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How To Introduce Your Companion To Their New Dog Or Cat Bed

A black and brown dog lying on a gray dotted FurHaven Plush & Décor Comfy Couch

How To Help Your Dog or Cat Figure Out Their New Bed! 

Picture this: You decide to treat your sweet companion to a brand-new cozy FurHaven bed. You’ve noticed they sleep on the floor when you watch T.V., and you want to spoil them with their own cozy spot! You do the research, find the perfect FurHaven bed, open the package and set up the bed, and they still chooses the linoleum! Read below how we utulize rewards based training to teach them that their new bed is a place to relax, full of good things, and not something they should chew.
 
 
That’s why we asked PNW-based Dog Trainer and Separation Anxiety Coach Celeste from The Clever Canine for some tips for getting your companion to love their bed! You can learn more about her tips below, and you can learn more about Celeste by scrolling down and checking out her blog.

Finding a bed that looks good in your home is a challenge (not with this easy style quiz!), finding one your pet likes is even harder! Let’s be honest though, we really aren’t the ones who will be sleeping in it (except when I have taken naps on the floor with my dog – come on we all do it!) Helping your dog love their new bed starts with picking out the right bed.

So, we first need to take a look at your pet’s sleep style - how they sleep. 

Picking The Right Bed For Your Dog

Have you ever been overwhelmed by all the pillow choices for people? There are pillows and mattresses for those who like soft fluffy vibes, and firm options for those who are into that. There are even pillows made for side sleepers and tummy sleepers. Just like us humans, dogs have their own individual sleeping styles and preferences.

 

A black, shaggy dog sleeps on top of a blue Luxe Lounger Dog Bed from FurHaven Pet Products

 

My dog is a poodle mix and so true to his poodle heritage he loves to sleep with his chin on something; I make sure his beds all have a bolster around them so he can do just that.


Other dogs, notably terriers, from the tiny jacks to the large pits, love to snuggle and burrow. Make sure the dog has a soft fleece blanket or two on top of the bed to get under. Better yet, a bed with a built-in blanket top or hood can be a great option for them. 

Check out our Blanket-Top Bed as well as our Hooded Donut Bed!

Some furry-friends like to sleep on top of a pile of softness (talk about sleeping on a cloud!. For those pets, a big pouf style bed can be a great option.


Check out our Ball Bed as well as our Pillow Top Bed!

Watch your dog and make a note of their choices. Look for a bed that offers those same comforts.

Setting The Scene

When setting up your dog’s new bed make sure to set the scene for relaxation. Place the bed in an area they might normally sleep or is close to where you will be. My dogs’ beds are next to the end of my couch and near the entrance to my kitchen.

FurHaven Pro Tip: Giving your pup a toy to form a relationship with is a great way to encourage them - either with fun or comfort. Learn more about all the ways to find the Perfect Plush Toy here.

To promote relaxation, you can spray a bit of lavender scented oil on the bed and plug in a pheromone diffuser nearby. You can also add their favorite blanket or other “known” item like a plush toy to the bed to start with. All these things can work together to promote relaxation and comfort.

After you set the scene make sure and ‘seed’ the bed with a few yummy treats or a great chew. For the first few days make sure you dog always has something to “discover” when they check out their new bed.

 

A black and brown spotted dog using a Pet Factory beefhide chew, lying on top o f a gray rug and hardwood floor, at FurHaven Pet Products

 

Check out our favorite chews!

Time To Chill

Don’t hover around or pressure them to use it. Hang back and watch with your mommy-eye-in-the-back-of-your-head while keeping a few treats near at hand in a cache. I keep mine in a small glass container on top of the refrigerator and the top of a bookshelf. Let’s be real I always keep a couple crunchies in the back pocket of my jeans.

When your dog is near or on the bed super casually toss a treat their way. Aim for the bed itself, tossing it so they don’t even have to get up to enjoy it if they are laying down. Do this as randomly as you can throughout the day. Whenever you have a big-ticket item give it on the bed. I always give my dog a Paws N' Play by tossing it on his bed even if he is across the room, it’s just where the good stuff shows up.

Check out recipes for Homemade Treats!

Teaching your dog to go to their bed on cue is another topic altogether. If you have set the scene well and gotten a bed that meets their sleep needs just be patient.

FH Pro Tip: When introducing your dog to its new bed, teaching them the "place" command at the same time is a great tool for when guests come over, or you need your dog to stay still for a period of time.

Celeste, a dog trainer, standing with a gray shaggy dog at the edge of an ocean, from FurHaven Pet Products
Celeste has worked as a professional dog trainer in Washington State for over the ten years. She is a graduate of the renown Academy for Dog Trainers at the SF SPCA and holds a CPDT-KA. She shares her home with Collie/Poodle cross whom she loves to train and walk with. You can find her blog at The Clever Canine.
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