Friday, 29 March 2013

There Were Four in the Bed and the Humans Said “No More”

Plenty of room...

The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is give Hayate a cuddle. He has not historically been the most affectionate of creatures, but first thing in the morning he is warm, calm and snugly. He rolls over yawning, presenting his tummy for a scratch, and nestles his head into me. Those morning moments are what make me forgive him for being a little monster during the day. Kuri is next, because she jumps off the bed the second the alarm goes off. She waits for me on the rug, and immediately rolls onto her back to lure me into scratching her tummy, upon which she takes my hand in her paws like kittens to and mouths my fingers very gently while making what I am sure she thinks are very fearsome noises. Occasionally I even say good morning to the husband, but he tends to be less cute before 6 am than the dogs are. He is also very resistant to presenting his tummy to me. So, with this picture of doggy bliss well established, why am I writing about kicking the dogs out of the bed?

What do you mean "no eating in the bed?"

They are horrible, horrible bed buddies. 

They shed. A lot.
Kuri has slept in the bed pretty consistently but Hayate only started joining her this past winter, and the addition has pushed us over the edge. Kuri is extremely aggressive in defending her spot on the bed, but she also likes to sleep under the covers.

Not a morning puppy
This means Hayate can’t really tell where she is, and has come too close a few times and sent her into a violent frenzy that is bad enough any time, but at 2 am when the frenzied dog is under your quilt, it’s horrible.
Wise he is, and your future he sees
Kuri likes to sleep on my legs (and occasionally licks my legs enthusiastically in the early hours of the morning) with her chin balanced on my feet and her nose poking out from the end of the quilt for fresh air. In other words, she puts a permanent draft up under the blankets.

I'm not talking to you
Hayate sleeps crosswise, with front and back legs stretched out for maximum bed usurpation. Hayate and Kuri have to be kept with a human between them to prevent fighting. The humans have become pretzel-shaped bits of doggy bedding.
Could I take up any more room? Why no, I don't think so...
There’s also Hayate’s habit of doing this when he is over exited just before bedtime.

Worst, though, is that if we kick them in our sleep, which is unavoidable, they tend to react badly (which is understandable but unpleasant). We haven’t had any skin piercing bites, but it is certainly scary to be woken by growls and teeth snapping near your feet. They are also sometimes too excited to see us when we wake up and leap onto our chests, which is terrifying when you are half asleep and, depending on the velocity of the dog and the time since the last nail trim, can result in a scratched face. When we have kids, they need to be able to come into our bed in the night if they want to without being scared of or scarred by the dogs. And for the sake of our sanity, we humans need to get a better quality of sleep.
But we like the bed :'(
So how do we do it? Any advice will be gratefully received. We’re buying some baby fencing and in the worst-case scenario we will just fence off the bed and put up with however long it takes before they stop crying to be let in, but that’s a traumatic way to go about it for them and us. I’d like to take a more positive approach, but I’m short on ideas. Please help!

Also, if you are interested in linking up for the J-Blogger's carnival (Eat, Drink, Cook) don't hesitate to get in touch.
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  1. Hey Soph,

    First, this is a much happier post, kudos!

    Second, we have had Chowder in his crate at night since day one when we got him, because OMG... all the things you said are SOOOOO true! I can't imagine him sleeping with us. Also, Chowder has a special affinity to the hubs' ears, so he likes to stand on him for better licking-leverage. <- not conducive to good sleeping.

    So I can't offer much advice, but I know our pup is super treat-oriented. So if you could give them treats for staying out of the bed that may help. I really don't know though, sorry :(

    1. I'm happy just for you gorgeous :P
      Of course, I would be happier if you shared more photos of Chowder... ;)

    2. I think my facebook friends will begin a riot if I post any more :)
      I've become one of the people I used to make fun of!


    NB: "Dog’s who sleep with their owners also experience a significant amount of separation anxiety and stress when their owners are away. This can lead to excessive barking, marking his territory more often, and chewing on just about anything in his path."
    Sound familiar?

    1. Oh god, yes, it does :'( Although to be fair to my conscience, Hayate's worst year for separation anxiety was before he started sleeping in the bed, and Kuri has pretty much always been in the bed but doesn't get much fussed when we leave.


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