How to train your dog to relax on bed
One of the most common commands that we use with our dogs in everyday life at home with them is either go and lie down or on your bed. And we find that teaching the dog to relax and settle and go and lie down on their bed can be a great alternative to having to put your dog in a crate once they have a bit more training.
Maybe you wanna sit down watch TV for a moment, you wanna sit down and have some dinner, and you don't want the dog in your hair, having him go and relax and having a spot to call their own can be really helpful. It's dinnertime here at our household so I'm gonna use a bit of Slam's dinner to work on this exercise of go and lie down on your bed. Now, you're gonna find that this exercise goes a lot faster if your dog's already learned the basics of being able to lie down with some food and a bit of a hand signal. Once your dog can do that this is gonna be pretty easy.
So, I'm gonna start off by taking a couple treats in my hand here and I'm just gonna lure Slam onto the bed, and as I do that I'm gonna introduce him to the command of on your bed. Seems pretty simple as you can tell. On your bed, yeah, so once he gets on the bed, I'm gonna yes and reward him. Now, he just chose to sit, that's totally fine. Okay, get it and have him come off the bed Here, bean. On your bed. Yes, good boy. I'm just gonna practice getting on the bed and getting rewarded. On your bed. Yes, you can see he's starting to get faster. He's putting two and two together. Bed means treats. On your bed, yes, good boy. One more time. Good. On your bed. Yes, so clearly he has no trouble getting on the bed for some food, so the next thing we're gonna do is add the down part to it.
Now that Slam's been rewarded for getting on the bed a few times, I'm gonna start adding the down part to the exercise, so I'm just gonna encourage him off the bed. Okay, good, so I can start, okay, easy buddy, so I can start from the beginning. I have some food in my hand, on your bed, yes, good boy. Down. Now to get him down I'm just gonna lower from his nose to his toes until he's in the down position. Yes, good down. Good boy, yes. Good down.
Now, whenever you're teaching your dog something brand new, you always wanna build on success. So my goal when I'm practicing this is that when I do it my puppy or my dog makes very few mistakes, so there's a couple tricks I wanna point out to you that's gonna help that happen. Number one, before I start, I have several pieces of food in my hand. What I don't wanna do is have him lying down and then be trying to fish for my treats, and all while I'm doing that he's able to get up and out of position, so I've several pieces of food ready ahead of time. The second thing is that when I reward him, I'm gonna reward him really low down to the bed, so that he's not encouraged to get up and meet me halfway. If I was to say, yes, good boy, and hold my hand above his head like this I'm basically insinuating that I want him to get up out of position, so my hand needs to be nice and low and my food needs to be ready. Ready, on your bed, lie down. Yes, good boy. Good boy. And I'm only feeding him one little piece of food at a time and this helps lengthen the amount of time that he remains on the bed. If I was to give him the whole handful at once, I would pretty much be out of food and my exercise would be done too quickly. Yes, good boy. Now, I've got him on my last piece of food so I'm gonna tell him, okay, yes, good boy, and encourage him to get up off that bed. Now, off camera, I have practiced this exercise multiple times so he has had a lot of repetition of getting on the bed, lying down and then being rewarded. So,
The next thing that I wanna do is advance to being able to have him at a distance from the bed. I don't wanna have to be sitting right beside it whenever I want him to go and do his own thing. So, again I have a couple pieces of food ready and I'm gonna encourage him off the bed in a minute and I'm just gonna throw one piece of food on the bed and encourage him to get on it. As he's traveling towards the bed, I'm gonna give him the command on your bed. Once he gets the treat, then I'm gonna work my lie down exercise.
We're starting to transfer the on your bed exercise to being a bit more independent. So, I'm just gonna start with him off the bed so I can work him at a distance. Okay, bud, here, come here, good boy. So, I'm gonna hold onto him. It's a pretty good problem when your dog doesn't want to leave the bed in order for you to practice this. So, I have a piece of food, and we're just gonna throw it on the bed. Look, there it is. Okay, on your bed. Yes, lie down. Yay, good boy. Good on your bed. Good down, yes. Good boy, on your bed. Okay, yay. Once you get to that last treat, again, I can reward him from there.
Now he's excited to get his treats, yes, and you can see he looks really comfortable, and that's the kind of position I want from him when I do this a bit more on his own. The next thing I'm gonna do is start to increase the distance that I am away from it, so he's starting to move a bit more away from the bed. Now, what I wanna do is be able to leave him on the bed and walk away and be able to come back to him without him getting up and doing his own thing. And I've also realized I'm making this a little harder because I'm leaving his food bowl down here not purposely as a distraction, but we'll see how he works through that. You ready, buddy? Okay, on your bed, lie down. Yes, good boy.
I'm gonna reward him, on your bed, and I'm gonna walk away - and come back and reward again. On your bed. Good boy, on your bed. Good. Yes, good for you. Good on your bed. Yes, good boy. Still feeding low, on your bed. Good boy, on your bed. Good job, bud, yes, good on your bed. Head down. Yes, good boy. You're so cute. Yes. Good boy. Okay. So, as I was practicing more distance from my dog I was moving away and I was constantly keeping an eye on him so even though I was getting further and further from him I was still really aware of what he was doing.
It's important that I know when he's gotten up from the bed if he happens to choose to do that. If you continue talking to your dog and you build the distance and the duration very, very gradually, you're going to find that they make very few mistakes as long as you're helping them out. Now, hopefully you noticed how much fun Slam was having during that training exercise. To him it was just like learning another trick. To me it's a great exercise that I can use every single day to control my dog in a really positive manner.