Do you want to stop the dog from sleeping in your bed but don’t know-how?
I have to say we’ve had some experience with our dog Enzo, whose picture is the header for this blog post (isn’t’ he cute). Currently, he’s wearing a winter coat, so please, no doggie owners get out whack because his hair is too long.
In a survey, 53 percent of pet owners reported that their dogs tend to wake them at least once on any given night. Since sleep deprivation, no matter its cause, can have negative physical and mental effects, the conservative recommendation from the medical community has been to simply eliminate this source of sleep disturbance by removing the dog from your bed.
Source: Psychology Today
Enzo, who actually belongs to our 16-year-old daughter, used to try and sleep on her bed all the time. Although he’s a small dog, somehow, he would end up taking the whole bed, and she would be left in the corner.
We’ve never had had a dog before, so we were stumped on what we could do that would make him want to prefer sleeping on his bed. Add to that our daughter loves to cuddle with her dog in bed.
We learned that this was a big no-no as it was leading him to be overly possessive and undermining her leadership. Sure it may be cute, but after a while, it gets annoying. He started waking her up at 3 AM to play with her on her bed.
Sometimes he would bring up his squeaky toys, she would then throw them, and he would have to fetch them. This behavior went on for at least two hours every night. So she was losing her sleep, he was getting used to being the boss.
We learned that we had to quickly nip that in the bud or else our daughter was going to suffer during her school year. He would often jump up and down on her bed, which was another sleep disturbance for her.
Dogs are beautiful creatures, and they really have no concept of time. Except when it’s eating time or when they think it’s playtime. But even those times are according to their doggy thoughts.
Not only is it frustrating for the person sleeping in the bed, but it can also harm your dog. Especially when they jump on/off the bed. This can injure their joints and can cause injuries from slipping or hurt their legs.
Our 2 Tips On How To Stop The Dog From Sleeping In Your Bed
1. Crate Training
Most dogs prefer small sleeping spaces. But remember the more space they are offered, the more they will take up. This is the reason why it’s good to start crate training as soon as you bring your dog home.
The crate offers the dog a den-like feeling. For centuries before humans started keeping dogs, dogs slept in dens or caves.
When purchasing a crate, make sure that it is fitted to your dog. Always remember that when you bring your dog to the crate, it should be in a gentle manner. Rather than forcing the dog to get into the crate, maybe leave a few treats to whet their appetite.
Another thing we did was put a dog bed in the crate. This provides a soft surface for your dog to want to lie down on. The next thing you want to do is start leaving the crate door open; this will allow your dog to explore without feeling threatened.
As soon as you see that your dog is now starting to lay down, start shutting the door for periods at a time. What we did was, we let him lay in there for 15 minutes, which then got moved up to 30 and eventually an hour.
Just remember to monitor your dog for urinating and defecating. Once your dog is trained to sleep in a crate, then you can start bringing the crate into your bedroom. We used the crate routine for about three months.
Once your dog is sleeping comfortably through the night with the crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer, although time spent with your dog—even sleep time—is a chance to strengthen the bond between you and your pet.
Source: Humane Society
2. Get Your Dog His Own Bed
Once our dog was crate trained, we wanted to give him the option of sleeping on a bed close to our daughter’s bed. Although our preference was to keep him in the crate at night, she wanted him to have the option of walking around if the need be.
Our older daughter purchased him a large fluffy bed. Remember, he’s a small dog, as you can see in the header picture, but we still wanted to give him space to sleep on. Although the crate we had purchased was small, the bed we had him sleep on was large.
Getting your dog a small bed or large bed is a personal preference. Our daughter wanted him to be able to snuggle down without feeling like he had to stay on one spot on his bed.
There were a few times where he did try to climb back into her bed, but then we developed giving a treat routine. As soon as she would throw a treat directly onto his bed, she would say “off’, as he jumped off and landed in his bed, he started getting the message treats are only for when he is in his bed.
Eventually, she stopped giving him a treat, and all she had to do was say off, and he would immediately leave her bed. Remember the crate training had done its job; he wasn’t on her bed unless she wanted him there.
Now you might be thinking our daughter was sending him mixed signals. But that wasn’t the case. We spoke with a dog trainer, who said it was okay if our daughter brought him to bed for 5 to 10 minutes, but if he overstayed his visit, that would be the time she would need to use the treat trick.
Just like puppies feel safe and at home in their cages, a dog bed is a place where adult dogs can be the master of their domain. The rest of the house belongs to the people in it, and a dog can often feel like a second-class citizen. If he has a bed, though, it gives him a place he can retreat to when he needs time by himself.
Choosing The Perfect Dog Bed
As you can see from the pictures on this post, our dog Enzo likes to sleep all spread out. Hence, the large bed that he uses is perfect for him. He doesn’t want to sleep just in the middle; he moves all over the bed to find his comfort spot on any given day.
Another thing to make sure to take note of is that focus on finding out if your dog is a hot or cold sleeper. Our dog enjoys having a blanket on him when he sleeps at night. Considering that our dog doesn’t like chewing too much, the extra fluffy bed is perfect for him. He won’t be swallowing any material.
Always keep in mind that your dog will be spending at least 17 to 18 hours a day in his bed, so you want to make it the most comfortable as possible. You may have to try a few different beds as we did, to find one which suits him the most and will stop the dog from sleeping in your bed.
Recommended Beds For Dogs
Beds For Small To Medium Dogs Who Don’t Chew
Unlike our dog, small dogs usually prefer small beds. But remember always to test it out. For your small four-legged friend, I recommend SHU UFANRO Dog Beds for Small Dogs. It’s a round design and features nest-like walls. It is filled with super soft faux fur as well as provides head and neck support. Because it has walls, it will provide a cozy like feeling for your dog.
The bottom has a good grip on the floor. It is user-friendly for your dog, and will actually encourage your dog to curl up or sprawl out for a peaceful sleep.
This dog bed is light and is excellent for traveling. Your dog will have the security of having access to his bed any time, anywhere. You can even place this dog bed on the back seat of your car during car journeys to prevent dog hair from covering your car.
The dog bed will support small dogs from 25 pounds to 45 pounds. It is easy to care for and is machine washable.
Beds For Dogs Who Like To Chew
This dog bed is a solid 4-inch memory foam based. It is excellent for dogs that may have joint pain or need to chew to calm themselves. When a dog has anxiety, they are more than likely to jump onto your bed as they see you as their comfort source.
That’s when you’ll be happy that you have a bed which provides for their need so they can fall asleep and stay asleep at night. If, for any reason, they feel like they do need to have an anxiety outlet, this bed will provide that to them.
The bed is easy to clean as the cover is removable and washable. You can even spot clean it and remove hair with the wipe of a wet paper towel. This bed is ideal for medium to large dogs. It can easily hold up to 100 pounds.
Some Final Words On How To Stop The Dog From Sleeping In Your Bed
Some say sleeping with your dog can be psychologically good for both you and your pet. But you will need to decide how important your sleep is if you have a pet that wants to take up your whole bed.
The important thing to remember when training your dog to sleep in his own bed is to take control of the situation. Let your pet know that you are the one who’s controlling the situation rather than your dog trying to become the leader of the pack.
You can always remain friends with your dog, but you will always be the leader, so the dog will have to learn to obey your commands.
Share in the comments below what techniques you used to stop the dog from sleeping in your bed.