You can use this method in teaching your dog to understand and obey numerous other commands. Before giving the command like to call the dog’s name first followed by the command. This will get your dog’s attention. Teaching the “bed” command, correctly, will make your dog a better companion and will facilitate future training efforts. This is equivalent to telling your child to “go to bed” and should probably be the first command you teach. Note that you can use any word you want: bed, kennel, crate, etc. You obviously need to be consistent using the same word. For this article I will be using the word bed. For puppies it will be easier to use a crate with a door, but a nice bed will do too. This is going to be your dogs’ safe zone. Your dog should always be safe when he is in his crate or bed.
The First Step
Ideally, start as soon as the new puppy joins the family. It is easier to put an eight to twelve-week-old puppy into a crate than a seventy-five pound-year-old dog that insists on refusing entry. But even for the older delinquent, the “Bed” command is the first step toward becoming an obedient and compliant dog.
Initially hold the dog by the collar or physically pick up a puppy and place the dog into the crate while saying “bed, bed, bed,” in a gentle, upbeat tone. Think of Pavlov’s bell as “ding, ding, ding,” not “clang, clang, clang.” Praise him or give him a treat. You cannot be lazy and take a half hearted approach to training. Once you start you must follow through with your commands or you will inadvertently embed in your dog the idea that he doesn’t’t have to listen to you. Do not take the approach of “Let’s see what happens if…. In any and all training you do. Resist the urge to give the “Bed” command without holding onto the dog to see what he will do. If the dog does not go in, either you will be forced to let him get away with it, and thereby teach him that he has options, or you will have to discipline him. Neither option is beneficial to your training program.