If you enjoy having your pooch sleep together with you on your bed, there's nothing wrong with that. But many dog owners complain about their dogs sleeping in the same bed with them. While some people enjoy the company, for others it causes various problems and can have negative consequences on the quality of sleep.
According to the Mayo Clinic 2002 study, 53% of pets owners were experiencing some kind of sleep disruption from sleeping with their pets every night, and 35% of them were explicitly bothered by barking. The sleep disorder in animals occurs depending on the breed, the amount of activity they have during the day and the personality of an animal.
Dogs have specific sleeping habits that develop over the years. And if you bought your pup a good dog bed but he still jumps on top of your bed, this habit can be changed. With a little extra time and patience, your dog can be taught to sleep in his own dog bed and enjoy it more than your bed.
Dogs are usually suspicious of new things. The owner who brings home a luxurious pet bed for the dog and expects that the pup will jump right into it will most likely be disappointed, but this shouldn’t discourage you. Any dog can be trained to sleep in that bed once the pet is more familiar with what it is and how to use the object.
How to Teach Your Dog to Sleep Alone
When your dog is taking a nap in a place you have designated as his own, make sure that that corner will always be the most interesting one for your dog. This way he will prioritize it over other parts of the house. This will, in turn, make it a more desirable sleeping place as the dog will become more accustomed to it.
It is crucial to select and buy a dog bed that will be most fitting for your pooch. And here, the size does matter. Choosing the appropriate size dog bed is critical so that it is comfortable enough for your dog. If the bed is too small, the dog won’t be able to stretch, and if it’s too large, the dog won’t have enough protection from air circulation.
Also, the location of the bed is pretty important as well. It should be a part of the house that your dog likes, and the one that’s convenient enough for you. One good example is to place it in the bedroom next to your bed.
Training the Dog to Sleep in His New Bed
In order to teach your dog how to sleep in his bed, sit on the floor with a pocket full of treats. Call the dog to approach the bed. Use the commands “bed”, “lie down”, and reward the dog with treats whenever he lies on the bed. It’s good to repeat this exercise a couple of times a day for the next four or five days.
Your dog will begin to associate the bed with treats and rewards. After the first week, the dog will start to practice by himself, and find out that the bed isn’t dangerous and that it is, in fact, a very comfortable place.
If the dog falls asleep in any other place, take a treat and lead the dog to its bed.
Ways to Help Your Pet Sleep All Night
Be sure to stick to the routine and if you get up at 7 on your work days, don’t be surprised if your dog doesn’t let you sleep longer on Sundays. Dogs aren’t aware of days of the week, and they wake up at the same time every day.
Furthermore, animals often resemble their owners, and it's easy for your dog to sense your nervousness and become nervous too. So always try to be calm.
Give your dog plenty of attention especially when it comes to physical activity like going for long walks, playing with a Frisbee or going for a run. Just like us, tired dogs will sleep better with fewer interruptions and are less likely to wake up barking in the middle of the night.
It's important to remember that dogs are creatures of habit and that they need a lot of practice to form a routine. If you don’t want your dog to ruin your sleep, it is important to get your dog used to his bed as soon as possible and never to deviate from your goal no matter how tricky it may seem at first.
Start the Training Early
Like with socialization and other training approaches, early start is important. If you can't allow your pup to sleep whenever, then the dog should immediately learn about his own resting place and should never be allowed to sleep wherever he wants.
This must become part of your house rules.
Take all the necessary steps to prevent your pet from disrupting your sleep routine regardless of the circumstances. However, if you are already in this predicament, you definitely aren’t the only one.
We know that dogs are social beings and that they don’t like solitude, so from the earliest days we have to teach them independence.
It is vital that the initial period after the separation from the mother, someone should always be there to comfort the dog in order to make the transition easier.
The same principle applies to an adult dog as well, as soon as the dog arrives at our home, we should help the dog adapt to the new environment starting with his very own private sanctuary.
Instill Positive Emotions
The dog must immediately learn about his resting place and that he should use it whenever necessary. It would help if you didn't let him sleep in your bed because your beloved pet will start doing it more often until that turns into a routine.
Otherwise, a puppy or a dog will start to depend on you and your presence and will be frustrated and scared when staying home alone.
Of course, this process of teaching independence and teaching a dog to sleep in his own dog bed should be gradual and never forced. It's essential that the dog doesn’t associate his resting place with negative emotions and behaviors like shouting, as they will be less inclined to use it.
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