Has your dog taken possession of your couch, leaving you stranded on an uncomfortable chair? Just like you, your pooch likes to get comfortable, and snuggling on the sofa is just too good to miss. You can learn how to keep your dog off furniture, but it may not be as simple as you think.
Some people don’t mind sharing their furniture with their four-legged companions. On the other hand, some owners don’t like seeing and cleaning their dogs’ hairs from the couch and are firm believers that dogs belong on the floor.
Whether you are starting with a “no furniture” rule with a new puppy or trying to train an older offender, the following tips will help you learn how to keep your dog off furniture. Keep in mind that it may take longer to train a dog that has already developed this bad habit. This is because you’ll need to break the old habit and create a new one.
How To Keep Your Dog Off Furniture
1. Stay Consistent
Without consistency, you will never manage to learn how to keep your dog off furniture. It is important that all other family members are also on board with the new rules. With everyone on board, it will also be easier for your dog to understand the new rules instead of one person letting him on the couch when you aren’t looking.
Generally, it is always best to keep a dog off the couch from the start, even if he is just a little puppy. Older dogs are a bit harder to un-train, and that’s why it is really important to stick with a “no doggy on the couch” rule.
2. Give Your Dog A Comfy Alternative
If you are determined to learn how to keep your dog off furniture, give him an equally comfortable alternative. Your dog will never be tempted to give up the sofa for a hardwood floor, but a dog bed can be hard to resist. Instead of going for a simple mat, observe your dog’s sleeping behavior. If he likes to curl up in a ball, get him a donut or bolster bed that will support his sleeping style.
On the other hand, if your pooch likes to stretch out on the couch, get him a soft cushion bed. Bear in mind that the dog bed needs to be the right size for your dog in order to keep him comfortable. If your pooch is in between sizes, always pick a larger bed for extra comfort.
Once you have the right dog bed, place it near your couch and train your dog to go in it. Use treats and praises to entice your dog into using his own bed instead of the couch.
3. Train Your Dog to Get Off the Furniture
If after getting your dog a bed you still find him cozying up on the couch, it is time to teach him the “off” cue. For this to work, your dog has to remain on the sofa a little while longer.
Take a treat and throw it on the floor a few feet from the couch and say “off” to your dog. You can accompany the command with a sweeping hand gesture so your dog gets a better idea of what is expected of him.
If by any chance your pooch realizes your intentions and doesn’t want to budge, you will have to help him out. Gently nudge or take your dog by the collar to get him off the couch.
As soon as your dog is off the couch and has eaten his treat lead him to his bed and give him more treats and a lot of praise for doing so. Furthermore, don’t forget to reward your dog every time he opts for his bed instead of jumping on the couch.
Even if your dog acts nice when you are around, he may be tempted to jump on the couch as soon as you leave the house. If you find your dog’s hairs on the sofa once you are home again, you should consider managing your dog’s whereabouts from a distance.
One of the ways to do this is to get a doggy fence and contain Fido to a room without furniture. You can also crate your dog, or place him in another room for shorter periods of time.
5. Prevent Your Dog from Jumping on Furniture
You can put chairs or upturned laundry baskets on your couch to block your dog from jumping on it. While this isn’t the most aesthetically appealing way to learn how to keep your dog off furniture, he will get the point over time.
Since laundry baskets are lightweight you may find them lying on the floor and your dog’s hairs all over the couch. In this case, fill some water bottles with smaller stones and place them inside the laundry baskets on the couch.
The next time your dog tries to jump on, the baskets will fall and rocks bumping into one another will create an unpleasant sound. The racket will send your dog running from the sofa wondering why he was near it in the first place.
6. Make the Furniture Less Enticing
If looking at chairs and laundry baskets on your sofa is harder than seeing your dog there, you can consider a “less aggressive” course of action. You can try pulling the cushions up, so they are vertically placed, making it difficult for your dog to get on the furniture.
Covering your furniture in aluminum foil or bubble wrap will startle your pooch when he tries to climb or jump on it. You may have to repeat this process a couple of times, but in the end, he will start avoiding the furniture.
Double-sided tape offers a less cumbersome alternative to aluminum foil. Simply lay long stripes of double-sided tape on your furniture and watch how the sticky feeling works wonders – even on persistent dogs.
Using a furniture deterrent is also a viable solution for keeping your dog off the couch. Look for this type of product in your local pet store, but make sure that it doesn’t contain any chemicals. These deterrents are formulated to smell bad to dogs, and Fido should leave the furniture alone. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when you are using a furniture deterrent and reapply the scent once it is gone.
The best way to learn how to keep your dog off furniture is to not allow him on it in the first place. Once you give your dog permission to jump up on your furniture, he will automatically conclude that it is a suitable place for a nap.
If your dog is already accustomed to hanging out on the couch, you will have to be consistent and teach him the “off” cue for permanent results. However, if you don’t have the time to teach your dog to stay off the furniture, you can use other deterring techniques to keep him away from it