Dog Behavior: How To Get Your Sleepy Dog Out Of Your Bed
— For people, the bed is just a place to sleep, but for dogs, it’s one of the ways they figure out what their social status is in the household. A dog who feels that he has special rights is going to keep pushing the boundaries. Today’s mild grumble may turn into tomorrow’s nasty growl. Dogs who get uppity because of their comfortable sleeping arrangements need to be taken down a notch or two, quite literally.
You must also know that if your dog is accustomed to sleeping in the bed, then he isn’t going to give it up voluntarily. Even if you don’t let him up before you go to sleep, he’s going to try to sneak up once you’re asleep. The easiest way to keep him out of your bed is to make his own bed a very comfortable place to be.
Now that you understand your dog’s need for control with sleeping in your bed, take notes of the following nuggets of advice:
1. Put his bed next to your bed: Though dogs can adapt well to sleeping by themselves, they like to be in the same room with their families at night. It is recommended that you try putting the dog’s bed next to yours. He’ll be able to smell you. He’ll hear you breathing. And he’ll know he’s important enough to share the same general space, if not the bed itself.
2. Make his bed bigger: You can’t expect a German shepherd or a Rottweiler to be able to stretch out on a 3-foot round bed and be comfortable. Even though dogs sleep curled up most of the night, they need additional room to spread out when they feel like it. The bed should be as long as your dog is when he’s stretched full length. For bigger dogs, you may need to put two pillow-type beds side by side.
3. Spend some time in his bed: Dogs climb into bed with people because it makes them feel important. You can make their beds feel just as special by visiting them yourself. Sit on the floor and pet your dog while he’s in his bed. Occasionally stashing a biscuit in his bed is a good incentive, too, as that always helps.
4. Give your dog a familiar scent he loves. It’s not really the contact with your body that dogs crave at bedtime, but all of the other sensory stimulations that come with the territory, smells especially. Try taking one of your old blankets and putting it on your dog’s bed. It’s loaded with your personal scents, and that will probably be enough to keep him happy.