30 October 2018

How To Train Your Puppy To Sleep In A Dog Bed

It might be tempting to let your puppy sleep in your bed, especially if the idea of training him or her to sleep in a dog bed feels like an infinite test of your patience and heart. Those big eyes and that little whimper just don’t feel worth the heartache of sleeping separately at night. The process can be especially tough if your puppy is newly adopted and still trying to get used to their home.

The good news is that you’ll probably find training your puppy to abandon your bed for their own isn’t nearly as tough as you thought it would be. As long as you’re patient, compassionate, and willing to praise and reward good the desired behavior.

Here are three helpful tips to get your puppy to sleep in a dog bed:

Start Off Slowly

Don’t expect your puppy to immediately make the leap from your cozy adjustable bed to their much smaller dog bed overnight. Patience is key, as is a slow but routine approach to getting the puppy used to laying on their dog bed.
Start by getting them to lay on the bed for a few minutes at a time.
If he or she cooperates, reward your puppy with a small treat.
Repeat this step a few times, adjusting the amount of time the puppy is expected to remain on the bed.
Allow the animal to work its way up to getting used to spending hours at a time on the bed. Eventually, they’ll be used to their new bed and have positive associations with it. If your puppy is newly adopted, it might be best to take this approach from the beginning so you don’t have to re-train them to a dog bed after getting them used to sleeping with you.

Make Sure The Dog Bed Is Comfortable

Not every dog bed is the right fit for every puppy. A smaller dog bed is great if your puppy is a smaller breed of dog. However, a puppy you expect to grow very quickly in a matter of weeks could soon outgrow the dog bed before even getting used to it!

Aside from fit, the shape is also a crucial factor. Puppies that curl up are likely to appreciate a rounder, oval-shaped bed. A square mattress works better with puppies that like to stretch out. The more comfortable the dog bed, the easier your puppy will adjust to it -- and faster!

Stick With It

It might feel tiring to try to get your puppy used to their new sleeping space, but don’t give up. Some puppies, particularly those with a lot of energy, can take longer to warm up to a bedtime routine than others.

Take a calm assertive approach to bedtime while continuously rewarding cooperative behavior. If you’ve taken every step to provide them with a safe, comfortable sleeping space, then your puppy should warm up to the dog bed in time.

A special thanks to our guest blogger, Amy Highland. Amy is a sleep expert at SleepHelp.org. Her preferred research topics are health and wellness, so Amy's a regular reader of Scientific American and Nature. She loves taking naps during thunderstorms and cuddling up with a blanket, book, and cats.

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