Thursday, January 10, 2013

How Did We End Up With A Dog In Our Bed?!

When we got a puppy, we already had an idea in mind of what type of 'dog parents' we thought we would be. Fun but firm, loving, but with 'pet' rules.

What rules, you ask? Well, through our hours of watching The Dog Whisperer, we had determined that our puppy would need to be crate trained, and would need to have boundaries, like not using our furniture. And, this puppy would certainly never gain a spot at the foot of the bed. After all, our bed was a place for just us, and I sleep best with the maximum amount of space possible.

It only took about two months for the furniture thing to go out the window. We rescued Riley when she was very young. I believe that she was only 5-6 weeks old despite being told she was the standard 'eight weeks old.' Because of her age, and the adjustment, she wasn't a very good sleeper for quite a while. While her middle of the night bouts ended quickly, we simply could not get her to sleep past 6AM. Ever.

So, one morning while we were visiting friends on Long Island, B decided that the easiest way to coax her back to sleep was to let her lay on the couch with him. They both fell asleep and the rest is history. Since we have two sectional couches at home, it hasn't been a very big deal to allow Riley to take up some of the space when we're having a movie night, etc.

Fast forward about twenty months. Shortly before the holidays, I was out of town overnight for business, and I learned that B had let Riley sleep 'in my place' in the bed overnight. While this seemed innocent, I secretly worried that it would become more routine over time. Just like the couch did. 

Before I knew it, I had convinced myself that Riley and I would both sleep better after B left for work if she joined me in the bed for an hour or so each morning during the week.

I'm sure you can guess that one thing then led to another, and we now have a 65lb. lab sleeping in our bed about 3-4 nights per week. How did this happen? Trust me, I know we have no one to blame but ourselves, but short of buying a king sized bed in the immediate future, I see no other solution than to try and get her out of this habit. It might be harder on me than it is on her, but I think it's time for me to put my 'Momma' foot down. 

Anyone else have this problem with their dog(s)?!!?

15 comments:

Mommy Mandy said...

Yup, we felt bad for Shiba when she was little and let her stay in bed with us one night....She's been there going on 7 years now, haha. But since she's only 14lbs it's not too big a deal for us

Kristin @ w/milk and sugar said...

I feel like you are telling my story excatly!! We had the same issue with Chandler. The couch sequence first and then with the bed: the one spouse out of town only, then the only after the husband leaves for work, and now it is only in the winter because he gets too cold. And what started at only at the very foot of the bed ends each morning with me spooning a cuddly little terrier. Ahh!! It's a slippery slope. :)

K said...

We are exactly the same way. My dog always was allowed on the couch, so when I moved in with my (then) boyfriend he knew there was no way to change that. He vowed that he would NEVER be allowed in the bed. And he never slept in the bed with me so I wasn't worried. But a new place freaked him out so we let him come up and that's all she wrote. He doesn't stay all night long thankfully. And he takes up THE most space ever, it's ridiculous. BUT, on the other hand. I know that there will be some day when I would kill just to have him snuggling in bed with me again. So I'm enjoying every second!

Sunny said...

We got a lab/weimaraner mix in October and we swore since she was going to be such a big dog she would definitely not sleep in our bed....after 12 weeks of waking up 3-4 times a night looking for us, she sleeps in our bed and wrestles away either mine or my husbands pillow. Maybe at some point we'll get her out of the habit but for now we are just trying to sleep past 5:30 ;)

Britt said...

This is so funny. Ruby is small so thankfully she can't get up on her own, but she loves the couch. I will let her up to sleep with me if I have the day off but only if one of us is not there. She knows then that it's a special thing. It's hysterical how they weasel their way on to the bed though :)

Darby Hawley said...

I see so much of myself in this post lol Our rule was "No pups in bed" well a year later we have TWO fighting for relestate in our bed. We had to break down and get a king, but when the new bed arrived we re-made the rule for no pups in the bed. So far we are 2 weeks without dogs kicking us lol

Shannon said...

When we first got our dog I said she's not allowed in the bed and she wasn't for a while but over the past month or so she's made her way into our bed every night. My husband uses the excuse that it's cold and she helps to keep him warm. Of course she always tries to sleep on my side though. Fortunately she's small, a 10 pound dachshund but like you I need maximum amount of sleeping space.

"B" said...

If it makes you feel better we have THREE dogs, two adults and some how NOW THE BABY! Oh well - I keep saying it's a phase and it will pass. To be honest I LOVE having them all snuggled up to me in the night :) We did temporarily attempt to restrict the dogs from the bed and I felt so BAD about it - we let them back up shortly after. She'll stop getting on the bed when she is too old to jump up there and then you'll WANT her on the bed!

Kelly Lamborn said...

When we got Mya I swore up and down that she wouldn't sleep in the bed with us. Mainly because she was so small. I honestly don't even know how or when it happened but she now sleeps with us every night. She's only 10 lbs so it's not quite as bad as a 65lb lab, but there are nights when it feels like she takes up way more room than her little body should. She likes to cuddle against my chest, right under my chin, when it's just the two of us.. My MIL says it's probably because when she was a puppy I used to lay her on my chest when I would watch TV and now she’s used to the feeling of my chest moving when I breath. The plus side? She’s really warm lol

ashtyn said...

My dog cuddles with us before bed but then we put him in his bed when we are ready to go to sleep. He is probably the world's best sleeping dog. He never wakes up until we do. Sometimes we have to wake him to take him outside. So try cuddling but then put her in her bed and maybe she will learn..

Rose said...

My husband lets our dog, a maltese, up on the couch all the time. We call him "cock blocker" because his favorite place on the couch is right in between us. Luckily, we trained him right when we got him to not go up on the bed. He has his own little doggy bed on the side of our bed and he knows to lay there when we're in the bed.

Jillian said...

I'm in the same boat - a 60 pound lab, that I swore would never sleep in the bed. It started with the early mornings, and then became a middle-of-the-night thing, and then he just started jumping into bed when we went to bed... and its been like that for almost 2 years! We even moved his dog bed out of our room, since it was just taking up space and he never used it! :)

Miranda said...

we barely lasted a week with the crate training at night. The whining was too much for me! So now (thankfully not always) are TWO 85+ golden retrievers that sleep in our bed. thank heavens for king sized beds!

Jamie Lee said...

We have a 65 pound pit bull who sleeps with us almost every night...under the covers...head on pillow (his doing not mine!). I wake up with almost no room at all. Oh did I mention we sleep in a full? But honestly I love cuddling with him most nights!

Lauran {The Real Young Housewife of Southern VA} said...

We did the SAME thing with our 85 lb lab! Rule was no bed... but after not sleeping well we axed the rule and now he sleeps with us EVERY night! While sometimes I wonder if it's a "bad" thing, I wouldnt change it for the world!! We even had to upgrade to a King bed so we ALL could be comfortable - oh the things we do for our furbabies! :)