MemberMay 8, 2018 at 1:51 pm2940
I saw this old post and wanted to address it since is such an important topic.
As a general rule we do teach that sleeping in beds and on furniture is frowned upon and is never recommended.
Resting places are a resource that is very important to dogs. For example, many wild and or feral dogs especially in very sunlit areas seek shaded areas so they do not overheat. When shaded areas are limited you will see conflict over these areas between the dogs. Just as food and other limited recourses are important to dogs, we treat resting places with just the same importance.
When a dog starts feeling as though a spot they are used to is their own and they claim it as their own, conflict can arise. It may not be initially, but when it does, this is usually when we hear of aggression that people feel is “unprovoked” or they don’t understand what happened because the dog “ has never shown signs of agression before”. People usually feel there was no reason for the aggression, when in fact there is ALWAYS a reason. Sure you can have dogs like the dogs that you are speaking of and you may never have a problem, but there are numerous dogs that if the same thing is done and they are allowed on the beds you WILL at some point run into a conflict situation and it can and has turned detrimental. Genetics do play a roll, so does leadership. Someone who has a dog on the bed and turns over the wrong way one night may just get a warning snarl or maybe nothing at all, but on the other hand someone may have a dog who will skip steps in the aggression cycle and without warning will do 0 to 100 and go straight to a bite. Depending in the dog, that bite could be a nip, or that bite could sever your leg off.
How the dog is raised matters, but it will NOT cancel out genetics. If you raise a dog with good leadership it will not change the dogs genetics but it can make things easier to manage and control with less conflict in the dogs mind. You can have 2 dogs raised the same way both brought into bed as a pup like you stated. One may wean him self out the bed and not care much for it as you mentioned with yours but another dog raised the same exact way may not do the same. The chances to find this out are not chances we would like to take. Unfortunately breed will make a difference as to the type of aggression or the tendencies for aggression as well genetics.
All dogs bite for the same reasons, it’s just naturally worse with certain breeds as opposed to others.
So it sounds like you have had some good dogs and have not really had many issues with resting places, or maybe the dog hasn’t been in a position to feel competition with others over those resting places so you have been fortunate. Age also makes a difference. Dogs generally start to mature about 2 years of age on average. So someone who had a great dog and no issues in the bed as a pup, 4 month, 6 months, 8 months maybe even a year may not get them same continued behavior later on in life as they did when the pup was younger. So a good pup in the bed doesn’t mean you will have the same at 1/2/3/4 years of age. With leadership it’s better to address all aspects of what is important to dogs. This way the role is clear to them and they don’t have confusion from early on. Typically we start to see the signs as dogs mature. Most people who never had issues start to see problems around that 2 year mark if the same entitlement continues such as allowing on the bed. You can have a perfect dog with no issues and if you allow it up only when you say its ok you may not have experienced these same types of problems that others have.
It is our responsibility as professionals to teach others how to be safe and not to take unnecessary chances. So we never reccomend furniture as being a good idea. Any any dog in protection class is never allowed to be on furniture especially. If we can save 1 child from being killed or 1 person from going to the hospital we have served a purpose.
The leadership section does list the potential side effects of allowing dogs on our beds and resting places.
I agree with you that when a pup comes home you want to nurture it for sure. Nurturing a pup is very important! Below is the post I had written on brining home a new puppy….this is how I prefer to stay close to my pup when sleeping at night time and I have always had success without any separation anxiety.
Thank you for your great question. When someone hasn’t encountered a bad experience in a way that other have it can be difficult to understand how certain techniques don’t work for all dogs the same. Unfortunately not all are so lucky. I hope this helps ?
Below is the post I wrote about what I do when brining home a new pup you may have seen it but i figured i repost it …..?
When a puppy first leaves its mother and litter mates it can be a very stressful time for them. Dogs, like wolves are pack animals and when they are separated from one another they can experience stress. This can manifest itself as crying and or whining that can not be explained by any other factors. You want to try to make the transition as smooth as possible for your puppy. You can still maintain leadership rules while making the transition.
When bringing your puppy home using a crate is a good idea. Dogs tend to feel safe and secure in their own den, you can keep them safe and out of trouble when times call for it and they can have a safe place that is their own that they do not have to worry about competing for later in life. It gives them their own comfortable space off of the beds and furniture and can be used to teach them routines.
For very young puppies just ready to leave their mother, you want to make this transition as smoothe as possible. The crate should be just large enough for the dog to completely stretch out and stand up in. If the crate is too small the puppy will be cramped and uncomfortable and it isn’t good for growth. If the crate is too large where the dog can get up and move to far corners, the dog may form habits of relieving themselves if they have an area large enough that they can do so and then move away from it. Dogs do not like to soil the area where they rest so proper crate size is important. When you and your pup get settled in to go to sleep you may want to sleep right next to the crate. Put a towel or blanket over the back half of the crate if you do not have a enclosed crate. I generally like to initially sleep next to the crate with the door open the first few nights in this way the puppy doesn’t feel alone and you are right there to give comfort by touch. When I see that the puppy is not crying and doesn’t seem stressed, I will close the crate door but will still sleep next to the crate. Slowly you can now move yourself a little farther and farther from the dog. You can either move yourself, or slowly move the crate away from you. This may sound excessive to some of you but I speak from experience and I assure you it is not. Can you have a puppy that does fine without all of this yes. Does that mean because we perceive them as being fine they aren’t stressed, not necessarily. Will some puppies just wine and get over it, yes of course. They will all probable do so if left to cry it out but why would we want to give our puppies a stressful initial week or two when it has just left its mother. Taking the first week or two to acclimate the puppy to its new home can be very beneficial. This is what I have done in the past. My dog never cried or whimpered, never had separation anxiety, he loves his crate and don’t worry, if this is done correctly does not create a spoiled or entitled dog.
Another good tip is to feed your puppy its meals in the crate. It makes the crate a good place they enjoy going into. Also always lead your puppy into its crate or kennel with something good, a nice reward and if they will be in there for a longer amount of time. If you must leave them alone, give them something that will occupy them. Something to chew on or a kong filled with a nice frozen treat will usually keep them busy. Separation anxiety is usually the worst the first half hour so if you can give them something to keep them occupied enough to get them over that initial hump it will help.
Review the leadership section under the knowledge base to learn about leadership rules and how to create a dog that is provided for. I have has much success without any separation anxiety this way and have raised happy dogs that I have been able to wonderfully bond with.