Trying To Stop Jack Russell Terrier From Sleeping With Us

By: Adam Katz

Adam:

My boyfriend has allowed his wonderful, very well-behaved Jack Russell, who is two years old, to sleep not just on but in his bed. We are trying to teach her to sleep in her bed which is on the floor by our bed but it's proving very difficult! She's managed to sleep there until about 4 AM, but then the whining starts and she ends up with us. It's not really a problem so much when we are at our house but we are planning to go on holiday and she will be staying with my parents and they really won't tolerate her sleeping in bed with them, nor the whining when she isn't allowed to, so we thought it best to nip the habit in the bud completely. We can get her to stay in her bed but we can't get her to actually sleep ... she just whines ... even if we take her for a hundred walks to tire her out. It's as if she HAS to be that close to us!

Tiffany

Dear Tiffany:

Put the dog in a crate. Not only will she be UNABLE to get onto your bed, but when she goes to your parent's house, you will be able to take the crate with her so she will have a familiar place to sleep at the different residence. By crating her at night, you're providing her with her own "den" since dogs derive more satisfaction from small places than we do. She will more than likely put up a fuss in being confined beyond her control, but it should go away after a few nights as she becomes more comfortable with the crate. Do not give her any attention while she is whining, as this will only reinforce the behavior. Some people go so far as to buy earplugs for those first nights.

Introduce the crate in a positive manner, with lots of treats and praise. Put her bed in it so it has her scent in it. Feed her in her crate so she gets the idea that no one will disturb her and the crate is a safe place. When you have to shut her in, give her a special "crate toy." Many people have had success with Kong toys stuffed with peanut butter or cheese/liver paste and freezing these.

The crate is also useful for confining the dog when it can't be supervised to keep it out of trouble (see the first article above). My book "Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer!" goes more in-depth on the use of crates and other training devices, and can be found at: http://www.dogproblems.com/newvideos.htm

That's all for now, folks!
Adam

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