7 Expert Tips to Get Your Dog Off Your Bed and Sleeping on His

White dog sitting on pet cushion

If you’re like most dog parents, you probably let your furry friend sleep in your bed. But what if your dog just won’t stay in their own bed? If your dog is restless at night or keeps you up with their movement, it might be time to get them to sleep in their own dog bed. 

 

In the wild, dogs naturally sleep on the ground, in a burrow, or beneath a tree during inclement weather. So getting your dog to sleep in their bed can take some effort and patience. But it is possible, with a little bit of work and some positive reinforcement. 

 

If you just got your dog and aren’t already following a new puppy schedule, then this is a great time to start. The structure of a routine can help your dog know when it’s the right time to go to sleep and make them more receptive to sleeping in their bed. 

 

Let’s walk through some tips for how to get your dog to sleep in a dog bed, and not on your bed. 

7 Expert Tips to Get Your Dog To Sleep in Their Bed

Create a safe space

Put the bed in a quiet, secluded spot. Dogs like to have their own space where they can relax and feel safe. Putting the bed in a corner or against a wall will help create that feeling for them. 

You can place the bed in a location where your dog likes to spend time. If they don’t have a favourite spot, try putting it near where you sleep, far away enough that it’s a private space but near enough that they can see you at night. 

Make their bed comfy

Make sure the bed is comfortable and inviting. Dogs are creatures of comfort just like us, so make sure their bed is a place they actually want to sleep. Add a soft blanket or some nice pillows to make it more appealing. You may also want to add a favourite toy to get them to spend time there even during the day. 

Get the right size bed

Just like for humans, a bed that’s too big or too small can feel too cramped or too open. Goldilocks was on to something when she was trying out all those beds. An appropriately-sized dog bed will be much more comfortable for your dog. Of course, all dogs are individuals and some smaller dogs may want vast expanses of space in which to stretch out. You will know best what your dog prefers, so listen to your gut. 

Train them to go to their bed

Just like with anything else, you’ll need to train your dog to go to their bed on command. Encourage your dog to get into the bed with treats. Start by putting a treat next to the bed and then slowly moving it inside so that your dog has to step into the bed to get it. Once they’re inside, give them lots of praise and let them eat the treat.

 

Repeat this process until your dog is happily getting into the bed on their own. Once they’re comfortable doing this, you can start asking them to lie down before giving them the treat. Again, praise them when they do what you ask and give them the treat as a reward.

 

Now that they’re going to the bed, getting them to stay there is the next step. After your dog gets into bed, reward them with a treat if they stay there and don’t immediately hop out. You can even play with them a bit while they’re in the bed, stopping when they step out of it. This builds the connection in their brain that being in the bed is fun.

 

Once they’ve mastered staying in their bed, start adding distance by walking away from it while they’re in it. Eventually, they should be able to stay in their bed no matter where you are in the room.

Get them used to sleeping in their bed during the day

If your dog only sleeps in their bed at night, they may not see it as a place for relaxation and rest. Getting them used to taking naps or lounging in their bed during the day will help them see it as a place for sleeping at night as well. Luckily, most dogs will nap several times throughout the day, so you have ample opportunity to get them to go to their bed. 

Be patient and consistent

Be patient and consistent. Like with anything else, training your dog to sleep in their own bed will take time and patience. Be consistent with your commands and rewards, and eventually they’ll get the hang of it.

 

Eventually, you should be able to ask your dog to go to their bed and lie down without offering a treat first. Praise them lavishly when they do as you ask and continue rewarding them with occasional treats so that they know that sleeping in their bed is something you’re happy about. If you are caring for a senior dog, it may take a little longer for them to catch on compared to younger dogs. Don’t lose heart! They’ll get it eventually. 

Establish rules and boundaries and stick to them

This doesn’t just go for bedtime, but for your whole life with your dog. They’re great companions and many dog owners view their dogs as part of the family. However, families do have rules and boundaries, so the same should apply for your dog. If you don’t want your dog sleeping in your bed, then you have to make it clear that they should be sleeping in their bed. 

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