How to Train Dog to Sleep On Dog Bed (and Not On Yours!)

How to train dog to sleep on dog bed: it’s easy!

One of the most important things is that your dog needs to be comfortable with the idea of sleeping on a bed in the first place.

If your dog isn’t used to sleeping in a bed, it may take some time for your furry friend to get used to sleeping indoors.

Another thing you’ll want to keep in mind when training your dog to sleep on a bed is how much space the bed has.

Not all dogs will be able to fit comfortably on a small bed. You’ll likely need a larger bed if you have a large dog.

Once you’ve got a bed that’s the right size for your dog, and they’re comfortable with the idea of sleeping on it, it’s time to start training them.

One way to do this is by putting their bed in a quiet area of the house where they can relax. You may also want to put a blanket or some other type of soft material in the bed.

If your dog is hesitant to sleep on the bed, it’s ok.

Try coaxing them onto the bed with treats or toys. Once they’re comfortable sleeping on the bed, you can move it to wherever you like in your home.

Read our related article on How to Keep Dogs Off Beds. This quick guide provides extra tips and tricks for keeping your dog on his own bed!

Steps on training a dog on how to sleep on a dog bed

How to train dog to sleep on dog bed
Reward your dog and use positive training methods to make your pet feel comfortable sleeping on its own bed.
  1. Choose a bed that is comfortable for your dog and that meets their sleeping needs.
  2. Put the bed in a location that is quiet and away from foot traffic.
  3. Encourage your dog to get on the bed with treats or toys.
  4. Once your dog is comfortable on the bed, start to train them to sleep on it through positive reinforcement.
  5. Reward your dog for sleeping on their bed and make sure to praise them often.
  6. After some time, your dog should be trained on how to sleep on their bed comfortably and without any fuss.

It might take some time and patience, but eventually, you will be able to train your dog to sleep on a dog bed instead of on or under your bed.

Just remember to be consistent and keep working at it and soon enough your dog will be sleeping soundly through the night.

Importance of Your dog having a sleep routine

Dogs need some downtime before calling it a night, so try incorporating their bedtime routine with yours:

  • Dogs who get enough sleep are more alert and responsive during the day
  • Dogs who have a regular sleep routine are less prone to anxiety and stress
  • Dogs who follow a bedtime routine are typically easier to house train
  • A good night’s sleep is essential for a dog’s overall health and well-being

things to do to make a dog sleep well on a dog bed

Start by conditioning your dog to the idea of sleeping on a dog bed. Begin by putting the bed in an easily accessible location in your home.

Feed your dog their meals near the bed and provide positive reinforcement when they lay down on it.

Once your dog is comfortable being around the bed, you can start training them to sleep on it.

Limit how much exercise your dog gets before bedtime. A tired pup is more likely to want to take a nap than one who has just played fetch for an hour.

Create a cozy environment for your dog’s bed. Make sure the surface is comfortable and keep blankets and pillows nearby, so they can make themselves comfortable.

Teach your dog how to settle down on their bed. Start by getting them into the bed and praising them when they stay put.

Once they have the hang of it, you can start adding a cue word like “settle” or “bedtime.”

Be consistent with bedtime routines. Just like humans, dogs thrive on routine. If you can stick to a regular sleep schedule, your dog will be more likely to follow suit.

Read our related article on How to Train a Dog That is Not Food Motivated. If your dog isn’t responding to treats during training, try these tricks!

Why doesn’t my dog sleep in his dog bed?

dog sleeping on its bed
A dog may not want to sleep on its own bed for a variety of reasons. The most common reason is learned behavior as a puppy (they grew up sleeping with you or elsewhere).

One of the most common questions that dog owners have is, “Why doesn’t my dog sleep in his dog bed?”

There are a number of possible reasons for this behavior that may include some of the following.

Your dog may not be used to sleeping in a bed

If you’ve just gotten your dog or if you’ve recently transitioned him to sleeping in a bed, it may take some time for him to get used to it.

Just like humans, dogs are creatures of habit, and it can take them a while to adjust to new routines.

Be patient and give your dog some time to get comfortable sleeping in his bed.

Read More: Do Dog Shelters Take Old Pillows? Find out if pillows are accepted and other items you can donate!

Your dog may not be comfortable in his bed

Just like people, can have different preferences when it comes to beds. Some dogs prefer softer, fluffier beds while others prefer firm, supportive beds.

If your dog doesn’t seem to be comfortable in his bed, try experimenting with different types of beds until you find one that he likes.

Your dog may be too hot or too cold

Dogs, like people, can get uncomfortably hot or cold when they sleep.

If your dog’s bed is in a spot that gets direct sunlight or if it’s in a drafty spot, this could be the reason why he or she is not sleeping in it.

Try moving his bed to a different location and see if that makes a difference.

Your dog may be anxious or stressed

If your dog is anxious or stressed, he may not feel comfortable sleeping in a bed.

If your dog is new to your home or if you’ve recently made some changes in your home, these could be causing him stress.

Try to create a calm and relaxing environment for your dog when he’s trying to sleep and see if that makes a difference.

There may be an underlying medical issue

Dogs can sometimes have trouble sleeping if they’re experiencing pain or if they have an illness that’s keeping them awake at night.

If you’ve tried everything else and your dog still isn’t sleeping in his bed, it’s worth talking to your veterinarian to see if there’s an underlying medical issue that’s causing the problem.

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Jesse Hopping, CCDT

Jesse is a natural-born dog-lover certified dog trainer (CCDT), dog foster, and former volunteer at Richmond SPCA and surrounding dog shelters for over 10 years. Her pack includes a Bernedoodle and 3 Boston Terriers. She’s sipping caramel coffee and watching her pack play in the sun when she’s not writing blogs. Jesse has her Certified Dog Trainer designation from CATCH Canine Trainers Academy since 2018 and and majored in English from the University of Virginia.

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