Understanding canine behavior: Why your dog refuses to use a new bed

Understanding canine behavior: Why your dog refuses to use a new bed

Selecting a new bed for your dog can be a time-consuming task, involving extensive online research and even in-person visits to pet stores. Despite the anticipation of your dog's new bed arrival, they might not immediately take to it.

It's not uncommon for dogs to prefer their old, familiar beds, even if they're worn out. This behavior is more about their territorial instincts and comfort with familiar scents than a reflection of your choice. Additionally, some dogs simply prefer sleeping near their owners.

However, there are strategies to encourage your dog to use their new bed. With a little patience, your dog should eventually embrace their new sleeping spot. Understanding why dogs may resist using new beds is the first step in helping them transition.

My dog does not like her new Bed!

Dogs are creatures of habit, often following a predictable daily routine that includes eating the same food, walking the same routes, and sleeping in the same spot. While this routine provides comfort and structure, it can also make them resistant to change.

Another reason your dog might be hesitant to use their new bed is that it smells unfamiliar. Dogs rely heavily on scent to identify their territory and feel secure. Their old bed carries their scent, making it a familiar and safe place. In contrast, the new bed lacks these familiar smells, making it less appealing and secure to them.

Encouraging my dog to use its new bed

Now that you understand why dogs may not immediately take to their new bed, there are a few strategies you can try to encourage them to use it.


Your dog sees their old bed as their sanctuary. In contrast, the new bed smells like the packaging or the factory where it was made. There's nothing wrong with the new bed; it just doesn't smell familiar yet. You can help by following these steps:

  1. Take an old t-shirt or blanket that you don't mind giving to your dog.
  2. Place this item in the old dog bed.
  3. Allow your dog to use the old dog bed for a few days or weeks, even before the new bed arrives.
  4. Transfer the item to the new dog bed when you want to encourage its use.

This method helps transfer the familiar scents from the old bed to the new one. While it's often effective, it may take a few days for your dog to fully accept the new bed.

Remove the old bed completely.

This approach is suitable when the old bed is no longer usable. Perhaps there's a large tear that can't be patched, or the stuffing is coming out and poses a risk if ingested. In such cases, it's best to remove the bed entirely to prevent your dog from being tempted to use it.


Using the positive association technique involves encouraging your dog to link the new bed with positive experiences, making them more inclined to use it. One approach is similar to standard dog training: when your dog approaches the bed, offer praise and a treat, or another reward they enjoy. Increase the rewards as they engage more with the bed.

Once your dog is on the bed, you can incorporate playtime with their favorite toys. Allow them to play and engage in activities while on the bed, rewarding them for their interaction. The goal is for your dog to associate the new bed with fun and enjoyment. Over time, they will come to love their new bed just as much as their old one.

And where do I find the best bed for my dog?

Burrowy brings LIFEAPP brand orthopaedic dog beds for your furry companion. These dog beds are suitable for all types of breeds and ages. These beds are washable, durable, breathable and designed to match your interior. The biggest advantage is that the mattress inside the bed is also washable. 

← Older Post


The Importance of Quality Sleep for Dogs
burrowy dog LIFEAPP sleep

The Importance of Quality Sleep for Dogs

As pet owners, we often prioritize our furry friends' physical health with regular exercise and a balanced diet. However, one aspect of their well-being that...

Read more
The Allure of Cat Caves: Understanding Your Feline's Fascination

The Allure of Cat Caves: Understanding Your Feline's Fascination

Cat caves, those cozy, enclosed spaces that mimic the safety of a hidden den, are more than just cute additions to your home decor. They...

Read more