Sleeping with dogs

Good Saturday morning; all of my three dogs are sleeping on the bed with me, I like it this way. They don't actually sleep on the bed; they typically join us in the morning when we have our coffee and then when I blog. It is a special time for them and for us. But some dogs should never be on the bed. Beds and sofas hold much controversy; should they or shouldn't they be allowed up? For me there are strict rules about the subject and regulations that need to be set in place.

First; all dogs should ask to come onto the your bed or the couch. And by asking I mean looking and you and waiting the "okay" before coming up.

It should be easy to ask them to get off; no complaining. Any growling, laser beam glares, lip curls or posturing is an automatic ticket to the floor. Many people tell me that their dog growls if they move them around in bed. This is a clear sign as to who your dog thinks is the boss; they are.

If they are not allowed on for some reason on a particular day they should be comfortable laying on their bed on the floor.

Dogs can become very stuck in their ways; like us they are all different. Some do great with routine; others become obsessive about routine. The ability to be flexible is a good trait; both for us and our dogs. If your comes unglued by the simple fact that they cannot lay right beside you; then time to switch it up.

It is fairly simple to link a positive association to "getting off" the bed or couch by rewarding your dog with high value treats for doing so. If you just tell them to get off and shove them off you may end up causing a physical display or challenge. So even though getting off the couch or bed is not the optimum behavior in your dogs eyes; it can be made into an okay thing with a "thank you" tidbit.

So beds and couches are fine; but there must be rules and the rules should essential be your rules, not your dogs. ;)

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