How to Keep Your Dog Off the Bed
The time has come to tell ourselves some home truths; while we adore our furbabies, and enjoy every single second we spent in their companies, there comes a time when a little peace and quiet will be appreciated. Sometimes, it feels rather nice to wake up to the expectant face of your canine companion, but there are times and situations when you would love to have a sound sleep. And when you consider your dog’s penchant for midnight rustling, snoring, or shedding on your clean, nice bed cover, you will agree with me that it is time to reconsider. It is quite possible and even very easy to train your dog on sleeping ethics. After reading this write-up, you will be armed with tips on how to keep dog off bed for good.
The behavior may appear quite cuddly and cute when your dog is still a puppy. However, as the dog grows larger and tends to occupy more space, its presence will disturb your nightly sleep. Besides, sleeping in bed with you isn’t that great for a dog as it can easily develop hip or joint problems from jumping on, off, or down the bed. And there are still other possible injuries when your dog happens to slip from the bed. From what is perceivable, several reasons exist why your canine friend needs its own special sleeping quarters; that way, both dog and adopter will sleep better and healthier.
So, before embarking on your strategy to keep dog off the couch or bed, a few supplies should be made available. An alternative sleeping arrangement has to be made for your furbaby – the place needs to make your dog feel safe and comfortable. Also, your choice of dog bed should be the type with good quality, sporting washable coverings with abundant padding. What’s more, the bed should be durable and thick enough so as to prevent your pooch’s bones and joints from hitting the ground through the bedding when it lands with full weight. If your furry friend happens to have serial bad sleeping habits (jumping from one bed to the other), then a crate with a closeable entrance becomes a necessity to help in breaking the bad sleeping habits.
In addition, dog adopters looking to unlearn this habit should arm themselves with loads of patience and humor. If you want the experience of teaching your dog to imbibe an alternative behavior to be a positive one for both of you, then, anger and yelling should be kept at bay. Now, let’s look at tips on how to keep dog off bed – it is up to you to decide which is suitable for your over-pampered, bed-loving pet.
The initial step on how to keep dog off the bed is a less attractive method which includes quite a few steps.
First, you have to start with teaching your pup that your bed is off-limits. It is most likely that your furbaby has been indulging itself on your bed for long, and getting him/her to obey the new rule change can take days, weeks, or even longer.
Next, you need to reduce the appeal that your bed holds for the dog – make it look like a place it can’t, or won’t want to be. Keeping obstacles like some overturned laundry baskets on the bed can make it to be less spacious and, thus, less attractive to your canine friend. Frustrated pet parents should keep the door to their rooms always shut to keep the dog out; that way, it won’t have access to hop up on the bed when it likes.
Apart from keeping the door shut, make the bed completely inaccessible to your furbaby – this can be accomplished by raising the height of the bed where your dog cannot reach. You can also prevent your pooch from visiting by protecting your bed with a barrier or a pen.
Perk up the Doggy Quarters
Work on your dog’s personal sleeping quarters by making it look more appealing as well as comfortable. So, the beddings should be fluffy and extra thick. Also, if your dog’s bed was previously located in your bedroom, the time has come to move it out – this puts a stop to any temptation or even association of your bed to its own. It is also possible to consider adding extra comforts like bolsters, or any other thing that the dog can prop up on or lean against.
Your dog will never break out of the habit of sleeping on your bed until you introduce the use of a crate – this can be accomplished by placing the dog inside the crate at night with the door firmly shut. Provide your furbaby with plenty of toys and rewards like treats to make it to associate the confinement with something positive. In the long run, you may feel safe to leave the door to the crate unlocked, or even get rid of the crate completely – but this is when you observe that your pooch is now behaving as expected, and willingly returning to its sleeping zone.
Use the ‘Off’ Command Method
In case the first set of tips did not work for you, other ways are still possible. You can try the ‘Off’ Method, which involves the following five steps;
- Lookout: To start the “off command’’ methods, begin by catching your furry companion in its usual act of sleeping on your bed; the dog should not be rewarded neither should it be praised or petted for the act, no matter how cute you think the dog looks.
- Lure ‘off’: Leveraging a tasty toy or a favorite treat, lure your canine companion into coming off the bed, and following you down to the floor. Be sure to shower it with treats and praises once it comes willingly.
- Throw in a command: As you get the dog off the bed with the lure, consider adding a cue in the form of a hand gesture, it can come as a verbal command “off”. With time, your furbaby will make a connection between the cue, lure, and treat.
- Drop the lure: Now, you need to issue the “off” command, but without a lure. The first few compliances should be praise as well as rewarded.
- Reduce the rewards: The process of reducing the reward should be a slow one, so that your furry friend doesn’t get a treat each time it complies – this serves as a form of behavior reinforcement, which will propel your pooch into performing all your commands at a faster rate, just for the remote possibility of getting a reward. When you succeed in getting your dog off the bed with the ‘off’ command, be sure to keep it off for good – don’t give room to the tiniest relapse.
The ‘off’ command is a sure thing with canines, but you can still try out the alternative behavior method in case it fails.
Use the Reward Method
The reward method is a workable way of getting your pup off the bed or couch. You will have to reward your dog when it willingly goes to sleep on its own bed space. Use the following steps to get started;
- Get ready: Begin by constructing a comfortable space. For example, the bed should be attractive with an abundance of toys and treats; crinkly fabrics shouldn’t be allowed, as it can be off-putting.
- Lure the dog in: The next step is to lure your pooch into the doggy bed by throwing in some little treats. First, you need to get your furbaby’s attention, then, toss one of the treats on the bed. Shower praises on the dog as it retrieves the treat and gobbles it down.
- Add a cue: Upon being secure in the knowledge that your pup will run to the bed for treats, throw a verbal cue or command into the mix. You can use “bed” or “place” to have the dog running to the bed. Continue with the treats and commands to allow the dog room to make a connection between the two.
- Drop the lure: The next step is to use only the command while you lose the treat – with the cue properly reinforced, your furbaby should be naturally running to the bed to look for a treat upon hearing the verbal cues. Don’t waste time in rewarding the dog with a treat once it gets to the bed.
- Practice: Slowly progress by getting your pooch to lay down and settle in place with all four limbs on the bed. The verbal cues should be used, but not always with the treats. The reward levels should also be varied – the treats should be mixed, for instance, you can offer the dog cheese and hotdog with dried cookies, or better still, allow your pup to guess which occasion will come with rewards. With all these trainings, you will have your furbaby going into bed without assistance, meaning that it won’t be going anywhere near yours.
To summarize, letting your pooch cuddle up in bed with you may look so simple, but actually allowing it to continue sleeping with you on the bed is likely to result in some unpalatable behavioral issues like defiance, being excessively possessive, and acting out. In fact, you will end up undermining your leadership in the house if you continue with the trend, your pooch will then get the misplaced impression that it is in control. Hopefully, the above tips will help you overcome the task.