There are a lot of reasons that your dog might want to share the bed with you. They could revel in your company, they could simply be using you for warmth, or they could struggle with separation anxiety. However, there are ways to fulfill all of those needs and more without having your dog on your bed.
Why You Might Not Want Your Dog on Your Bed
Even if your dog is persistent about jumping into bed with you while you sleep, there are a wide variety of reasons that this might not be the best solution for all of you. You can still have an incredibly close bond with your dog even if you do not want to spend this particular time together.
You Are Concerned About Hygiene
We have all seen dogs who regularly make a habit of rolling around in the grass, dirt, mud, and maybe even worse. These behaviors might seem cute in that moment, but the knowledge that a bath is going to be necessary is an ominous thought that looms over our heads the whole time. Otherwise, they will inevitably be tracking in a tremendous amount of dirt and debris from the outside, and no one wants that. Well, maybe except for your dog.
Even after a thorough bath that will likely result in you being covered in your fair share of water as well, it is always possible to have missed a spot or two. That, or your dog never got dirty enough to require a bath, but they still have a bit of grime on them from the day’s events. In either case, your dog is still likely to bring in some dirt around the house.
While this annoyance might only be a slight one when it is on a wood, tile, or linoleum floor that can easily be cleaned, that is not always the case. Once a dog starts tracking dirt onto furniture, the matter of cleaning becomes a much more complex one. This very much extends to dogs being on beds.
Whether they have some dirt stuck on their paws from their daily walk, or if they have some grime stuck on their fur, it is likely that those will make their way to your bed. The only way to completely avoid this fate is to keep your dog off of the bed entirely. Otherwise, some amount of dirt is going to find its way to your sheets seemingly no matter what.
There Is Not Enough Room in the Bed
Perhaps you did not mind having your dog in the bed with you when they were just a tiny puppy, but now your German shepherd or golden retriever is a little bigger than they used to be. What was once a cute habit is now something that takes up the majority of the bed, and inhibits your ability to get a restful night’s sleep. While bonding with your dog is important, being well-rested and ready for the day is a necessity that cannot be ignored.
If your dog is simply too big for your bed, it is perfectly understandable that you might need them to sleep elsewhere. Otherwise, the quality of your days could suffer as a result of the quality of your sleep.
You Are a Light Sleeper
Somewhat similar to the last item, light sleepers might find even smaller dogs are still too boisterous or big for them to get good quality rest. Any movement at all might be enough to jostle you awake, which is not at all conducive to being ready to take on the following day. Then, there is also the possibility that your dog is a particularly loud sleeper. After all, many dogs can snore quite loudly.
As long as there is not any respiratory issue behind this habit, then it can sometimes even be cute. However, no loud noises are cute when three o’clock in the morning rolls around and you are trying to sleep. No matter the reason that your dog wakes you up in the middle of the night, this is a completely reasonable explanation for not wanting your dog in the bed.
You and Your Partner Are Establishing a Routine
There is also the possibility that you have either just started a new relationship, just moved in together and there is a new individual sharing the bed. When you are first making that bedtime routine with one another, there are bound to be a few growing pains along with the joys of being together. One of those might come in the form of deciding where your dog should sleep.
Again, this might become an issue of there not being enough room in the bed. Even if your dog is on the smaller side, things can become quite cramped with two fully grown adults and a dog in the mix. Otherwise, your partner could have some concerns about your dog’s hygiene or be a light sleeper. There are many ways that you, your partner, and your dog can all get a restful night’s sleep.
How Do You Teach a Dog Not To Go on Your Bed?
As we have established, there are a whole host of reasons that you might not want your dog to stay with you on your bed. Do not fret; you can still have a wonderful and close relationship with your dog even if they sleep somewhere else. The process of training your pet to sleep in a spot other than your bed will of course be different for certain dogs, but here are some tips that are sure to help all of you sleep easily.
Give Them Their Own Special Cozy Place To Sleep
The first and likely most important step involved in getting your dog not to sleep on your bed is giving them a worthy alternative. Part of the reason your dog wants to sleep on your bed with you is that it is comfortable. After all, you would not have chosen it if it was not.
If anything, you should be pleased that your dog clearly has good taste. At this point, the key becomes providing them with another place to sleep that also looks attractive, is incredibly comfortable, and is all their own.
Many pet parents find this perfect space in the form of a crate for their dog. Dogs love crates because it becomes their safe space. It is a place that smells like them while being soft, comfortable, and having many of their favorite items. To enhance the comfort of your dog’s crate even more, consider adding in a memory foam pad, as well as some of their favorite blankets and toys.
Even dogs who are determined to get onto your bed are sure to pause when they see a crate specially made to be as comfortable as possible. If they could do with a bit more enticing, though, we have some more suggestions to make their crate completely irresistible.
Find the Right Place To Put Their Crate
Chances are, if your dog wants to sleep in your bed it is because they want to be near you. Whether this is because they seek warmth, are experiencing separation anxiety, or just enjoy your presence, they want to be around you. You can help them fulfill this need by placing the crate in your room. This way, they will still feel like a part of your bedtime routine. They will also get to feel close to you, even though they are not literally touching you.
