Dog Jumping Up on the Bed: Case Study

By Martin Olliver

There was a couple who adopted Bella, a Black Labrador. She was well-mannered and well-loved. For over a year, the dog was allowed to sleep on the bed. Then the wife bought a set of satin sheets, which she had been saving up for. She decided they were too nice, too delicate, and too expensive, to become “dogified” (a term that describes all the things that make you know a dog’s been there, including dog hair, dog drool, dog dirt, and that distinctive dog smell), and no longer wanted the dog jumping up.

So what could they do? They were told that this would confuse the dog. And this is certainly true. But in my email to them I also explained that their pet’s confusion is no reason to avoid the satin sheets they dearly wanted, and that the wife shouldn’t feel bad about her decision. After all, there are plenty of confusing things that dogs must adapt to that we can’t control or simply don’t realize.

However, I told them that taking away the dog’s privilege was not the problem, but doing so without in some way offsetting it with something else was. In other words, before the switching the sheets, they needed to provide Bella with a great new deluxe dog bed. In addition, they had to do some training to make Bella believe that it was just that!

This involved praise and reward when she went to it, either on her own or when asked. I also told them to spend some time hanging out right around the dog bed with Bella, even if the bed is placed near their existing bed, so that she didn’t feel like she’s been banished from the only social spot of the room.

The introduction of the dog bed was accompanied by a training regime in which Bella was asked “Off” the bed each time she was found there, and interrupted with a sharp “Uh uh” when she looked like she was approaching it. Through some patience and repetition, Bella figured it all out in a couple weeks and, to the delight of the wife, all before they upgraded their bedding.

The added benefit of this arrangement is that the dog develops a better sense of her own personal space. Oh, and as for the dog bed itself, it was truly deluxe. In fact - and I kid you not - they lined it in satin!

About The Author

Daniel Stevens is the renowned dog trainer and author of Secrets to Dog Training: STOP Dog Behavior Problems!, one of the leading dog training guides on the market today selling over 25,743 copies (and counting). He currently heads the Kingdom of Pets dog training team.

Martin Olliver has over 12 years experience in dog training and is a proud member of the Kingdom of Pets team. He is the author of the newly released Ultimate Guide to House Training.

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