Lords & Labradors Information Hub

The home of handy tips and advice dedicated to pet owners

How To Get Your Dog To Sleep Through The Night
18.12.23 December 18, 2023 Owning a Dog Featured

How To Get Your Dog To Sleep Through The Night

For pet parents, few things are as essential as a good night's sleep—for both you and your furry companion. Yet, coaxing your beloved dog to sleep through the night isn't always a walk in the park. Whether you're dealing with a young pup, an older dog, or simply seeking to establish a solid nighttime routine, mastering this aspect of their wellbeing is crucial. Let's delve into a comprehensive guide on how to get your dog to sleep through the night. 1. Establish a Consistent Routine Dogs thrive on routine. Set regular feeding times, walks, and play sessions during the day. This helps expend their energy, making it easier for them to settle down at night. As they get used to your routine of settling down in the evening they are much more likely to follow suit and settle down with you 2. Create a Comfortable Sleep Environment Designate a cosy, quiet, and dark sleeping area for your dog. A comfortable bed or crate in a familiar spot can make a significant difference. Consider using soothing music or white noise to drown out disturbances. If light seems to affect your dog’s sleeping patterns try using a crate with a crate cover and bumper to create the perfect cosy dark den. 3. Exercise and Mental Stimulation A tired dog is more likely to sleep soundly. Engage your furry friend in physical activities and mental exercises throughout the day. Puzzle toys or training sessions can tire them out both physically and mentally. We love using snuffle mats with our dogs for their dinner to help tire their brains out, 15 minutes of snuffling is equivalent to an hours walk! 4. Limit Evening Activities Minimise excitement or vigorous playtime in the evening. Instead, focus on calm activities to signal the transition to bedtime. Try removing some of their more energetic toys like ropes or balls and give them chew toys that they can lay down to play with, a lot of dogs find chewing calming. 5. Establish a Wind-Down Routine Similar to humans, dogs benefit from winding down before sleep. Incorporate calming activities like a leisurely walk or gentle massage into their nightly routine. We personally love having snuggles on the sofa with our pups as part of their nighttime routine.  6. Dietary Considerations Avoid feeding large meals right before bedtime. Opt for feeding your dog earlier in the evening to allow ample time for digestion and prevent discomfort. 7. Toilet Breaks Ensure your dog has had the opportunity to relieve themselves before settling down for the night. A pre-bedtime bathroom break can prevent disruptions during the night. 8. Comforting Presence For puppies or dogs prone to anxiety, your presence can be reassuring. Consider leaving an item with your scent, like a piece of clothing or a scent blanket, near their sleeping area. Or you could try something like a heartbeat sheep or warm buddy bear which are designed to comfort your dog through the night. 9. Positive Reinforcement Encourage and reward your dog's good behaviour at night. Offer praise or a small treat when they settle down or remain calm during the night. 10. Consult a Professional If your dog consistently struggles with sleeping through the night, seeking advice from a veterinarian or a professional dog trainer can provide tailored solutions to address underlying issues. Remember, patience and consistency are key when training your dog to sleep through the night. Each dog is unique, so be adaptable and observe what works best for your furry companion. By implementing these strategies, you'll pave the way for restful nights—for both you and your beloved canine companion. Sweet dreams to you and your furry friend!

By Megan Willis

Read more
How To Get A Puppy Used To Fireworks
30.10.23 October 30, 2023 Getting A Puppy Featured

