My dog weighs 75lbs and has a beautiful, spacious dog bed in the kitchen. Instead of using that, she’ll lay under the glass top coffee table in the living room when we’re watching TV. or under the computer desk when I’m working in my office. The glass on the coffee table is full of dog fur and nose prints, and my legs cramp up at my desk because there’s no place to put them! What can I do to make her love her bed?
It seems as if your dog is giving you lessons in Canine Behavior 101. First lesson: most dogs retain a den instinct from their ancestors. Simply put, it means that they derive comfort and security from being in a place that approximates a den, and a large fluffy dog bed in the middle of a kitchen doesn’t meet the criteria. A snug, cave-like location does, hence her preference for the coffee table and computer desk. In this case, I think she’s also seeking out your companionship, which is your second lesson – dogs want to be with their pack. Since you’ve expressed that you’re not in love with her choice of resting places, consider buying her inexpensive airline crates, remove the doors (needing to confine her isn’t your issue) and place each of them in the rooms that she prefers. You’ll be meeting her need to be with you and be in an enclosed area all at the same time, as well as your need to have legroom at your desk. As for the beautiful dog bed, if it won’t fit in the crates, consider donating it to a local animal shelter. Beauty truly is in the eye of the (canine) beholder.