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I know, most people have the opposite problem, lol.

For me, it's very important that Max is able to get up on my bed. In order for him to aid me with my PTSD, I need him to be able to perform something called a deep pressure massage (they lay across your chest which releases deeply relaxing chemicals in your body), and to wake/soothe me when I get nightmares/night terrors.

He is allowed on the furniture, so that's not an issue in our house. He's also a small dog, a shih tzu mix, so I'm not concerned about space, either.

I know for a fact that he is perfectly capable of jumping up on the bed; he's done it once or twice before. However, when I ask him to jump up, he just stands there and scratches at it (his way of telling me he wants to but can't do it). How can I teach him to jump up on the bed? I've tried lure training, but he just doesn't have the confidence to do it.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Have you considered getting some stairs or a ramp? I have one of those beds that are very high off the ground, mine is about 3 feet off the ground. Its also a California King, so its very difficult for my two tiny dogs to get up. I had to get a sofa to put at the end of my bed and put dog stairs against the sofa for the littlest one to get up. lol
 

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Have you considered getting some stairs or a ramp?
Thanks for the speedy reply :)

I have thought about it, but I decided against it for three reasons:

1. I don't have a lot of space in my room for stairs or a ramp, so I'm afraid that him or I will trip over them or knock them over in the night.

2. They can get pretty expensive.

3. I know that he's perfectly capable of jumping up on his own, so I don't really want to spend money on stairs when he can get up. It's an issue of confidence, rather than height for him.

We had the same problem with getting him up on the couch as a puppy. Now he jumps on the couch, but we couldn't figure out how to train him to do it then, and this time around with the bed I'd rather train him than wait for a long time for him to build up the confidence all by himself.
 

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I know, most people have the opposite problem, lol.

For me, it's very important that Max is able to get up on my bed. In order for him to aid me with my PTSD, I need him to be able to perform something called a deep pressure massage (they lay across your chest which releases deeply relaxing chemicals in your body), and to wake/soothe me when I get nightmares/night terrors.

He is allowed on the furniture, so that's not an issue in our house. He's also a small dog, a shih tzu mix, so I'm not concerned about space, either.

I know for a fact that he is perfectly capable of jumping up on the bed; he's done it once or twice before. However, when I ask him to jump up, he just stands there and scratches at it (his way of telling me he wants to but can't do it). How can I teach him to jump up on the bed? I've tried lure training, but he just doesn't have the confidence to do it.

Thanks in advance.
May I ask what the trauma was?
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
May I ask what the trauma was?
I would rather not get into the details, as it's really personal and I don't like talking about it. Basically, though, I had some serious issues with my family, primarily my Dad, and was struggling to deal with that in high school. My best friend, her older brother, and a mutual friend had gotten into a car accident, and the other friend passed away. On top of all of this, my friend who was in the car accident simply stopped being friends with me at a point in my life where I was already dealing with a lot of anxiety and emotional struggle, and literally every single friend I had (they were all mutual between us) stopped being friends with me at the same time, leaving me completely alone. There's a lot more to it, and there were multiple events besides that one, but that's the meat and potatoes of the story.

Basically, now I have fear going out of the house, not to the point where I can't go out, or won't go out, but to the point where it feels like I'm taking a risk everytime that I do. I also get bad nightmares, sometimes night terrors or fits at night, I have really bad crowd anxiety, social anxiety, and travel anxiety, etc. So now I've been prescribed two ESAs: Max, my dog, and Kirby, my cockatiel. I'm working on training them both to be capable of performing PTSD Service Animal tasks, even though they aren't PTSD certified.
 

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Dogs will either comfortably find a position to take or need to be trained to take a position ( placed ) in this regard.

If the dog does as you say and " he just stands there and scratches at it (his way of telling me he wants to but can't do it). and 3. I know that he's perfectly capable of jumping up on his own, " I might be inclined to actually help the dog up and in doing so, telegraphing to the dog, it is okay to be up on the bed. Once that is accomplished, proceed from there.
 

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I might be inclined to actually help the dog up and in doing so, telegraphing to the dog, it is okay to be up on the bed. Once that is accomplished, proceed from there.
He does know that he is not only allowed on my bed but encouraged. I've praised him heavily for the few times he's done it and bring him up here all the time. Like I said before, the only problem is his confidence in his jump. Max is just a bit of a low-confidence little guy, he doesn't think he can do it when I know that he can. It's like Wizard of Oz, haha.