How To Get A Puppy Used To Fireworks

We are well into the Autumn season; summer has passed, and the red leaves are falling. This only means one thing; Guy Fawkes night is just around the corner and not long after is Guy Fawkes Night. Whilst we’re enjoying a pumpkin spice latté and deciding where to go and watch the fireworks, we mustn’t forget the furry members of the family. However, the lead up to Bonfire Night can be difficult season for many dogs. All the uproarious blasts and blazes made by fireworks and bonfires can be terrifying for them, making them stressed and anxious, possibly putting their wellbeing in danger. It is important to consider your canines best interests on Bonfire Night – especially if it's their first one. Puppies are likely to be more scared than they have ever been, due to the unfamiliar and potentially frightening sounds and sights. But there are ways to introduce them to fireworks before November 5th and prepare them. We thought we’d give you our tops tips for keeping your pets safe and calm at this noisy time of year, as well as recommending our top calming products.   Why are dogs scared on bonfire night? Bonfire Night can be a troubling time for many dogs. With the constant loud bangs and bright flashes, it is understandable why some dogs can be so frightened by the evening. Here are some of the main reasons why dogs are likely to be scared because of fireworks: Loud explosive noises – Dogs have an extremely acute sense of hearing, much more so than humans. The loud bangs and crackles that fireworks bring are even louder to your pup and likely to be extremely alarming! Bright flashes – Fireworks also make bright flashes at a usually dark time of day. This is unfamiliar to dogs and they may become scared at this. Can make your dog feel trapped – Fireworks are a difficult thing to escape, especially on Bonfire Night. Your dog may be likely to try to run away or hide, however they will struggle to escape them and may feel frightened or anxious. A feeling of the unknown and unpredictability – Bonfire Night to your dog, is just another, normal evening. The unpredictability of bangs and flashes is likely to cause restlessness and potentially act out of character.   Can you get a puppy used to fireworks? The best time to get your dog used to fireworks is when they are a puppy – as a dog who has already experienced a bonfire night in their life may already be frightened by the loud sounds and bright flashes. Preparing your pup begins now – you can start by turning up the noise on the television to gradually ease them into louder noises and bangs, especially during action scenes with frequent loud bangs. Once your pup is more used to that try recordings of firework displays to prepare them for the real thing. However, if your pet suffers from noise phobia or is quite anxious, the proposed preparation may worsen their situation.    What to do with dogs on bonfire night When dogs feel scared or anxious, they will look to find a space where they can try to relax and feel comfortable. The place they choose will likely be a dark place with one entrance to hide away from the loud bangs from fireworks. At Lords & Labradors, we understand that sometimes your dog will feel scared, especially on Bonfire Night! This is one of many reasons why we recommend a Lords & Labradors Crate Set for your pup! It provides the perfect escape and hiding place for them to find comfort and shelter when they are feeling anxious or scared.   How to keep a puppy calm during fireworks? The loud noises and bright flashes that fireworks bring can be an anxious time for anyone – so put yourself in your puppies’ position, scared will likely be an understatement. There are ways in which you can distract and calm your dog through their fears: Distraction from the loud noises via radio or TV – this can soften the loud bangs of the fireworks which should soften the fright for your pup. Anti-anxiety kits and products for dogs – here at L&L we understand that your dog may, from time to time, struggle with high levels of anxiety or fright. We offer a range of products perfect for situations such as Bonfire Night, where your dog or puppy is likely to be scared. Do not tell your dog off – it is important not to scare or upset your dog further than they already are. Try to act as normal as possible, sending your pup positive signals in the process by acting calm and happy. Do not take your dog to a firework display – Even if you think your dog will not be phased by fireworks or a bonfire, is it really worth taking the risk. A loud noise or bright flash could be enough to spook them into running away from you in a panic. Ensure they don’t have access to leave the front door – sounds a straightforward thing to say to some dog owners, but the strange noises and flashes of light that bonfire night brings could be enough to scare your dog into bolting to escape via the front door. If you need to open your front door, we advise shutting your dog in another room whilst doing so to ensure the highest level of safety.   How to help a puppy when fireworks are going off Preparing your Dog for Guy Fawkes Night is difficult. The unfamiliarity of the evening could cause high levels of stress and anxiety for your four-legged friend. However, there are some ways in which you can best prepare to try and make the evening as stress free for your canine: Walk in advance – Walking your dog in advance will ensure they have ample opportunity to relieve themselves before becoming scared by fireworks. Tiring them out may also help them relax more later in the evening.  Feed in advance – Feeding your dog before any expected fireworks would be advised, as an anxious or scared dog may not want to eat. Ensure their water bowl is filled – Anxious dogs are likely to pant, drool and generally be thirstier. Regular checking their water bowl will ensure they have a drink available. It may be worth encouraging them to drink throughout the evening as they may forget due to fear. Shut curtains and blinds – This will ensure any bright flashes are minimalised which could lead to scaring your pup. Double check the security of your garden – Letting your dog out to relieve themselves whilst fireworks are going off may be necessary, especially for puppies. Making your garden secure will ensure your dog can not escape in an attempt to run away from the loud explosions and bright flashes.  Anti-anxiety and calming products – At Lords & Labradors we understand that your dog may need something extra to support them through scary and anxious moments. Our range of anti-anxiety and calming products ensure that your dog will be calmer through traumatic evenings such as Bonfire Night.   Time to check your dog's microchipping details? The Autumn can bring a variety of occasions that can spook your canine friend, especially Halloween and Bonfire Night. It makes early October the perfect time to check you dogs microchip details, and ensure they are wearing their collar with ID tag as often as possible. Loud noises and unfamiliar sights that occasions like Bonfire Night bring (with fireworks) are likely to be things that could spook your pup into attempting to run away. We know that the last thing any pet owner wants to do is lose their pet – but ensuring that their details are up to date will best prepare you for that worst case scenario and help you find them just in case they do go missing!    Top Dog Calming Products To Use On Bonfire Night Woof & Brew Anxious Hound Herbal Tonic - This healthy tonic for dogs is a great daily supplement for anxious or nervous dogs and is ideal to give them before stressful situations such as fireworks. It's a special blend, rich in vitamins and minerals, best served over food or in their water. Each bottle has approximately 60 servings (please read the label for serving details).  Beaphar Cani Comfort Collars - The Beaphar CaniComfort Collars are great at relaxing your dog, they use pheromone technology to help calm your dog. Pheremones are one of the ways dogs communicate, the Dog Appeasing Pheromone (DAP) is naturally produced by mums when they are feeding their puppies. These collars contain a replica of the DAP which is familiar to all dogs so are instantly calming for all dogs. The collars are effective for up to four weeks so are perfect for over the Halloween and Bonfire festivities. The collar can have effects in as little as 15 minutes but we recommend putting it on a day or two before Halloween in case anyone has any early fireworks go off, simply fit the collar around your dog’s neck, fasten and cut off the excess. Perfect for calming and providing reassurance to your dog in what can be a scary time of year for our four-legged-friends. Calming Anti-Anxiety Donut Beds - Here at Lords & Labradors we design our products specifically with your dog’s needs in mind, our faux-fur donut beds are perfect for reducing your dog’s anxiety. The plump soft walls of the donut beds have been designed to cocoon your dog to sleep and help calm them. They come in the softest faux-fur fabric so are perfect for snuggling in.  Pet Remedy All-in-one Calming Kit  - There are a number of different options in the Pet remedy range including plug-in diffusers and room sprays. Pet Remedy contains a host of natural oils that de-stress and calm nervous pets. Our favourite product is the All-in-One Calming Kit that includes a room spray, plug-in diffuser and calming wipes. All the things you could need to help keep your pet calm through the celebrations. We hope you enjoy the festivities of the season. If you have a pet and you're concerned about their anxiety levels, don't panic! Try one of the solutions above and do your best to keep them feeling secure. If you have any questions about this article, or any other topic, do get in touch. You can chat to us via the Chat link on the bottom right hand side of our website, email sales@lordsandlabradors.co.uk or call us on 01790 720900.    

By Megan Willis

Read more
How to Get Your Puppy to Sleep Through the Night: A Comprehensive Guide
09.10.23 October 09, 2023 Getting A Puppy Featured

