important as physical exercise, if not more. Practice nose work using brain games and dog puzzles to bring a little mental enrichment into their day.
Don’t Give Into Whining
At first, your dog may be upset that he has to go to his own sleeping area at night and he’ll start to whine. Pet parents may give into this whining by letting their dogs into their beds or yelling at their dogs to stop whining. Dog owners will then find that both methods are not going to work for Fido. He’ll never learn if you give in, and he’ll seek out even negative attention like yelling time and time again. Instead, ignore the whining and keep using positive reinforcement training until he understands not to whine anymore.
Be Consistent About Training
Whether you have a puppy, adult dog, or older dog, it’s critical to be consistent with your training when trying to keep him off the bed. And if you’re struggling with training, you can always find a dog trainer or dog behaviorist to come in and help you.
Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
By keeping your dog off the bed, you and he will get a good night’s sleep. All you have to do is make sure he’s comfortable and calm before bed, and use positive reinforcement training so that he comprehends what to do.