BENGALURU: I would like to train my dog to stay away from my bed. Despite several attempts, he keeps jumping on it. What can I do? – Ashwin R
Dogs like warm and comfy spaces to rest and sleep. What can be more enticing that the owners bed that looks so soft, warm and inviting. Almost all dogs try to slip into bed with their owners. Whereas some are allowed to, some get away with it and some pet owners prefer to not let their dogs on the bed. This is a personal lifestyle preference, and simple training can help in teaching your dog where he should sleep.
Your repeated attempts to discourage him fails due to lack of consistency. If you correct him sometimes and ignore him during others, this becomes inconsistency. In some families, one member of the family encourages the dog to flout rules thereby diluting the training effort. Essentially, you are giving mixed signals to your dog and he fails to understand what he is supposed to do and what he must not.
So the first step is to get him off the bed ‚Äėevery-time‚Äô he jumps on, by all members of the family. No exceptions. Do not cuddle or play or show affection when he is on the bed. By doing so, you are rewarding him for being on the bed instead of discouraging him. Similarly, if he does jump off, make sure to praise him and appreciate him with a treat. Pulling him off the bed and showing affection only when he is off is the first step to discouraging him.
The next step is to be proactive. Whenever he enters the bedroom and is about to jump up the bed, stop him with a sharp ‚ÄúNO‚ÄĚ. If he does not heed you and still jumps up, bring him down immediately. No matter where you are in the house and what you are doing, you need to do this.
Additionally, give him an alternate bed for himself that will keep him warm and comfy. Find the right kind of bed that suits his size, and sleeping style. You can add a few layers of cushioning using your old clothes so that they smell like you and gives him a sense of reassurance. Remember to be patient and calm at all times.