How to Get Your Puppy to Sleep Through the Night: A Comprehensive Guide

Welcoming a new puppy into your home is an exciting and joyous occasion. However, the first few nights can be a challenging time for both you and your furry friend. Puppies are known for their boundless energy and curiosity, which can make it difficult for them to settle down and sleep through the night. But fear not! With the right strategies and a little patience, you can help your puppy establish a healthy sleep routine. In this guide, we'll explore effective techniques to ensure your puppy gets a restful night's sleep, allowing you to do the same. Understanding Your Puppy's Sleep Patterns Before we dive into the tips and tricks for a peaceful night's sleep, it's crucial to understand your puppy's natural sleep patterns. Puppies, like human infants, have shorter sleep cycles and may wake up more frequently during the night. This behaviour is entirely normal and usually diminishes as your puppy grows older. On average, puppies need about 18 to 20 hours of sleep per day, but they'll sleep in shorter bursts throughout the day and night.   Establishing a Bedtime Routine Consistency is key when it comes to getting your puppy to sleep through the night. Creating a bedtime routine can help signal to your puppy that it's time to wind down and rest. Here's a simple routine you can follow: Set a regular bedtime: Choose a specific time for your puppy's bedtime and stick to it as closely as possible. This consistency will help regulate their internal clock. Toilet break: Before heading to bed, take your puppy outside for a bathroom break. This helps reduce the chances of nighttime accidents. Quiet playtime: Engage in calm and quiet play with your puppy before bedtime. Avoid overly stimulating activities that could leave them too excited to sleep. Snuffling or puzzle toys are great ways to wear their brains out without getting them too excited. Create a comfortable sleeping area: Ensure your puppy has a comfortable and safe sleeping space. A crate can be an excellent choice, as it provides a sense of security. We recommend setting your puppies crate up with one of our Cosy & Calming puppy crate beds filling half the space and then a piece of vet bed or a puppy pad on the other half. Dim the lights: As bedtime approaches, dim the lights in the room to signal to your puppy that it's time to sleep. The Power of Exercise A tired puppy is more likely to sleep soundly through the night. Make sure your puppy gets plenty of exercise and mental stimulation during the day. Long walks, playtime, and puzzle toys can help tire them out, making it easier for them to settle down at night.   Watch the Water and Food Limit your puppy's water and food intake in the evening to reduce the likelihood of nighttime toilet breaks. However, ensure they have access to fresh water throughout the day to stay hydrated.   Nighttime Comfort To make your puppy's sleeping area as inviting as possible, consider the following: Soft bedding: Provide comfortable bedding inside your puppy's crate or designated sleeping area. Our crate sets are perfect for creating your puppies dream sleep sanctuary. White noise: Some puppies find white noise or soft background music soothing. You can use a white noise machine or a calming playlist to create a peaceful ambiance. Puppy-safe toys: This will depend on your puppy but you could try including a few quiet, puppy-safe toys in the sleeping area to keep your puppy occupied if they wake up during the night, however you may find that this just excited your puppy too much when they’re supposed to be sleeping.   Handling Nighttime Wake-Ups Even with the best efforts, your puppy may still wake up during the night. When this happens: Stay calm: Avoid getting frustrated or upset. Remember that your puppy is still learning. Quietly address their needs: If your puppy needs to go potty, take them out to their designated spot, but do so quietly and without playing or engaging in stimulating activities. Avoid excessive attention: Minimise interaction during nighttime wake-ups to prevent reinforcing the idea that waking up at night is playtime.   Gradual Adjustments As your puppy grows, their ability to sleep through the night will improve. Be patient and understanding during the early months, and gradually, you'll find that your puppy needs fewer nighttime wake-ups.   Helping Older Dogs Sleep Through the Night If you have an older dog that's struggling with nighttime sleep, consider factors like comfort, pain, or anxiety. Consult with your veterinarian to address any potential underlying issues that might be affecting your dog's sleep. In conclusion, getting your puppy to sleep through the night requires consistency, patience, and a well-structured routine. Understanding your puppy's natural sleep patterns and providing a comfortable sleeping environment are essential steps in this process. With time and the right approach, you can help your puppy develop healthy sleep habits, ensuring peaceful nights for both you and your four-legged companion. Sweet dreams to you and your furry friend!

By Megan Willis

Read more
How To Get Your Puppy Or Dog To Sleep Alone: Expert Tips And Techniques
07.09.23 September 07, 2023 Getting A Puppy Featured

How To Get Your Puppy Or Dog To Sleep Alone: Expert Tips And Techniques

Getting your puppy, or even your adult dog, to sleep alone at night is a crucial milestone in their training. Whether you've just welcomed a new furry family member or are struggling with an existing canine companion who insists on sleeping in your bed, this guide will provide you with expert tips and techniques to teach your pet to sleep independently. Say goodbye to sleepless nights and hello to a well-rested, happy pup.   Start Early: Puppy Sleep Training If you have a puppy, it's essential to establish good sleep habits from the beginning. Puppies, like babies, need structure and routine. Start by creating a designated sleeping area for your puppy, preferably in a quiet and dark part of your home. Use a comfortable crate or a cosy dog bed to make them feel secure.   Crate Training Crate training is a highly effective method to teach your puppy or dog to sleep alone. Dogs have a natural denning instinct, and a crate mimics this instinct, providing a safe and secure space for your pet. Here's how to use crate training for better sleep: Introduce the crate gradually: Let your pup explore the crate with positive associations, such as treats and toys. Create a comfortable space: Add soft bedding and a favourite toy to make the crate inviting. Our crate sets are great for creating a cosy den, we've written a guide with everything you need to know about setting up your dog or puppies dream crate.  Gradual confinement: Begin with short intervals and gradually increase the time your pup spends in the crate. We recommend using positive reinforcement training methods, every time your pup goes in their crate give them a treat and some praise so they being to associate the crate as being a positive space. Consistency: Maintain a consistent bedtime routine, putting your pup in the crate at the same time each night. Avoid punishment: Never use the crate as a form of punishment. It should always be a positive and safe space. Positive Reinforcement Reward-based training is a powerful tool in teaching your dog to sleep alone. Use treats, praise, and affection to reinforce good behavior. Here's how to apply positive reinforcement: Bedtime treats: Give your pup a special treat or toy that they only get at bedtime. Praise calm behaviour: Whenever your dog settles down in their designated sleeping area, offer praise and affection. Ignore whining: If your pup whines or cries, wait for a moment of quiet, then reward them with attention. Gradual Transition For dogs accustomed to sleeping in your bed, transitioning them to sleep alone can take time. Make the change gradually by following these steps: Start with the crate: Begin by having your dog sleep in their crate beside your bed. Move the crate: Gradually move the crate farther from your bed over several nights. Encourage independence: Eventually, your dog should be comfortable sleeping alone in their crate or designated sleeping area.   Exercise and Mental Stimulation A tired dog is more likely to sleep soundly through the night. Ensure your pup gets plenty of exercise and mental stimulation during the day. A tired dog is less likely to be restless at night, making the transition to sleeping alone smoother. Interactive puzzle toys are great for wearing your dog's mind out before bed, we love the Nina Ottosson toys for this!    Consistency Is Key Consistency is the cornerstone of successful dog training. Stick to a routine and reinforce positive behaviour consistently. Dogs thrive on predictability, and a consistent sleep routine will help them feel secure and comfortable in their sleeping space.Training your dog or puppy to sleep alone is a process that requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. By following these expert tips and techniques, you can help your canine companion develop good sleep habits, ensuring both you and your furry friend enjoy peaceful nights. Remember, every dog is unique, so tailor your approach to suit your pet's individual needs. With time and dedication, you'll have a well-rested and contented pup who sleeps soundly on their own.

