So you love your puppy, and you have become best friends. That’s great! Night after night, however, you realize that your loving puppy has become a bed hog. Your puppy sleeps on you, steals the blankets, and is showing who is really in charge. Well, here are some tips, tricks, and thoughts about if you should let your sleeping dog lie.
Should Your Puppy be in bed?
There are several thoughts about this, but it comes down to what works for you. Some people worry about their dog having too much control over them. They don’t want to risk the relationship between owner and pet, so it is on the floor from day one. Others could not imagine not having their loving pet cuddled up next to them every night. If your puppy is only sleeping on you and it is an issue for you, then the answer is clear. You are going to have to train your pet to sleep in its place.
Don’t Wait too Long
They talk about old dogs and new tricks for a reason. Like with children, it is best to train and teach habits as early as possible. Try to make your mind up of what works for you as early as possible so you can start training off right. Once puppies get used to behaving one way, they don’t always want to go back.
Expect Challenges, Stay Strong, and Find Patience
You may have gotten a puppy from a previous owner, and you don’t get to start from the beginning. If this is true, your puppy may already have developed some different sleeping habits. Even if you are the owner from birth, it is still a puppy. Just like children, they have minds of their own, illogical emotions and unique personalities. In other words, expect some work. You’re training a new independent life.
Take Your Puppy to Its Proper Area as much as Necessary
It may sound simple to just move your puppy back to its bed, and it is. The hard part comes when you have to keep doing it over and over, though. They most likely won’t like this and keep coming back, and you won’t like all the sad faces and barking. You can’t; however, give in. As hard as it is, just keep on moving your puppy back until they finally get the message.
Make Sure Your Puppy’s Bed is Treated as Their Safe Space
Whether it is crate training or just a dog bed, that space has to be sacred. You never want to punish your puppy by sending it to bed. If your puppy feels that its sleeping area is for punishment, it will never use it. Just like any living creature, the safer and more secure they feel, the more relaxed they will be.
Your Puppy can still be Close By
Your puppy wants to be next to you, but you don’t want to share the same bed. So, do the next best thing by placing a puppy’s bed right next to yours. Now your puppy is still close, but you have set up solid boundaries.
Use a Long Lasting Treat as an Incentive
Sometimes bribing your puppy with an incentive to go somewhere else might help with the transition. You can reward your puppy for going to its bed area and staying there. This may work best with a long-lasting treat, such as a pig’s ear. Also, try putting peanut butter on a bone for your puppy to lick. Either way, hopefully, they will stay busy with the treat until their eyelids start to close.
Add a Favorite Blanket to the Bed
Dogs, in general, like to paw around and dig, especially in their territory. Adding a blanket, especially a favorite if they have one, can help. The blanket acts as the unsolid ground that your puppy can paw at making it it’s own. You intend to make the puppy’s sleep area more desirable than your bed. Be creative; however, those nice sheets and blankets can be a hard competition.
Make a Bedtime Treat Specific to the Activity
Mentioned above is the act of giving your puppy a long-lasting treat. You can also create a treat that is specific to the activity of using its bed. You want to make this treat very special. Using real meat or a deluxe item works well. You can also heat it a little to make it stand out. The aroma alone should hopefully make it feel like bedtime.
Specific Verbal Commands are Key
Just like training your puppy to sit or beg, you want to attach a specific command to bedtime. You can choose any words you like to signify that it is bedtime in the puppy’s bed area. The important part is that you are consistent with the words you choose. Repetition, focusing on the area, and patience will eventually lead to your puppy, knowing what is expected as a response.
An Article of Your Clothing is the Best Comfort
As your puppy’s owner, you are the main person in their lives. They love you and feel comfortable around you. A new place to sleep is a big change. One of the ways that will help your puppy adjust to a new bed is if you add something familiar. A used shirt you have worn, or another personal item, can help. Smelling your scent in their new sleeping area will make your puppy feel you’re close by and help them relax.
Everyone Loves Their Favorite Toys
Making your puppy’s sleeping area safe and familiar always helps. Another way to achieve a familiar feel is to have your puppy’s favorite toys there. Continue to return the toys to the sleeping area even if your puppy continues to move them. By placing the familiar toys in the area, you are establishing a home base. This should help your puppy get familiar with the fact that they belong in that particular area.
And of Course, Never Hesitate to Ask
Bringing up a puppy is a great experience, but it comes with many challenges you would never think of. The internet is a great resource. Find some discussion groups and make some friends. You’ll always find new questions to ask, and dog lovers are always happy to answer.