My dog switches it up constantly during the night. She moves from the couch, to her dog pillow , and then to my bed with me. When she's in my bed she usually sleeps cuddled up with me or on me under the covers.
My baby sleeps on the bed with me when it is not too hot. She chooses the floor when she gets too warm.
I tried to make her sleep in her own bed every night because I have a bad back and she sprawls. She really likes to lay across the bed with her butt right in my back. But I missed her. I had to admit that I really like her sleeping on the bed with me.
I'm glad I'm not the only one that lets their dogs sleep in their bed. I keep reading that it's supposed to be really bad to let them sleep in your bed, but I feel bad making them sleep in their own bed, and I don't notice a difference when they sleep in their own bed other than they give me their sad or grouchy expressions all night. My newest dog is a bit of a trouble maker, so I've tried having her sleep on the ground to show dominance because right now she's been pushing her limits, but I end up being pushed onto the floor in the middle of the night because my Pug sleeps on the other side of my bed at the top on his pillows, and my new dog will squeeze in the middle and push me off and take my pillows and spot. After about two weeks of trying to get her to sleep in her own bed I gave up. I have been having them sleep at the bottom, though, and letting the cat sleep at the top until I get a full bed that they can fit better on.
I have crates, but I don't like them. When I got my pug he was crate trained and the previous owner gave us his crate. I put him in his crate the first night and my mom got mad because she didn't want to have a dog and not give it attention or anything. I've heard dogs should like crates because they're like dens, but I leave the crates open and out for them to sleep in and they never have. Sometimes the cat likes to sleep in there on their beds but they've never gone in there on their own.
Crates are not necessarily bad things, it all depends how you use it. If you lock your dog in a crate for more than four hours at a time and/or you don't give your dog some good exercise and training, then that's bad. But if you simply use a crate to encourage potty training and to provide comfort or safety, that's fine.
If I have a crate out, my small dog will go in it. I'll leave the door open and yes, he'll use it like a den. He will sleep there and he will bring nylabones to it, etc. But he doesn't want to stay in there locked up while I'm away. That's stressful to him.
Right now we don't use any crates unsupervised. Instead we use baby gates and doors to keep the dogs away from things while we're not home. But we use crates in the car for travel and we use crates for situations where it's for our dogs' safety. In general, a dog is safer in a crate than tugging on a leash. It's also safer for nearby dogs and for humans, too. A strong dog can break your arm if he or she pulls too hard on a leash!
About sleeping - if it's important to you for your dogs to sleep on the floor then you can train that. It's up to you. (There are good reasons why you might want your dogs not to sleep with you - bacteria in bed, comfort, etc. so don't feel bad if that's what you want.) Just be consistent about it and continue to remove your dog from your bed and place him/her on her own bed. You can reward with a treat if you want. Don't use negativity; use positive training.
But the bed thing is not really about dominance. Don't think that if you can train that behavior it's going to change all the other behaviors. They're not really correlated. It's just about what you want. The people telling you that you have to assert dominance are people who have some myths about dogs that aren't based in good science. They just want to believe a simplistic theory about dog psychology and behavior. Truth is, dogs are complicated just like humans and you can't just use a simple dominance theory to explain all their quirky behaviors and then assert dominance to make them behave "well." It doesn't work like that and worse, it could backfire. If you take the theory too far and just keep on "dominating" your dog without considering other factors you could wind up with a seriously fearful neurotic unhappy dog.
Dog training is about communicating your wants to the dog and motivating him or her to do what you want. That's it. So what you need to do is figure out what motivates your dog - and it's not going to be the same thing in all circumstances. Some dogs are very food motivated while others prefer play. Almost all dogs like praise. Many dogs can't think straight until their bodies are a little tired (every dog needs exercise) and so they need a walk before training sessions. They need to feel safe and they need structure, just like kids.
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