By Megan Willis

Read more
How To Get Your Dog To Calm Down For Bed
07.09.23 September 07, 2023 Getting A Puppy Featured

How To Get Your Dog To Calm Down For Bed

Ensuring a peaceful bedtime routine for your furry friend is essential for both you and your dog's well-being. If you're struggling with an overexcited pup that won't settle down at bedtime, fear not! In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore expert tips on how to get your dog, whether a seasoned pet or a playful puppy, to calm down for bed. With patience, consistency, and the right techniques, you can transform restless nights into serene slumber for you and your four-legged companion.   Establish a Consistent Routine Dogs thrive on routine. Establishing a regular bedtime routine can help signal to your dog that it's time to wind down. Consistency is key, so try to feed, walk, and go through your evening activities at the same time each night. A predictable routine can create a sense of security, making it easier for your dog to calm down before bed.   Physical Exercise and Mental Stimulation A tired dog is a calm dog. Make sure your dog gets plenty of physical exercise during the day, whether through vigorous walks, playtime at the park, or fetch sessions in the garden. Mental stimulation is just as important, so consider puzzle toys, obedience training, or interactive games to tire your dog's mind. We love the Nina Ottson interactive toys, they're great for keeping your dog's brain busy whilst wearing them out.    Create a Relaxing Environment Make your dog's sleeping area as comfortable as possible. A cosy bed with familiar blankets and toys can provide a sense of security. Consider calming scents like lavender, which can help promote relaxation or a calming diffuser whilst you get your dog into a good sleep pattern. Dim the lights and keep the noise level down to create a serene atmosphere.   Wind Down with Calm Interactions In the hour leading up to bedtime, engage in calm interactions with your dog. Avoid giving your dog stimulating treats, play, or attention right before bedtime. Gradually reduce the intensity of activities leading up to bedtime. Petting, gentle massages, and soft-spoken words can help your dog relax.   Limit Food and Water Before Bed To prevent midnight bathroom trips, avoid feeding your dog a large meal or providing access to water right before bedtime. Gradually decrease food and water intake in the hours leading up to sleep.   Bathroom Breaks Before bedtime, take your dog out for a bathroom break. Ensure they've had ample time to relieve themselves, reducing the likelihood of interruptions during the night.   Consider Crate Training If your dog is still having trouble settling down, consider crate training. A crate can create a cosy, den-like space where your dog feels secure. Gradually introduce your dog to the crate and make it a positive experience with treats and comforting items. Our crate sets are perfect for creating a cosy den. The cushions have a deep hollow fibre filling which is perfect for snuggling up on, the bumper adds a padded wall round the edge of the crate for your dog to rest their head on, and finally the cover blocks out light which will help send your pup to sleep!   Stay Calm and Patient Dogs are sensitive to their owner's emotions. Stay calm and patient when helping your dog calm down for bed. Avoid scolding or showing frustration if they are restless. Positive reinforcement and gentle guidance go a long way. Consult a Professional If your dog's bedtime restlessness persists despite your best efforts, consult a professional dog trainer or a veterinarian. There may be underlying behavioural or health issues that need to be addressed. Getting your dog, whether a puppy or an adult, to calm down for bed requires a combination of consistency, patience, and the right techniques. By establishing a bedtime routine, providing physical and mental stimulation, creating a relaxing environment, and using calming interactions, you can help your furry friend enjoy a peaceful night's sleep. Remember, every dog is unique, so be adaptable and consult a professional if needed to ensure your dog's bedtime routine is as calm and restful as possible. Sweet dreams to both you and your beloved canine companion!

By Megan Willis

Read more
Why Does My Dog Sleep Under My Bed? Unraveling the Mystery
15.08.23 August 15, 2023 Health Featured

