How to Keep a Dog Off the Bed at Night
Make sure to wear out the dog before bed, and show it where it should sleep. The sooner you start training it, the better. Use treats to make the doggy bed more appealing, and offer them while training the dog to jump on and off the bed. Opt for clear commands too, such as “go to bed” or “go to sleep.” Repeat until the results are evident and the dog understands the bed is off-limits unless you say otherwise.
Our furry friends are always there to lift our spirits, so it’s often rather difficult to say ‘No’ to them in any way, shape, or form. Thus, most dog owners are now faced with a huge conundrum, possibly because they’ve noticed how challenging sleeping the night away has become: how to keep a dog off the bed at night anyway?
So it’s no wonder most dog owners simply give up and decide their dogs can sleep next to them in bed. However, we urge you to reconsider this! Dogs can be carriers of many viruses and bacteria and may transmit them to humans. What’s more, sleeping in a bed full of hair next to a large dog that isn’t aware of our need for some personal space — well, that’s going to become a problem soon, one way or another.
Luckily, we’ve done the research for you and found two effective, punishment-free methods for keeping dogs off the bed. Whether you have a new puppy at home or are trying to retrain your adult dog — the following approaches ought to make doggy beds more appealing.
How to Keep a Dog Off the Bed at Night: Supplies
In essence, for these methods to work, we’ll need to pick up a few supplies right away:
Treats, especially those we already know the dog likes, will work much better than yelling or any sort of punishment. Some dog owners like using a water bottle to squirt their puppy with some water if it misbehaves. However, that may make it associate bedtime with something negative.
To make a doggy bed more appealing, we ought to get the canine a few toys that may keep it company at night. Some dogs like stuffed animals, while others would prefer a few balls and chew toys. Whatever their choice, we should place the toys in the bed. For good measure, there should be some around it as well.
A Brand-New Bed. See our recommendations.
Our pet dogs are a part of our family, so this is where we ought to splurge a bit and get high-quality, super-comfortable beds.
However, to ensure our dog likes its bed, we should first observe how it likes to sleep. Some dogs love to stretch out and sleep on their backs; others curl up into a tiny ball of fluff. The former would prefer a large rectangular bed, while the latter would simply adore an oval one. And in case the dog is a bit older and is suffering from some health conditions, such as arthritis, a memory foam bed would be the best option.
To figure out the size of the bed, we ought to measure the dog itself, from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail. Still, since some might decide to stretch on the bed from time to time, it’s best to add about 6–12 inches to that number.
How to Keep a Dog Off the Bed at Night: Puppy Edition
How to keep a dog off the bed at night when those puppy eyes are just begging us to pick it up and snuggle with it? Nobody said that it’s going to be easy, but there’s no reason to avoid training a young dog. In fact, puppies need a lot of rules and guidance in the earliest months of their lives. By training ours now, we may be able to avoid some future behavioral issues.
Step 1: Wear Out the Puppy
Before trying to teach a puppy to stay off the bed, it’s best to wear it out beforehand. That way, we’ll ensure it won’t be more inclined to “fight” about it later; it’ll be too exhausted and may even go to sleep right away.
Puppies require more sleep anyway, so there’s no need for hour-long walks before getting them ready for sleep. In some cases, just playing with them a bit beforehand should be enough.
However, it would be wise to ensure the puppy doesn’t have to “go” before starting the training. That’s why a short walk is the most convenient approach; we should max out all of its other needs except for energy.
Step 2: Guide It to Its Bed
Once the puppy is ready to go home, we ought to leave the leash on before letting it settle into its new bed. Since the puppy isn’t aware that it should sleep in a designated place, it may be difficult to guide it to it right away. Thus, keeping the leash on would let the owner take it for a nice walk toward the new bed.
Step 3: Place Some Treats on the Bed
Now it’s time for treats — and a lot of them. It’s best to opt for a healthier brand right away. We will have to repeat the commands and reward the puppy with plenty of treats to ensure positive reinforcement.
The bed is where we ought to start with some delicious snacks. We can either place some treats onto it beforehand or drop some in front of the dog. It’s likely that it will immediately want to check out what they are, consequently getting into the bed.
Step 4: Use a Command to Discourage Bed Climbing
Once the dog is in bed, we can start using the “go to bed” or “go to sleep” commands. It will eat up all those treats, but to make it stay in bed, it’s good to give it toys it can chew on.
Then it’s time to test out its resistance. We ought to climb into our own beds and see if it follows us. If it does, we ought to command it to “go to bed” again. Additionally, if it tries to somehow climb into the bed with us, we should start saying “no.”
Every time the puppy goes back to its bed, we should give it a treat (if we have a good aim, we can even throw it). What matters most is that we don’t give up once we lock eyes with the puppy; it will want to stay close to us and may even whine a bit, but we should stay strong! It will give up once it gets tired.
Finally, the last piece of advice for training puppies to stay in their beds — don’t make too much noise. If it’s bedtime, the room should be peaceful. Any disruptions may alert the puppy and make it come up to our own bed again.
How to Keep a Dog Off the Bed at Night: Adult Dogs
If we have an older dog, we can safely use the previous method as well to make it get off the bed. However, it’s expected that older dogs may be a bit more stubborn than puppies, and they’re likely already able to jump on the bed. So they should be trained using the following approach:
Step 1: Teach It to Jump on the Bed (Yes, Really!)
Weirdly enough, in order to learn how to keep a dog off the bed at night, we first have to figure out how to make it jump on it. Because of that, it’s a good idea to keep a bag of treats on hand right now — we’re going to need plenty of them.
The aim of this step is to show the dog that it can come to bed, but only when we ask it to come. Thus, we should take a treat, say “up,” and throw the treat onto the bed. Once it jumps, we ought to praise it (there’s no need for another treat here).
However, to ensure proper training, we have to use this command in combination with the one from step 2.
Step 2: Teach It to Jump Off the Bed
The gist of step 2 is pretty simple. We used a treat and the “up” command to get the dog onto the bed. Now, we have to use a treat and say “off” to make it jump down.
Depending on how quickly the dog catches on, we will have to repeat the “up/off” commands a few times. Once the dog can do it all without us giving it the treats, we can move on to step 3.
Step 3: Stay On the Bed While the Dog Is on the Floor
To help the dog realize that there’s nothing fun going on in our beds, we ought to reinforce the idea that the floor is where the party is at. To do that, we can play with it while we’re on the bed and the dog is on the floor.
While sitting on the edge of our bed, we can either pet the dog, rub its belly, or even use its favorite toy to distract it. Whatever we do, though, we shouldn’t let it jump onto the bed. If it does, we have to use the “off” or “no” command (or even both!) to reiterate that the bed is off-limits.
Step 4: Repeat Until the Dog Understands Where the Limit Is
The rest is simply a waiting game. Not every dog will learn immediately that it should never again jump on the bed, or that it should climb onto it only when we ask it. So every owner out there should stay persistent and keep training their puppster for a few days or weeks.
Since the dog probably won’t want to sleep on the floor, it goes without saying that we should teach it to get into its own bed as well. That’s where we can use the puppy method — it will work on adult dogs too. However, if the dog has been sleeping in our bed so far, we should keep its bed nearby. It won’t want to stay too far from us!
So how to keep a dog off the bed at night? It may be tricky at first if our furry friend is rather stubborn and set in its own ways. Nevertheless, the methods are pretty simple to implement and based on simple repetitions.
The more we repeat a command, the more the dog will associate it with a particular movement or requirement. Plus, since there are treats as well, it won’t mind being trained that much, consequently freeing our bed rather quickly and learning to love its own!