Get Them Curious About Their Crate
Now that their crate is set up and positioned absolutely perfectly, they still might be a little apprehensive. Even if they are beginning to feel some curiosity regarding their crate, a little more encouragement could never hurt. This is when you break out the treats. Since you have already placed their favorite toys in the crate, they are curious. However, there are treats involved, so it is likely a whole different ball game.
Dogs are incredibly food motivated by nature, so giving them treats is one of the most persuasive kinds of positive reinforcement there is. Not only should you put some treats in their crate to initially create some curiosity, but feel free to give them treats when they go into the crate of their own volition. Similarly, give them a treat when they settle down into their crate. The goal here is to establish positive associations related to the crate in your dog’s mind.
At the same time, dogs also respond incredibly well to verbal praise, especially those who are eager to please. In fact, there is even debate about whether dogs respond better to food as praise or verbal praise. In any case, it is important to praise and encourage your dog in ways that they find enticing.
If Possible, Start Training Them Immediately
If you have had your dog for a long time and they are already used to being on your bed and on furniture, this is of course not a possibility. That being said, if you are just now adopting your dog and introducing them into your home for the first time, it is absolutely best to begin the training process as soon as possible.
Do not allow them to sleep on the bed the first night and then begin training later. This will only serve to send mixed signals that will inevitably confuse your dog and make training more complicated for everyone.
In order to effectively start this immediately, be sure to have the crate set up and ready right as you are bringing your dog home for the first time. This way, they will associate their crate with home and will know from the get-go that this is the place for them.
Always Be Consistent
As we mentioned briefly in the last point, letting your dog onto your bed even briefly can send many mixed signals. It might be difficult at times, but once you determine that you want your dog to sleep off of your bed, you have to stick to it. If you continue to confuse them by sometimes letting them on the bed and sometimes not, your dog will be unable to learn this rule fully. However, if you teach your dog certain commands, it can become much easier to establish these guidelines (more on that in a bit).
Make Sure That Your Dog Gets a Lot of Exercise During the Day
When your dog is antsy and energetic, they are not going to be able to sleep. Dog owners know all too well that you cannot make your dog sleep when they do not want to. The best fix that we have for this issue is to get them a significant amount of exercise during the day.
This is an excellent way to tire them out as much as possible so that they are ready to pass out wherever they decide to lie down. Not only that, but getting exercise with them is both a great way for pet parents to stay fit, and it offers a wonderful bonding opportunity with your dog.
Ignore Their Whining, No Matter How Sad It Might Be
This step can be very difficult, but it is important. Sometimes, in order to do what is best for everyone, you have to let your dog cry it out. If they realize that they are not being allowed on the bed even though they want to be, it is likely that they will begin to whine. Although this sound is immensely distressing to any loving pet parent, your resolve should not waver.
Even talking to your dog or telling them to stop is ill-advised. They will take any reaction from you as a reinforcement that this behavior works. As a result of seeing your engagement, they will then continue to whine. However, if you show them that their whining does not accomplish anything, they will eventually stop. Even if this might lead to some less than stellar sleep in the meantime, everyone will be better off in the long run.
Never Push Your Dog Off of the Bed
When you are still in the process of training your dog not to go on the bed, they will probably find their way onto the soft surface sometimes anyway. When this happens, it is important that you gently place them on the ground. No matter how tired you might be, it is never okay to push or shove them onto the ground.
First of all, this could injure them. Second of all, they will take this as a reaction (albeit a negative one), and therefore a possible reason to repeat the behavior. Lastly, they could eventually become afraid of your touch, cower away, or even become aggressive as a result.
Teach Them Some Basic Commands
When it comes to training your dog to stay off of your bed, teaching them a few commands are incredibly helpful tools to have in your arsenal. These commands will inevitably come in handy at bedtime, but they are helpful for your dog to know in many different situations.
“Go to Bed”
This command will be taught in a similar way to how you got your dog interested in their crate in the first place. Give them treats, encourage them to feel comfortable in their crate, and reward them whenever they go there on their own. Never force them in there, because this could create negative associations. Instead, make their crate the place to be.
Once you have effectively taught your dog this command, you can easily use it at bedtime to get them into their crate. Similarly, you can also use it whenever being in their crate would be beneficial.
Teaching a dog “off” is immensely helpful for those occasions that they manage to sneak their way onto the bed anyway. With most dogs, especially puppies, they are bound to get onto places they should not be. If your dog recognizes “off” as a command meaning that they should leave their current spot, your couches and countertops are also likely to thank you.
A Good Night’s Sleep for All of You
With the help of a cute and cozy crate, your dog is sure to find a new favorite place to sleep in no time. This way, you all can rest easy knowing that everyone is getting the best quality sleep possible.
The Diggs Team
We believe our dogs deserve safer, better designed pet products.
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