He is a Shih tzu mix. I know he has shih tzu in him, the rest is a mystery. Somewhere in his ancestry, I think he has a bigger dog in him, because he has webbed feet, a snout about 3-4 inches long I think, he herds, and he has a much better sense of smell than most shih tzus. I wouldn't say getting on the bed is easy, but it didn't seem hard either. It's kind of like when you see dogs weaving or jumping hurdles in agility; they had to learn to do it, it isn't easy, but it's also not something that they strain their bodies to do (the difficult part in agility is usually the speed of the action performed, not the action itself, which is what I'm talking about). He jumped up just fine, easily made it to the top of the bed, but it wasn't exactly no effort either, if that makes sense?
 

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Do you have space to put a small footstool, stepstool, or even a cardboard box at the end of the bed? Any of these would be pretty affordable and would give him an extra step so it's not just one big jump.

Otherwise it sounds like you just need practice lots to build up his confidence. When Finnegan is hesitant to jump up onto my (higher) bed, I call him and pat the bed in a really over-the-top enthusiastic way, and that usually works to encourage him to try.

Good luck!
 

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It may be that while he can do it, he has difficulty doing so. Also if he's even a little over weight, is getting older, or has bad knees, or the beginnings of arthritis, it may hurt him to jump up so high. Some dogs are simply better at jumping then others.

Back when my dog was almost 2 lbs overweight, that's a lot since he was 10.8 lbs, on top of having luxating patella (knees slippiing in and out of place), he had difficulty jumping, sometimes he could jump onto the couch, other times he had difficulty. He's now down to 9 lbs and not only can he jump on the couch with a lot more ease, he can jump onto furniture he previously couldn't .

It still isn't good for him to be jumping though, and it's very bad for him to be jumping down, so he has steps to get on and off the couch, and a ramp to get on and off the bed. I'm also limited on space, so I had a ramp made (a friend made it) that is only around a foot wide, it runs along one side of the bed and I use my nightstand for the platform top. Something like that would probably also work for you. You can also use something like a low night stand, a foot rest or ottoman, or chest, and simply lead him up onto it and onto the bed, then back down again, using treats as a lure.

If you simply want to teach him to try and jump onto the bed, I'd start with low things like the couch, then higher things like maybe a chair, or table, then finally the bed. You're going to have to build his confidence along with his leg muscles, so that he can easily make the jump and has the confidence to do so.
 
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3. I know that he's perfectly capable of jumping up on his own, so I don't really want to spend money on stairs when he can get up. It's an issue of confidence, rather than height for him.

We had the same problem with getting him up on the couch as a puppy. Now he jumps on the couch, but we couldn't figure out how to train him to do it then, and this time around with the bed I'd rather train him than wait for a long time for him to build up the confidence all by himself.
Dogs are not just tools, they are live creatures. Rewards for requested behavior (training) do build up confidence, but it is possible that this dog may not be able to comfortable take these jumps now or possibly not at all. This dog deserves to have the time he needs to train to take this jump, and if he persists in being unable or unwilling, a trip to the vet to make sure there are not physical reasons for what is happening, and a footstool or ramp to get up to the bed in that case.

It may be that while he can do it, he has difficulty doing so. Also if he's even a little over weight, is getting older, or has bad knees, or the beginnings of arthritis, it may hurt him to jump up so high. Some dogs are simply better at jumping then others.
Exactly
Do you have space to put a small footstool, stepstool, or even a cardboard box at the end of the bed? Any of these would be pretty affordable and would give him an extra step so it's not just one big jump.
This.
 

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Like I said in my first reply "Dogs will either comfortably find a position to take or need to be trained to take a position ( placed ) in this regard.", maybe your dog does not feel "comfortable" on the bed with you, maybe the dog feels confined or restricted. It obviously varies from breed to breed as well as the nature of the particular dog. All the GSDs I have had at separate times, have taken similar positions at night which allows them to fulfill their instincts essentially. There is the "pack" position as well as the places where the dog has everything under its surveillance and of course the positions where the dog feels most comfortable temperature-wise. I guess I have never forced or required a dog to take a particular position during the night as they have all had free range throughout the entire house and all of them have ended up in the same places. If I wanted a dog to take a particular position then it would need to be " trained to take a position ( placed ) in this regard.".
 

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He is a Shih tzu mix. I know he has shih tzu in him, the rest is a mystery. Somewhere in his ancestry, I think he has a bigger dog in him, because he has webbed feet, a snout about 3-4 inches long I think, he herds, and he has a much better sense of smell than most shih tzus. I wouldn't say getting on the bed is easy, but it didn't seem hard either. It's kind of like when you see dogs weaving or jumping hurdles in agility; they had to learn to do it, it isn't easy, but it's also not something that they strain their bodies to do (the difficult part in agility is usually the speed of the action performed, not the action itself, which is what I'm talking about). He jumped up just fine, easily made it to the top of the bed, but it wasn't exactly no effort either, if that makes sense?
How tall is he? And how high is your bed? The reason I ask is that even a slight mismatch in his height and the height of your bed could be making the jump uncomfortable for him. He sounds like he wants to please you, so I think if he could easily make the jump for you he would.

Another idea is to lower your bed. A temp solution could be getting rid of the frame and just putting the box spring and mattress right on the floor. That would lower the bed height substantially (I know because my mother did this for her elderly cats lol)
 

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Everyone,
Max did not have difficulty getting on my bed, trust me. What I meant earlier is that it wasn't like just stepping from a higher place to a lower place, but he did not strain or have difficulty either.

Also, I believe in clicker training for communications; I do not ever try to push or force him to do something that he is afraid of! I was asking for tips that I could try to communicate to him that he can do it and to increase his confidence; not only is jumping up on the bed important for his potential service work, but so is having confidence in himself. So far, the other training I've done with him has made him act more cool and confident, so I was hoping that overcoming this obstacle would as well.

There have been some great tips so far, such as temporarily setting up a box or pillows and slowly removing them until he makes the jump, or having him jump onto other things on cue and building up to the bed. I will definitely try these.

Drivedog - that makes a lot of sense. I'm thinking now of training a cue "lie with me" or something similar for when I feel upset. Thanks

Max is in a perfect weight zone, he has absolutely no health problems, and he is actually a little bit of an athlete: we play tons of fetch, in the summer he was able to swim faster than me, and he runs agility courses in my backyard.

As I've said before, I do not have room for a footstool or ramp or step. I can make one temporarily for training, but I'd have to take it down after each training session because of my space issue. I don't mind this, this is likely what I will do now, as well as some of the other suggestions. I just wanted to see if there were any other ideas out there as well so that I could make sure that my training program is perfect for Max.
 

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Everyone,
Max did not have difficulty getting on my bed, trust me. What I meant earlier is that it wasn't like just stepping from a higher place to a lower place, but he did not strain or have difficulty either.

Also, I believe in clicker training for communications; I do not ever try to push or force him to do something that he is afraid of! I was asking for tips that I could try to communicate to him that he can do it and to increase his confidence; not only is jumping up on the bed important for his potential service work, but so is having confidence in himself. So far, the other training I've done with him has made him act more cool and confident, so I was hoping that overcoming this obstacle would as well.

There have been some great tips so far, such as temporarily setting up a box or pillows and slowly removing them until he makes the jump, or having him jump onto other things on cue and building up to the bed. I will definitely try these.

Drivedog - that makes a lot of sense. I'm thinking now of training a cue "lie with me" or something similar for when I feel upset. Thanks

Max is in a perfect weight zone, he has absolutely no health problems, and he is actually a little bit of an athlete: we play tons of fetch, in the summer he was able to swim faster than me, and he runs agility courses in my backyard.

As I've said before, I do not have room for a footstool or ramp or step. I can make one temporarily for training, but I'd have to take it down after each training session because of my space issue. I don't mind this, this is likely what I will do now, as well as some of the other suggestions. I just wanted to see if there were any other ideas out there as well so that I could make sure that my training program is perfect for Max.
Since he is athletic, at a good weight, and in good health, then working his way up to the height of the bed, is probably going to be your best bet. Given that he's able to do so already, but simply lacks the confidence, then I think he'll gain the confidence rather quickly. It may also help to heavily reward him when he does jump up there. Make being on the bed the best thing ever, and fade whatever you use to help him get on the bed quickly so that he does not come to rely on it. One other thing to take into consideration is that if he's jumping from some type of hard flooring to the bed, it may be slick and that could be contributing to the lack of confidence. If that's the case putting a rug on the floor to help him with traction may help.
 

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I'm thinking now of training a cue "lie with me" or something similar for when I feel upset. Thanks
Yes, teach your dog how to "place". Start easy without using elevated positions maybe just a mat on the floor. Once your dog is familiar with the "place" command, begin to bring elevated spots into play. People use the place skill in numerous ways as well as varied ways in how they teach the skill. I have taught my dog to "place" in an area where I might point at or will issue the command expecting the dog to take a particular spot ( such as during meals, when company comes over or in the backyard etc.) Overall, it's a good skill to teach most every dog as it provides more benefit than some might imagine. Teach the place skill so the dog goes to the appropriate spot and remains in that spot until you walk over to the dog and release the dog, essentially training it as a stay rather than a wait. I taught it so the dog downs when it gets to the particular place, most do I assume.
 
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