We were in Ball Ground last Friday working with a new Home Dog Training client and his Yorkie named Charlie. We always like to think of Yorkies as the “little dogs with the big dog brains” and that describes Charlie perfectly. We worked on making sure that Charlie would respect and obey his master. More importantly, we worked with our client to make sure he understood what he needed to do to earn Charlie’s respect and gain his clear focus. They both “got it” pretty quickly and the session went very well. As we were finishing up, our client had just one more question. It wasn’t about his Yorkie, specifically, but more of a generalized question. He was wondering if it is a good idea to have your dog sleep with you on your bed at night. He had read both pro’s and con’s on the subject. Also, his friends had told him all sorts of stories that got him even more confused. What were our thoughts on the matter?
Some people like the idea of their dog sleeping on the bed with them and some people think that their dog should stay on the floor. From a canine behavioral point of view, both situations are perfectly fine. The most important fact that Robin and I stress with our clients is that they maintain a healthy leadership role and a respectful bond with their dog.
To paraphrase Jeff Foxworthy’s “You may be a redneck if…”
- If you don’t like to have fur on your pillows, then you don’t want to have your dog on the bed.
- If your dog is still working through potty problems as a puppy, you don’t want him on the bed.
- If you have a small bed and a big dog, you may not want your dog on the bed.
- If your dog likes to chew plush objects (pillows), you may not want your dog on the bed.
- If your dog needs to be placed on the bed and you don’t want to continually pick him up and put him down, then you may not want him on the bed.
- If your dog has a lot of energy and likes to nip to try and get your attention, then you may not want your dog on the bed.
- If you have multiple dogs and they have some directed aggression issues, then you may not want your dog on the bed.
- If you want to keep your dog off all your furniture, then you may not want your dog on the bed.
As you can see, the bulk of the reasons to keep your dog off the bed are more personal and specific to your explicit situation than to some overall definition. I normally suggest keeping your dog off the bed because, just as he needs his den and safe place; you need one too.
Also, if you socialize your dog to sleeping on the bed, he may also decide to visit your house guest in their room late one night to have a little sleep-over with them. They may not have the same “mi casa es su casa” feeling about the bed as you.
If you made it through all my “Jeff Foxworthy Questions” and still feel comfortable about having your dog on the bed, my recommendation is to just give it a shot. If it doesn’t feel right after a few nights, then your dog gets to enjoy bed time on the ground. If that is the case, you may think about getting him a “little den” next to your’s. This could be a dog bed, a crate, a towel, etc.
The most important thing to remember is to maintain your loving bond and respectful leadership with your dog. Spend time with him, play with him, maintain clear and simple house rules, and always provide him a home where he will feel safe and secure.
Please call us at (770) 718-7704 it you are in need of any dog training help. We have a lot of good dog training advice at Best Dog Trainers Ball Ground Georgia. Find all our phone numbers, text addresses and email contacts at Dog Training Help Center Ball Ground Georgia.