It is important to teach your dog to go to bed voluntarily. If the dog is constantly underfoot when you want to go and handle some other chores around the house, then you must find a mean of getting the animal to her bed. Never force your dog to her bed, doing such can make her less friendly and less enthusiastic about obeying you. There are some easy techniques which can be constantly practiced to get your pup to respect the bedtime.
Use the Proper Command
Your dog should be familiar with some commands such as “lie down” before you teach her to go to bed. You may want to spend several times in training the dog on the “down command” only by using a leash and a collar while saying the command. For the bed command, you may want to use other command words such as place or mat. Make use of the leash in your hand to direct the dog to the bed until you can say the command without using the leash to guide her. These steps can take a few practices to master.
Lure the Dog to Bed
Luring your dog to bed is another way of teaching her to go to bed. You can start by standing or sitting close to the bed then give the command “Place” before using a treat to lure the animal. once the dog has set its four feet on the bed, praise her and give her the treat. Repeat these steps for several days as most dogs will eventually get used to the bed even without a treat.
Increase time Dog Spends in Bed
Now that the dog is conversant with the going to bed command, you should consider increasing the amount of time the dog spends in his bed by waiting for few seconds before giving him the treat for obeying such commands. If the dog gets up from the bed, you must repeat the command but now without a treat. As you progress with this, you should slowly increase the bedtime until the dog can stay in bed without any command.
Move the Dog’s Bed to Another Room
If your dog’s bed is located in another room different from the one it is used to, then you have to switch the dog’s room and repeat the command and training. If you don’t like moving the dog’s bed from one room to the other then you should consider choosing a spot for the dog, and this is the position where you give the command for the dog to stay. The aim is to ensure that the dog master the command wherever he is in the home.
Stick to the Same Training Time
One of the best possible ways of training your dog to make use of his bed is to stick to the same training time daily. When you stick to the same training time, the dog will eventually retire to bed at the same time every day before you even say the command. To ensure that this training works out, make sure your dog takes his final meal 2-3 hours before bedtime. Make sure you choose a comfortable bed that will get the animal relaxed. You can find the most comfortable beds at Mammoth dog beds where you can find different fabrics and sizes of comfortable dog beds. Teach the dog to sit down or lie down with the leash in your hand, then command him by using the word “Bed” and if he obeys, you can reward him with the appropriate treatment, otherwise, you have to repeat and demonstrate to the dog.
Use Stimulants or Relaxant to Calm the Dog
Sometimes, anxiety can force dogs to stay awake when they are supposed to be in bed. Just like humans do benefit from herbal substances, dogs can also benefit from such substances to calm them, and help them retire to bed. Catnips are stimulants that are quite commonly used for dogs and cats to stimulate their senses and by the time the effects clear out the dog will become more relaxed and that could be the ideal time to get the animal to bed.
Relaxants are usually in the form of a spray, and they help to calm the nerves of the dog quickly for easy bedtime retirement. The Bach flower mix, for instance, is an herbal mix of 4-5 different flowers and herbs that can be made into a spray inside a diffuser. You can put the diffuser beside the dog’s bed and only use it when it is time for the dog to retire to bed. The stimulants and relaxants must not be used every day but once or twice a week for the best effect.
From the behavioral training point of view, it is important to incorporate bed training in general behavioral training for dogs. The earlier you begin to train the dog to retire to its bed even at the puppy phase, the easier it becomes for the dog to get used to such commands. Puppies trained for potty and bedtime often grow old to get used to commands much easier than older dogs that were trained at an advanced age.
It is also important to be conversant with the health status of your dog, there may be a reason why the dog may be avoiding his bed. Make sure the bed is neatly made with clean beddings. It is also important that you choose the right type and size of the bed based on the size of the dog. Generally, the dog must not cover more than ¾ of the size of the bed for convenience. You may want to eliminate all kinds of distraction, including pets treats and toys, to ensure that the dog sleeps soundly. Most dogs will prefer the light on when they sleep, hence you might leave the lights on to ensure that they don’t get nervous. Proper bonding with your dog will make bed-time training much easier.