Why does ever dog need a bed? The answer may surprise you. First, ask yourself these questions. Does my dog follow me from room to room? When I sit down, does my dog sit at my feet? While we may see this as a sign of a dogs loyalty and admiration for us, the truth is often that your dog is insecure.
Insecure dogs often cling to their owners and come into your space without being invited to do so. Most insecure dogs also have separation anxiety when left in kennels, or try to break out when left in yards.
So, how can one soft dog bed make a difference?
Utilize your dogs bed as a teaching tool! Below is a step by step guide into how to use your dogs bed as a way to help them build confidence.
Command - Stay Time - 20 minutes Goal - Confidence Building
What you'll need
- Dog Bed
- A place in your family room (or wherever you spend the most time) to put the bed
- Dog Leash
Prep : First and most important, you need to make sure you have the right energy to start this exercise. It is important that you stay confident and calm during this exercise. If you feel yourself getting frustrated, take a deep breath before continuing. Leash your dog prior to beginning this exercise.
Place the dog bed IN the room you'll be in. Not behind a couch, not around a corner, make it a part of the room you're in.
Step One (20 minutes a day for 7 days)
Using the leash, guide your dog onto their bed. DO NOT PULL THEM ONTO THE BED as this will just create a negative experience. Once your dog is on the bed, say "Stay" one time. Don't stay engaged with your dog for any longer than it takes you to give the command, if you continue to look at them after saying it you will only bring up the energy of the situation.
Drop the leash and walk to the couch. Before you can turn around to sit your dog will have most likely gotten up. Stay calm and simply pick up the leash, guide them back on the bed, drop the leash and walk away. Each time, your dog will stay a little longer. Repeat the process over the next 20 minutes to build the length of time your dog stays without getting up. Remember to end the exercise on a positive note! When your time is up AND your dog is sitting or laying on the bed, give them praise and invite them into your space.
Step Two (20 minutes for 7 days)
Repeat step one until you've got your dog comfortable enough to lay on the bed while you're sitting on the couch. Stand up and walk out of the room. Your dog will probably get up to follow you. Calmly take the leash and guide them back to the bed. Repeat the process over the next 20 minutes to build the length of time your dog can stay on the bed while you're out of the room. Again, end the exercise on a positive note!
Step Three (20 minutes for 7 days)
Put them to the test! This is where the real fun begins. Start by repeating step one and then step two, by this point you should have come pretty far in this training and your dog will be willing to stay and wait as asked. This is where you throw them a curve ball, have a family member, friend, or neighbor ring the door bell. You can't open the door until you can keep your dog on the bed while you do it. Once they are inside continue the remaining time with you and your friend sitting together while your dog remains on the bed. End on a positive note and pat yourself on the back, that's a hard exercise.
Step Four (20 minutes for 7 days)
Combine steps one - three! Mix it up, try new activities while your dog is laying on the bed. Wash dishes, do laundry, anything that will remove your focus from them and give them the opportunity to make a good choice about what they should do.
Congratulations! You've just improved your dogs confidence. Remember that being a good dog owner means investing the time needed to really connect with your dog.