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Should you Let your Dog Sleep on the Bed with you?

By Jason Wright

February 7, 2024

Many pet owners love the idea of sharing their bed with their dogs, seeking the warmth and companionship that comes with it. However, while the desire for a close bond is natural, allowing your dog on the furniture, especially your bed, can lead to many issues, from behavioural problems to disrupted sleep. This is why balancing affection and discipline is crucial for a strong relationship with your pet.

While the temptation to allow your dog on the furniture or in your bed may be present, setting clear boundaries is essential for their overall well-being. In this blog post, we'll explore why allowing your dog on the bed might not be the best idea and discuss effective strategies for training them to respect these boundaries.

Reasons to Avoid Allowing Your Dog on the Bed:

Understanding the reasons behind certain dog training practices can be crucial for fostering a healthy relationship with your pet. For example, allowing your dog on the bed might seem like a nice idea, but it can have unintended consequences. 

Here are some compelling reasons why it's not recommended.

1. Establishing Dominance:

Allowing your dog on the bed can inadvertently convey a message of equality, potentially leading to behavioural problems. Dogs thrive on a clear hierarchy, and permitting them on the same level as you may result in attempts to assert dominance.

2. Sleep Disturbances:

Dogs have different sleep patterns than humans, and their movements during the night can disturb your sleep. Whether it's restless shifting, scratching, or even territorial behaviour, sharing a bed may disrupt sleep for both you and your dog.

3. Reinforcing Anxiety:

If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, allowing them on the bed might increase the issue. It reinforces their dependence on your presence and can contribute to heightened anxiety when left alone.

Not to mention, for pet owners who have allergies or have invested in certain pieces of furniture, giving your dog this important piece of real estate in your home can lead to many other issues, including allergic reactions, destroyed bedding, or dirty couches. All of which are frustrating to handle but easy to avoid.

Training Your Dog to Stay Off the Bed:

While it might seem challenging at first, training your dog to stay off the bed is a rewarding practice that needs to be set and continuously enforced. Setting consistent rules and providing alternatives will help your dog understand and respect your established boundaries.

Whether you’re training your pet to stay off of your bed or are now working with your pet to teach them that this behaviour is unacceptable, here are some training tips and techniques that will help. 

1. Establishing Consistent Rules:

Consistency is key when setting boundaries. Make it clear that the bed is off-limits and reinforce this rule consistently. Use firm commands like "off" and reward compliance. Remember, training takes time and consistency. Be sure to work with your pet on this initiative daily and be strict. It’s unfair to your dog and your training regime to allow them on the bed sometimes while correcting this behaviour at other times.

2. Providing Alternative Comfort:

Create a comfortable and designated sleeping space for your dog, such as a cozy bed on the floor, which can be referred to and used as the place command. Ensure it's appealing with soft bedding so your pet has their own inviting space.

3. Balanced Dog Training:

It is important to use a balanced dog training approach. With this approach, the focus is simple: show your dog that certain behaviours can have positive or negative reactions. When a command is completed, praise can be given to encourage your pet. However, if poor behaviour occurs, initiating a balance of corrections or consequences is necessary so your dog can understand that these actions are unacceptable.

4. Redirecting and Correcting:

If your dog attempts to climb onto the bed, redirect their attention to go on place or command them to be on place before going to their bed. Consistently correct this behaviour, clarifying that the bed is not an acceptable space for them.

The iTK9 Way: Teaching Your Pet About Appropriate Boundaries

While the desire to share your bed with your dog is understandable, establishing and maintaining healthy boundaries is vital. Avoiding allowing your dog on the bed contributes to a positive relationship, clear hierarchy, and better sleep for you and your pet. 

If you're struggling to work with your pet or unsure where to start, our trained professionals can help. They fully commit to working with them safely and effectively through behaviour, obedience training, and continued learning.

We do the hard work for you to attain a happy home and a healthy relationship with your pet.

Included in all of our programs are the following;

  1. In-Person Learning: Midway progress training video, two go-home lessons.
  2. Online Learning: Owner education course, instructional training videos, iTK9 member community, e-books & additional training resources.
  3. Owner Support: Photo updates of your dog training with our team and access to our team for questions & support.

Contact us today for more information on our programs, including Board & Train.

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