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How To Teach Your Dog “Go To Your Bed”

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Teaching your dog "go to your bed"
How To Teach Your Dog “Go To Your Bed”

This post is sponsored by Carlson™ Pet Products. I am being compensated to help share the Carlson Portable Dog Cot, but we only share information we feel is relevant to our readers.  Carlson™ Pet Products is not responsible for the content of this article.

I know what you’re thinking:

You say “Go To Your Bed” and your dog bee lines for the master bedroom and jumps up onto the King sized bed with the 1500-thread count Egyptian cotton sheets and starts burrowing into the most comfortable position between two pillows…those aren’t pillows. (sorry, it’s a line from a movie. Can you guess what movie?)

Well, maybe…but that’s not what we’re here to teach you today.

We’re going to tell (in words) then show (with video) you how to teach your dog “Go To Your Bed” and today “Your Bed” refers to the Carlson Portable Dog Cot. Yep, the same one Charlie helped us review a few months back.

The Carlson Portable Dog Cot

The Carlson Portable Dog Cot also known as the Carlson Portable Pup Pet Bed is a very cool, easily transportable, elevated dog bed.

We’re not adventure dogs, but we do see all the possibilities available for the outdoor doggy who likes to backpack, hike, and camp.

We haven’t been camping with the dogs in years and probably won’t in the foreseeable future since we have twins (human, not doggy) due any day now, but I can foresee us using our Carlson Portable Dog Cot when we go to the park with our fellow guide dog puppy raisers.

So, what are our plans for our Carlson Portable Dog Cot?

We want to use our new dog cot to help redirect some of our Raven’s unwanted behaviors and we’ll do that by teaching the cue: “Go To Your Bed”.

I think I dropped a treat. It still counts I'm staying on my bed :)
I think I dropped a treat. It still counts I’m staying on my bed 🙂

Why Teach Your Dog “Go To Your Bed”?

While there are many reasons to teach your dog a cue like “Go To Your Bed” I have a top 3 I plan on using with my dog, Raven.

#1. Stop Barking 

Raven has a habit of barking at the front door when she hears or see’s people, hears the doorbell, or see’s a ga-ga-ga-ghost!

Not really a ghost we just sometimes think she hears or sees things that aren’t really there. Or maybe she has the sixth sense!

Honestly, we don’t mind the barking, but a “Hey Dad, there’s something at the door” is good enough for me rather then the…

“Hey Dad! Hey Dad! Hey Dad! Hey Dad! Hey Dad! Hey Dad! Hey Dad! Hey Dad!” – I get it Raven there’s something at the door.

Our solutions is to redirect Raven’s behavior by using the cue “Go To Your Bed” instead of enduring the continual barking.

#2. Stop Jumping Up

So, I heard that some people don’t like dogs…WHAT!? And said people really don’t like dogs jumping up, kissing, and hugging when they walk through the front door…WHAT!?

Guess, what?

I have a solution. We’re going to give Raven the cue “Go To Your Bed” when guests come over so she can settle on her Carlson Portable Dog Cot while guests (especially the non-dog loving type) can come through the front door without getting doggy love.

#3. Stop Eating Food Off The Floor

Finally, for the past year and a half we have a new player in the household: Miss Emma. One of Emma’s favorite activities is throwing her food on the floor.

I don’t like letting Raven eat food off the ground without permission because you never know if she’s going to accidentally pick up something toxic like raisins, grapes, onions, garlic or one of the many other foods that are safe for humans, but not for dogs.

Did you know: Interestingly enough, Emma did throw grapes on the floor and lucky for us the dogs didn’t eat them. Which reminds me: Another good cue to have in your repertoire is “Leave It”.

We’re going to give Raven the “Go To Your Bed” cue while Emma eats her meals and have Raven stay at her bed until we have time to clean the floors of any toxic foods.

Raven enjoying learning her new cue "Go To Your Bed"
Raven enjoying learning her new cue “Go To Your Bed”

How To Teach Your Dog “Go To Your Bed”

Teaching your dog “Go To Your Bed” is not as difficult as it might sound. Today, we’re using the clicker to train Raven.

If you don’t know your clicker training basics then you might want to brush up by reading a good clicker training book like PUPPY Start Right.

Here are a few things you’ll need to get started:

  1. TreatsHappy Howie’s are awesome treats for training. Just cut them up into tiny training sized bites.
  2. Clicker – We prefer these clickers with the little wrist band over the box clickers.
  3. Dog Bed -We like the elevated Carlson Portable Dog Cot for teaching this behavior.

