Dogs in bed are a point of contention with dog owners. Some owners love sleeping with their dogs, while others think that beds and furniture are no places for a dog. Wherever you fall in that category the lifestyle you lead with your dog begins as a puppy. I recently came across a question in the forums of how an owner could stop having the dogs in bed, and I had to laugh. THAT is going to be one tough row to hoe. It’s far better to never start co-sleeping with your dogs than it is to stop doing it after they’ve gotten used to it.
Dogs in Bed – Decide Early
The reason I had to laugh when I read the question about keeping the dogs out of the bed is because the poster said they’d been doing it for years. When you think about any sort of dog training, whether it is intentional or not, it’s all about frequency and consistency. The owner’s dogs have learned over the years that the bed is the nice, cozy place where they sleep with the rest of the pack. Changing that after years of doing it is going to be rough on the poster and his dogs, and I highly suspect that he’ll give up and continue sleeping with them.
The only real way to address this issue is to do it early. If you don’t want your dogs in your bed, then do not ever, for any reason, allow them onto the bed. Dogs are pack animals, and once they discover the wonder of laying on a nice, cushy mattress with their owners, it’s all over. Instead, interact with your dog on the floor at all times. Keep them off of all furniture. It will only confuse them if they’re allowed on the sofa but not the bed.
You’ll also want to pair the practice of keeping your dogs off of the furniture with crate training. After all, you can’t really keep your dogs off of the furniture while you’re sleeping. Crate training also gives the added bonus of making it easier to potty train and giving your dog a safe place to be in times of stress.
Getting the Dogs Out of the Bed
The most effective way to keep the dogs out of the bed is never to let dogs in bed in the first place. Once they get a taste of that, it’s all over. So if you’re not keen on dogs in bed, I highly suggest crate training and keeping the dogs off of all furniture. Don’t worry. It’s not mean, especially if you put a super cozy dog bed inside the crate. If you crate train from puppyhood, your dog will come to love his crate and he’ll never know that the bed is even an option.