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How to Teach Your Dog to Go to His Bed

Learn how to teach your dog to go to his bed with this Howcast dog training video featuring professional dog trainer Andrea Arden.


Today, we're going to work on the trick of sending your dog to a mat or a place or their bed.

To do this trick, we're going to do some shaping with her and get her interested in going over to the bed in the beginning, and then hopefully progressing to the point where we can put it on cue. In the very beginning when you teach this to a dog, I would actually just put some treats on the bed and let them go find it themselves. OK. So she goes over, she finds the treats, she eats them.

She learns that this is a pretty good spot to be. Come here, Betty. Yes. Sit. Wait! If you can do this with your dog turned around, if you have someone to help you out, even better so that the treats just kind of magically appear there. OK. Good. And she knows this behavior so she might lie down when she's done eating. Good girl. OK. Yes. Sit!

Once your dog has gotten into that repetition after you've done it four or five times, I would let them just go over and make their own choice and see if they want to go over to the bed. OK. Now most dogs will go over and maybe stand on it, at best maybe sit on it. They're looking just to be in that location and get their treat, and that's fine. I would click and give them a reward. Whatever you do though, throw it on the bed. Don't hand it to your dog because if you hand it to them, it's going to encourage them to follow your hand away from the bed as you remove it. So you want them kind of focused on the ground at the treat. OK. Betty, come on. Here. Yes. Sit. Good girl!

Once they're doing that and they're going over repeatedly and either sitting or lying down, you can try putting on a cue like "bed". And you want it all in that one movement where they go to the bed and lie down. After you've got it, and they've got this, you can start working even on things like distance. So try taking steps away and click, come back in, give them a treat, and you can get to the point where you can move about your house while they remain in place. It's a great exercise to teach them to relax, hang out in one place, maybe even stay there while you open the door for somebody. Very valuable, nice trick to treat your dog.

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