trampling in bed

Totoro has always been a clumsy dog. She still trips when running up and down the stairs every so often.

She's recently been allowed to come up to the bed, but I quickly found that she just tramples over me when she's in bed. She actually only jumps up to give a few quick licks on the face, and then jumps off. She doesn't spend any significant time in bed at all, but the few moments that she does inflict a bit of pain. In addition, if I am (sitting) in her way when she plays fetch in the living room, she will run over me as well. On the other hand, she is very good at running fast and turning corners in the yard, and running very close to me without getting caught.

Does anyone have a plan for making her more aware of her and my body parts?


New Member
try this.Try to train her to be gentle.Also,try to help her in going up and down the stairs properly.If she does it,reward her.practice this several times then take away the treat.Just a little piece of advice.


Honored Member
Staff member
There are many ways to teach her to be more aware of her own body. These tricks can be very beneficial in body awareness and coordination:
-Back up
You can teach this several different ways. You can hold a treat above the dog and move your hand over her toward her rear end. Sometimes they'll back up sometimes they won't. Do this and step towards her, and if she doesn't move continue to move towards her. When she takes even just one step back, reward her. Ask for more steps as you go along. You can also teach this by applying light pressure in the middle of her chest. When she responds by leaning back or taking a step backwards, reward her. Again, ask for more steps as you go along and eventually all you'll have to do is put your hand on her chest with no pressure and she'll back up. Then you move on to responding just to the command without your hand there. There are a couple more ways to teach them to back up, but I've had the most success with the first one. To help them learn to back up straight, use a hallway, fence, or wall as a guideline.
-Lifting alternate legs(or both left/both right legs at a time)
For the front legs, you can teach them to target a target stick or your hand at first and then pull your hand away(similar to how you would teach wave) and ask them just to lift the paw. For the back legs, it's a matter of poking around lightly and seeing when they lift it. Some dogs will lift their back leg when you touch their toes, or just inside the leg, or at the point of the hip. You may have to apply light pressure---just don't hurt your dog. You never want to hurt them. Find where your dog will respond to, and go from there.
-Jumping over things(you can teach her to jump your arms or legs, which will help her pay attention to your body parts)
Remember to start low. You can use a pole or cane to help her learn how to jump things. Lay it on the floor and lure her over it. Reward her when she crosses over it. Slowly lift it more and more. Once she is confident jumping it fairly high, hold it on top of your leg(on one knee, with the cane/pole over the knee that is up) and ask her to jump it. If she doesn't want to jump that high, stretch out one leg while on a knee. Hold the cane on top of the outstretched leg and ask for a jump.
DTA has a lesson on this. =)
-Weaving through your legs(forwards and backwards)
I believe DTA has a lesson on figure 8s--use the same method. Lure her between your legs, click and reward. Lure her between and around, click and reward. Lure her between your legs, take a step, lure her back through, click and reward, and so on. Take it very slow, one step at a time. Backwards weaving is a bit more tricky and I'm not the best person to give advice on that. Mud and I are still working on it.

If she cannot behave on the bed, she shouldn't be allowed on the bed. Therefore, when she comes barrelling in the room and leaps onto you in the bed, put her down in the floor beside the bed. Do not allow her back up with you until she is calm. Invite her back up and talk to her in a calm voice(not in an excited one that will get her riled up again). None of my dogs are very clumsy--except Mudflap. Mud is like a bull in a china closet. When I first got her, she'd run over my teacup chihuahua, knock into things, go crashing through the house knocking things over, smash into furniture, etc... Through lots of trick-training to help with coordination and body awareness, as well as teaching her that outside is the best place for roughhousing, she is now much better. She has learned to watch out for little Nick(the chihuahua) and pays much more attention to where she is and what she's doing.


Experienced Member
TX Cowgirl has some great ideas on body awareness. I just want to add 2 more:

- walking through a ladder. teaches him to be aware of his back feet. you can then move to poles set out at different angles, heights, and distances from each other.

- Spinning on a block. Teach your dog to keep his front feet on a wooden block (or book) and move just his hind feet around it in a circle.

I would also not allow the dog on the bed if he is hurting your (even accidently). You also didn't mention how old your dog is, but if she's still under 2 then she has alot more growing and maturing to do!


Experienced Member
I think you should try a little acting.
Like when he bumps into you, and runs away, you should act like it really hurts. It's just acting.
A dog always wants to do things the way you like them. So you should use this.
When he sees that it rerally hurts you if he doesn't take care of it.
Hope helped... :D
That's what I am trying to do now (yelping when stepped on), especially since that worked very well in teaching her to not be mouthy.

Thank you everyone for the great ideas in teaching body awareness...I think those skills will probably take a little more time and commitment than I have right now, though I definitely do plan to implement those skills in the long run.