Do you find it really hard to get your dog to sleep in their bed?
Did you buy your dog a really nice dog bed, but they refuse to sleep in it?
Does your dog sleep on the floor, the furniture, and your bed… ANYWHERE but their own bed?
If any of these situations sound familiar, then you are in the right place. We have created a simple, step-by-step training process to get your puppy or adult dog to sleep in their bed.
Why Should You Train Your Dog to Sleep in Their Bed?
To be clear, you don’t have to, and the only reason if it suits you and your personal preference.
If you are happy with your dog sleeping in your bed, that is fine with us.
Humans and dogs have shared beds for thousands of years, and we think there is nothing wrong with it whatsoever.
However, some dog owners do not like sleeping with their dogs. Some dogs move around a lot, some bed hoggers, and some are way too big to share a bed with!
Also, dog beds are designed to be comfortable, supportive, and hygienic for dogs to sleep on, so if you have invested in a good bed for your pet pooch, it makes to try and get them to use it.
Speaking about hygiene … The biggest thing most people hate about having a dog bed is the awful stench that eventually permeates the whole house. We can seriously help you with that. Thank goodness!
How to a Get Dog to Use Their Bed
This is the process you should follow; once you have read this, we have also posted a list of some core principles that you should bear in mind, not just for this bed-related task for anytime you want to train your dog to do anything.
This process assumes that your dog already knows the commands for “lie down” and “stay,” but don’t worry if they don’t; keep reading, and it will start to make sense.
- Take your dog out for a nice long walk to tire them out or select a time when they would normally take a nap.
- Get them in the room with the bed, ideally with no other people or pets around.
- Call them over to the bed and encourage them to get on it (give your dog a treat to lure them on if necessary).
- Tell them to lie down and place a treat on the bed as a reward. (If they don’t know the “lie down” command, just gently push them down until they are lying on the bed, then give them a treat.
- Give them the stay command and/or gently stroke them and praise them, so they associate lying on the bed with being happy.
- Sit with them for five minutes as they lie on the bed, keeping quiet and relaxed, giving them gentle praise and lots of stroking.
- If they fall asleep, that’s great. Gently move away and then let them carry on sleeping.
- If they don’t fall asleep, that’s ok. End the session by giving them another treat on the bed and then let them do whatever they want.
- You then need to repeat this process, ideally every day, until the dog really builds an association between lying on the bed and a nice quiet relaxing time where they get love and attention.
- Eventually, they will start to drift off to sleep on the bed. Each time they do, this is a victory.
- If you can string a couple of these victories together, then you will start to see your dog choosing to lie on their bed.
- If you really struggle with this, you can try either using a small room with nothing else apart from the bed for the dog to lie on. Or using a fenced-off area of your home so that their only option is to sleep on the bed.
Does your dog want a sofa bed just like the one you sit and lay on? Then, why not take a peek at our page for Barksbar dog bed reviews?
Some Dog Training Principles to Bear in Mind
Whenever you are training your dog (whether it be to go to bed or another command you want them to learn), there are some simple but fundamental principles that you should always try your very best to follow and adhere to:
- Repetition is Key
- Consistency is Important
- Positive Reinforcement is Vital
- Short But Frequent Training is Ideal
Repetition is Key
Repeating the training task with your dog over and over again is what really allows it to be successful.
Your goal is so that as soon as the dog hears your command, they just do whatever it is you want.
By ramming the lesson home with repetition, it becomes more ingrained in the dog’s mind.
Consistency is Important
When you train your dog to sleep in its bed, to come when called, or to stay, whatever the task, consistency really helps.
What we mean by this is that your behavior and expectation s are always the same.
So if you give the dog a command and they respond in a certain way, you always react to them in a certain way.
This consistency allows the repetition to be as efficient as possible as there is no confusion in the dog’s head as to what is expected of it.
Positive Reinforcement is Vital
Whenever your dog does the task you are trying to train it to do, you must give them positive reinforcement.
This can be in the form of verbal praise, physical praise, or treats.
So the dog learns the lesson “if I do XYZ, then I get nice things,” think of it like bribery but without the corruption!
Short But Frequent Training is Ideal
When you are trying to get your dog to learn a new task, the ideal regime would be for them to train the task once or twice a day for short periods of time.
This keeps the training and learning in the front of their brains and means they will not get too tired from over-trained.
For example, with this task of learning how to train dog to sleep in a dog bed, training your dog for around ten minutes every single day would be more effective than trying to do an hour with them once a week.
Always make sure to give your dog some fun and playtime after each training session to reward them for working so hard.
Some More Training Tips for You and Your Dog Sleep Goals
Some more advice for pet owners (including some advice about body language) this will help you on your bed training mission: