One thing that I have been adamant about with Ginger since day 1 has been not allowing her on my bed. It’s a habit I just didn’t want her to have because sometimes, I just like my space. I bought her a really nice, soft, big bed with a removable cover that I can take off and wash which I thought would make her happy.
The first day I had her, I found her on my bed curled up which I gently told her to get off. I didn’t want to scold her for the first few days because I knew that we were still getting to know each other. As she continued to still try and get away with sleeping on my bed, I decided that I needed to start closing my bedroom door while I was at work so she didn’t have access to my bed. That seemed to help. However, I would still catch her up there while I was showering or if I was putting laundry in. So, I started shutting my bedroom door while I showered hoping that she would get the hint. (I also still tell her to get off)
One night last week, after I had already been asleep for a couple hours, she jumped up on the bed, and I was so out of it that I just let her stay there all night. *sigh* Of course, that next night, she jumped right up after I crawled into bed as if to say “ok, I’m here! Let’s sleep.”, so I told to her to get off, then got out of the bed and helped her get down off the bed and led her over to her bed and told her over and over “This is your bed. This is Ginger’s bed. You need to sleep here.” She just looked at her bed with disdain and then ended up sleeping on the couch for the next three nights.
I don’t know where this behavior comes from as I assume that she was not allowed to sleep in the bed at the foster home. They had so many dogs there, there’s no way they would let them sleep in beds. I’m wondering if her original owners allowed her to sleep in the bed and maybe since she feels that this is her new home that she should be allowed to sleep on the bed again?
At any rate, it’s been quite the little battle with her. Then, last night, again, under the cover of darkness and after I had been dead asleep for a few hours, she came and jumped in my bed and I awoke to her little warm body all curled up next to my legs this morning.
The hard part is that I don’t mind her sleeping with me some nights, but I don’t want it all the time and I don’t think it’s fair to have an “only sometimes” rule for a dog as I think it confuses them, at least in the beginning of the relationship (whether you’ve gotten them as a puppy or adopted them at a later age). Consistency and routine seem to be key things that must happen for a long while before giving treats (in this case, allowing her on the bed). I have to be able to trust her and she has to be able to trust me.
So, what am I going to do about this little behavior? I know, the two times I’ve “let” her stay on the bed is sending a mixed signal, but I was already asleep! She clearly knows she isn’t supposed to be on the bed and she’s finding crafty ways of getting around me. I don’t want to block her from my bedroom completely because that is where her bed is and I want her to learn that her bed is hers.