Bedtime routines: Where does your dog sleep?

Sleepy wolf. #dogdaysofsummer
Nap time on our dirty kitchen floor.

Where does your dog sleep?

For the past year, Pyrrha slept in her crate. She likes her crate; it’s her safe place. When she feels overwhelmed by a situation, she’ll retreat there, and we’ve always left that as an option for her.

As of last week, though, we’ve been experimenting with a new routine: Pyrrha getting to sleep wherever she wants in the house.

For a while now, I’ve wanted to give her this freedom in the house, and I think this is a good way to ease her into it. She has proven herself to be very reliable in the house, and she has not shown any inclination to get into things she’s not supposed to. Pyrrha is kind of the perfect house dog in that way; I can count on one hand the number of things she has chewed up that she wasn’t supposed to.

So, this is Pyrrha’s new sleep routine: We leave her crate door open, and say “Goodnight!” I think this confused her the first few nights; she would run into her crate, and then when I didn’t close the door, she’d peek her head out and look at me, like, “Um, mom? You forgot something…” But she’s adapting quickly. I think she sleeps in crate still, but she also has a dog bed in the living room (and she also considers our couch fair game for naps).

The weird thing she does now, though, which is not my favorite, is that she comes into our room at 5:30 a.m., sticks her nose in my face, and wags her tail against my nightstand. I mumble, “Chill out,” and then she lies down on the floor next to me, until I wake up (around 6:15–6:30). I’m not sure why it’s been exactly 5:30 a.m. every day. It’s not light out yet, so I’m curious why that time has a trigger for her.

All in all, though, it’s been going well!

Where do your dogs sleep? Did you ever transition them from one routine to another?

Pup links!

A lady and her English cocker spaniel. Source: LIFE magazine archives.

Dog-related links from around the Web:

If the Characters in Downton Abbey Were Portrayed by Canine Actors… A friend shared this on my Facebook wall, and I just had to share it here, too. If you watch the period soap opera Downton Abbey, you will appreciate these comparisons. I think they’re pretty spot-on. Matthew is totally a golden retriever and Mary makes a lot of sense as a poodle. And, poor Edith! The Bedlington terrier! (Dogster)

How to Properly Care for Your Dog’s Teeth. Canine dental hygiene is usually pretty terrible, and, from my experience, it’s an easy thing to forget to take care of–and not exactly fun when you do. This is a thorough article, however, that reminds us all of why it’s very important to care for our dog’s pearly whites. (The Whole Dog Journal)

Investigating Halitosis. Related to doggy dental care, here’s a veterinarian’s list of possible causes of your dog’s terrible breath. (The Bark blog)

Where’s the Beef? Subtitle: “Why your dog should never eat another Milk Bone or Beggin Strip, and you should avoid the Slim Jims.” You won’t ever want to buy those products again after you read this article by Amy Renz. (Goodness Gracious Treats)

Identifying Merle. I grew up with a beautiful tricolor merle Australian shepherd and I’ve always had a fondness for merle coats, especially when they come from conscientious breeders. But I learned a ton from this post and learned that I’ve been incorrectly identifying some dogs as “merle” that really aren’t. Fascinating stuff. (Musings of a Biologist and a Dog Lover)

House Rules and Time-Outs. Aleksandra shares her wisdom about how they use “time-outs” to teach their newly adopted pitt, The Dude, some house manners. Great, gentle, and effective advice. (Love and a Six-Foot Leash)

Binq Design. If I was in the market for a tiny dog, and had a lot of cash to spare, I think I’d definitely consider these functional and attractive side tables + dog beds. They look like they’d be a nice place for a toy breed to hide out during family commotion. (Dog Milk)

Bambino vs. Fido: On Loving Dogs Less. Shauna, a pregnant blogger, reflects on how her relationship with her dogs will change–and stay the same–when she welcomes her baby into the world. I found this post very reassuring. As someone who hasn’t had kids yet but plans to one day, I confess I’m frankly terrified of the idea of emotionally displacing my future dogs. But, as she points out in this post, you don’t displace your dogs in your heart; you just make room. (Fido & Wino)

BFFs. Greyhounds snuggling on the couch. So cute. (Hiking Hounds)

Religious Dog Bumper Stickers. OK, pretend bumper stickers, but these still made me giggle. My favorite: “I’m Catholic but my corgi is affiliated with the Church of England.” (Dogs of the Interwebs)

Dog Refuses to Go Into Pool to Get Tennis Ball He Desperately Needs. In need of a laugh on this fine Tuesday? Look no further than this very, very determined golden retriever and his quest for one slightly out-of-reach tennis ball. (Best Week Ever)

Where does your dog sleep?

