We were finishing up a Dog Guard Out of Sight Fencing® installation in Weston last week for a new client and his Jack Russell, Gator. The installation was in the Country Club development and it took an extra amount of effort for us to navigate all the landscape and pathways. In the end, our client was very pleased with the work and the result of our perimeter dog training. Gator no longer ran off the front lawn to chase the school bus or the mail man. During the process of the installation, I had mentioned that we were also professional dog trainers specializing in behavior and obedience. I guess this sparked some interest with my client because he had a “behavioral dog question” for us as we were wrapping up. Being a Jack Russell, Gator wasn’t that big and my client wanted to know if it would be OK if he slept on the bed with him at night.
Many dog owners, including Robin and myself, really like to have their dogs sleep on the bed with them. Because we now live in a “connected world”, we can Google, Facebook, Tweet, or Pinterest an unending number of sources that give completely conflicting information on any subject. The subject of “having your dog sleep with you on your bed” is no exception to the rule.
As with most things, I always tell my clients that the best answer lies with them and some simple questions that can ask of themselves.
First, does your dog show any sign of aggression or dominance? If that is the case, I would not want them sleeping on the bed. This gives them height and dominance with you. In fact, you have surrendered your perceived dominance to them. This could lead to other issues such as their being on the furniture and growling when you try to take them off. They may become more aggressive in demanding food at the table during meals and not paying attention.
Are there dogs already sleeping on the bed? Bringing a new dog onto the “special place” can cause some issues with your dogs’ current pecking order. If the dog on the bed is the Alpha among the additional dogs, bringing a new dog onto the bed could indicate that you are “firing” the current dog. This could lead to aggressive misbehavior among your dogs.
Is your dog potty trained? This is an obvious one, but one that so many of our clients seem to forget. The one thing that you do not want is to find a wet spot or a “special present” when you wake up in the morning.
Are you a “stable sleeper”? If you toss and turn a great deal during the night, you may roll onto your dog or have them fall out of bed. It they are asleep at the time, this may startle them and cause them to nip you. They don’t mean to bite, this is just a standard, reactive behavior that most dogs have.
Is your dog the right size for your bed? Your bed should be a place for a restful and non-eventful sleep. If you and your dog are always fighting for space, it might not be a good idea to have him up there.
Are you a “neat-freak”? Remember that he still is a dog. Dogs do get dirty and can smell. If that bothers you, it might not be the place for your dog.
Can your dog physically get on and off the bed? This may not seem like a big deal, but if you have to put him on the bed and let him down, that is one more thing for you to remember. If he can jump on and off the bed by himself, he may now get up there even when you aren’t ready for bed.
Are you sure you really want to do this? Once you give your dog the privilege of sleeping on your bed, it is a difficult thing to reverse. Making him sleep on the floor again can cause behavior issues that you will have to deal with and work through. This is why you should really think hard before you tell your young children that you are going to allow your dog to sleep with them. As I said, this goes for you too!
It all gets down to what type of experience you want with your dog and how each of your individual actions will impact your overall relationship. We hope that you will call us if you have any questions about dog training or underground dog fence training. Please go to Dog Fence Training Help Weston South Florida or call (954) 472-4724. I have many more dog training and out of sight dog fence tips at Best Out of Sight Dog Fence Trainers Weston South Florida. Robin and I are very excited that we have been able to train over 3,500 dogs and humans in Weston and South Florida. If your dog problems focus on behavior or obedience, we can always fix that. Find out about our Obedience and Behavior Dog Training Programs by clicking Home Dog Training Weston South Florida.