Bed manners is a problem some dog parents have issues with. We want our dog to sleep in its own bed. But dogs are just like us. They want a cozy and comfortable place to sleep.
What do they do? They jump on our bed.
So how to keep your dog off the bed?
You have to create this new habit of sleeping on its own bed in a progressive way and through positive reinforcement. The dog must see that sleeping in its own bed is not a punishment but something normal.
A little training goes a long way.
Follow along with this easy detailed guide to get the best results on how to keep your dog off the bed.
15 TIPS TO KEEP YOUR DOG OUT OF YOUR BED
1. Provide your dog with its own comfortable and pleasant bed.
To begin with, your dog will need its own bed. Since that is where it will have to rest, make sure its bed is the right one according to its breed and size. It has to be comfortable, soft, and to cover all its needs.
If you don’t have a bed for your dog yet, don’t worry! Here we will help you choose exactly the right bed your dog needs.
Once you have the ideal bed, locate it in a place in the house that is quiet; Where there is not too much light or noise, and away from the main corridors so your dog’s rest will not be interrupted.
2. Reward your dog for using its own bed.
Use positive reinforcement to encourage your dog to use its own bed, so it seems that it is something good;
• Make the bed more attractive by leaving some of its favorite toys on top of it.
• Use treats and toys to lure them to the bed. Once your dog is on it, ask it to sit or lie down, then reward and congratulate it.
• You can also put a blanket or some of your old shirts that give away your smell on top of the bed. This will help it associate its bed with something good and familiar (helps when you are at work or away from home).
Repeat this process as many times as necessary until it gets used to it.
Tip: you mustn’t force your dog to sleep in its bed. This will only make the bed unpleasant. If you see that it prefers to sleep on the floor or in front of your bedroom door, leave it. It’s little progress.
3. Use the commands “down” and “go to bed.”
When the dog is on your bed, order it to get off with the command “down” or “off.” Please wait for the dog to get off the bed and when it is on the floor, give it a little treat.
Also, use commands such as “Go to bed” and direct its attention to that area. Use toys or treats and guide it to the place where it should sleep until it understands and associates the order.
Later you will have to withdraw these rewards gradually.
4. Practice every day.
The practice is necessary. You can practice tempting your dog to go up to your bed and when it is up, order it to go down with the above commands. Now you know it’s following your commands.
In the end, keep the dog off the bed with the “No” command by placing the palm of your hand in front of it, telling it to stop.
5. Ignore their complaints.
When you get your dog out of your room at night, it’ll probably look at you with those usual sad doggy eyes that will make you doubt your decision. Do not give in!
Giving your dog any attention when it complains or whines will only reinforce that behavior. It’ll feel that doing this works because it gets attention.
It’s best to ignore any complaint in these cases, no matter how insistent it is, and guide it to its own bed.
There’s a good boy.
6. Take your dog for a walk before bedtime.
Taking your furry friend for a walk in the evening will drain its energy. It will probably fall asleep faster. And it will be easier to tell it where it should sleep, and your dog will insist less.
A simple trick is to take it directly to its bed after the walk using the leash and then take the leash out, like in a training mode.
7. Play with your dog.
If the walk isn’t stimulating enough, too short, or you don’t have time to walk your dog at night, play with it in the house. Dogs need to be active. Keep it playing for a while until it gets tired and ready to sleep.
After eating, dogs get a boost of energy. Feeding them late at night will make them active and insistent. The best thing is to feed your dog two hours before bedtime. By the time it gets to it, the dog will be more tired and sleep better.
Suggested related reading: Automatic Dog Feeders
9. Limit access to your room.
If it’s normal to go to your room and the first thing you find is your dog lying on your bed very shamelessly, it’s best to keep the door closed. This is a must, especially when you’re out of the house, so that you restrict access until the dog gets used to it.
If your bedroom is upstairs, you can close off access on the bottom of the stairs by placing a dog gate.
Another tip is to place a plastic sheet over the bed or some other objects. The intention is to make your bed uncomfortable for your dog to rest on. The bed will be less as pleasant and not as attractive to jump on.
10. Move the dog’s bed.
Dogs get attached to their dog parents. The dog bed may be in a place far away from you, and therefore it may not want to sleep there. You can move the bed closer to your room so that it does not feel lonely. When the dog adapts to its new environment, you can move the bed after if necessary.
11. Everyone in the house should be on board.
All members of the house must agree on this rule; keeping the dog off the bed. This is very important. Because if a family member allows the dog to climb on any bed, the dog will receive mixed signals.
12. Sofas also count.
We could say that this is optional, but it’s better to keep your dog off the couches too. This way, it will be easier and faster for it to understand the concept. It will not have to distinguish between which place it can get on and which one it can’t.
13. Spray with water?
Punishments are something we don’t recommend, although there are dog owners who claim that some water in a spray bottle has helped them keep the dog away from the bed and couch.
But it doesn’t seem right, and the smell of a wet dog is not pretty. Also, in the end, the dog will only be afraid of your spray.
So this advice is totally up to you if you don’t find more outlets.
14. Teach it early on.
The best way to keep your dog off your bed is to prevent that from happening in the first place.
Teach it from the time it is a puppy.
If you adopt or buy an older dog, you should start the training of keeping the dog off the bed from day one. Dogs do very well with habits and routines.
15. Use your dog’s sense of smell.
You can spray a few drops of essential oil diluted in water on your bed and give that spray bottle a better use!
Some smells that dogs don’t like are:
- Critical odors: smells like lemon, orange, tangerine, etc. Both natural and, in essence, are not favorites of these pets.
- Vinegar: Vinegar has a strong smell that dogs don’t like. But you must be careful and dilute only a few drops in water so that your dog smells a little bit and leaves.
- Perfume: Dogs don’t like perfume. So that you can use this.
Note: if you are going to use this advice, discard any chemical product that could be harmful, and be very careful not to hurt your dog’s smell.
To wrap up: Be firm and consistent.
The problem with your dog not wanting to sleep in its bed is that you’ve been too complacent with it since it was a puppy. It’s time for a change.
Consistency is important. If you allow your dog to climb into bed under any pretext such as “just this once” or “just for today” and then forbid it again, you’ll confuse it.
That’s why you must remain firm and follow these steps until you achieve your goal.
It will take a while, but in the end, you will see how your dog will keep off the bed and will go to its own bed to rest in a normal and consistent way.
Teaching your dog to keep off the bed is a small part of the full training program to have an obedient dog.
One online training course I found to be very helpful and easy to follow is Brain Training 4 Dogs.
This is a dog training program that helps you to train your dog to form intelligence and mental stimulation, without physical strength and in a fun way.
I have a full review of this program, which you can read here.
If you like to jump right away to the training, here is the link, BrainTraining4Dogs.
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