Every dog will have its day–to sleep in his own bed. It is most ideal to start this process when they are puppies. Although snuggling with the pup in bed may develop into a bad habit. Some dogs adjust to sleeping in their own bed easier than others, but it is most important to be consistent. Below are easy-to-follow steps to ensure that your dog has a good night’s sleep.
Purchase a dog bed and blanket that is an appropriate size for your dog.
Rub your scent on the bed and blanket with your hands. Dogs communicate through their sense of smell and this ensures a positive connection between the bed, blanket and dog. Place one of his or her favorite toys in the bed. Your scent is familiar and reminds the dog that he or she is safe and comfortable.
Place, and keep, the bed in a location where you intend him to sleep. Call the dog and praise him. If he starts to like the bed than this is a good sign. If he resists, continue to repeat this action. Or pick him up and place him in the bed, lowering his behind to sit and lie on the bed, but do not force him. Owners can lie next to the bed to promote comfort and safety. Continue to praise the dog for his efforts.
Choose a time on when you’d like the dog to go to “bed.” Be consistent as this develops the habit. Stay with the dog for several moments, praise his behavior, and quietly walk away when the time is ready. Never call the dog to bed as a punishment.
Continue to repeat these steps until they become a natural habit. Remember to be persistent yet patient in this effort. Be firm but loving in the way you approach this training. It may take the dog several days or weeks before he or she will obey. Repetition and positive reinforcement are keys to success.