If you have recently adopted a dog or have realized that having the dog on your bed when you sleep is really not working out well, it’s time to train or retrain her and make sure you get your beauty rest! Here’s a few tips to help you and your canine companion sleep through the night and establish boundaries.
With a new baby dog, it’s important to start from day one with rules and boundaries from jumping up to what is appropriate to chew on and where she can sleep. Establish a sleeping place such as a crate or room with a baby gate.
Make sure to line the crate or floor with paper in case she has a night time accident. Puppies can’t always hold it for more than 4 to 5 hours because their bladders aren’t completely developed and strong enough. Also give your new puppy a pillow or doggy bed so she doesn’t have to sleep on the hard floor or crate bottom. If she’s crated, get an elevated bed so her and the bed don’t get wet if she does have an accident during the night.
She may whine, howl, and cry the first few nights. You can give her a kong with some treats inside of it to help distract her for a little bit but also make sure she’s had plenty of exercise so she’s good and tired and wants to go to sleep.
Once you’ve shown your dog where she can sleep, train her to go there when it’s time for bed. Lead her there with a treat to connect the sleeping area as a positive place to go. Don’t force her to go into her crate or onto her bed. Don’t pick her up and place her there. It’ll create a negative experience in her mind and she may think it’s a form of punishment.
Even when retraining your older dog, using positive reinforcement is important and will help transition her from your bed or the couch to her sleeping area without much hassle. It’s not to say this won’t take time but with enough repetition and patience, it’ll be worth it.
Once your dog is sleeping through the night or has a sleeping space other than your bed on a regular basis or couch, you can start to share the bed but don’t rush things. It’s important your dog understands that she has her own bed and that if she is allowed onto your bed, it’s because she was invited. It’s not somewhere she can claim as her own space.
Never allow her to enter your room and jump onto the bed without your permission or calling her to you. Your dog is also not your alarm. She has to understand that you will wake up on your own terms or alarm clock. She has to wait for you and can be excited but cannot wake you up. If she does, then she must be placed back onto her bed and cannot share yours. As always, exercise will help keep your dog from being overly excited and keep the brain from reaching a frenzied state of being.
If your dog keeps you up all night or wakes you up before you’re ready to get up, it can make you tired, easily irritable, and imbalanced. Exercise, discipline, affection, and repetition will create a well-balanced house and create a strong bond with you and your pup!