Just like people, dogs like to snuggle up on the sofa and get cozy when it’s time to take a break. Who could blame them? Some people don’t have a problem with letting their dogs hang out with them on the couch, but others don’t enjoy having to push their dogs out of the way every time they want to sit down. The problem might be that once your dog has gotten used to this luxurious location, it may be a never-ending battle getting him to move off of the couch. Let’s take a look at a few tips that will encourage your dog to stay off of the furniture and instead show him where he should spend his time lounging instead.
Sharing Vs. Not Sharing
Should you let your dog up on your furniture in the first place? This is a personal decision. As long as you aren’t concerned about having a bit of fur and the occasional dirty paw print decorating your couch, then having your dog sit with you on your couch is a nice way to spend time with him or her. Just be careful. Your dog should never growl at you if you try and move them over or try to get them off of the couch. In this case, you should revoke their couch privileges.
Consistency is Key
Decide if you want to let your dog on the couch or not and then stick with it. Be sure that each member of your household understands your decision. Otherwise, if one person lets your dog on the couch and another doesn’t, it is going to just confuse your dog about what the rules are. If your dog is a puppy, it is much easier for you to start at this age and not let the dog on the couch at all, rather than try and un-train the behavior later on.
Provide a Comfortable Alternative
If you have decided to keep your dog off of the couch, be sure to provide him with a comfortable substitute. Consider purchasing your dog a bolster-style bed that provides something he can lean up against. Be sure to place the bed in an area where your dog enjoys hanging out. Even better, consider picking up a few different beds and placing one in the family room, bedroom and kitchen. To make the beds more appealing, try strategically placing toys that are stuffed with treats on each bed to make your dog want to lay there even more.
What to Do When You Leave Home
I’ll bet you are wondering, if the minute you walk out the door, if your dog jumps right onto the sofa. The best way to deal with this is to make the furniture harder to get to and less inviting. All you really need to do is place objects onto your sofa so that your dog can’t sit there. For example, try placing empty laundry baskets on the cushions, or a couple of flattened-out baby gates perhaps. You could also consider purchasing one of those pet scat mats that make a noise when one of your pets jumps up onto it.
Train Your Dog with a Reliable “Off” Command
To begin, have treats handy. The off command is particularly helpful when you have guests over. When your dog begins to get up on the sofa, say “off.” Next, throw a treat over to the side. He will have to jump down from the sofa to get the treat. Give your dog praise, then throw another treat at his feet. This is teaching him that keeping his feet on the ground is the right thing to do.