Why Does My Dog Sleep Under My Bed? Unraveling the Mystery

As a loving pet owner, you might have wondered why your furry companion chooses to retreat under your bed for slumber instead of in their own cosy bed. While it may seem like a peculiar behaviour, rest assured, there are legitimate reasons behind this canine inclination. In this blog post, we will explore the various motives that drive dogs to sleep under beds and seek answers to some common questions, such as whether dogs like blankets, if it's safe to let them sleep under the bed, and why they prefer hiding under the covers or duvets. 5 Reasons Your Dog May Be Sleeping Under Your Bed 1. The Natural Instinct Of Shelter Dogs are descendants of wolves, and their instinct to seek shelter is deeply ingrained in their DNA. Just like wild canines seek out cosy dens to protect themselves from predators and harsh weather, your domesticated pooch instinctively looks for a safe, enclosed space to sleep under, providing them with a sense of security and protection. So your dog choosing to sleep under your bed is simply their natural instincts coming into play. 2. Temperature Regulation Another reason your dog might prefer sleeping under your bed is temperature regulation. Beds often have open spaces underneath, which provide cooler spots during hot weather. Conversely, during colder seasons, the space under the bed can be warmer, creating a snug spot for your dog to curl up and stay comfortable.   3. Safety and Privacy Dogs, much like humans, value their personal space. By retreating under your bed, they can enjoy some solitude and privacy, away from the hustle and bustle of the household. This becomes particularly apparent if your dog is feeling anxious or stressed. 4. The Appeal of Familiar Scents Dogs are incredibly social and affectionate animals, and their desire to be close to their human companions is undeniable. One of the reasons why dogs often choose to sleep under the bed is their instinctual need for closeness and connection with their owners. Your bed, a place where you spend a significant amount of time, is filled with your scent, which is like a comforting and familiar fragrance to your canine friend. By snuggling up under the bed, your dog can feel surrounded by your presence even while resting. This behaviour showcases their loyalty and attachment to you, as they seek solace in being near the person they love and trust the most. It's a heartwarming reminder of the special bond we share with our four-legged friends. 5. Dogs and Blankets: A Cosy Combination Some dogs love blankets or covers, while others may not be as fond of them. Just like humans, each dog has its own unique preferences. If your dog enjoys the security and warmth of being covered by a blanket, they may seek out the confined space under your bed as a prime napping location. If you want to treat your dog to a new blanket to get cosy with, why not explore our range of luxury blankets? They’re handmade here in our Lincolnshire workshop by our talented seamstresses, and are made using the finest materials so you know they’re best quality for your pup!   Should I Let My Dog Sleep Under the Bed? Allowing your dog to sleep under the bed is generally safe, as long as there are no hazards or potential dangers in the area. Ensure that the space under your bed is clean, free from sharp objects, and properly ventilated. Additionally, if your dog has any mobility or health issues, you might want to consider providing a more easily accessible sleeping spot.   Why Is My Dog Suddenly Sleeping Under The Bed? If your dog has suddenly started sleeping under the bed, there could be various reasons behind this behaviour change. It's essential to observe your pet closely and consider any recent changes in their environment or routine. Sudden hiding could indicate stress, fear, or discomfort. In such cases, it's best to consult with a veterinarian or a professional dog behaviourist to identify the underlying cause and provide appropriate support.   How To Tell If My Dog Is Sleeping Or Hiding Under My Bed If you suspect that your furry friend might be seeking refuge under your bed, there are several telltale signs to look for to determine if they are sleeping or hiding. Body Language and Behaviour: If they are lying down comfortably with their eyes closed and seem at ease, chances are they are peacefully snoozing. You might even hear soft snoring or gentle breathing as they drift off to dreamland. On the other hand, if your dog appears tense, anxious, or exhibits fearful behaviour, they could be hiding under the bed as a response to stress or unease. Look for signs like tucked ears, a lowered tail, or avoiding eye contact. Consider the context of the situation: If there have been recent changes in the household or if your dog has encountered something frightening, they may choose to retreat under the bed as a coping mechanism. Appetite and sleep pattern changes: If your dog’s anxiety is leading to them hiding under the bed, you may notice some other changes to their routine. Their appetite or interest in their food may decrease and their sleep patterns may be disrupted. By paying attention to their body language and considering the circumstances, you can better understand whether your beloved companion is seeking comfort or seeking solace under the bed   How To Stop My Dog Sleeping Under My Bed While your dog seeking comfort under your bed is natural, there may be instances when you'd prefer them to sleep elsewhere for various reasons. Perhaps the accumulation of fur is becoming an issue, or you're concerned about potential hygiene concerns. Fortunately, with patience and positive reinforcement, you can gently encourage your furry companion to choose a different sleeping spot. Here are some effective strategies to help redirect your dog's sleeping habits: Introduce a Cosy Dog Bed: Invest in a comfortable and inviting dog bed placed in a quiet and accessible area of your bedroom or another preferred location. Make it attractive by adding their favourite toys or blanket to entice them to use it. We specialise in luxury cosy dog beds, why not browse our range and treat your dog to a new bed? Positive Reinforcement: Whenever you catch your dog resting in their new bed or any other location besides under your bed, praise them with enthusiasm and offer small treats as positive reinforcement. Dogs respond well to rewards and will associate the new spot with positive experiences. Block Access to Under the Bed: If possible, limit your dog's access to the space under your bed. Use baby gates or furniture to block the area off and make it less appealing as a hiding spot. Create a Safe Space: Dogs often seek shelter under the bed when they feel anxious or stressed. To prevent this, provide a designated "safe space" in your home, like a quiet corner or a crate with comfortable bedding. Encourage your dog to use this space by rewarding them whenever they go there voluntarily. You could look at crate training your dog, crates are designed to create that “safe space” for your dog, helping your dog to find that sense of security they are looking for. Our pet experts have written a guide on how to crate train your dog, with all their tips and tricks to help make the process as easy as possible. Consistency is Key: Be patient and consistent in redirecting your dog to their new sleeping area. It may take time for them to break the habit of hiding under the bed, but with persistence, they will learn to embrace their new sleeping spot. Seek Professional Advice: If your dog's behaviour persists despite your efforts, consider seeking guidance from a professional dog trainer or animal behaviourist. They can assess your dog's specific needs and tailor a training plan to help modify their sleeping habits. Conclusion Your dog's decision to sleep under your bed is a combination of natural instincts, seeking comfort, and a safe haven. Providing your pet with a secure and clean space is essential, as it allows them to indulge in their innate behaviours while ensuring their well-being and contentment. Remember that each dog is unique, so observe your furry companion's preferences and behaviours to better understand their needs. With love, patience, and a little understanding, you can create an environment where your dog feels happy, safe, and cherished, even if it's under your bed. If you have more questions or need further assistance regarding your dog's behaviour, consult with a professional veterinarian or animal behaviour specialist to ensure your pet's health and happiness. Happy pet parenting!

