Is your clingy Bulldog hijacking your bed? While this may look sweet, the stocky doggo will soon affect your sleep quality. You’ll soon wake up to paw kicks on the face, sudden barking, or a loud fart. It’s not the most refreshing slumber, especially if you have an important appointment the next morning. To end this habit, you should know how to get your dog to sleep in their own bed. It takes a lot of patience, but possible with the right approach.
Why you shouldn’t let your Bulldog sleep on your bed
There’s no problem if you love cuddling with your dog. But as much as possible, you should consider these points before you get the pooch used to your bed:
❌It will make housetraining difficult
If you let your Bulldog puppy sleep on your bed, housetraining will be difficult. Also, there’s a high risk that your pup will have accidents in bed, something no pet owner would like to wake up to.
It’s important to get your Bulldog used to its own routines. This may sound less fun than cuddling with your dog on the bed, but it will save you from behavioral problems later on.
❌It can make you sick.
No matter how much you keep your Bulldog well-groomed, ticks and fleas can still find him. And in case you don’t know it yet, these bloodsuckers also bite humans. Also, ticks are carriers of the dreaded Lyme disease, which can be life-threatening for pet owners.
You can easily prevent this from happening if you’ll train your dog to sleep on its own bed. Of course, it’s an added task for you as a pet owner, but it will be worth it.
❌It will fuel negative behavior.
Bulldogs that are used to sleeping on their owners’ beds will exhibit a demanding attitude later on. In no time, your Bulldog will become bed hogs who will steal your pillow even before you get to lie down. They will force you to adjust your sleeping position. Giving in will do no good as it will teach your Bulldog that he can get his own way.
Lack of training will result in aggressive reactions if you try to take the spot from your Bulldog. While Bulldogs aren’t typically aggressive, they can be pretty stubborn.
❌It’s not the most hygienic.
Truth be told: Bulldogs can be smelly dogs. They drool a lot, and their farts can knock you down. Unless you want to experience this regularly, you should train your Bulldog to sleep on its own bed.
Doing so will also keep your sheets and pillows clean. That translates to fewer allergic reactions to you.
❌It will disrupt your sleep.
Ultimately, letting your Bulldog sleep on your bed is a major sleep buster. You may not feel the effect for a few days, but it will soon compound into dark circles and exhaustion. Before you suffer, you should start training your Bulldog to sleep independently.
How to get your Bulldog to sleep in their own bed
If your Bulldog is yet to learn how to sleep on its own, the following tips will be a big help:
1. Choose the right bed
The very first thing you should do is find the right bed for your Bulldog. For nervous doggos, you can opt for bolstered beds as it has raised edges that offer a sense of security. You should also choose one that’s easy to get on and off, especially for senior Bulldogs.
When choosing your dog’s bed, always mind the size. For the most part, Bulldogs are fit for medium-sized beds, but you should still check the specific sizing chart of the brand you’re buying. And speaking of size, make sure that you buy a bed that suits your Bulldog’s adult size. Dogs grow fast, and before you know it, you already need to buy a bigger replacement.
In general, finding the right bed for your Bulldog will take some degree of trial and error. It may take you a few purchases to find exactly what your pet will like.
2. Begin familiarization with the bed
Leave the dog bed lying around and see if your dog will actually sleep down on it. By letting your Bulldog approach the dog bed of its own volition, you’re teaching him that the bed isn’t harmful. This will also prevent negative experiences with the cot.
3. Teach basic obedience
Obedience training will go a long way, not just in teaching your dog to sleep on its own bed. This training includes teaching your dog the basic commands like ‘sit’, ‘stay’, ‘down’, ‘come’, and ‘leave it’. These may look like simple commands, but they will give you control over your Bulldog.
You can use these commands to stop your dog from climbing the bed. As foundational training, obedience commands will set your dog for success once you’re ready to introduce more complex drills.
However, you should practice a lot of patience when training a Bulldog. This breed can have stubborn streaks, so you can’t expect them to respond as fast as Golden Retrievers do.
4. Lure the dog with rewards
Bulldogs are extremely food-driven, so they can’t resist the allure of a tasty treat. You can use this weakness to encourage them to use the bed. Pair that with basic obedience commands, and you’ll surely see results.
The good thing about this form of positive reinforcement is it allows you to associate the bed with a good experience. Over time, your dog will keep lying down to the bed for the rewards until it just naturally does so.
When choosing food rewards, opt for small treats. You can also use kibble pieces to make it simple.
5. Keep the bed cozy and attractive.
Aside from giving treats, you should also keep the bed comfortable. Make it as similar as possible to your own bed. This will prevent your Bulldog from seeking your bedroom at night.
