Training Your Dog to Stay Off the Bed | Animals Matter
How to Keep a Dog Off the Bed: A Step-by-Step Guide
Choosing to allow your dog on your bed is a personal preference. Some pet owners love it, some hate it. Usually, it’s one or the other!
There are many reasons why you might not prefer it: to keep your bed cleaner, to encourage independence in your dog, non-compatible sleeping habits, to avoid dog slobber in your face first thing in the morning, or for the sake of boundaries to name a few. All are valid, and it doesn’t mean we love our dogs any less.
If you prefer to have separate sleeping spaces for you and your dog, read on for tips on training a dog to stay off the bed.
How to Train a Dog to Stay Off the Bed
If your dog wants to get on the bed, or has been allowed to in the past, it may feel too overwhelming to train your dog to stay off the bed. But we’ve broken it down into some methodologies to get your started:
- Hire a trainer. Find one that will come to your home. Average rates are between $45 and $120 per private session. They may ask that you work alongside them, or observe the process. If you lack the time or patience but have the funds to spare, this may be your best option.
- Do it yourself. This will increase your bond with your pet and allow you to understand them better. It will require time and patience.
- Get help from a friend or family member. Nothing’s wrong with asking for help! One can keep time and supply treats while the other gives the command, or alternate. This is a good method on how to keep your dog off the bed if you want your dog to get used to obeying commands from multiple people.
- Enlist another dog as a good influence. You know how puppies follow the lead of an older dog when trying to learn how to walk up stairs? If you have multiple dogs at home with that kind of relationship, your older dog might end up being the best teacher you can ask for. Allow him to show the puppy that the human bed is not his bed. Dogs speak the same language, after all.
If you want to do it yourself, here is a step-by-step guide for how to keep a dog off the bed:
- Choose a time when you and your dog have the mental and physical energy to teach and to learn.
- Ensure minimal distractions — no noises from the outside or the kitchen, and not a time when your phone is blowing up from coworkers needing your attention. Make sure your dog is fed and walked beforehand.
- Put your dog’s belongings on the floor to signal that that is his territory: his bed, toys, water bowl, etc. Make sure these items are in his line of sight.
- Keep a stash of treats, toys, and necessary training tools by your bedside — out of your dog’s sight and sniffing range.
- If your dog is already on the bed, get his attention. Voice the command, such as “Off!” as you toss a treat or a toy off the bed for him to follow. When he leaves the bed, he will get the reward. If you are using clicker training for how to keep dogs off bed, click it when your dog leaves the bed. Repeat.
- If your dog is not already on the bed, signal for him to come up. Reward him when he does. This shows that he must wait for your signal. Then, signal for him to leave the bed, following step five. Similarly, this shows that he is rewarded for only acting according to your signal.
- Once he is on the floor, lead him where you want him to be instead of your bed. Give him a destination, like his own dog bed. Excitedly pet him and tell him he did a good job.
After enough repetition, your dog will understand the verbal command without the need for a treat, toy, or click.
Here are some items useful to have on hand to make sure the process goes smoothly:
- Healthy treats. All-natural dog biscuits, some mini-carrot sticks, or Animals Matter Organic Sweet Potato Crisps are good options to reward your food-motivated pup for a job well done.
- A clicker. As an alternative for treats, clicker training rewards dogs with a satisfying “click” when they successfully follow a command.
- Their bed. Make sure their bed is just as comfy and cozy as yours. If your dog loves their luxurious dog bed, he may be less inclined to share yours.
- Water for both you and your pup. Teaching and learning take energy, so stay hydrated!
- A dog camera monitor. This technology takes training a step further by letting you know if your dog is jumping on your bed when you are not around. Furbo’s dog camera lets you talk to your dog through an app so you can say “Off!” from miles away.
Tips on How to Train Dog to Stay Off the Bed
- Start early. Do not wait until it is a major problem before addressing it. If your dog has been sleeping on your bed for years and has become accustomed to it, they will be confused by this new rule. Teaching this lesson when your dog is a puppy may save you time and effort down the line.
- Be patient. It’s not going to happen immediately. Take some deep breaths and have patience with yourself and your dog.
- Be consistent in your verbiage. If your chosen command is “off,” then do not alternate between “off” and “down,” for example. Your dog doesn’t understand synonyms.
- Be consistent in your rule. Success will be more elusive if one family member allows the dog on the bed, but another doesn’t. Your dog will not recognize it as a rule if it’s deemed okay to break half the time.
- Practice. Dogs understand routines, so set aside 30 minutes a few times a week at the same time of day. Carving out consistent times for training will ensure you are not rushed or distracted, and can fully focus on how to get your dog off your bed.
- Figure out how your dog is motivated. Treats? Praise? Toys? Distraction? Clicker? Perhaps a combination. Remember how you successfully trained her to do (or not do) other tasks. What was the trick? Every dog has a unique personality. Observe what works for them.
- If all else fails, close the bedroom door. It may be necessary to put up a temporary barrier (such as a puppy gate or a line of chairs around your bed) so you can rest at night. It won’t be needed forever — just in the first phase of training. Remove it once your dog gets the hang of it. If you’re out of the house and your dog is still learning the command, keep the bedroom door closed as well.
- Lead with love, not fear. Raising your voice or swatting is not the best way to train a dog. The trick to a dog getting out of bed is positive reinforcement like treats, clicks, and praise.
- Get inspired. Watch training videos for how to keep a dog off the bed, read success stories, think positively, envision a future of a dog-free bed.
Animals Matter: Your Secret Weapon to Keep a Dog Off the Bed
Animals Matter offers a variety of deluxe dog beds that are so luxurious, you’ll want to sleep in them yourself. Having an ultra-plush cushion, orthopedic bed for your dog will let them know you value their comfort. Your pup won’t feel like they are being punished for losing access to your bed when they have a space that’s cozy. Our soft beds will keep your dog feeling pampered and happy in the crate, car, and home.