Learning how to get a dog to sleep in a different room may take a good mix of patience and perseverance, but it's well worth the effort. And if you’re feeling bad about kicking your beloved canine companion out of your bedroom at night, don’t. There’s nothing wrong with sleeping in different spaces, in fact, it has some great benefits.
If you’re not a great sleeper or you have allergies, having your dog snoozing away beside you could prove disruptive, so popping them in their own room at night can help you get the quality of sleep you need to function during the day.
Sleeping separately also gets your dog used to not always being with you, and it reduces the risk that they’ll bring parasites into the bedroom, although if you regularly use one of the best flea treatments for dogs, this may be less of an issue.
There’s no right or wrong when it comes to where your pup sleeps, but if you’d like to get your beauty sleep without your furkid snoring beside you, here are our top tips to help make the transition a little easier.
Tire them out
The first step? You want to get that precious pooch of yours nice and worn out! Sleepiness is your friend when it comes to getting your dog to settle into a new sleep spot, as most dogs will sleep just about anywhere if they’re tired enough.
If you have one of the 10 best dogs for runners or walkers, and you enjoy pounding the pavement, take your dog out for a good vigorous workout a few hours before you want them to go to bed.
You won’t have to do this forever, but tiring them out each day in the first week or so of introducing them to their new sleeping area will help a lot.
Create a sleep sanctuary
One of the best ways to get your pup to sleep in a new place is to make it so enticing that it’s going to be impossible for them to resist.
If you’ve not already done so, consider getting one of the best dog beds. If your furkid is on the anxious side, choose one with higher sides that will help them feel safe and secure.
Add in a cozy blanket, a pillow, and some toys, and voila – you’ve just created the perfect haven for your hound.
For dogs that aren’t used to being on their own, you may want to invest in one of the best dog crates, and place their bed, blanket, and toys in there to begin with until they feel comfortable being alone.
Lead your dog, don’t force them
Do you remember those days as a kid when you were forced to eat those vegetables you hated in order to get dessert? Not fun. None of us like to be forced to do something we don’t want to do, and it’s no different for our pets.
Just like being force-fed brussel sprouts probably turned you off them for life, being forced to sleep in a particular place can have the same effect on your dog. When it comes to a new snooze spot, the honey approach works better than the vinegar one.
Grab a bag of the best dog treats , and use these to help encourage your dog to sleep where you want them to. Lead them there with the treats and lots of verbal praise, and spend some time hanging out with them in their new sleep space, making it a fun and safe place to be. When they hop into their bed, reward them with another treat and more praise.
A routine is your best friend
No matter how old your hound is, they’re similar to children in that they thrive on routine. Each evening, try to be consistent with the time you exercise them, feed them, and put them to bed – that way, your dog will know exactly what to expect.
Once you’re at the bedtime stage of your evening routine, there are a few helpful things you can do to encourage your dog to want to doze off. Place a treat in their bed each night – this gives them something to look forward to, and entices them to head in the direction of their sleep spot.
After they’ve got into bed and are happily munching on their treat, spend a few minutes stroking your pup and gently making a fuss so that they feel safe and comfortable. Once you’re at that stage, say goodnight, and leave them.
As with everything, consistency is key. Repeat the same routine each night, and very soon your dog will know what’s expected of them.
Mix lots of praise…
We know we’ve already said this, but it’s worth stressing: when it comes to getting your pup to sleep in a different room, there’s no such thing as too much praise.
Be liberal when it comes to telling your furkid that they’re a good boy or girl, and back the words up with plenty of affection and a few treats here and there.
...with lots of patience
Speaking of things you can’t have too much of, patience is another biggie! Just like with children, our canine companions will often push the boundaries to see how far they can go, and it may take them some time to learn the ropes.
Preparing yourself for that can save you a lot of frustration, so when you feel yourself wanting to tear your hair out because your furkid won’t sleep where you want them to, take a few deep breaths, and remember: patience, perseverance, and consistency is the recipe for success.
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Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.