To do this, you can place your Bulldog’s favorite toys and blankets on the bed. You can also line the bed with one of your used shirts so your dog feels that you’re around. This works well for Bulldogs with separation anxiety who just won’t leave their owners’ sides.
6. Place the bed in a secure spot.
The location of the dog bed can also be a make-or-break part for your Bulldog. Like us, Bulldogs need a quiet space for rest. This is why you should choose the quietest spot at home, preferably a corner that offers privacy.
Still, you don’t have to banish your Bulldog to a corner right away. You start placing the dog bed to your bedroom door then slowly adjusting it. Do this until you’ve successfully trained your dog to sleep on its own bed.
7. Set a strict bedtime
Canines are beings of habit. Like us, they will sleep better if you get them used to a bedtime schedule. If you go to bed at 10 pm, you should do so consistently for your dog to get accustomed to it.
By making your nighttime routines predictable, it will be easier for your Bulldog to doze off. It will also make the training process easier for you.
8. Keep practicing
It’s important to keep practicing bedtime habits for your dog to adjust to it. Expect your Bulldog to keep coming back to your bedroom on the first days. After that, you should consistently lure it back to the dog bed until the pooch no longer needs to be commanded.
For Bulldogs, this process can be lengthy. These canines can get whiny and sulky when you don’t give them the attention they want. But with patience and consistency, your Bulldog will yield to training.
9. Keep the dog tired
Before bedtime, give your Bulldog a stimulating playtime session. You can also take the pooch on a short walk around the neighborhood to drain its excess energy. By the time you go to bed, your dog will be fast asleep on its own cot. This will also prevent nighttime crying and whining, which is typical to Bulldogs.
In case your dog cries at night, never budge at the sound of its bark. Also, don’t yell for your dog to stop because the sound of your voice is a reward itself. Enduring the noise will soon teach your Bulldog that it doesn’t work in getting your attention.
10. Know the needs of your senior dog
If you have an old Bulldog, you may need a different approach. First, you need an orthopedic dog bed that will diffuse the pressure points on the senior canine’s joints.
Also, you may encounter more training issues as old dogs are no longer as sharp as they used to be. Nevertheless, positive reinforcement will help a lot in encouraging your senior dog to sleep on its own bed.
Just like puppies, old dogs will whine and cry at night out of confusion. Ignoring this will help as long as your old pooch isn’t crying because of pain.
Senior dogs will need more patience and understanding due to their declining cognition. This is why you should never shout or hurt the pooch if it doesn’t seem to respond to training.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do dogs need blankets?
A: Bulldogs will benefit from the warmth and comfort of a blanket. On a cold night, the blanket will offer added warmth. It will also make your doggo feel safer, similar to how your own sheets make you feel cozy. Besides, dogs get cold, too, just like humans do. However, the challenge here is if you have an aggressive chewer.
Q: Why doesn’t my dog sleep in his bed?
A: If your Bulldog is showing aversion towards its bed, you have to check the bed’s size, material, and overall comfort factor. Training is also important, especially if your Bulldog used to sleep on your side. I suggest starting early with training while your Bulldog is yet to establish its habits.
Q: Do dogs know when humans are sleeping?
A: Dogs tend to detect if a human is sleeping based on their own understanding of how sleep works. If a person is lying still, breathing slower than usual, and not responding to stimuli, a canine will likely consider it as a sleeping phase. This is why some dogs will stand guard beside their owner, which is rooted in their pack behavior.
Q: Where should a dog sleep at night?
A: According to an American Kennel Club (AKC) survey, about 45% of dog owners let their pets sleep in their own beds. Meanwhile, 20% use crates, and 17% actually give their pets a dedicated bed. As for the right place for your dog, it’s important to choose a quiet spot where it can sleep through the night.
Q: What do you do when your dog cries at night?
A: If your Bulldog cries or whines on its bed at night, you should resist the urge to run to its location. Doing this will only reinforce the behavior. Soon, your doggo would be crying intentionally to get your attention. Instead, your goal should be to get your pooch used to sleeping alone.
Q: How often should I change my dog’s bed?
A: Many dog beds can last for years before needing replacements. The key here is checking how damaged the bed is. For extensive damages like torn foam or flattened top, it’s best to purchase a new one. This will ensure that your dog is comfy at all times instead of going to your bed.
Knowing how to get your dog to sleep in their own bed will give you restful sleep. This will prevent your dog from stealing your own bed or waking you up in the middle of the night. Many experts back the idea of giving dogs their separate sleeping area to establish rules, boundaries, and limitations.
What do you think of these tips? Let us know below!