Dogs are pack animals, and when you adopt a dog, you become members of their pack. Typical behavior of pack animals is that they sleep together for bonding and their protection.
While some dog owners enjoy having a pet by their side, some pet owners have allergies that prohibit this kind of setting. Also getting their bed helps you avoid getting rid of pet hair, dander, or getting it infested with fleas most of the time.
But getting a bed is only the beginning. Teaching them to sleep in their own bed will take a lot of time and effort, but rewarding in the long run. Here's how to do it.
Find the right bed
The first thing to do is to find the right bed for your dog. When looking for a bed, consider how they like to sleep. If your dog sleeps in a curl up in a ball, a round bed with sides larger than your dog's bed would be perfect. If your dog is sleeping in the back, or on its sides, rectangular beds are perfect for them. Also, consider their age. Senior dogs would benefit from rectangular, orthopedic beds.
Show the bed
Now that you've found the perfect bed for them choose a spot where he will want to sleep. If your dog is very close to you, he may prefer to sleep in your room. A living room is also a great spot for your pet to sleep in to keep an eye on the house. Some dogs prefer sleeping in a child's room. Make sure to pick the right spot for the bed and stick to it.
Use a command that you will use each night to tell them it's bedtime. When your dog follows that command, make sure to give them the treat to encourage them to go to bed. Be consistent with your command and tell the members of your family to use the same command so that the dog will follow them even if you're not at home.
Keep on practising
It may take a couple of sleepless nights to get your dog to understand that they have to sleep in their own bed instead of sleeping with you. Oftentimes we lose patience. You can rest, but don't stop. Continue to teach them to sleep in their own bed and use the same command over and over until they fully understand what you want them to do. Giving the command during the day will help them remember the command at night as well.
Use positive reinforcement
Many dog owners punish their pet for not getting in their own bed. Although it sometimes works, positive reinforcement is better as it teaches your pet that sleeping in their own bed is not a bad thing. Praise your dog if he goes to bed without you leading or if he lies down on the bed on command.
If your dog goes to your bed, correct them as it is an important step to establish boundaries. Use the command to tell him to go to bed and if he does not move let him know that it is bad behavior by either picking him up and placing him on the floor or nudge him off the bed and say "No".
Teaching your dog to sleep in their own bed requires patience and consistency. Sure it will take a lot of time and effort, but the results are worth it.