How Do I Get My Dog To Use A New Bed?

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If you’ve just brought home a new dog bed, you may wonder how to introduce your dog to a new bed. It’s not always easy to get a pet to switch from one sleeping spot to another, but with patience and perseverance, you can learn how to train your dog to accept their new bed.

In this blog post, we will discuss tips on how to transition as smoothly as possible for you and your furry friend!

How to Get Your Dog to Love Their New Bed

Dog napping on orthopedic bed

1. Decide where you want your dog to sleep

A good place for your dog to sleep is important for its health and well-being. A spot that’s comfortable and offers excellent support is crucial. Ideally, your dog’s bed should be in a quiet, low-traffic area where they can get plenty of rest and less sleep disruption. Sleep quality matters for dogs just as much as it does for pet parents. 

If you’re having trouble getting your dog to use a new bed, try putting it in their favorite spot and look for another training method. This may help lure them into trying it out. Be sure to give your pet plenty of praise and treats when they choose to sleep in their new bed.

With a little patience and persistence, you can get your furry friend to switch to their new sleeping spot in no time.

2. Introduce the New Bed

When introducing a new bed to your dog, it’s important to be patient and go at their pace. Some dogs may be hesitant to get too close to a new object, while others may be eager to explore. It’s important not to force your dog to do anything they’re not comfortable with.

If your dog seems hesitant, start by placing the bed in its favorite spot and praising them when they approach it. Gradually move the bed closer to where you want it to be, giving your pet plenty of time to get used to it. If your dog seems frightened or uncomfortable, back off and try again later.

3. Come up With a Command

Training a Goldendoodle puppy dog

One of the most important things you can do when training your dog to use a new bed is to come up with a command. This will let your pet know that it’s time for bed and that they should go to their designated spot.

Some good commands to use include “bed,” “night-night,” or “sleep tight.” Be sure to practice saying the command until your dog responds reliably. This will help them associate the bed with sleep and relaxation.

4. Reward Your Dog for Going to Bed

When your dog goes to bed on their own, be sure to reward them with praise and a treat. This will help reinforce the behavior and let them know they did a good job. Over time, your dog will learn that going to bed results in positive reinforcement, making it more likely to happen again.

5. Training Them to Lie Down in Their Bed

One of the best ways to get your dog used to a new bed is to train them to lie in it. This will help them feel comfortable and relaxed when they’re sleeping in it.

To start, put your dog’s new bed in their favorite spot and give them a treat when they go near it. Once they’re comfortable with the bed, begin saying the “lie down” command and give them a treat when they obey. Be sure to praise them and give them another treat when they stay in bed for a few seconds.

Over time, your dog will learn that going to bed is a positive experience and will be more likely to do it again in the future.

6. Always use positive reinforcement, stay happy and upbeat

Trainer woman with his Golden Labradoodle

One of the most important things you can do when training your dog is to stay upbeat and try the positive association method. Dogs are very sensitive to their owner’s moods and will pick up on any negative energy. If you’re frustrated or angry, your dog will probably become agitated as well.

It’s important to stay positive and keep your training sessions fun for both you and your pet. This will help them learn more quickly and make the experience more enjoyable for everyone involved. Be sure to praise your dog when they do something good, and offer a treat as a reward.

This will let them know they’re behaving the way you want them to.

7. Use an Old Shirt

If you’re having trouble getting your dog to sleep in its new bed, you might use an old shirt or piece of clothing with your scent on it. This (also called the scent method) will help them feel more comfortable and relaxed in bed.

Be sure to place the shirt in or near the bed and encourage your dog to get close to it. Once they’re comfortable with the smell, start saying the “lie down” command and give them a treat when they obey.

8. Training With the Swapping Method

A lot of dogs, especially guardian or working breeds, will have the mental attitude of “What’s in it for me?”. When working with these dogs, you may be better suited to use the ‘swap’ method. This method uses the principle of trading one high-value item for another.

For example, if your dog has a toy they covet, and you need them to drop it, ‘trade’ them for something else they find to be a high-value item, such as treats or another toy. When they drop the item, you need them to immediately give them your trade and pick up the old one.

Repeat until your dog gets the idea you’re not taking anything away but being fair and trading like for like.

9. Training with the Association Method

Pet Goldendoodle puppy waits patiently for treat while being trained

The Association Method is a popular training technique that uses positive reinforcement. This means rewarding your dog for good behavior to encourage them to repeat the desired behavior. With this method, you will need to set up a situation where your dog can easily succeed.

Once they have done so, reward them with praise and a treat. As your dog associates the desired behavior with being rewarded, it will be more likely to repeat it.

FAQ

Why does my dog not like their new bed?

Your dog may not like its new bed because it’s different from its old one. Dogs are creatures of habit and may not enjoy having to get used to a new object in their environment.

Another reason your dog may not like their new bed is that it’s uncomfortable for them. Dogs like soft and plush beds, and if your new bed is hard or doesn’t have much cushion, they may not enjoy lying on it.

Finally, your dog may not like their new bed because you’re trying to make them sleep in it instead of allowing them to sleep in their usual spot.

How long does it take for a dog to get used to their bed?

Cute puppy yawning in dog bed

Dogs typically take a few days to get used to a new bed. During this time, it’s important to be patient and continue reinforcing good behavior with treats and praise. If your dog is resistant to using the new bed, you may need to move it closer to their favorite spot or try using the swapping method to get them comfortable with it.

Why do dogs paw their bed before lying down?

Pawing at their bed before lying down is a common behavior for dogs. There are a few different reasons they may do this, but the most likely explanation is that they are trying to mark their territory. By pawing at their bed, they reinforce that this is their space and no one else may sleep in it.

Another probable reason for pawing at their bed is that they are trying to get comfortable before lying down. Dogs have an instinct to scratch or paw at an object before lying down on it, and this behavior is usually strongest when they are first introduced to a new bed.

Finally, some dogs may paw at their bed because they are anxious. If your dog seems to paw at their bed more than usual, it may be a sign that they are uncomfortable and need some reassurance.

Conclusion

Dogs are creatures of habit and often resist change, so transitioning your dog to a new bed can be tricky. But with patience and perseverance, you can train your pup to love their new bed just as much as they loved their old one!

Have you gone through the process of training your dog to accept a new bed? Let us know how it went in the comments below. We’d love to hear about your success stories (and maybe even share some tips on how we can help)!

Meet our writer

Karen is a former pet business owner with 17+ years of experience in training and taking care of pets. She currently owns three dogs (a greyhound, saluki, and golden mix) and has gone through several types of programs to further her education in the pet world.

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