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Happy Dog, Happy Planet

Helping Her Adjust

My four and a half year old goldendoodle, Maddie, has been sleeping with me since she was about three months old. She is non-dominate and very well trained (if I do say so myself!). The issue is that in two months I am getting married, and have conceded to my fiancee that Maddie will not sleep on the bed. I am worried about how the transition will happen and what effect that it will have on her. What I want to avoid is making her feel that she is being punished. So far I have come up with putting her bed next to my side of the bed (that’s where she slept as a puppy before I let her on the bed) and maybe giving her something of mine to sleep with (something she loves to do when I am gone – I often find her with an article of clothing, for example). Is there anything else I can do to ease the transition?


Hi Sarah,

This is a simple one!  You are doing the exactly what you need to do.  I would also suggest that you start the new sleeping arrangement now, so that she is used to sleeping in  “her” bed before your new husband arrives!  By then, she will be totally used to the new situation and it will be less stressful for everyone.

Please try to not feel guilty about the new sleeping arrangement.  Never say “I’m sorry” or “It’s ok!”, as you say that with empathy.  Always be upbeat and praise her when she gets in her new bed.  Maybe even give her a “night-night” treat when she goes into her bed each night!

Be strong if she gets up on your bed in the middle of the night also!  Lead her back to “her” bed and praise her again (no treat) !  Leadership is “consistency and persistency”!

I wish you luck, happiness and health as you start a new chapter in your life!

MerryMac Dog Training & Nutrition Center

Sprayberry Square Shopping Center
2550 Sandy Plains Road NE, Suite 365
Marietta, GA 30066

Phone: 770-579-3865


Wed, February 8 2012 » Advice, Ask the Expert

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Molly Molly

I am a three year old German Shepherd from South Georgia.  I don’t really have a favorite toy because my favorite things are sleeping and getting petted on the head. Although if I do get up some energy I will admit that I love getting into the trash to look for napkins.

My brother Teddy is lots of fun to play with, plus he usually takes the blame for my chewing.  I really like him for that!  I love to bark a lot; sometimes my humans do not appreciate that so much.  I am SUPER special because I am a white German Shepherd and that is not so common I hear.

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