Most dog owners don’t think about where or how their dogs sleep, but every dog needs canine comforts and a special place to snooze where they feel safe and secure.
In some ways, dogs are like little people, so here are some ideas on how to give them the bed they deserve.
Establish a sleeping area
Pick a spot for your dog to sleep. Most dogs will go where you tell them if you first establish dominance over the house.
But, some dogs will want to try to choose their sleeping spot. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it could start controlling behavior.
So, if you want to stay in control of your canine friend, you need to pick the sleeping place.
Choose a nice bed for canine comforts
A nice bed is a must. For extra comfort and joint support, consider getting an orthopedic dog bed. Sure, dogs will sleep on the floor, but many prefer sleeping somewhere soft and comfortable.
Don’t share your bed
Do not, under any circumstances, share your bed with a young pup. This is how aggression can start. By putting your pup on the same “level” as you, he may begin to realize that he’s in control or that he “owns” you.
If other humans (e.g., your spouse or kids) come into the room and try to get on the bed with you, that’s when the aggression starts.
With puppies, it’s essential to establish a routine and a “pecking order.” They like being directed and having a job to do. When there’s no structure or order, they get frustrated and anxious, and that’s when trouble starts.
Put toys on the bed
Put toys, or other familiar things, on dog beds to help dogs understand the bed belongs to them. This can help associate good smells with the bed and make the dog more likely to use it.
A bone on the bed can also encourage routine hygiene. The constant chewing and gnawing are suitable for a dog’s teeth, assuming he is otherwise in good health. Just make sure it’s a raw bone.
Associate the bed with calmness
If your dog starts to associate the bed with aggression or becomes dominant, it’s essential to nip this in the bud before it becomes severe. Your dog might try guarding the bed, becoming more territorial, which will only worsen.
It’s a mistake most dog owners make to let this aggression happen. They feed it. Don’t do that. You can stop it by asserting your calm but dominant position in the household. Dogs are natural followers. But, when they get no direction, they will get confused and act like the “alpha” in the absence.
Lure the dog away from the bed and then stand over it. Practice dominance that’s assertive but not aggressive. Over time, you will retrain your friend to recognize that it’s his bed but that you’re in control.
Final thoughts on canine comforts
Help your dog get a good night’s sleep by focusing on canine comforts. Create a safe space for your dog to sleep with a cozy bed he can call his own.
Dale Hollingshead works as a manager in a home improvement center. He enjoys writing about living well. His posts can be found primarily on lifestyle and home living sites.