Now hands up all of those people who allow their dog to share their bed with them, now I bet there are a lot of hands raised up in the air!
Right from the beginning of our dog’s life we are advised never to let them up on our bed, we are specifically informed that during the puppy’s initial few nights with us that however much they whine and squeak we must ignore them. Did you do as you were instructed? If you are like me then you will be shaking your head emphatically at your computer screen right about now!
I am afraid I listened to every word the breeder told me and I must admit I did follow most of the advice but fell down heavily on the part of ignoring during the night, puppies in general are; let us face it, cute and innocent. Those big brown eyes, or in my puppy’s case 1 blue and 1 hazel, just won me completely over!
It is strange when you look back through time just how much the dog’s role has altered, over approximately 100 years ago most dogs were housed outside and some were not even permitted to enter the house. Most made their bed under the house’s porch or in the barn. The richer people would have little lap-dog breeds but most working people and farmers would expect their dogs to actually earn their keep in one way or another. Some of these dogs would herd sheep or catch those elusive rats scurrying around on the farm.
These days our dogs are observed as family members, this can become a little confusing for some dogs because they seem to be a mixture between a pet and a ‘nearly human’. The only problem with this is that certain dogs can begin to challenge their owners as their respect for them has dwindled, basically the owner is not viewed as the leader of the ‘pack’ and this can cause problems.
There are numerous dogs which regularly share their owner’s bed with them and for many people there are no problems experienced because of it. For some dogs though it is seen as the green light for them to take control of the household and they can begin to display aggressive tendencies towards their owner. If this does happen then the dog in question needs to stop sharing the bed immediately, through doing this you are returning to basics with your dog.
You are simply pointing out to your dog that you are actually the leader of the household no matter what ideas he or she might have; you are the one in command. Your dog has to comprehend that sharing your bed is a privilege and it has to be earned. Ensure that you walk through doors ahead of your dog, pass through gates before your dog and eat your meal slightly before feeding your dog. These will all help with your dog’s dominance problem and remind him/her of their place in the ‘pack.’
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