23 September 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Does Your Small Dog Take Over Your Bed?


You can retrain your dog to sleep in their own ‘den.’ Photo courtesy Tony Alter, Flickr

“Your bed is so cozy, mom and dad. Can I sleep here every night? Woof!”

If you’re like this devoted dog lover you probably have allowed your precious pup to share your bed. But this can become a problem, especially for a married couple. Does your small dog take over your bed? An expert weighs in on how to retrain them to have their own den.




Does Your Small Dog Take Over Your Bed?

Q: My Chihuahua/Miniature Pinscher-cross rescue dog insists on sleeping with us under the blankets. All is well as long as no one moves, but if so, she growls and snaps at whatever she can reach. So far she’s nipped my ankle, calf, knee, and bum! We’ve tried her in a crate—she simply can’t handle it; tried her in another room—she barks and screams and our tenant doesn’t appreciate that. She has many beds, a sheepskin, a basket—you name it. Any suggestions are welcomed.— Sleepless in Seattle


Your Chi/Min Pin is exhibiting territorialism over your bed, and that’s not good. Growls, snaps, and barks are basically telling you to get lost. This behaviour spells entitlement, which equals a big fat misunderstanding! It sounds like a little therapy is in order. She needs to learn how to self-soothe and never growl, while you need to establish her area, not the other way around.


Try a corral and crate concept to help re-establish boundaries within your home and give your dog a safe place to snuggle. This new routine can psychologically help your dog to re-adjust her behaviours and will help you to reclaim your bed. Training can refer to many things but primarily it’s about establishing a routine and giving your dog direction on a leash, which creates eye contact and the drive to please you.


The first step in this type of doggie therapy is to go back to “puppy concepts” and to create a den (that you choose) and teach her to self-soothe. Sounds like she missed that step somewhere in her puppyhood! Read more about Dogs in bed in Sharing Your Bed With Your Dog here.

This Chihuahua’s mom didn’t know what to do as she lost more and more space! But the expert helped her recognize that a natural place for a dog is their own like like a crate. When asking does your small dog take over your bed, evaluate whether this is a problem, and with these tips you can correct them.

Does your dog share a bed with you?

How has that worked out?

Tell us below!

“Dog Owner Wants Their Bed Back!”