Should your dog sleep in your bed?
It varies on what you want out of your dog. before you start any sort of dog training or consult a dog trainer to help you with any behavioral issues, I think it's important first to figure out what exactly you want your dog to do. How do you want them to behave and what behaviors are acceptable for you. Once you have those goals down, then we can go ahead and start to get a better idea for what you want. Whenever you let your dog sleep in your bed, he'll start to develop a dependency for you. Um, so while you're sleeping at night, he's in your presence and he's going to get used to you being in his presence. And the more you do it, the more dependent he'll be. And that some point he is going to create a separation anxiety.
if he doesn't, if he's not getting his exercise and you're not, um, meeting all of his physical needs and you're not leading him properly when you leave or when you come home from work or wherever you're going, uh, soon, whenever you leave, he's going to start whining, tearing up things and creating separation anxiety.
So what I find that I like to do is to find a balance of, uh, my dog sleeping in my bed when he's clean. Um, maybe one or two nights a week. Um, and then I'll put him on a dog bed at my floor or I'll put him in a kennel. And the other room I actually do all three and I'm just consistently switching to make sure that my dog is comfortable in a kennel to make sure he's comfortable and stays on his dog bed all night. And then also when he's clean, I'll let him sleep in my bed to build a stronger bond with him. So I find when you get a new dog, um, a brand new dog, uh, hopefully is potty trained and things like this, it may not be the worst idea to let him sleep in your bed a couple of nights. I do find this builds a bond stronger and the dog seems to imprint better on you and you on him. Um, but you want to quickly transfer to having him sleep in a kennel as soon as possible.
if you think about it, when your dog goes to a vet or you leave town for a vacation and you can't bring them with you, most boarding places or vet clinics are going to keep him in a kennel locked up all day. Or if not all day, they'll at least put him in the Kindle at night. And if your dog is not accustomed to sleeping in a kennel, and this can be a really big problem, really big stressor. So if you really love your dog and you want to be an advocate for your dog, it's important that he's comfortable and happy sleeping in his own kennel. Uh, don't be afraid of the kennel. Um, it's kind of like your dog's din or his own private room. So when your dogs in the kennel and be sure not to, uh, you know, love on him or pet him or anything like that inside of the kennel and make that his own private space where he doesn't get touched, where he can be alone, where he can do no wrong and we're food constantly just falls from above. So you can make it a really lovely place for your dog to be at.
So for kennel training, you don't just want to throw your dog inside of the kennel. This is going to really shake him up. Very rarely does it ever work that way. Your dog is going to be whining all night and you're going to be really, really stressed out. So, uh, what I typically will do if I get a new puppy is I'll let them sleep with me the first couple of nights. Um, I'll take them out often. I won't let him drink or eat after like 5:00 PM. That way they don't pee or poop on my bed. Um, and then, um, during that time, during the day, I'll be working him staying in his kennel alone without whining. So kennel training, uh, for the kennel training, what I'll do is I'll open up the kennel door and I'll make sure it won't shut on him or scare him.
And what I'm going to do is just lure the dog with food into his kennel. Once he's inside the kennel, I'm gonna feed him and I'm not going to say a thing. He can come out, he can go in, he can do whatever he wants, but I just want them to go in and out of the kennel freely. Um, the next day if he's going in and out of the kennel freely and I don't see that he's hesitant or scared or anything, then what all started to do is get him back in the kennel and I'll make sure to, uh, shut the kennel door for just a second. That followed by more food. And then I'll open the door. Typically while he's still eating. And by the third day, what I'm going to start to do is shut the door, lock it, drop some food, leave the room for just a second, come back in, feed him again, and then open the door.
Um, and then what I'm going to do at this point is I'm going to gradually increase the duration of time that I'm outside of the room. And the more time that I'm outside of the room, the more time he'll be able to, uh, learn that he can be alone in the kennel without whining. If he whines, I'll come back in and tell him, no, I'll leave and I'll restart the drill. Uh, typically you want to do it, but reward him before he wind. So if he winds up five seconds, you want to go in at three seconds and reward him and you want to do that enough and then slowly, gradually increase the duration of time to five seconds and then say you wait seven seconds. So wines, so five seconds is a good time to do it. He just going to gradually increase the duration of time that he doesn't whine.
And what you're going to be telling your dog by leaving and coming back and feeding him is you're going to be showing him that you are coming back. He isn't going to die in there. This isn't the end of his life that he should just relax and trust you to come back and get him. If you think about it, your puppy has no idea what's going on in the world. He has no idea if you're going to come back to save them. All he knows is that he's stuck, he's trapped, he's limited on his movement, and he has no idea if you're going to come back or not. Its very life threatening in his mind. what you need to do is show him that you will come back. It's not life threatening. He's going to be okay and everything's going to work out just fine.
By doing that, you're going to shut down the whining and then hopefully by like day five or so, you'll be able to start putting him in the kennel at night instead of your bed. And those are some of the ways we get our dogs to be in the kennel. Um, I find that if your dog sleeps on a dog bed at the foot of your bed, I don't really see that that creates much separation anxiety. I think that's a good idea as well. Um, but again, you just want to make sure that your dog is comfortable in the kennel, uh, in case you ever do leave town and the border that you're using puts him in the kennel and that'll make sure that he, uh, has a good time instead of, um, losing his mind. And then you get him back and he's a Shellshock dog for three or four days, not eating or anything. And then you feel bad. You want to come home feeling good, you want to be on your vacation, feeling good. You don't want to be worried about your dog while you're gone. Um, so those are the steps to start and implement now, so that when you do leave, you'll be able to rock and roll.