By Megan Willis

Read more
Why Do Dogs Scratch Their Bed
15.08.23 August 15, 2023 Health Featured

Why Do Dogs Scratch Their Bed

If you're a dog owner, you've probably observed your furry friend scratching their bed numerous times before settling down to sleep. This common behaviour might raise questions like "Why do dogs scratch their beds?" or "Why does my dog scratch his bed at night?" In this blog, we'll explore the reasons behind this intriguing habit and shed light on the fascinating world of canine behaviour. So, let's delve into the minds of our beloved four-legged companions and uncover the secrets behind their scratching rituals.   Why do dogs scratch their beds before lying down? It's not uncommon to witness a dog enthusiastically scratch their bed before finally finding the perfect spot to rest. This seemingly simple behaviour holds deeper roots in their ancestry. Instinctively, dogs have retained the primal habit of creating a comfortable and safe sleeping space by scratching and digging. In the wild, ancestral dogs would dig shallow holes to protect themselves from harsh weather and predators. Today, this behaviour has evolved, but the instinct remains strong.   The connection between scratching and territorial behaviour: Additionally, scratching their beds may serve as a territorial behaviour for dogs. By pawing at their bedding, they leave behind their scent, which acts as a mark of ownership. In the wild, marking territory was essential for survival, as it deterred rival animals from encroaching on their space. Though domesticated, this territorial instinct remains intact and often manifests in seemingly mundane activities like bed scratching.   Why does my dog scratch their bed at night? If your dog seems particularly active with bed scratching at night, several reasons could be behind this behaviour. One common explanation is that dogs are crepuscular animals, meaning they are most active during dawn and dusk. As the evening sets in, they may feel an increase in energy and excitement, leading to increased bed scratching before settling down to sleep.   Comfort-seeking behaviour: Another reason for bedtime scratching is that dogs are naturally inclined to create a cosy and comfortable sleeping spot. By scratching their beds, they might be attempting to adjust the bedding to their liking, ensuring it's just right for a good night's rest.   Preparing the "den" for sleep: Dogs have an inherent desire for a secure and sheltered sleeping area akin to a den. By scratching at their beds, they might be unconsciously trying to shape and prepare their sleeping spot, mimicking the way their ancestors would prepare their dens in the wild.   What if your dog scratches blankets instead? Some dogs may not have designated beds but still exhibit scratching behaviour, particularly on blankets or even sofas. This is entirely normal and is likely linked to the same reasons as bed scratching—comfort-seeking, territorial instincts, and the preparation of a suitable sleeping spot.   How To Protect Your Dog’s Bed Against Scratching While scratching is a natural behaviour for dogs, it can lead to premature wear and tear of their bedding. If you're concerned about protecting your dog's bed and ensuring its longevity, consider implementing the following strategies: 1. Durable and Chew-Resistant Materials: [product] Invest in a dog bed made from durable and chew-resistant materials. Our Rhino Tough collection is made from high-quality, scratch resistant faux leather with reinforced stitching that’s designed to withstand your dog's scratching and digging tendencies. Avoid beds with easily destructible materials, such as flimsy fabrics or weak seams. 2. Size and Shape Matters: Choose a bed that is appropriately sized and shaped for your dog. Dogs often scratch their beds to make them comfortable, and a bed that is too small or lacks proper support may prompt excessive scratching. Ensure the bed is large enough for your dog to stretch out comfortably. Not sure on which bed is best for your dog? Check out our 'how to choose a dog bed guide', it contains everything you need to know about helping your canine get the perfect nights sleep. 3. Provide Alternative Outlets: To redirect your dog's scratching instincts, offer alternative outlets for this behaviour. Consider providing a designated digging area in your garden or a sandpit where your dog can scratch to their heart's content. This will not only protect the bed but also provide a fun and enriching activity for your furry friend.   4. Introduce Bedtime Routines: Establish a consistent bedtime routine for your dog to help them associate specific behaviours with winding down for sleep. Engage in calming activities such as short walks or playtime before bedtime. When it's time to settle down, gently encourage your dog to lie down on their bed without the need for extensive scratching. Perhaps giving them a calming bedtime biscuit before they go to bed to help with positive reinforcement. 5. Positive Reinforcement: Use positive reinforcement techniques to reward your dog when they settle down on their bed calmly and without excessive scratching. Offer treats, verbal praise, or tummy rubs when your dog exhibits desirable behaviour. This will reinforce the idea that resting peacefully on their bed is a rewarding experience. 6. Bedding Protection: [product] Consider using protective covers or blankets over your dog's bed to shield it from scratching. These covers can be easily removed and washed, preserving the integrity of the bed underneath. Look for covers that are easy to clean and maintain. 7. Regular Inspection and Cleaning: Regularly inspect your dog's bed for signs of wear and tear caused by scratching. Promptly address any loose threads or damaged areas to prevent further damage. Clean the bed regularly to remove dirt, hair, and odours, which may entice your dog to scratch more. 8. Keep Their Claws Short:  Regular nail trimming helps maintain the proper length of your dog's claws, reducing the potential for sharp edges that could snag and tear the bed's fabric. Additionally, shorter nails are less likely to cause discomfort or injury to your dog while they scratch. If you're unsure about how to trim your dog's nails safely why not check out our blog which will guide you through the process? In conclusion, understanding why dogs scratch their beds provides valuable insights into their instincts and behaviours. While it's challenging to stop this natural behaviour entirely, we can protect their beds by choosing durable materials, offering alternative scratching outlets, and maintaining their nails. Embracing their uniqueness and providing a comfortable space will ensure our furry friends enjoy a peaceful and contented slumber. So, cherish the bond with your canine companion and create a scratch-free haven where they can rest and recharge happily. Sweet dreams to your beloved furry companions!

By Megan Willis

Read more
How To Teach A Dog To Fetch
15.08.23 August 15, 2023 Owning a Dog Featured