That’s it! Of course if you’re really fancy you can add a treat pouch to that list.

Drumroll please…what we’ve all been waiting for…

Step-by-Step Directions: “Go To Your Bed”

Step by step! Ooh baby! Gonna get to you girl…

I digress back to training our dogs…

Before we get started find an area with minimal distraction. We use our backyard. Put out your dog bed, fill your treat pouch, and have your clicker around your wrist.

Now you’re ready to start!

  1. Click/Treat any interaction with the dog bed: sniffing, stepping on, jumping on, pawing, etc. Toss or place treats directly on the bed.
  2. Release your dog by saying “OK” and tossing a treat away from the bed. Repeat from Step 1.
  3. As your dog progresses only Click/Treat the best behaviors. For instance, instead of C/T the sniff try waiting for pawing the bed, jumping up on the bed, two paws on the bed instead of just one, etc.
  4. The first time your dog goes on the bed and lies down give a jackpot (multiple treats) and lots of praise.
  5. Once your dog is consistently (3-5 consecutive times) going on the bed and lying down name the cue “Go To Your Bed”.

That’s it! That’s what we did to teach Raven “Go To Your Bed”.

Here’s our video with me and Raven showing how to teach your dog “go to your bed”.

I was very impressed with how quickly Raven learned “Go To Your Bed”.

In the video the unboxing was the first time I introduced Raven, Charlie, and Linus to the Carlson Portable Dog Cot.

I let them play around on it then I took a few pictures using a lure to get the dogs onto the bed.

Then I put it away for a couple months until I was ready to teach Raven “Go To Your Bed”.

Around the 1:38 point of the video is when I re-introduced Raven to the bed.

It was her first training session with the bed and while there was some editing we only had to work with her for a few minutes before she was going to the bed automatically and lying down.

After she did 3 consecutive downs on her bed we named the cue and the rest is history.

Full Disclosure: Raven already knew the very similar behavior “Go To Your Mat” and she quickly picked up how to go to her bed.

My expectation was she might understand what was asked, but I wasn’t so sure she’d be comfortable jumping up onto the elevated dog bed.

I was planning on taking 3 days with multiple training sessions per day to teach her this cue. As you saw in the video she had it on cue in under 5 minutes.

When we taught Raven “Go To Your Mat” it took her much longer to learn. We spent a week teaching the behavior before we introduced the cue.

As I mentioned in the video we’ll try again when we have our next service dog puppy in training and hopefully shoot some more video to document the training sessions.

I imagine it’ll take multiple sessions before we can introduce the cue.

That’s it! That’s the basics on how to teach your dog “Go To Your Bed”.

Do you have any tips on how to teach this cue?

Are you trying to teach your dog “Go To Your Bed” without success?

Do you have a Carlson Portable Dog Cot?

If you have any questions (or answers) please leave us a note in the comment section below.

We thought it would take several training sessions to put together a tutorial on how to teach your dog “Go To Your Bed”. However, Raven picked up the behavior in less than 5 minutes. #gotoyourbed #dogtraining #puppytraining #dogbed #dogcot #portabledogbed #portablepuppetbed
How To Teach Your Dog “Go To Your Bed”

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  1. Just a reminder if you don’t remember we are training Baron ourselves to be a Guide Dog.

  2. We have some issues with the jumping and whining with Baron. When someone comes in he will jump on them, we’ve tried the no touch look or speak with the human until he calms down but he than goes to a high pitched whine until they acknowledge him. Which I must say sometimes allowed because his whining can trigger a seizure in my husband unsure what I should try next or what would be more effective. Baron is just 6 months shepherd/husky/ Rottweiler mix very high energy.

  3. Hi Bianca, thank you! I’m glad you’re enjoying the articles. As far as I know the service dog organizations only supply the manuals to the puppy raisers. It’s funny you brought this up though because my plan is to put together a series of blog posts that will detail how we will raise and train our next service dog puppy. The information will be based on my experiences raising puppies for several different service dog organizations. Then at the beginning of next year I will raise another service dog puppy and I plan on sharing his/her journey to become a service dog. If you have any specific questions or if there’s information you’re interested in please feel free to leave me a comment or shoot me an email.

