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Ask A Vet: Dog Beds vs. Human Beds

Photo via Kittie55 on Flickr.com

Welcome to our weekly 'Ask a Vet from the SF SPCA' feature on 7x7.com. They've enlisted their Co-President, Dr. Jennifer Scarlett, to answer your questions every week. Got a question for Dr. Scarlett? Ask away in the comments!

Q: Our goldendoodle has been sleeping on our bed and we haven't had a good night sleep since. How do we train him to sleep in his doggie bed?
 
A: Once you’ve established a habit, it can be hard to break, but certainly not impossible. Try different sleeping options - like a dog bed in your bedroom, a crate in your bedroom or another piece of furniture to claim as his bed.  You’ll want to provide your pup with a comfy alternative to your bed, so make sure he has a “bed” of his own, either on the floor or in a crate. Then you’ll want to use positive reinforcement training to get your message across that your bed is off limits.  

Teach placement commands such as "go to the crate or bed" or "get off the furniture, go lay down". These are great ways of communicating to your dog some basic parameters. Make sure to reward good behavior and make his bed or crate a great place to be! Reward with treats or special chews to enjoy when hanging out in his new spot. If you are looking for formal training, seek out a reward-based group class.  Feel free to ask us any questions at dogtraining@sfspca or find us on Twitter @sfspca or Facebook.

While we can’t answer all of the questions here, please feel free to ask us during our Friday Twitter Ask the Vet Chat.  If your animal’s problem is of an immediate nature, please call your vet or you can reach the SF SPCA at 415-554-3030 to make an appointment.