How to Get a Dog to Sleep in a Dog Bed

Filed in Dog Training by on December 29, 2020

How to Get a Dog to Sleep in a Dog BedDo you want to know how to get a dog to sleep in a dog bed?

Maybe you just brought a dog home for the first time.

Or maybe your dog is already used to sleeping in your bed.

There are mixed opinions on whether to allow a dog to sleep in their owner’s bed versus a dog bed.

Regardless, this blog post will give some tips on how to get your dog to sleep in his own dog bed.

Benefits of a Dog Sleeping in a Dog Bed

If you like being close to your dog, join the club. I love spending time with my dogs.

However, there are some important benefits to having separate sleep locations.

Improved Quality

woman sleeping happily in bedThe most obvious reason to sleep separate from your dog is for your quality of sleep. A recent study found that adults sleep better having a dog in their bedroom. However, sleep was disrupted when having their dog actually sleep in their bed.

You may not notice all the sleep disruptions. However, even minor disruptions can interrupt your REM sleep, which is your deepest and most important time of rest. You may not realize it, but dogs do stretch out during the night, encroaching into your sleep area.

Avoiding Allergies and Fur

Another benefit of a dog sleeping in their own bed is preventing allergens from getting in their owner’s bed. Dogs should not be bathed every day and therefore may carry unknown allergens or debris into an owner’s bed.

For dogs that shed, the length of time lying in your bed will certainly lead to a lot of fur getting on your sheets.

Avoiding Disturbance

Lastly, dogs can have poor sleep habits just as humans may have. Dogs can snore or slobber too. So, depending on your particular dog, separate sleeping accommodations may be necessary for less distractions during sleep.

Choosing the Right Dog Bed

orthopedic dog bedChoosing the right type of bed for your pup may help make the transition to sleeping in the dog bed more appealing. Dogs deserve a good night’s sleep and a place of comfort to rest.

Adequate Space

The bed should be long enough for the dog to lie completely stretched out on his side and still fit comfortably. Avoid the risk of having limbs falling off the side or elevated up onto the raised border of the bed.

Your dog may fall asleep initially curled up into a neat ball. However, just like their human partners, dogs do move around during the night, stretching and positioning themselves in odd ways at times.

Be sure to measure your dog from nose to tail before shopping. Then add 8 to 12 inches for the perfect fit of your new bed purchase. If the available options are just shy or over your calculated number, choose the higher size to maximize the dog’s comfort.

Importance of Material

Select the type of material used in the dog bed to match the dog’s needs. Smaller breeds tend to love ultra-plush material to stay warmer. Some dogs tend to sleep better burrowed into a partially closed space. For these pets, make sure the partial hood on the dog bed is made with a breathable material to avoid overheating.

For aging dogs that have achy joints or hips, an orthopedic dog can help with comfort. I wrote an article specifically on the best orthopedic dog beds. Orthopedic dog beds provide extra support for joints and limbs. They also help keep your dog comfortably above the hard floor without partially sinking into their bed.

Another recommended bed material is memory foam dog beds. Memory foam is plush and will contour and hold the dog’s shape. This allows the weight of the dog to be distributed evenly.

Dogs are usually patient during the day taking naps on the floor. But for a long night’s sleep, it’s important that they’re comfortable and have a space that’s soft enough.

Find a Good Location

First, find the perfect spot in your house to place the bed. It’s very likely that your dog will want to be close to you. Perhaps place the dog bed in your bedroom at a spot where they can still see you. Hearing and seeing you will make your dog feel secure.

Consider Buying Multiple

Second, consider purchasing two of the same dog bed if you spend considerable daylight hours elsewhere in the home. Place the additional bed near your office chair, for example, when working from home. Or place it next to your television in your family room when watching shows in the evening. This gives your dog even more chances to realize that his dog bed is his own personal spot.

Reward with Treats

Third, use treats and lots of praise to lure your dog into their bed in the beginning. You can use a command word, such as settle, when training them with this behavior.

Try this: place your dog in their bed, use the command settle, and heap on praise when they sit on their bed by giving them a treat. Then be patient and calm, repeating the command and placing him back in the bed each time he gets out.

Don’t Give in

Fourth, don’t give in to whines from your dog due to lack of sleep those first few nights. This may be hard, but push through. Remaining patient and loving will teach your dog quicker than acting frustrated or angry.

Keep in mind your end goal of having a well-rested, happy dog.
Remember that once your dog embraces their dog bed as their own, it will become their happy place. If your dog is intimidated by fireworks, for example, they will hopefully retreat to their bed.

Additional Tips

Add Their Favorite Items

Dog in the middle of a bunch of dog toysTry placing a favorite toy or two in the corner of their dog bed. Drape a favorite blanket or throw on the bed. Consider sleeping with that favorite blanket one night to give it a scent of you before placing on the dog bed.

More Treats

Treats can be used initially to reward your dog for following your command and staying or sitting in their bed.

You can also hide a treat in the folds of the bed or near the edge of the bed for your dog to find during the day. The possibility of finding a treat will entice your dog to go on his bed after a while.

Keep Trying!

Persistence is key. Stay firm but gentle in not giving in to their pleas to join you on your bed. With any training, consistency is vital. If you allow them on your bed, your dog will think their sleep habits are acceptable again.

Keep in mind you’re essentially putting your doggie in puppy boot camp for a while. Take the time to teach them new habits while unlearning old, unwanted habits. In the long run, your determination will pay off.


There are benefits to having a dog sleep in their own bed such as allergy relief and improved sleep quality for their owner.

By following the tips in this blog post, you can learn how to get a dog to sleep in a dog’s bed.

With training a new habit, you will need some patience and determination before your dog views their dog bed as their own safe space.

The result will be worth the effort.

Let me know if you have any questions or comments below.

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