If you are wondering why does your dog not sleep in his bed having combed through online stores, ransacked walk-in pet stores just to bring home a lovely bed for your fur baby, only for your dog to refuse to sleep in it?
Then this post is for you as I’d be giving you possible reasons for your dog’s behavior and how to help you train your dog to sleep where you’d want him to.
Why does my dog not sleep in his bed? Your dog doesn’t like that his bed is too far from yours, your dog is used to sleeping somewhere else, your dog’s bed is too cold or even that your dog’s bed is just not the right size.
While there is no way to read your dog’s mind and search its thoughts to discover the true motives behind his actions. However, we can make well-informed speculations from studying our pets, that would help us better learn and understand why our dogs act in a particular way.
Your dog might not be sleeping in its bed for various reasons, here are some:
Your dog’s bed is far away from yours:
It is part of a dog’s primal instincts to want to stay close to their fellow pack members, especially at night. Dogs are social animals, not solitary ones hence your dog might not be sleeping on its bed because it is too far away from yours.
It could be that you placed your dog’s bed in another room where your dog can’t see you as you sleep. This would most likely be the case if your dog doesn’t mind sleeping in its bed in as much as it’s close to yours.
It is important to note that this could also be the case of separation anxiety, as dogs that suffer from this are usually afraid to be separated from their masters.
So, if you notice that your dog follows you around the house or cries whenever you want to leave a room then you might want to consider that your dog refusing to sleep in its bed is caused by separation anxiety.
Your dog’s bed is not the right size:
Admittedly, dogs are not as picky as humans when it comes to things like where to sleep, what color their bed is or if it’s made from an expensive material.
However, what dogs do care about is how comfortable a bed is. Dogs would lie just about anywhere so far its comfortable and helps them relax. S
o you might want to consider that your dog isn’t sleeping on its bed because its bed isn’t the right size and is, therefore, causing it discomfort.
Smaller dogs usually like small, cozy beds with a raised rim where they get to curl up into themselves while larger dogs prefer big beds where they get to stretch out their limbs and paws and old dogs would prefer well-padded beds that cushions their weight and soothes their aching joints with its orthopedic support.
Your dog is used to sleeping somewhere else:
Dogs are beings of habits and strive well when living their lives in a scheduled pattern. This is why your dog might go fetch its walking gear or feeding bowl around the same time you would usually take it for a walk or feed it.
The same goes for their sleeping arrangements, your dog might not be sleeping in its bed because it is already used to sleeping somewhere else.
This would most likely be the case if you just got your dog a new bed that it isn’t quite accustomed to yet. Hence, getting your dog to sleep in its new bed and feel safe there would take training and patience on your part.
Your dog’s bed is just not comfortable:
your dog recognizes and enjoys comfort just as much as you do. Your dog doesn’t want to wake up with a sore back or joints pain and would rather prefer a good night’s sleep. However, all these might not be possible if your dog’s bed just doesn’t do it.
It might be that the padding of the bed isn’t evenly distributed or is too thin, or that the material of the bed causes your dog to itch. Either ways, understanding that this could also be a huge factor as to why your dog has decided to neglect his bed would help you remedy the situation and get your dog the comfort it needs.
Other things to consider
Another reason your dog might decide to switch up his bed space might be because of the weather, it might be that the weather is too hot or too cold and his bedding makes it much worse. The fact is that during hot nights, your dog’s bedding material might be too stuffy as the temperature continues to soar, making the bed space completely undesirable for your canine.
Also, during cold nights your dog might decide to vacate his space because it is way too far away from the fireplace or somewhere else that your dog finds warm and cozy. Hence, you might want to check where you position your dog’s bed during extreme weather conditions to ensure your fur baby is comfortable.
One more reason why your dog might have chosen to neglect his bed might be because your dog is having a hard time getting to it, perhaps you have positioned your dog’s bed on an elevated surface or up the stairs such that reaching it would involve your dog climbing up a fleet of stairs making your dog opt for a less challenging option.
This would most likely be the case if your dog is old and has certain bone and joint problems. Hence, you’d want to get such a dog a comfortable space that doesn’t involve much strain to climb into.
How to get your dog to start using his bed
Getting your dog to start staying in his bed is a task that requires consistency and patience. So, once you have ensured that your dog isn’t choosing a different spot to sleep in because his bed is not the right size.
Once you have ensured that his bed is comfortable and is warm enough to sleep in, then you can move on to training your dog to see this bed as its personal space. As a dog owner you must ensure to make your dog as comfortable in the space you’ve provided for it as much as possible, make him see that this bed is all his, as this would help your dog feel safe there.
You would also need to have a command word that you use for your dog as this would make the training much easier. A command word like “Go to your bed” would do just fine, after which you lead your dog to its bed and get it to sit there.
Once your dog has accomplished this, you then offer him a treat. Doing this continually would help your dog associate that word with going to its bed and it soon won’t need your help getting there.
Your dog not sleeping on his bed is not something of great concern with any serious medical complications, so you really shouldn’t think too much of it.
However, if you do not have any idea why your dog might be neglecting his bed and if trying to get it to lie there elicits aggressive reactions from your dog then you might want to contact your dog behaviorist, to enlighten you on safe ways to train and approach an aggressive dog.