Just because you’d prefer that your dog stay off the couch doesn’t make you a bad dog owner. You can provide your dog with plenty of comfort in your home without allowing them to jump up on the couch or other furniture. Here’s how to keep your dog off the couch while making them happy and comfortable at the same time.
5 Ways to Keep Your Dog Off the Couch
1. Provide a comfortable bed for your dog. You can find a nice selection of inexpensive dog beds HERE. Make sure the bed is the right size for your dog. Bigger is better if you’re unsure. If your dog is still a puppy, get a puppy bed, then graduate to an adult dog bed once they’re grown. Put your dog’s bed in a quiet place where the dog can sleep without being disturbed but still be near the family. Remember, dogs are pack animals and usually don’t prefer isolation. Put chew toys in and around the bed.
This will encourage your dog to spend time there. You can also use dog treats to encourage them to use the bed. If your dog’s bed is comfortable, in a desirable location, provides entertainment and even treats, they’ll likely learn to prefer their bed over the couch. Reward your dog with praise and treats whenever you find them relaxing in their bed.
2. Make the couch uncomfortable for the dog. Until your dog gets used to using their own bed, try putting either sheets of aluminum foil, double-sided tape or bubble wrap on the couch. They won’t like it and will jump off the couch. When they do, direct them to their bed and reward them with a treat. Keep these or other deterrents such as cushions or baskets of laundry on the couch when you leave.
3. Be careful about eating on the couch. If you frequently eat while sitting on the couch, especially if you share food with your dog or leave crumbs on the couch, your dog will be drawn to it. You may want to eat elsewhere and stop sharing food with your dog until they learn to stay off the couch.
4. Make sure your dog is getting enough attention. Remember, dogs are pack animals. They want to be near and around the family. If your dog isn’t getting enough attention, they’ll do whatever they can to be near you. That can include jumping on the couch to sit next to you, or to be near your scent when you’re not home.
5. Be consistent. It’s important that you and everyone who lives in your home are consistent with the rules about the dog getting on the couch or staying off it. If one person allows the dog to be on the couch and the next person doesn’t, the dog will be confused about what the rules are. Make sure everyone knows the steps you’re taking to teach the dog, then make a decision as a family about what the rules are and stick to it.
Get Help with Training
To get more help to train your dog to stay off the couch, take advantage of this step-by-step tutorial called, 7 Step System for Keeping Your Dog Off the Furniture from Professional Dog Trainer and Behavioral Specialist, Doggy Dan. Doggy Dan owns the dog training website, The Online Dog Trainer.
According to Doggy Dan, all dogs can be trained to stay out of places where you don’t want them to be. It doesn’t matter if you have a new puppy or an adult dog, and it doesn’t matter if you don’t want the dog on the furniture at all or if you only want them on the furniture when you give permission. Use Doggy Dan’s 7 step system for teaching your dog to stay off the furniture completely or look to you for an invitation before they jump up!
Should Dogs Be Allowed on the Couch?
Dogs can be allowed on the couch and other furniture if:
- They’ll get off immediately when told
- There aren’t any aggression issues like resource guarding of people, objects or furniture
- Everyone in the house is OK with the dog being on the couch
- If the dog isn’t destroying the couch in any way
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