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My 3 year old boxer mix seems to have a problem when we ask her to jump on our bed. She used to do it with no problem at all, but about three months ago she jumped on our bed, stepped over us, got scared and fell off the bed. Now you can see that she really wants to jump up, but she just doesn't, eventually she lays by the side of the bed or she goes to her own bed, even when we show her that there is free space.

Is she scared or do you think she could have some kind of injury?

How can we make her feel that it is ok to jump on our bed?

  • Will she come up if you help her onto the bed, or is she frightened of being on it altogether? – Tim Post Nov 7 '13 at 7:25
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    She's ok jumping off the bed, we can carry her up, but she's too big and we don't want to hurt her 'cause sometimes she freaks out. Sometimes she jumps up (like 1 out of 10), most of the times she just walks around the bed whinning. Thanks for the editing @Skippy-psI'mawoman :) – Lucy Galván Nov 7 '13 at 8:51
  • Does she jump up on other things (like the couch), but not the bed? Or does she not jump at all now? – Monica Cellio Nov 7 '13 at 16:42
  • I´m sorry I don´t connect as often as I should, but no, she has no problem jumping to the car or the couch, so I guess we can discard an injury, right? – Lucy Galván Nov 12 '13 at 6:11
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Is she scared or do you think she could have some kind of injury?

  • It could be either or a combination of both.

  • Firstly, exclude any injury. If she is in pain, that may prevent her from jumping on the bed.

  • Could she have some kind of injury? If she is showing no signs of injury, it would be unlikely she had any serious injury. Limping, flinching or yelping when a part of her body is touched. She may have had some superficial bruising from the fall, it most likely would have hurt, as it would hurt a person, but if there is no real symptoms, it is less likely that there is serious injury. You can always have her checked by your vet, if you have doubts, as you are her owner and may be detecting something that is not so obvious.

  • Secondly she needs time, to overcome any possible injury and her fear. Give her a few weeks to let her natural overcome her anxiety, as pushing her may cause her anxiety to worsen. In the meantime, give her plenty of reassurance, verbal praise and petting when she is with you.

  • After a few weeks and not at bedtime as you'll need time and patience, it might be a good idea to lift her onto the center of the bed, so she feels safer than being on the edge and in danger of falling off. Leave one side of the bed clear, so she can see her way clear if she's feel panicked and needs to jump off. Give her plenty of petting and verbal reassurance. Then you can stand up and encourage her gently to follow you off the bed, so she can have the experience of being on the bed as pleasant and jumping off without misadventure.

  • See how she responds. If she is, obviously, shaky and nervous, don't push her, just give her more time before trying again. It's important to give her vigorous verbal praise and patting whenever she jumps on or off without flight. A bit like being so happy to see a long lost friend.

  • Gradually over time, as you repeat this process, you'll find she comes to enjoy her experiences of jumping on and off the bed again and her time cuddling with her owners. Dogs are fairly predictable creatures, and within a trusting relationship with owners, most little fears like this can be overcome by plenty of positive reinforcement and no pressure. Dogs respond well to reassurance from owners. It's like telling her: "It's ok, we understand, and aren't you so clever for being so brave".

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    Telling someone to let us know might lead to misconceptions with users unfamiliar with the SE model. It waters down the no discussion / no chit-chat policy of the Network. See here for emoticons – Baarn Nov 7 '13 at 11:43
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    @Baarn sure, good point! I think yr right – user6796 Nov 7 '13 at 11:45
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    We do have Pets Chat though. Folks could let us know how things go there. :D) – jmort253 Nov 8 '13 at 2:57
  • @jmort253 that's a good idea, do you think we should include that in answers, or in the comments under the answer? – user6796 Nov 8 '13 at 3:14
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    @Skippy-psI'mawoman - IMHO, including it in a comment would be better so the answers would stay focused on the topic. I just wouldn't overdo it. :) Just enough to let users know we do have chat. Hope this helps. – jmort253 Nov 8 '13 at 3:29

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