February 9, 2016

Canine Bed-Time Training 101

french bulldog dog having a sleeping and relaxing a siesta in living room

Our dogs become like family, often sleeping in our beds. We don’t dare move or turn around in bed, too afraid we might wake our beloved pups. So we lay there feeling a little bit uncomfortable until we see a twitch or even one eye moving. The things we’re willing to do for our pets are extraordinary. However, we need to rest as well. The only way for both canine and human to get a full night’s rest without getting a kick in the face or ending up on the edge of the bed, is to train your dog to sleep in their own bed.

Here’s how:

1.     Be consistent:

Very few things in life are achieved by being inconsistent. The same goes for training your dog. Eventually you’ll see progress happening, if you just continue being consistent in doing the following:

2.     Be prepared to get up a few times:

You’ll be surprised how similar dogs are to children when it comes to bed-time training. Trust me, you will get up a few times during the night to put your dog back in his/her own bed. They will creep into your bed, thinking you won’t notice, or eventually not care. Which, in some cases actually ends up happening. You’re tired. You don’t necessarily want to get up every few hours…

3.     Make your dogs’ bed just as inviting:

Invest in a really comfortable dog bed that’ll make sleeping in their own bed seem like not such a bad idea. Just like humans, dogs need alone time as well. So give them a comfortable, cosy bed by adding a blanket or two – especially during the cold winter months.

4.     Lure them with their favourite toy:

Not only does this get them into their bed – even for a short while, but it gives them a security “blanket.” Your pup could experience some separation anxiety, especially if he’s a new addition to the family. So put their favourite toy in their new bed, where they can associate it with positivity and comfort.

5.     Give plenty of praises:

Positive reinforcement for getting into their bed when you’re in yours will make them want to get into their bed without you having to scold them – which eventually turns it into a habit. Dogs live to please you! Perhaps when your dog is fully bed-time trained you can even spoil them by purchasing a fashionable pet accessory such as a new dog collar!

6.     Be firm:

Your yes is your yes, and your no is your no. Even I struggle with this one sometimes, especially when I get the puppy look. However, dogs like structure. They prefer you being a stable leader than someone who goes off of emotions. So be the firm pack leader your pooch needs!