Fact or Myth: Should Dogs Be Allowed In Bed?Jan 13, 2022
Fact or Myth: Dogs Be Allowed In Bed
I will be the first to admit that I believed and preached all the lies when I began dog training, of course not knowing better. When you know better, you do better and do not beat yourself up for what you didn't know. Dogs bed sleeping DOES NOT cause Separation Anxiety. It is a HUGE misconception that science is finally debunking. Genetics and other past trauma can play the most significant role in separation anxiety. Luckily, people like Melena DeMartini, the leader in Canine Separation Anxiety, debunked this a few years ago.
Yet, there are still clients that will pause or whisper in guilt when I ask my traditional questions, "Where Does Your Dog Sleep At Night?" You can hear their voice get very low and prepare for scolding that all trainers have given them when finding out they sleep with their furry companion.
Why are so many professional dog trainers still divided on this issue? . Many things will work for you and your dog but not others, which is okay. The problem is not bed sleeping the problem is codependency and the lack of boundaries. Your dog has to know how to be alone without you and that it is not the end of the world. This is why most trainers say keeping the dog in the bed at night is usually the first clue to the lack of boundaries and structure throughout the day.
My rule of thumb as a dog mom and professional dog trainer is to kennel train at night these first 6 - 10 months of a dog's life, and then you can transition them into the bed if you please. Yes, start a riot; I just said you could have your dog sleep in the bed with you after the first 6-12 months. If you do not have a puppy and you adopted an adult dog, then my rule is that if you want human privileges, you can have them as long as they are responsible. (Example Humans do not bite other humans, and privileges are revoked until you have worked with a professional dog trainer to overcome their fears and understand your dog's triggers and body language.)
Dogs are not trying to take over the house or be "Alpha" when it comes to your dog and bed sleeping. The reality of it is your $1-2k mattress is a lot comfier than that shitty 50 dollar bed you got them (Sorry Not Sorry.) Dog's do not want to take over the house or pay bills, and I do not blame them. They want to be comfy. If a trainer tells you that sleeping in the bed will cause you to lose your hierarchy in your household, then call Bullshit and run away from bad training advice.
All of my dogs have been crate trained when they were younger and then slowly introduced to sleeping where they please the older they got. Oakley sleeps in his comfy Lazy Boy dog bed, and the girls have been sleeping in the bed with us for the last two years. I know; go ahead and start the dog parenting shaming, but guess what? Because I did the foundation of creating a safe space, none of my dogs have problems sleeping in the bed or wherever they please. This usually means I wake up to Zena on top of my head, on the pillows, it Is her favorite place, and Bean is under the covers at night. That is entirely okay to transition your dog out of the kennel onto the bed. All of my dogs have "served" their time in a crate at night, especially during the crucial development stages where rest is just as imperative for development.
Stop letting people tell you or make you feel guilty about how you want to raise your dog. Period. The end.
Since nothing in dog training and behavior is black and white, here is a complete list of cases we recommend creating a safe space at night before transitioning them to the bed or free roam.
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