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Too late to break habit?

November 21st, 2008, 10:53 AM
Cody, 2 1/2 years old now, has slept on our bed most nights since we
stopped caging him at about 1. Lately, he seems to be sprawling
across more and more of our space, and DH is getting a little fed up
with it. I tried closing him out in the hall a couple of nights, but
of course he just cries outside our door. If I could teach him to
sleep on our floor, or perhaps curl up in a chair in our room, that
would be fine. Any suggestions on how to break this habit, which of
course is our fault for letting him start sleeping with us in the
first place. Is a dog like a small child, and if you leave them long
enough they will tire of complaining and just fall asleep? We did try
a doggy bed some time ago, but he thought it was a giant stuffed toy,
and he just wrestled with it and tried to drag it around.
I'd appreciate any thoughts you might have, including those who just
put up with the lack of bed space for love of our doggies!!


Dog Dancer
November 21st, 2008, 11:14 AM
I had to break my two large dogs of this habit when they were well older than your fellow. They each have a bed on the floor now, one on either side of the bed. Try putting a nice bed on the floor really close so that you can drop your hand over the side to settle him a bit if needed, and when it's bedtime put a nice stinky shirt of yours on the bed for him with a few treats to entice him. And to some degree, yes they will tire of crying non-stop, but putting him out of the room completely is probably much more distressing to him than being on the floor will be. If he repeatedly gets back up on the bed you will need to work on your obedience and dominance work. NILF (nothing in life is free). He has to work for everything he gets - shake a paw for a cookie, sit before you get dinner, stuff like that. Only get up on furniture (any furniture) when you are invited... Good luck to you, it can be done, he is certainly not too old to learn.

November 21st, 2008, 11:42 AM
Why not go back to the crate, since he's had a lot of experience with it? You could put it next to the bed or in a corner of the room. He'll have his own space and give you yours, while being closeby.

K9 Love
November 21st, 2008, 12:38 PM
Going back to the crate is a good idea to start. This way you won't have him sneaking up on your bed in the middle of the night. I would gradually go from; crating with the door shut, crating at night with the door open, then to a doggy bed on the floor.

My guys used to sleep with us too, but 150lbs of dog, the occasional cat and two people doesn't leave for much room. My guys have their own, very comfortable doggy beds and often enough they'll put themselves to sleep in it after a long walk or at night time.

You just have to make th rules, the bed is NOT a toy. We recently got a new dog bed for the living room and one dog was having some issues between his bed in the bedroom and this new bed in the living room. He would run to his bed in the bedroom if you asked him to get onto the new bed. I did a few targeting sessions with him with the new bed, where I would send him with one cue to the bed, and he would run to it and lie down, I would reward. Call him off of it, and do it all over again. It's clear what the bed is for, lying on, and it's a very fun, rewarding experience for them. :)

November 21st, 2008, 12:42 PM
I agree with 2 other posters. Go back to basics. For him it is not a new concept and the transition will be easier.