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Latest health and behavior news and advice from the veterinarians at Tufts University.

Features July 2015 Issue

If You Change Your Mind

Some people let their dogs into bed with them when they’re still puppies but don’t want to go the dog’s whole life as bed partners. That’s okay. It doesn’t make you a bad owner. But if you’re going to get your dog out of your bed, do it cold turkey. If you try to accomplish it by degrees — one night in the bed, one night out of the bed — your dog will not get the message that the bed is off limits. He’ll just think you’re being weird and inconsistent — and will keep you awake in the knowledge that he knows he gets to come into the bed sometimes.

Do allow the dog to stay in the room with you, either on a doggie bed or in a crate with a soft cushion and the door unlocked. You don’t want to banish him; you just want your space back.

It should take about three nights for your dog to get the message that bedtime is different now. He may need reassurance from you in the night as you adjust him to the new routine.

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