For most dog owners, Fido is simply a four-legged extension of the two-legged family. If you've recently introduced a dog to your home, it's important to establish rules and barriers up front so your pup doesn't develop bad habits that can be terribly hard to break.
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Here are some training tips to help you and your dog get on the right path to a good night's sleep:
Designate Your Dog's Sleeping Destination
From the very beginning of the relationship with your dog, he should know exactly what's expected of him. When nighttime comes, this means he should have a specific spot where he's expected to sleep.
Early on in the relationship, particularly if you've recently added a puppy to your family, the nighttime hours may be part of training. If this is the case, a crate or kennel might be the most proper accommodation. If so, be sure to line the interior with newspaper or puppy pads to help eliminate the waste from any overnight accidents, and incorporate a raised surface or dog bed so your dog isn't sleeping in his own mess if an accident does occur.
Positive Reinforcement Promotes Peaceful Sleep
Picking your dog up and placing him in his designated sleeping spot can cause him to resent that space and inflict negative connotations when it's bedtime.
Instead, lead him to his spot by way of positive affirmations and some training treats. As he becomes comfortable, he will associate these early rewards with a place where he inherently likes going when it's time for the lights to go out.
Establish Boundaries With Your Dog Early On
Cute and cuddly creatures on top of the comforter can be great, but if you begin your new relationship with co-sleeping, you may be asking for trouble. Initially, your dog may have some anxiety, and it may feel like you should soothe him in order to get a good night's sleep. Put your foot down, and establish boundaries early on. The anxiety will eventually subside, and when your pup understands the rules of the house, you'll be better able to offer him up for an occasional whine-free cuddle session.
If this topic inspired you to learn more about the different things you can do to experience a good night's sleep, you should head on over to our blog. There is plenty of slumber-ready information just waiting for you to read it!