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Sleeping on bed - Personality Change.
  • ddavidddavid
    Posts: 94
    I'm shocked as to what our Nikki's personality is transforming into. Nikki has been sleeping on our bed for the past year, peacefully and content. But for the past two weeks its become a chore to feel secure. He's a 7 years old and loves to sleep on our bed but it appears he wants to become the master and won't budge from his spot he chose. When we move our feet, or turn, he growls and barks. Even tried to bite my feet. He has plenty room, but now wants to control the whole bed. When I pull or remove a blanket because of the heat wave, the blanket doesn't even touch him but he growls. He senses the slightest movement and doesn't like it. We finally locked him into our den & living room, so we can have a good night sleep instead worrying whether he will bite us in middle of the night.
    So my question is: How can we break him of his aggressive behavior, so he can stay sleeping with us on the bed ?

    [changed category ~mod.]
    Post edited by curlytails at 2014-05-18 10:11:37
  • natashanatasha
    Posts: 122
    Is this the only time he exhibits aggressive behaviour? If so, I would suggest you invite him on the bed and also give him a command to get off the bed using treats as well. This is so you teach him to be obedient as relates to the bed, practicing daily would help.

    Perhaps a better idea would be to have him sleep on his bed in your room, is it imperative that he sleeps on your bed? If he's exhibiting aggression in other areas than this would be part of a broader issue, otherwise repetition of commands to get on or off the bed as well as lie on a particular section of the bed might help.
  • ddavidddavid
    Posts: 94
    No other aggression I know of. He's fine with other dogs and people. His behavior came as a surprise. I will try your suggestions.
  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 1106
    Seems this is somewhat common. Kouda isn't allowed on furniture, but if I had to deal with this I'd do like @natasha suggested and allow him by invite only.

    Here's an article by Pat Miller on this topic
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8587
    @ddavid - You may also want to take him in for a checkup with your vet. It is possible that he is in pain and exhibiting signs by getting upset when you disturb his sleep/rest. I would actually do the vet check first (with full blood panels) before doing anything else. If the vet determines that he is healthy, then work with him on moving when asked and having him sleep in his own space in your room.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • ddavidddavid
    Posts: 94
    Thanks for all the suggestions. He used to sleep on his own bed in the bedroom, until we allowed on the bed. My wife has a soft spot. But making him sleep back onto his own space is easier said than done. He happily trots into the bedroom but once confronted to stay in his space, he freezes and won't budge and just stares at the bed.
    Nothing will make him move, kibbles, cheese his favorite, a low reprimand, sweet talk from my wife, and I'm afraid he'll choke to death pulling on a lease. This guy rather will commit suicide than be distracted from his goal. Never seen any dog so stubborn and I had plenty of dogs prior. Once he plants his feet in front of the bed, he becomes a 500 lb statue with 1 goal in mind. So we locked him into the living room last night, and he whimpered all night long. In the morning he was at the door just waiting to be opened. We have to buy another King Size bed ?
  • @DDavid, if you are buying a king size bed for the dog, do you have any interest in adopting a 30 year old human? =)

    Seriously though, I would try crating him in your room (assuming he tolerates the crate), and I would also switch him to a harness to reduce the likelihood of injury from pulling.

    Once he sleeps comfortably in his crate for a few nights, I would leave the crate door open so he can sleep outside it but still on the floor.

    How does he get on the bed? Does he jump, or do you have stairs?
  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 5171
    I'd also go with @Sunyata's suggestion and get a full vet check, especially including a full thyroid panel. If his behavior has changed, there could be a medical reason, and hypothyroidism does cause aggression. However, it really sounds like he is resource guarding (guarding space is not uncommon, though does need to be dealt with). I think it were me, I'd do what you're doing: not letting him on the bed if he's going to try guard it. It's hard to do if you're sleeping, but one way to deal with this kind of thing is if he growls, the resource is taken away. Some people have a no-reward marker which indicates to the dog that they made the right choice. I say "oops!" and then take away whatever they were going to get for behavior I don't want to encourage. So an "oops" and then he has to get off the bed. Doing that repeatedly is one way to deal with this (though obviously, if he's going to bite you if you try to push him off the bed it is more serious).

    Check out the threads on resource guarding, too, for help.
  • curlytailscurlytails
    Posts: 2779
    Bowdu had this issue for a while. He's rather sensitive about his personal space. It's not exactly him being "master" over the bed, and it's definitely not aggression. He just wants to sleep undisturbed. Don't we all? Heh. So I did basically what was suggested above -- Bowdu gets his own bed at the foot of the bed. It's a nice big round thing that's supposed to be Lab-sized, padded with extra cushions. He didn't take to it at first, but now that's his first alternative when he gets jostled too much on the bed.

    One thing about the on/off commands is to practice outside the bedroom first. We practiced on picnic tables, chairs, etc. On -- get a treat. Off -- get a treat. I'd point to where I wanted him to go, and he'd go there and sit. Eventually transferred that to the bed, and it worked like a charm. If he started to make a fuss on the bed, I'd "change the subject" altogether by pointing to HIS bed and tell him "off." And he'd get a treat only when he was there. Extra praise for staying. If he tried to get back on the bed without being invited, or interrupt when I was rearranging the sheets or whatever, I'd just tell him "off" and stay again.

    At first, I could see him really, really fighting the urge to interrupt whatever I was doing on the bed. Eventually, he got less uptight about it. He's now allowed to sleep in bed again, and he will still growl when he's upset by bed movement -- but this is usually his last expression of exasperation before stomping off to his OWN bed, which is fine by me.

    [Ed: The video I posted on the first page of the Shiba quirks thread was actually an earlier manifestation of Bowdu resource guarding the bed. I didn't recognize it as such when I posted it in 2010 (thanks, Shiba forum, for teaching me new things!). It did get worse and became a problem after that video though, hence the strategy outlined above.]
    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
    Post edited by curlytails at 2014-05-21 02:46:13

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