How to Stop Your Dog from Sleeping in Your Bed

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How to Stop Your Dog from Sleeping in Your Bed

Staff Writer · May 7, 2010

A dog sleeping in bed with you puts you at risk for developing health problems, makes your bed a dirtier place, and puts both you and the dog at risk for injury. If your dog is already used to sleeping with you, it can be difficult to break her habit. To stop your dog from getting on the bed, try the following:

Shut the Door/Put Up a Gate

The first step to putting the dog sleeping in bed with you situation behind you is to cut off your dog’s access to your bedroom. This can be as simple as keeping the door shut at all times when you’re not entering or exiting. If you want more air flow in your room or your bed is in an open environment, block off the doorway or surround the bed with a dog gate instead.

You’ll Need to Use Training Techniques

Your dog likely won’t give up her role as the dog sleeping in bed with you without a fight. She may stand outside a closed door or a gate and whine, bark and scratch—which can cause damage to the door or gate. She may even block access so that you can’t pass into the bedroom without having to fight with her so that she won’t barge in with you, jumping straight for the bed before you can stop her. Because of this, you’ll have to follow a few training techniques to get her uninterested in going into the bed zone. If successful, you may eventually be able to trust her near an open door or ungated bed area.

Provide a Comfortable Sleeping Area

First, provide your dog with an alternative sleeping area that’s exclusively her space. It should be in a quiet, comfortable area of the apartment. The center of this area should be a comfortable dog bed or pillow. If you have success with your training techniques, you may eventually be able to put this area near your own bed and trust your dog to remain on the ground.

Reinforce Positive Behavior and Discourage Negative Behavior

The first few days and weeks after you attempt to stop the dog sleeping in bed behavior, you should reward your dog for good behavior. Every time you see her approach her new sleeping area, give her a treat, rub her head and say “good girl” in a sweet tone. Every time she backs up from the door or gate, allowing you to enter without her, throw her a treat and say “good girl” again.

Since your dog will be confused about the new arrangement, don’t allow yourself to get frustrated if she doesn’t respond right away. When she nears your bed or barks, whines or scratches at the door or gate, clearly state “no” in a low tone. Do not proceed until she has stopped the bad behavior. When she moves away, reward her for her good response.

It may take some time, but if you follow these tips, your dog sleeping in bed with you (or without you) will be a worry of the past. Remember that you won’t be showing your dog any less affection; instead, you’ll be taking control of the situation and providing an environment that’s healthier for both of you.

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