Is this you: “My dog sleeps with me, but I am fed up because he takes up all the space in the bed and prevents me from getting a good night's sleep. How to keep my dog off the bed?”
Or would you like your bed to be kept clean and not need to wash your sheets every week?
Have you just acquired a dog/puppy and you do not want to find them in your bed?
You will learn in this article how to show your dog that your bed belongs to you and win the first game of your dog training challenge!
Is Sleeping With a Dog in Your Bed Bad?
Sleeping with a dog can be nice, but there are also a lot of pretty unpleasant reasons. Here are a few :
- Lack of hygiene: having a dog on the bed will require more cleaning; you will have to change your sheets more regularly. You will find plenty of hair there, especially during the shedding period.
- Health: if your dog has parasites, you are more likely to be infected. They could be fleas, worms, but even more dangerous, I am thinking of ticks. It will be easier for them to pass from your dog to you, and you may get Lyme disease.
- The size of the dog: it seems logical to think that if the dog is large, your place in the bed will decrease accordingly. On the other hand, if your dog is very small, be careful not to run over him at night.
- The age of the dog: if you have a puppy, it may defecate on your bed, and conversely, if you have an old dog, it can become incontinent over the years.
- Personal life: you will lack privacy in your married life; the dog on the bed can become a subject of conflict.
- Travel: If you sleep away from home, dogs may not be allowed to sleep on the bed.
How to Keep My New Dog Off the Bed?
The dog is an opportunist – he will seek the most comfortable place in the house, and this is often our bed or our couch. We can't blame him, we love comfort as much as he does!
The first good deed is to never allow your dog access to the bed. Be consistent, because if you let him go up once, afterward he will try to go back up very insistently. Because he knows he may be able to convince you.
The second good deed would be to have a place of his own, and have it be as comfortable as your bed.
Find out about your dog's preferences. Does it favor a soft spot? Or a warm place? A more intimate location? etc.
On the dog marketplace, you will find a large choice of dog bedding: baskets, single cushions, memory foam cushions, cages, beds, sofas, blankets, etc.
If you have a chilly dog, offer him a fleece or imitation sheep wool pillow.
If what matters is the softness of his basket, buy a sofa or cushion with memory foam, or one with thick padding.
And if he prefers places out of sight, offer him a cage whose door will remain open, where he can enter or exit as he pleases. Cages also have the advantage of being reassuring for dogs, a bit like a den especially if the dog has associated it in a positive way.
How to Keep My Dog Off the Bed If He is Persistent?
If your dog tries many times to go to your bed, the first of the rules is to never get angry. This will only increase your pet's stress, and as a result, he will need even more refuge in a safe place. Your dog may not yet have understood that access to the bed was prohibited, the cause may be poor learning at the start, or simply because he has already been allowed to settle there.
The method is simple, as soon as you catch your dog on the bed, ask him to “get down”. As soon as he is on the floor, reward him with a reinforcer: a treat, his favorite toy, a caress (if he appreciates them), and always accompanied by verbal praise (that's good, good, bravo…). Subsequently, gradually remove the treat or the toy, and keep only the verbal praise.
If he's reluctant to go down, you'll have to use a higher value treat – he won't be able to resist! And he will learn from this positive reinforcement that it is nice to obey you.
The next step is to teach him the command “bed”.
At first, you will accompany him with a treat in hand, to his sleeping place. As soon as he has all four legs on his cushion, tell him “bed”, and reward him. As you leave, wait a few more seconds before rewarding him, so that he learns to stay there longer and longer.
How Do I Get My Dog to Stop Sleeping on My Bed?
Your dog has always slept with you, but now you want to teach him to sleep somewhere other than in your bed. The reasons for wanting to make him sleep elsewhere can be many:
- You were single, and until then you enjoyed spending the nights with your pooch. But here you are now, in a relationship. It is therefore no longer possible to cohabit three in the bed (your dog takes up too much space, your spouse does not want to sleep with a dog, you lack privacy, etc.).
- Your dog is old, and he is becoming incontinent.
- You're tired of having a bed that is full of fur and smells like a dog. You want to find a bed that smells clean.
The keyword to unlearn a dog to no longer climb on the bed is: patience.
Dogs can have difficulty changing their habits, especially if they are pleasant.
The most important point, and I repeat, is never to get mad at your dog if he is on the bed. The key to success is repetition.
Each time you find him on the bed, as explained above, you will bring him down and accompany him to his place, then praise him (verbal, treat, etc.).
Also, remember to reward him each time you find him naturally in his place so that he understands more quickly that is what is expected of him.
The apprenticeship for a regular in bed will be much longer because you will have to decondition him. You will have to be persistent, never give up, and above all, no longer allow access to bed! Otherwise, you will have to start from scratch.
With consistency, you will reach your final goal, never to find your dog on your bed again, and that he appreciates his cushion more.
My Dog Shows Aggression When I Want to Get Him Off the Bed
First of all, your dog doesn't bare his teeth or growl out of domination. Thanks to recent scientific studies, we now know that this behavior between a different species does not exist (here we are talking between a dog and a human).
If he shows you his dissatisfaction, it is quite simply because he is protecting a resource.
Resource protection is protecting what is important to them. All dogs do not protect the same resources, some will take more care of their food, others their toy, etc.
So your dog growls when he is on the bed because he wants to stay there and be quiet.
Once again, do not scold your dog when he growls, or bares his teeth, at the risk of intensifying the phenomenon, or even getting bitten!
Instead, you have to divert his attention. Offer him a treat of the highest importance, and only give him when he is on the floor.
Do not think that with this method your dog will say to himself “if I go back to the bed, he will give me a treat”, no!
The moment you give the treat, the dog retains the action in the present moment, thinking “I'm only rewarded when I'm on the floor, so it's nice to get out of bed”.
Once down, his growls will have stopped, and you can tell him to go to his bed.