Does your dog sleep in your bed? A bed of her own? In a crate? Outside?

Source: Wikimedia Commons.

There are a lot of varying opinions on this topic. Traditional dominance-based trainers are strongly against allowing dogs in human beds, saying that it makes the dog think she can be the “alpha.” This theory is now considered bogus (dogs don’t want to be tyrants; they just want to be comfortable and close to their humans!), but it’s still a belief that persists among many. Other people think dogs ought to always sleep in their own crates. Still others keep dogs locked up in garages or laundry rooms, or worse, outside and chained to a tree.

Growing up, Emma had a bed of her own in the living room, but she quickly decided that was not her thing, and slept the rest of her days in my sisters’ beds. My sisters shared a room and Emma seemed to prefer that room to sleeping with me, to my long-lasting dismay. I tell myself she slept with them because there were more bodies to watch over in that room (my baby brother often joined them on the floor, so she had three kids to watch instead of one moody teenager, me), but I don’t really know why. I’m sure she had her reasons.

I’ve shared a few beds with dogs and the experience has been that dogs are bed hogs. Yep. One of my best friends and I shared a double bed with her adult lab/GSD mix, Ava. Ava wanted to sleep right between us and pound her legs into my back and/or face throughout the night. (I think she was trying to push me, the interloper, out of the bed…) The best animal bedfellow I’ve had was a cat, truth be told: Beloved Kitteh, my Denver roommate. A cat is a good size for a bedfellow, especially a cat with a temperament like this one: Endlessly snuggly and gentle; not the type to bat at one’s eyeballs.

Anyway. My husband has made it clear that he’s not really fond of the idea of sharing our bed with a full-grown German shepherd. And, as dog-crazy as you all know me to be, I find myself agreeing with him on this point. I think it may be a hard thing to prevent–as we both love cuddling with dogs–but I want to make that a house rule from the beginning.

So, how do you make a dog bed appealing? I’m thinking of putting it at the end of our bed, or on either side of our bed. And getting a really comfortable one. While they tend to be a bit pricier, Drs. Foster & Smith has a great selection of high-quality dog beds.

What are your sleeping arrangements with your pooches?

Pup links!

Floppy, cuddly German shepherd puppies. Click for source.

In rescue news, the anticipation is killing me. I applied too early, I think, because the groups have been super-responsive and they’ve all told me that nothing can really happen until our home visit. Even still, I obsessively check the postings of dogs up for adoption (like, several times a day), which is really just making me more anxious. I need to stop. I need someone to block these rescue groups’ websites and Petfinder and the SPCA… for my own sanity!

Anyway. Here are some happy and interesting dog-related links from around the Web this past week:

Crufts Show Dogs Disqualified. This has been the big news in the dog world this week. While I don’t want to open a can of worms, I’m curious what you think: Are independent vet checks a good idea at dog shows? I don’t know anything about the show world, but I am all for improving the breed standards of many purebreds raised only for their looks. I hope that that will eventually be the outcome of this controversial decision. (The Bark blog)

Dog-Friendly Yard Work. Advice from Maureen Gilmer, horticulturalist and dog lover, about dog-friendly plants and other projects for your garden this spring. I’m happy to know that dried rosemary can act as a flea repellent; we will be inheriting a huge rosemary bush with our new house. (The Bark)

Mudley. Part of me has always wanted a big, slobbery Newfoundland… (Shirley Bittner Photography)

Ollydog Mt. Tm Running Belt and Leash. This looks like pretty serious gear, but I can imagine that it would be really great to have while hiking or running. (Dog Milk)

Cheap and Easy Training Treats. Kristine shares some of her ideas for inexpensive, make-at-home treats. I will definitely be trying some of these in the months to come! (Rescued Insanity)

Impeccable Style. I actually really like this line of preppy/nautical-looking dog products, from the company Milk and Pepper. (Under the Blanket)

Canine Comforts. A beautiful suite of dog beds and bags from Cloud 7. The photography for their ad campaign is also beautiful–so natural-looking. (Design Hunter)