How To Teach A Dog To Fetch

Fetching a ball is not only a classic dog game but also an excellent exercise to stimulate your furry friend both mentally and physically. Teaching your dog to fetch requires patience, consistency, and a well-structured approach. In this guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of training your dog to fetch, whether it's a playful puppy or a mature companion.   Why do dogs like fetch? Engaging in a game of fetch extends beyond mere entertainment—it fosters a dynamic interplay of energy expenditure and cherished companionship for both canine and human participants. Yet, delving into the roots of a dog's penchant for fetch unveils an intricate interplay of innate instincts and their desire to please their human counterparts. The act of chasing and dutifully returning an object encapsulates a canine's earnest aspiration to accomplish a task that resonates with their loyalty-driven nature. The allure amplifies, particularly when rewards are involved, rendering the endeavour a fulfilling gesture in their eyes. Upon the fling of the ball, an intrinsic script unfurls within a dog's being. The ball's trajectory simulates the erratic movement of potential prey, a visual cue that prompts a primal reflex. This reflex, honed through generations of predatory heritage, compels the dog to retrieve the object, the echoes of their forebears reverberating in this playful pursuit. An intricate symphony of neural pathways culminates in the release of dopamine, activating their reward centres, and consequently magnifying the joy they derive from this interactive sport—mirroring the exhilaration of the hunt itself. However, not all canines possess an equal fervour for fetch. Their breed and temperament interlace to determine their disposition toward this spirited game. For breeds steeped in their hunting lineage, such as Cocker Spaniels and Border Terriers, the act of capturing and returning a tossed ball epitomises an intrinsic yearning. This yearning, stemming from their primal impulse, thrives as an end in itself, fusing reward and satisfaction within the act of fetch. In the tapestry of the dog-human relationship, fetch knits a narrative that stretches back through generations of cooperation, instinct, and companionship. A Step by Step Guide To Teaching Your Dog Fetch Understanding the Basics of Fetch Before diving into the training process, it's essential to understand the fundamental concepts of fetch. Fetch involves five main steps: Throwing the ball, Chasing the ball, Picking the ball up, Bringing the ball back to you Dropping the ball ready for you to throw again.   1. Choosing The Perfect Ball Selecting the appropriate equipment can greatly influence your dog's ability to learn how to fetch. Opt for a ball or toy that is safe, durable, and easy for your dog to carry in its mouth. Tennis balls and rubber fetch toys are popular choices. Additionally, ensure you're in an enclosed area to prevent your dog from running off with the toy. [product] For fetch we love the KONG Squeak Air balls which come in a range of sizes perfect for any dog and we also love the Chuckit Fetch Medley which includes three unique balls, each adding its own spin to fetch. Both Chuckit and KONG have their own ball launchers which make throwing long distances so much easier.   2. Introduce the Toy Begin by introducing the ball or toy to your dog. Allow them to sniff and interact with it, creating a positive association. Playfully engage with the toy to spark your dog's curiosity, if your dog sees you being excited with the ball they will start to get excited about the ball too.   3. Use Positive Reinforcement Positive reinforcement is key when teaching your dog to fetch. Reward your dog with treats, praise, or petting for any interaction with the toy. Gradually increase the criteria for rewards, only offering them when your dog shows interest in picking up the toy.   4. Teaching Retrieval To teach your dog to retrieve, start by tossing the toy a short distance away. Encourage your dog to go after it by using an enthusiastic tone. If your dog picks up the toy and starts coming back, celebrate their success and reward them upon return.   5. Adding the "Drop" Command Teaching your dog to drop the ball is another important aspect of fetch and is often the part of fetch most dog owners struggle with. When your dog returns to you, hold a treat close to their nose while giving the command "drop." As they release the toy to take the treat, reinforce the action with praise. If your dog is struggling with dropping the ball try playing the swap and drop game. For this you will need two balls, ones with a squeaker in tend to work better for this game. Begin by tossing the first ball, and when your enthusiastic pup dashes to retrieve it, introduce the second ball as a playful enticement - start squeaking the ball to entice them back. [product] Once your pup returns to you, whether clutching the first toy or not, send the second ball off in a new direction. Seize the moment to pick up the first toy as they chase the second one. Now, let the delightful cycle commence: toss one ball, tease with the other. The excitement will likely build to a point where your pup can't wait to get that next toy, and the magic happens – dropping the first toy and happily loping it back to you. This joyful anticipation will gradually turn into habit, setting the stage for your dog to graduate to fetching with a solo toy. 6. Progress Gradually As your dog becomes more comfortable with fetching, you can gradually increase the distance you throw the toy. Maintain the positive reinforcement and excitement throughout the training process. 7. Stay Patient and Consistent Remember, every dog learns at their own pace. Be patient and maintain a consistent training routine. Keep sessions short and engaging, ending on a positive note to keep your dog excited about fetch. 8. Practice Makes Perfect Consistent practice is the key to success. Regularly engage in fetch sessions with your dog to reinforce their skills and build a strong bond between you two. In conclusion, teaching a dog to fetch is a rewarding endeavour that fosters both mental stimulation and physical activity. By following the steps outlined in this guide and tailoring them to your dog's unique personality, you'll be well on your way to enjoying countless hours of fetch-filled fun. So, grab that ball, get out there, and embark on an exciting journey of teaching your dog the art of fetch!

By Megan Willis

Read more
Crate Training vs Sleeping In A Dog Bed
24.07.23 July 24, 2023 Product Spotlight Featured

Crate Training vs Sleeping In A Dog Bed

As a new dog owner, deciding whether to crate train your pup or provide them with a cosy dog bed can be a tough choice. Both options have their pros and cons, and finding the right fit for you and your furry friend is essential. In this article, we'll explore the advantages and disadvantages of both sleeping arrangements and offer tips on transitioning from a crate to a bed. So, let's dive in!   Crate Training Your Pup Crate training is an excellent way to help your puppy settle into their new home. It offers a safe den-like space where they can enjoy some quiet time, take a nap, or chew on their favourite toy.   Advantages Of Using A Crate: Provides a safe space for your dog. Assists in toilet training and managing separation anxiety. Keeps them safe from potential dangers. Harder for your dog to destroy compared to a dog bed. Great for travel, whether in the car or unfamiliar environments. Disadvantages of Crate Training: Improper training may lead to fear or negative associations with the crate. Crates can be large, and not every home has enough space. Some dogs may find them less cosy compared to a dog bed.   Dog Crate Sets At Lords & Labradors, we've designed crate bedding to create the ultimate cosy den for your dog. Our crate sets consist of four parts: The Dog Crate: With a variety of 5 sizes available, our crates are guaranteed to offer the perfect fit. Boasting thicker bars and a metal tray, they are more durable than standard dog crates. Crate Cushion: A super plump cushion with deep hollow fibre filling, perfect for comfort. Most of our crate cushions also have removable covers, making for easy washing. They can also be used as a standalone bed, making them perfect for travel. Crate Bumper: Padded bumpers that line the inside of the crate, offering a comfortable resting spot for your dog's head. Crate Cover: The last item in our crate sets is our crate covers. These fit over the crate and really help to transform it from being an unsightly dog crate to being part of your home. They're also great for helping to make the crate extra cosy and settling your dog in to a routine by establishing when it's time to sleep. Crate Training Tips To make crate training a positive experience, take it slow and reward your puppy every time they enter the crate. You can even feed them meals in there to help them get used to it. Remember, never use the crate as punishment. For more tips and tricks, check out our comprehensive crate training guide written by our pet experts.   Using a Dog Bed Dog beds have their advantages too, offering more freedom for dogs that prefer snuggling and are easier to move around the house.  Advantages of Dog Beds: Gives your dog more freedom, suitable for certain personalities. Less bulky than a crate, making them easier to move around. Cosier and perfect for dogs that love to snuggle.   Disadvantages of Dog Beds: Dogs can roam around at night and potentially chew on things they shouldn't. Some dogs may chew and rip apart dog beds, meaning you have to replace them more frequently than a crate Choosing the Right Bed for Your Dog Consider your dog's sleeping preferences when selecting a bed. Whether they like to curl up or stretch out, we have a handy guide to help you choose the best bed for your furry companion.   How To Transition From A Dog Crate To A Dog Bed If you've crate-trained your puppy and want to transition to a bed, it requires patience and a gradual approach. Here's how: Leave the crate door unlocked and slightly open for a few nights, containing them in one room to avoid overwhelming freedom. Fully open the crate door at bedtime, allowing them to explore but still have the option to return to the crate if needed. Once your dog is comfortable, remove the crate and have them sleep on the cushion or mat they used in the crate. Later, you can switch to a new dog bed.   Remember, every dog is unique, and finding the right sleeping arrangement may require some trial and error. Check out our range of crate bedding and luxury dog beds to get a better idea of what will work best for you and your beloved pup. Happy sleeping!

