How to get a dog to use a dogbed

debbiep_gwSeptember 23, 2010

I made a dog bed for the bassets last year.Its a toddler bed with the legs cut down even shorter than they come so the girls could step up on it.I did this as they have to be lifted onto the bed now because of arthritis.It has a used crib mattress on it that was cleaned well.They would never even consider using it.I now want Annabelle to use it but she won't either.She will step onto it and then hop back down.The stray(Sweet pea) I kept earlier in the year that had the pups did use it and actually tore the mattress up after her pups left.I got another used mattress and cleaned it well to but none of them are interested in it.They will actually lay on the floor before choosing it.Is this a lost cause trying to get them to use it?

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murraysmom Zone 6 OH

Well, I am on my third bed for Carmelita and I think I finally have one she will use!! :) I finally figured out that the last two were two small. Apparently the 7 lb. wonder likes to stretch out in her bed. LOL Maybe this bed isn't firm enough for Annabelle? Are there padded sides for it? Is she a curled up sleeper or a stretched out sleeper? Did you give her a pillow? Did you put a blanket or towel that already has her scent on it in the bed? Just some ideas......

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 3:58PM
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This is a funny topic for us because we used the 'penny can' on our new 10 month old lab because he was humping his bed. One time throwing the can is all it takes to eliminate any behavior for him, but in this case he won't go near the bed now. Our other lab sleeps on her bed but this guy just sleeps on the hard floor.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 5:12PM
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This is actually a toddlers bed so she has plenty of room.It has a sheet and towel on it but not with her scent though I'm sure the bed has scents of other kids on it as I got it from freecycle.I don't really want to invest in a new mattress if she wont use it though.She sleeps in her crate at night but I thought the bed would be good for napping for her.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 5:28PM
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murraysmom Zone 6 OH

Have you tried giving her a few treats while she is in the bed? Maybe if she associates it with something fun like treats, she will be more open to it.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 5:36PM
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Either the dogs are smeeling something you can not, or they dont like the sound of it or the feel of it. Or they dont like the feeling of being confined. My suggestion, go get some used comforters from Goodwill, they are easy to clean in a public laundrymat in an industrial washer, this way they can be cleaned on a regular basis. Good luck

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 6:14PM
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I agree with mazer. My friend bought my dog a beautiful bed for her last Christmas, the thing is huge and both my dog & cat took to it like ducks to water. I used the comforters in the past and the dog like it. Fussy fur babies we have :>)

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 8:48AM
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I also agree with Mazer. They're probably finding the mattress or the open rails on the sides (most have rails) uncomfortable. Plus, if your dogs have arthritis the stepping up and down to access the bed may be painful to them.

If you use Costco, check out their dog beds.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 12:50PM
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Why is it important that they use the bed?

Sorry if this is a stupid question. I'm just a cat person.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 1:24PM
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This is just a bed no rails involved,not a crib.Its less than a foot off the floor.We custom made it you could say.Comforters wont work for me as I wash dog covers everyday,no way I can go to the laundry mat everyday to wash a comforter and no way I'm skipping a day of not washing them.I have bassets and hounddogs seem to smell more than other dogs.It was important that the bassets use it as they have to be lifted to get on a bed(our bed)I have RA and I'm sure the time will come when I won't be able to do it any longer.They won't even consider using steps or a ottoman to help them get on the bed.I know the girls(bassets)aren't going to get on it,its been sitting out almost a year but I thought I could get Annabelle(lab)to use it.Thanks for the advice!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 1:50PM
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So why can't they sleep on the floor if that's where they want to be? Why is it important that they sleep on ANY bed? (Sorry if I'm being dense.)

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 3:18PM
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susanjn, as a dog & cat owner I try to make my pets as happy as I can and I dont like them sleeping on the floor. Does your cat sleep on the floor? I know my cat would never sleep on the floor, its either the doggie bed or my bed, your not being dense. I use to let my rottweiler sleep on my bed or the couch lol...

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 4:02PM
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Susanjn you are misunderstanding.I would dearly love for my dogs to sleep on the floor or couch or any other object besides the bed but they won't.They were raised by us letting them get on the bed and now that they are older they can't get up there by themselves.Seven years ago I did not think of my health or their health when I let them start sleeping on the bed.I thought maybe by giving them a bed they could get on by themselves they might would use it,no chance of that though!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 5:40PM
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I wouldn't expect any dog or cat used to sleeping on the human bed to move to a dog bed readily. If your dogs are elderly, why not just lift them up onto your bed at night? Or get them a regular 'on the floor' dog bed as others have suggested. Sounds like they prefer the bed that they know (yours) or floor level lounging :)

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 3:19PM
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Washing it every day is probably part of it. If you must wash their sheets daily you should try putting the fresh one in your bed the night before so when they get in their bed, it smells like yours and you. Also try feeding them treats or a special food they like on the bed. Doing those two things helped our dog take to his crate immediately when he wasn't interested at all before. Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 3:56PM
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I guess I didn't explain this post very well or only parts of it are being read.The bed is now for Annabelle.I can forget the bassets using it as thats not going to happen.I do lift them every night three times to get on the bed.I don'think I can do it much longer because of health but do intend to do it as long as I can.They do not prefer floor lounging at all whatsoever!I cover all the pieces of furniture with sheets,throws,etc that my dogs get on because of shedding,their odors,etc.Those are what I wash daily.Theres been no need to wash the covers at all on the bed I made as no one will use it.Annabelle is crated at night but I had hoped she would nap on this bed in the day but no such luck.I guess I will eventually move it out as it takes up room.Thanks for all the input..

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 4:54PM
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How large is Annabelle? Have you tried placing the mattress on the floor and ditching the frame? Put a blanket or a thick mattress pad on it and she may take to the mattress.

But....there may be no hope! Dogs like certain places and there's no changing them! :~)

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 5:12PM
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OK, I get it. I thought they/she preferred the floor. And yes, my cats sometimes sleep on the floor, among other places that look uncomfortable to me.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 6:13PM
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I don't know but when my dogs had to go to the vet overnight I took along 2 of my sweatshirts that I had worn and he said they curled up on them and slept really well. I think if they get your scent they feel closer to you so they do a little better. Just my opinion. good luck

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 10:47AM
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Where is your dog's bed? My dog prefers to sleep in tight spaces (a corner, under my desk), up high (on a sofa or bed) or right next to the glass door. I didn't have any success with dog beds because the places she naps aren't places I would want a dog bed. Not a big deal to me, but if you want your dog to use one, think about its location.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 2:07PM
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Someday when your Bassetts are no longer able to be lifted onto your bed they may very well take to the lower one. It may take them awhile to decide to, they may try to convince you they'll never be happy unless in bed with you, but once they figure out they aren't going to be in your bed they will choose a place they are comfortable. I wouldn't move it out until they have had a chance to choose it over the floor, which they wont do until those are the only choices.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2010 at 2:14PM
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I have a 5 year old throughbred mongrel. When I go to bed she comes in and goes to the foot of the bed. After I'm asleep or she thinks I am, she goes out in the kitchen and lies down for the night. About 5:30 or later she comes back into my bedroom and jumps onto the foot of the bed. I believe that once she is satisfied I'm okay for the night she vacates the premises only to return prior to my waking up. A dog bed from Cabelas was a total loss, no way did she want to sleep on that bouncy thing. She has me broken in now so------what else can I say?

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 4:40PM
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