Guess the Genotype #56. I was going to guess that the breed was a mini-borzoi, but that’s kind of what it is: Has anyone heard of the silken windhound before? Despite the goofy name, I’m intrigued… (Musings of a Biologist and a Dog Lover)

Why Calling Her a Pit Bull Matters. A thoughtful and well-expressed post about why a pit bull mama calls her girl a pit bull, and not an AmStaff or other breed euphemism. (Save the Pit Bull, Save the World)

My Other Best Friend. One blogger’s reflections on her relationship with her dog, Bodhi. (Elephantine)

Charlie at Home. Our wonderful wedding photographer shares some photos of her sister’s sweet dog, Charlie. (Meredith Perdue Photography)

A collection of cozy dog beds

The pet product industry has expanded to such an extent that I’m regularly astounded at the types of things that are available for pets when I walk through a store. It’s mind-boggling and sometimes embarrassing to see the useless stuff people will buy for their dogs. But, of course, I love looking and preemptively deciding what I want to get for our future dog (6 months and counting!).

Lately, I’m thinking about dog beds. What will our dog prefer? What would look good in our own bedroom? Will our dog even want to sleep on his or her own bed? (Probably not. Clearly, our bed will be prime real estate.) We bought a lovely sherpa-lined bed for my childhood dog, Emma, but I don’t think she ever slept on it. She got in bed with my younger sisters instead, or sneakily climbed up on the couch (where she wasn’t allowed).

Some of these dog beds are so plush and cozy-looking that I kind of want one for myself…

Hemp stripe dog beds, $145-$185, Olive Green Dog

I love these hemp-stripe beds from Olive Green Dog. Too bad the large size is $185…

Bergan the Dog's Dog Bed, $50-$72, PetCo

A nice, earthy color, too. Bergan the Dog’s Dog Bed, from PetCo, from $40 to $70. Now that’s a price I can live with…

K&H Pet Products Bolster Couch, $60-$80, PetsMart

Every dog I know loves to rest her head on the couch arms. This bed attempts to simulate that experience. A pleasant color, too. K&H Pet Products Bolster Couch, from PetsMart, from $60 to $80.

Luxury Chaise Lounge dog bed, Drs. Foster & Smith, $100 to $170

Um, can I get one of these for myself? Drs. Foster & Smith has a lot of high-quality dog beds in their catalog. This is the Luxury Chaise Lounge dog bed, and it prices from $100 to $170.

Organic lounge dog beds, $119-$279, Olive Green Dog

So classy! With the large size at $279 at Olive Green Dog, they ought to at least be classy.

Martha Stewart's Houndstooth Dog Bed, $44 at PetsMart

A classic pattern for a classic pooch. Martha Stewart Pet’s Houndstooth Dog Bed, $44 at PetsMart.

Does your dog have his or her own bed? Any particular type or brand you’d recommend?

Pup links!

Kate Moss and a Great Dane. Source: Bing

Dog-related links from around the Web:

The Greatest Dog Who Ever Lived. I loved this post, because it reminded me of the great dog legends my dad would tell us about his childhood. Ebony, his doberman, was his version of The Greatest Dog Who Ever Lived. (When he met my mom for the first time, he once asked her if she wanted to see a photo of the only girl he’d ever loved. She wasn’t so sure, but then he produced a photo of Ebony from his wallet.) She’ll always live in my memory. (Tales and Tails)

See Scout Sleep. Fashionable and yet pleasantly demure dog beds from See Scout Sleep, featured on Design Sponge. (Design Sponge)

Reward-Based Dog Training: Without Using Treats! A helpful article on how to wean your dog off treats. (Whole Dog Journal)

Just Breathe. Another variation on the seemingly endless supply of “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster knockoffs, but I couldn’t help but feature it. It’s cute. And it’s also probably my life motto. (Pawsh Magazine)

Picasso’s Dogs. Stanley Coren reflects on Pablo Picasso’s relationships with dogs. (Modern Dog Magazine)

Dog on a Bed. Even though I’m not sure if I’ll let our future dog on our bed, I will always love photos of dogs on beds. (Shirley Bittner)

Bubble Beth. Exultant joy from this border collie, chasing soap bubbles. (BCxFour)

Woe. WOE! The caption and photo are priceless. (Save the Pit Bull, Save the World)

Get Low. Reason #524 why I will never get a terrier. (Animals Being Dicks)