Training a new puppy can be difficult, especially when they want to be all up in your space all the time. However, your sleep is just as important as theirs, even if your pup doesn't recognize it. If you want your dog to start sleeping in a dog bed instead of in your bed, here are some tips to help you make that happen.
Choose the Right Style of Bed
Choosing a bed is the easiest part of training your dog. Watch the way that your dog sleeps. Are they one that curls up tightly into a ball, or do they sprawl out in their sleep? Then, choose your dog bed accordingly.
If they prefer to curl up tightly, you will want to purchase a bed that has walls for them to curl up against and enough space for them to do this. The walled bed will help them to feel safe, and help you not to trip over them.
If they sprawl, you will need to buy a larger bed than you might think you need for a dog their size. The bigger bed will give your dog space to stretch out while still keeping paws out of the walkway.
If your dog sleeps every which way, try one that offers walls on one side but open space on the other edges.
Put It Near Your Bed
Dogs, no matter how big or small, are pack animals - even when they have no pack of dogs to play with them. That means you are their family, and they are going to want to sleep near you. By putting their new bed near yours and showing them that that's where they need to be, you'll have a much better success rate when it comes to getting them to sleep there.
Create a Safe Area
Dogs usually sleep in dens in the wild, and making them a space of their own helps them to understand that space is for resting and sleeping. You can do this using a crate and a blanket, or just a crate to make them feel safe and sound.
When using a crate, try to avoid using the crate as a punishment space. If you use the crate for punishment, your dog is much less likely to willingly go to bed because the puppy may associate the crate area with punishment.
Train to A Command
Now that you've selected and positioned your dog's bed and created a safe space for your puppy, you can train your dog to go to bed with a command. Training a bedtime word command may take time, but it will be worth it in the long run. Teach your puppy the bedtime word and practice walking the pup up to the dog bed, and allow them to sniff it and use the command of your choice to go to bed. Continue to do this every time they get sleepy and give them a treat once they get into the bed. If your dog sneaks out of bed at night to hop into bed with you, calmly walking them back to bed should be enough to get them to fall asleep again.
About the Author:
About The Sleep Help Institute: