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How to Teach a Dog to Sleep on its Bed

Updated on May 21, 2012

My Rotties sleeping in their ''place''

''Go to your place'' should be a command all dog owners should be familiar with and that all dogs should understand. It really does not take much to teach a dog to sleep on its bed on request and stay there for some time. Dogs are often underestimated creatures, and generally most dogs only know five or perhaps six commands whereas their cognitive capabilities may allow them to learn even up to 200 commands!

So where should Rover sleep? Ideally, on the ground but this does not necessarily mean on the cold, hard tiles. Pet stores today offer a variety of beds just made for dogs. Some are simple blankets, while others are real beds for dogs that come in a variety of shapes and sizes with some even being capable of warming up.

Once a dog is offered a nice cozy bed and its daily amount of exercise, training a dog to sleep on its bed can be a piece of cake. Indeed, exercise is perhaps the biggest factor to train a dog to sleep on its bed. This is because a dog that is hyper, under stimulated and bored may have a hard time falling asleep because of so much pent up energy. So allow your dog at least a 45 minute to an hour walk a day and then a few games of fetch or a romp in the yard. This will make the dog more likely to snooze.

How to Teach a Dog to Sleep in its Bed

After having placed the bed on the floor, the dog is introduced to it. The dog will very likely go near it on its own and give a few good sniffs. To make it more inviting owners may add a few chew toys, which will allow the dog to gnaw on and relax. Chewing, helps the dog release tension and many dogs often fall asleep after a few minutes of chewing.

When nap time comes, the dog should be elicited to ''go to your place''. At first the dog can be lured to the bed by placing a few treats on the bed when the dog is closed in another room. Once the room is opened, the owner should say ''go to your place'' as soon as he sees the dog smells the treats and is heading towards the bed. This should be repeated a few times until the dog understands that every time his owners says so, he gets rewarded with the treats.

The next step is teaching the dog to stay there. This is quite easy for dogs that are already familiar with the stay and lie down command. The dog should be told to lay down on the bed and to stay there. Any attempt to get up and go away should be discouraged with a familiar voice command should as ''no'' and further emphasized with an open hand or body block if needed.

If you want your dog to sleep through the night on its bed, make sure he goes potty right before bedtime and that you can keep an eye on him. Placing the dog's bed nearby yours or in the hallway may help discourage any nighttime wandering, especially if you are are able to hear your dog getting up in the night. Placing a bell on your dog's collar may help you notice if he is getting up and deciding to take advantage of your sleep to visit your trash can at midnight.

If you have a cozy, inviting dog bed, a tired dog and the determination to train and consistently, you have a very good chance your dog will learn to sleep on its own bed. Once a dog learns this command you may enjoy some good quiet time every now and then while knowing your dog is snoozing comfortably on his bed.

Special Beds for Special Dogs


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    • profile image

      Lacy 6 years ago

      I cant get my dog to sleep in his bed. Sometimes he acts like he is afraid of it! It is very frustrating.

    • rebu profile image

      rebu 7 years ago from Coorg,India

      Thnx for the great hub..Even my dog also listens to my commands.!

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 8 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      Great article, I really love anything that has to do with pets. I love my dor and she is a great hugger, I love to sleep with her, I find this to be a strong bonding process.