  4. Hi colby! i just came across your site and I’m enjoying your articles. So much to comb through and learn from!! I wanted to ask, if i wanted to raise a puppy the way one would a service dog/ guide dog, what’s the best reference tool for me to achieve that? The puppy will just be family pet so i wouldn’t qualify for having service dog in training. Do any of these volunteers and training facilities have manuals a normal person (not service dog puppy raiser) could use as a guide to teach commands? I can’t seem to find any available to the public which makes me wonder why it wouldn’t be? I would love to raise my pet puppy to be as well mannered and obedient as a service dog.

  5. Yeah, I think the dog cot is more comfortable then the mat. One thing I noticed is how easy she found the Carlson bed to target once she figured out what I wanted her to do. I’m wondering if using “Go To Your Bed” will help her be more accurate with her targeting when I ask her to “Go To Your Mat”.

  6. Wow, I hope the ‘go to your bed’ command indeed alleviates barking at the doorbell. That would be great, especially for someone with multiple dogs. And I’m sure Raven prefers the cot over a mat. The cot seems more comfortable especially if you’re somewhere like a campground etc.. I like that it is easy to fold and store as well. Nice job, Raven!

  7. Thanks! She should be the model 🙂 Raven doesn’t bark when we redirect her to the bed. Right now I’m working on transferring the cue so that when she here’s the doorbell she immediately goes to her bed rather than me telling her “Go To Your Bed”. I’ll let you know how it goes.

  8. How ironic that our dog just chewed up her bed tonight! Haha

    If Raven is sent to her bed for barking at the doorbell, does the redirecting usually work or does she bark while on her bed? (And for what it’s worth, I totally think she should have been the model on the box!)

  9. I think old timer like Georgie might like having something to keep him off the ground. My only worry is for older dogs with arthritis it might be a little difficult getting on and off. Although Stetson is arthritic and he managed okay, but doesn’t have the same enthusiasm as Raven.

  10. The Carlson bed folds easily and is lightweight. I bought some furniture pads to apply to the bottom, but so far I haven’t used them because I haven’t had too many issues with it slipping. We have polished concrete and that’s the only place where I’ve noticed it slides a little especially when Raven enthusiastically jumps onto her little elevated dog cot.

  11. Once your dog is solid with the behavior they run to the mat/cot whenever you pull it out. It makes sense because the mat/cot is basically a free treat machine! Just like running over to Krispy Kreme on free donut day 🙂

  12. That cot would be perfect for George when he goes on camping trips so he doesn’t have to lay on pine needles and gravel. It looks light weight and would fold up nicely to fit in the camper van 🙂

  13. I enjoyed the video!!
    These tips will come in handy if our next canine companion does not know “go to ur bed. “ I like the way the Carlson Bed folds… so EZ.

  14. We should train the dogs in our family and maybe leave the cot at our house when the dogs visit.

  15. Yes! They have a small and a large size dog cot. The small one is about half the size of the large one. I think it would be great for Yuki and “Go To Your Bed” would also be a good behavior for her to learn.

  16. Our dog barks and rushes the front door whenever the doorbell rings. We will try to use your method of training her to go to her bed instead of barking incessantly and running to the front door. We have a yorkie. Does the Carlson portable dog cot come in a small size? I really like how portable it is and how easily it opens and closes.

  17. Yep! My dog’s rule our bed. I’ve become a contortionist when it’s bed time. I think my body may be permanently shaped like an S with Raven curled on one side and Stetson the other. Linus liked lying across the top against the headboards. We’re using “Go To Your Bed” to try and get Raven to settle in certain situations. So far it’s working fairly well. Next I’m going to try and transfer the cue to the doorbell. The basic idea is when the doorbell rings Raven goes to her bed (instead of barking). We’ll see how it goes. I’ll report back next week!

  18. It’s great for keeping your dog off the floor for whatever reason. When I first saw it I thought it would be great for camping to keep your dog off the dirt. I think someone else mentioned that there dog’s would often get sap in their fur when lying down under trees on camping trips. Ours has a little bit of a different purpose as a place for Raven to settle. The good news is she thinks it’s a treat machine 🙂

  19. When I first read the title I was about to type – Ruby knows this command. But then I read further and have to admit when we say “Ruby go to bed” she runs up to our bed. LOL. The cot looks pretty cool!

  20. Good job Raven!! Too bad she didn’t know that more treats would have been tossed her way if she didn’t get it as quickly! haha. The portable bed/cot looks awesome and I like the quick and easy set up and take down. I think it would be great for my dog to get her off the hot floor in the summer time, but allow her to be outside in the shade when we have company over.

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