By Megan Willis

Read more
How To Stop Your Dog Sleeping On Your Bed
20.07.23 July 20, 2023 Owning a Dog Featured

How To Stop Your Dog Sleeping On Your Bed

There's no denying the irresistible charm of snuggling up with our dogs under the covers. The warmth they bring, the adorable cuddles, and those puppy dog eyes that beg us to share our sleeping sanctuary. But let's face it: a good night's rest is essential for both you and your pup, and sometimes, it's necessary to establish boundaries to ensure everyone gets their well-deserved beauty sleep. So whether it’s wanting more space, them waking you up too early or the hair all over your clean sheets that’s led you to wanting your bed back, our Pet Experts have put together their top tips to help your strike a paw-sitive balance that ensures your furry friend feels loved and secure, while still allowing you to enjoy the undisturbed slumber you so deserve. In this blog we'll explore practical strategies, gentle training techniques, and cosy alternatives that will keep your dog snug and content, while you reclaim your bed as a haven for rest and rejuvenation.   Step 1: Get Your Dog The Perfect New Bed You’ll want to start by getting your dog a new bed of their own. We recommend watching how they like to nap in the day, if the stretch out or curl up, to help decide what shape bed to treat your dog to. Dogs spend between 12 and 18 hours of their day asleep, so getting the right bed is crucial to helping this process go as smoothly as possible. Our pet experts have written a handy guide on how to choose the perfect dog bed, which is definitely worth a read before getting your pup a new bed. Remember, comfort is key – ensure their bed is soft, supportive, and the right size for them. Beds are our specialty, we design all of our beds here in our Lincolnshire workshop and our core collection is all handmade by our talented seamstresses to ensure your dog gets the best nights sleep possible.   Step 2: Find the Perfect Spot for Their New Bed Selecting the right spot for your dog's new bed is crucial for their acceptance. First things first, designate a specific area in your home where your dog will sleep from now on. This area should be quiet, cosy, and away from high-traffic zones to minimise disturbances during the night. Ideally, choose a space that offers your dog a sense of security and belonging. Observe your dog's behaviour and determine their favourite sleeping spots. Place the bed there to increase the chances of them naturally gravitating towards it.   Step 3: Get Them to Form Positive Associations with Their New Bed Dogs are more likely to embrace their new sleeping area if they associate it with positive experiences. Encourage them to explore and use their new bed by placing their favourite toys, treats, or even a familiar-scented blanket on it. This will create a positive association and make the bed a more appealing place to rest. We recommend using positive reinforcement training to teach your dog the command ‘on your bed’. Start by giving them a treat and praise every time they go on their bed out of choice, if you’ve used clicker training with your pup in the past you can click every time they get in the bed as well to help reinforce that their bed is a positive space. Once they start going in their bed out of free will, you can begin to add the command ‘on your bed’ every time they go on their bed, soon your dog will learn what ‘on your bed’ means which will be helpful in the transition from them sleeping on your bed to sleeping on their bed. Top Tip: to avoid giving your dog too many treats, you can always try using some of their dry food allowance as a reward.   Step 4: Tire Them Out Before Bed A well-exercised dog is more likely to sleep through the night in their designated area. Before bedtime, take your dog for a brisk walk or engage in some playtime to burn off excess energy. This will help them feel more relaxed and content when settling into their new bed. Enrichment activities are great for tiring your dog’s brain out, try a snuffle mat or a puzzle toy like the Nina Ottosson ones to help wear them out.   Step 5: Train the 'Off' Command Teaching your dog the "off" command is essential if they are used to jumping onto your bed. Use positive reinforcement techniques to reward them for staying off your bed. Whenever they attempt to climb on, firmly say "off" and redirect them to their own bed using the “On Your Bed” command, providing treats and praise when they comply.   Step 6: Make Getting to Your Bed Difficult To further discourage your dog from attempting to sleep on your bed, make it physically difficult for them to access it. You can use dog gates, close the bedroom door, or block the bed with large pillows or cushions. This physical barrier will reinforce the idea that their new sleeping area is the designated spot for them.     Step 7: Ignore the Whining and Be Consistent When introducing the new sleeping arrangement, your dog might protest or whine initially. It's essential to remain firm and consistent during this transition period. Avoid giving in to their demands to sleep on your bed and ignore the whining. If you respond to their pleas, they may learn that whining leads to getting their way. Instead, reinforce positive behaviour by rewarding them when they choose to sleep in their own bed.   Conclusion: Helping your dog transition to their own sleeping area can lead to better sleep for both of you and foster a sense of independence in your furry companion. By following these seven steps – creating the perfect sleep spot, making it inviting, using positive reinforcement, tiring them out before bedtime, teaching the 'off' command, creating obstacles to your bed, and staying consistent – you can successfully train your dog to sleep in their designated spot, creating a harmonious environment for everyone in your home. Remember to be patient and understanding during the process, as it might take some time for your dog to fully adjust to the change. Happy sleeping!

By Megan Willis

Read more