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Pets Sleeping in Our Beds: Right or Wrong?

1:34 PM, Jan 23, 2014   |    comments
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Being a pet-parent, all my companions (two cats and two dogs) have had the joy of sharing our bed for a good nights rest (well, maybe not always good nights rest). As a trainer, I feel this could be good and bad depending on a pet's behavior and as a pet-parent there is the question of "I am not getting a good night's sleep, why?"
• Cats - A Nocturnal Mess
• Dogs - Snoring, Taking Up Space, Territorial? 
  Puppy in Bed? 
  Behavioral Issues - No Bed Allowed 
  My Training Tip:
Don't wait to go to bed to start "teaching" your dog about the new sleeping policy. I tell my clients to start introducing them to their new bed one to two hours prior to their bed time. You don't want to be tired and frustrated when working with your dog during this time.
Another good training tip is to put a leash on your dog. Make sure they have a comfy bed next to yours for their go-to spot. Now, climb in bed, and be strong (put your tough love cap on). Every time your dog jumps on the bed with you (if they are physically able to do so), gently grab the leash, and pull them off of your bed, saying firmly "NO!" or "OFF!" and then point to their bed. Drop the leash and ignore, do not continue to talk to your dog. Repeat these steps over and over again until your dog gives in and lies down on their bed. Mission Accomplished.
If your dog is unable to jump up on the bed, the process will be a little easier. Simply ignore your dog as they are pawing at your bed wanting you to pick them up. Yes, they may howl, whimper, pout, or try other tactics, but you must not give in. It is okay to make sure to provide them with a special toy on their doggy bed (I LOVE the Kong, with a couple of yummy healthy treats like carrots or peanut butter stuffed in it) to help keep their mind busy. The key here is to not acknowledge your dog, even with a reassuring tone. This gives your dog what they want, attention - which is a big no-no during this training time.
These steps might need to be repeated a few nights in a row before your dog understands the new rule and that you are not giving in to them.
• Soooooo, Do My Dogs Sleep in My Bed?
• What the Doc Recommends
To learn more read Victoria's blog on the Smart Living Network:
http://www.smartlivingnetwork.com/pet-behavior/b/paws-and-awws-pets-sleeping-in-our-beds-right-or-wrong/ 
Victoria is a blogger for Smart Living Network, and is the owner of Good Little Dog. The dog on today's segment is up for adoption please visit Humane Society of West Michigan to learn more!  

Courtesy: Victoria Swanson

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