Today in first-world dog problems...
October 3, 2016 9:27 AM   Subscribe

My sweet old dog is obsessed with sleeping under blankets- it keeps her happy and calm, which in turn is nice for me. However, she loses the blanket when she gets up to change position, and she's so tall that she can't get herself back under without me lifting up a corner for her. Is there some sort of contraption I can make/buy or something I can train her to do that will help her get herself back under a blanket without my intervention?

She used to be able to tuck herself back in by nosing the blanket up the side of her cage, but my new apartment is too small for her cage. Once she loses her own blanket, she comes to the side of my bed, sticks her head under my blankets, tosses them over herself, and contentedly falls back to sleep on the floor. While cute, I need my blankets.

She's a pointer- 45 lbs but about the height of a lab.

I don't think a cave-type bed would do the trick- it's not the enclosed space she seems to like as much as the blanket on top of her.

Any ideas?
posted by quiet coyote to Pets & Animals (21 answers total) 36 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I think this is the sweetest question I've read on ask metafilter.

Could you tack or nail a corner of the blanket, maybe at the end of the bed, to the wall so there's always a little opening of blanket? Or attach a small bungee cord to the blanket, with the other side attached to the wall?
posted by Lay Off The Books at 9:32 AM on October 3, 2016 [13 favorites]

Best answer: Can you literally just get something to hold up one corner of the blanket? Clip it to a chair or other stable furniture, mount a hook at the appropriate height on the wall, or tie the corner to some other upright object (for some reason a new plunger is the first thing that comes to mind...)
posted by yeahlikethat at 9:34 AM on October 3, 2016

How big is the blanket she's sleeping under? Could you get her a too-big blanket, one big enough for her to stand up underneath and turn without losing it? (Whatever solution you find, I want to see adorable pictures of your snuggling dog.)
posted by gladly at 9:44 AM on October 3, 2016 [4 favorites]

Would something like these command clips work to hold one side up in place?
posted by OrangeDisk at 9:46 AM on October 3, 2016

would she be able to nose her way into a sleeping bag type thing? there are actual sleeping bags for when dogs come camping, and there are also things that look like giant plush slippers. they're not held open like the pet caves are, so they're good for cozy burrowing.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:01 AM on October 3, 2016 [6 favorites]

Try a Thundershirt on her? (It's a t-shirt for dogs with velcro strap that you can adjust to make them feel all snuggly and safe. ) or maybe just a doggy sweater?
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 10:05 AM on October 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

Yes, doggy sleeping bag! I have the people version of that in comforter form and it's great - warm in winter, cool in summer, washes well, the fill doesn't shift around, surprisingly lightweight for the insulation it provides.

Please tell your dog she is a good dog.
posted by Mizu at 10:08 AM on October 3, 2016 [6 favorites]

If you get the pita-bed-cave, the plastic arch that holds up the top is removable (my dog helpfully removed and destroyed it the first day he was left unsupervised with the bed), and without it, the cave top is just a blanket over 2/3rds of the dog bed.
posted by snaw at 10:13 AM on October 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

Can you put a pole up next to her bed and clip the blanket to that? Or if her cage is too big, try a pack-n-play or one of those collapsible dog kennel things? Or one of those outdoor pet shade contraptions?
posted by stillmoving at 11:55 AM on October 3, 2016

Can you teach her to Go Night Night? Maybe if she learns that she has the power to re-snug herself, she won't need to go searching for an alternative blanket?

I also betcha that your blankets are warm and smell like you and therefore safety.
posted by sparklemotion at 11:58 AM on October 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

May we request a photo of this wonderful beast, for tradition's sake?
If she's only doing this once per night, you could have a spare blanket for yourself. Once she steals yours, you have one at the ready. I've done this with blanket-stealing bed partners of the human variety. If she's just going to steal your spare blanket, I think a clip to hold one or two corners of her blanket up so that she can nose her way back in could work as long as the blanket is somewhat stiff and doesn't immediately settle into a messy pile. Perhaps a clip that attaches to your bedframe?
posted by quince at 12:17 PM on October 3, 2016 [4 favorites]

How about a comfortable harness with a blanket mounted on it like a cape?
posted by teremala at 1:22 PM on October 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

Oh my goodness, I know exactly what you are talking about, my husband and I call it "rooting and tooting" when our dog does this. We are crazy but our solution is a doggie pillow/blanket mountain on a dogbed with sides. If you give him 4 blankets then he will have more material to root around in.
posted by pintapicasso at 2:21 PM on October 3, 2016

Response by poster: I've put a pic of her on my profile so you have enough information to make an informed comment.

I like the idea of attaching a blanket somewhere- I might just tuck one at the end of my bed but hanging off the side so she can nose her way under. The bed caves might work if I could find one big enough that she could stand up and turn around inside.

It's not really a problem of the size of the blanket, because she shakes it off when she gets up. She also won't wear clothes and tries to tuck her head under, so the cape/thundershirt won't work.

This is pretty much her in a nutshell, so much so that I've considered setting something up like that for her. Even at her most stressed out, like when she's had to go under anaesthesia and can't stop crying, I can wrap her up in a blanket and she'll fall asleep right away. It's pretty darn sweet.
posted by quiet coyote at 4:08 PM on October 3, 2016 [2 favorites]

Dog pajamas are a thing that exists. My greyhound loves his. There's a surprising number of people who make custom ones and they aren't expensive.
posted by sepviva at 4:52 PM on October 3, 2016 [2 favorites]

If your slightly crafty abs have a blanket of sufficient size, make a little pyramid out of pcp pipe or other lightweight sturdy material. Sew in like a curtin rod. It should create just enough space for her to get her nose under to burry. /|\
posted by AlexiaSky at 5:47 PM on October 3, 2016

Response by poster: Update: I did the blanket on the floor but attached to the bed thing and started training her to get underneath by herself, but the first time she got underneath (still with my help) she fell asleep immediately, so the training stopped. That was a few hours ago and she's still conked out. This is gonna take a while...
posted by quiet coyote at 6:18 PM on October 3, 2016 [14 favorites]

Response by poster: BIG UPDATE: She finally woke up a couple of hours later so I tried showing her the opening again, but she mostly just wagged her tail and wouldn't try it. Little did I know, it was an "I got this" tail wag, because I walked back in the room a few minutes later to find her in the midst of tucking herself in! And then a few minutes after that, she shook off the blanket, and DID IT A SECOND TIME! I took a picture to document this momentous occasion. This is pretty much the best- thanks everyone!
posted by quiet coyote at 9:14 PM on October 3, 2016 [68 favorites]

SCREAM her lil snoot is peeking out
posted by poffin boffin at 12:01 PM on October 4, 2016 [12 favorites]

What a perfect picture! She's got this, indeed!
posted by gladly at 11:08 AM on October 5, 2016

Response by poster: One final update to note that she has pretty much spent the last two weeks entirely under her blanket and, as a result, is the happiest sleepy pup alive. I hadn't heard so much as a whimper from her about anything until yesterday, when I found her crying in my bedroom over the blanket, which had gotten pulled out of the bed. I'm happy to report that the crisis was averted and her blanket fort is, once again, fully operational.
posted by quiet coyote at 2:46 PM on October 21, 2016 [45 favorites]

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