How to Help Your Puppy Transition to a Dog Bed
The move to a dog bed might seem simple, but it will take some training, especially if your puppy has been sharing your bed. A dog bed gives your puppy, and you, some much needed space to stretch out. Training a puppy takes patience, but you should be able to make the transition with the following steps.
1. Create the Right Conditions
Your puppy is far more likely to succeed if you’ve created the right conditions. Start with plenty of exercise. An energetic puppy will have a hard time learning and listening. It’s also best to train during the day when your puppy is fresh. Obedience takes a focus and patience that might be hard for a tired puppy.
2. Introduce the Dog Bed
You never know how a puppy will respond to a dog bed. Some pups may see it as the next great adventure while others may not notice it at all. Your first step is to get him to see and accept the dog bed. Start with a leash and take your puppy over to the bed. He doesn’t need to do anything more than see the bed on his first introduction. If he makes it over for a look, give him a treat. Keep this up until you think he’s ready for the next step.
3. Get on the Dog Bed
Some puppies will be ready for this step in the same session they’re introduced to the bed. Cautious puppies may need extra time. Be patient. Once your puppy is used to the bed, it’s time to get him on it.
Put the leash on, walk him over to the bed, and give the “go to your bed” command or whatever equivalent you want to use. Get him onto the bed in the lay position and give him a treat. That’s enough for the first try. The next time, make him lay down a bit longer before he can get up. Make sure to have plenty of treats to reward your puppy every time he obeys “go to your bed” and stays.
4. Move the Dog Bed into Your Bedroom
Once your puppy has learned the ins and outs of lying on his bed, it’s time to move the dog bed to your bedroom. Repeat step three in the bedroom. Make sure it’s in the daytime when your puppy is well-rested and exercised.
5. Put Your Puppy to Bed
Don’t expect success the first night. Some puppies will have no problem using their new bed while others may not like it, especially if they’re used to sharing your bed. Start with a leash, take your dog to the bed, and give him the command. If and when he obeys, treat him.
If your puppy tries to get on your bed, tell him no and “go to your bed.” You can’t be lenient here or you may set yourself up for long-term trouble.
Get Better Sleep and Enjoy Your Pup’s Companionship
While it might take both of you some time to get used to separate beds (you can try a weighted blanket if you miss the extra body), you’ll both sleep better with your own space. After your puppy has acclimated to his dog bed, don’t be afraid to move it closer to your bed. Many dog owners like to have their dog close enough to pet while they sleep. You’ll still get companionship, but you won’t be dealing with a tail in your face.