Getting a dog bed for your furry friend can create mixed emotions. You feel good because you finally have a place for your pooch to sleep exclusively, but you feel bad because it seems like they would rather sleep anywhere but on that bed. Your dog may not want to use the new bed for several reasons. Chief among these reasons is that your dog may not be willing to exchange the familiar for the unknown.
You may have to give your dog some time to get used to the new bed, and it could take up to a few weeks for your dog to begin using it every day. The good news is that there are several ways you can introduce your dog to the new bed. Below, we will cover all that is needed to get your dog trained to use their own bed!
How to Get Your Dog to Use a New Dog Bed
Make the Bed Smell Familiar
You can use your scent to give the bed a more familiar and enticing appeal. Doing this requires minimal effort and can be very effective. For this method to be effective, remove your old dog bed and replace it with the new one. At first, your dog may be skeptical about it, but you could rub your hands and body on the bed to transfer some of your scents. You could also add a used blanket or t-shirt to give your dog a greater sense of security.
Note that dogs tend to chew on their beds when they feel anxious, especially when their owner leaves. Scenting the bed will go a long way towards easing their fears and helping them get used to the bed.
Additionally, you can make the bed smell like your dog by placing one of the blankets your pup sleeps on into the bed. This way, the bed will smell like the scents your dog is familiar with and your dog will therefore be more inclined to sleep in it.
Use the Blanket Trick
You can also use this blanket trick to get your dog to use its bed – all you need to do is place a blanket in your pup’s sleeping spot for about a week before introducing the new bed. Your dog will scent this blanket so when you place it into their new bed, the scent will transfer.
You can then remove the blanket from the bed once they become more at home in the new dog bed, or you can leave it if your pooch prefers having it to snuggle with.
The idea behind this is that your dog won’t notice it’s a new bed because it smells exactly like the old area where they slept. This blanket trick is really simple but very effective, because dogs like familiarity and routine, and through this method, both are maintained in their mind.
Give Your Dog Some Treats
Dogs respond better when they know there is a reward for their actions. When you begin issuing commands for your dog to use its bed, you should have something to compensate it for its efforts. When it obeys, you could give your pup a dog biscuit or a treat that they always like. When your pup fails to comply, say “no” firmly and do not issue a treat.
When you repeat this process several times, your dog will realize that you are happier when it sleeps on the bed than when it doesn’t. Typically, dogs will follow the path you show them when there is a reward.
Associate the Bed With Something Positive
Although it may take some time, this method can be very effective when it is done properly. The concept behind this strategy is to associate the bed with something your dog loves. This could be petting them, grooming them, or playing with them while they are on the bed.
You should let your dog find the bed on their own, and once they touch the bed, you should give them the attention they like best. When you repeat this each time they climb on the bed, they will want to spend more time on it.
Give no Other Options
As your dog transitions to their new bed, you need to ensure that it has no other options. This means you will have to dispose of its old bed and never allow them to sleep on the couch or your bed. Once your dog knows it has nowhere else to go, they will choose the new bed as their only choice.
Now that you know how to get dog to use dog bed, you should start applying these tactics to get your pup to sleep on their new bed. Once they are used to it, you will likely find it harder to get your dog to get off their bed than it was to get them on it.