At first I wasn’t sure if this belonged as a sex column or as a pet column. You’d be amazed how many people comment that they are glad their dog feels comfortable on their bed, but that maybe their dog feels a little too comfortable, if we get their drift. And, although I don’t really want to weigh in on this, I’m giving some advice in a pet column because people have given up their dogs for far less than merely contributing to loss of consortium.
I’ve outlined a few of the most frequent complaints/problems.
- Dog won’t get off the bed.
- Dog is very curious.
- Dog is traumatized by what they have seen.
Here are the training tips.
First of all, I’m assuming you have spoiled your dogs and they just get on the bed whenever they want, when they want. That’s perfectly fine. However, it puts you in the difficult position of having to take away privileges, which has to be done incrementally or it’s going to fail.
The first thing you need to do is train your dog to get on (that’s right, ON) the bed with your permission. Bring your dog into the bedroom. Don’t let them on the bed right away. (You might need a leash to achieve this.) Then pat the bed, and when the dog gets on the bed, praise them or give them a treat, or both. If they jump up without permission, make them get down, then invite them up. Once they are up, they can stay up. Do this every night, without fail.
The next thing you need to do is get your dog used to the idea of getting off the bed and staying off the bed on demand. Make sure there is a comfortable dog bed in the room and start treating your dog when they get on their bed or into it. Have a delicious chewy bone-style treat that takes time to eat available there. It has to be something that takes time to eat, that your dog really loves. That treat should only be given on that dog bed, when the dog stays on it. That will give your dog the incentive to stay off your bed.
If you really don’t want the dog in the room, simply move the dog bed and the treat out into the hall, deposit your dog there and close the door. Do this every night for a while for a set period of time, then let the dog in. Hopefully it won’t take long for your dog to stop vocalizing outside the door in complaint.
As for the curiosity part, this is part of the training process. If the chewy treat is tempting enough, the dog will stay there, and you won’t have to worry about having an audience.
Now, let’s talk about the traumatized part. It’s really unlikely that your dog would be traumatized from anything they saw in the bedroom. (Although this is a funny moment from Best in Show.) More likely, your dog thinks whatever you are doing is awesome, because dogs are very accepting. However, there are a few exceptions. Many dogs are afraid of vacuum cleaners, fireworks and hairdryers, so if you incorporate those into your bedroom rituals, you will have to get them used to these loud noises slowly through systematic desensitization. Likewise, costumes can frighten some dogs, especially rescue dogs, so I suggest you consider some desensitization exercises where you wear the costumes in front of the dogs at other times.
If you enjoy incorporating foodstuff into your sexytimes, you might face more challenges, especially if you have a lab or beagle. Both dogs are highly food motivated and will eat almost anything. Hopefully they will be distracted by the chewy bone you have given them to get off the bed. If not, either get a better treat, or consider incorporating foods that are less appealing to your dog. Most dogs don’t like iceberg lettuce (too bland), or cooked unseasoned lentils (too flavorless), for example. Also, please remember that chocolate can be toxic to your dog, so be very careful if that’s what you are into.
So there you go — it’s all about the training. Just do your best to repeat this training every night, before it’s business time. If you can’t do everything each night, make sure you do the part about inviting your dog onto the bed. That is the foundation of all of the rest of the training.