|By Becky Turner||Discuss This Article at our Sheltie Forums|
Are you looking for a small dog bed for your Shetland Sheepdog? I've researched some popular dog beds online that serve variable purposes, such as:
So, what it is that makes a good dog bed for Shetland Sheepdogs? There are six possible factors to think about...
In the wild, dogs keep close to each other for warmth at night. So if your dog ever climbs onto your bed in the night it might be just because he's trying to warm up! A good dog bed is made of plush material that contains his body heat - much like humans use thick duvet covers to trap body heat at night.
Just like humans, dogs seek out creature comforts. Given the choice, where does your Shetland Sheepdog decide to curl up: On the couch? On the beanbag? On your bed? On your lap? This is a demonstration of their nesting instinct - to seek out soft, comfortable surfaces to sleep on. This may also help older dogs who suffer from arthritis.
Dogs are pack animals and in the wild they live, eat, hunt and sleep together. In a domestic environment, your family is the dog's pack, and so your dog naturally wants to sleep in the same room as you. He will also like to be close to the pack leader which is why he might sleep on your bed even when you're away (he can smell your scent on the bed covers, which makes him feel closer to you).
In hot climates, dogs need to stay cool. While humans can take off their clothes and sweat, double coated Shetland Sheepdogs can only pant to cool down. So if your house becomes unbearably hot in the summer, your dog would definitely appreciate a bed that is elevated off the ground giving him extra airflow.
If you have a puppy that likes to chew everything, make sure you choose a hard-wearing bed - or have him sleep among old sheets until he outgrows this phase. Shetland Sheepdogs are not particularly destructive (compared to, say, a Great Dane) but they do have a tendency to chew when young.
If you have a new dog or puppy who isn't settled in, you may want to give them a more private resting place, such as enclosed bed, or bedding inside a crate. This mimics the dog's natural instinct to burrow into the ground to take shelter, creating a dark, enclosed space for him to sleep. It's much more private, with a clear definition of his territory, and a safe little den in which he can fully relax.
The best way to stop your dog from sneakily hopping up and sleeping on your bed is to give him an appealing alternative - a nice, comfy dog bed of his own! This is much easier to teach young dogs than dogs who have been sleeping with humans their whole lives, but with persistence it can be taught. However, if you're quite happy for your Shetland Sheepdog to sleep on the bed with you, I really don't blame you :)
While researching this article, I read all sorts of opinions from "My dog sleeps on the concrete floor of his outdoor kennel and that's that!" to "My dog sleeps on my pillow next to my head, why do you ask?"
But the most surprising dog sleeping habit?
Presenting.... The Petmate Nap of Luxury :D
Becky Turner is the creator of Sheltie Planet. She lives in New Zealand with her partner, Peter, and their son, Fox. Becky is 100% owned by Howard and Piper Woofington Moon, the Shelties who inspired this site. Visit them on Facebook or The Sheltie Planet Forums.