Dogs like to get comfortable when they take a break, so when they see the opportunity to snuggle up on a soft couch it often proves to be too great a temptation to resist. There’s nothing wrong with allowing your dog to hang out with you on the couch, but not everyone enjoys sharing the space with their furry best friend. Unfortunately, once your dog has a taste for the good life it can feel like an endless battle to try to keep him off the couch. The following tips will show you how to keep your dog off the furniture and help him understand where he should hang out instead.
To Share or Not to Share?
The decision to allow your dog on the furniture is a personal one. If you don’t mind some extra fur and occasional muddy paw prints on your cushions, it’s a fine way to spend quality time with your best friend. However, there is an important exception: the dog who thinks that he owns the couch. If your dog has ever growled or snapped at you to maintain his spot on the furniture or gets surly when you try to move him over, it’s time for his couch privileges to end. Address your dog’s location guarding issues with a professional and then reassess if it’s appropriate to reintroduce couch privileges post-training.
Start Off on the Right Paw
Consistency is important in keeping your dog off the furniture. Make sure that everyone in the household agrees to the “no dogs allowed” policy because part-time privileges make it harder for your dog to understand the rules. It’s best to keep your dog off the couch from the very beginning, even when he’s a tiny puppy because it’s much more difficult to un-train the behavior once your dog has gotten used to it.
A Place of His Own
If you opt to keep your dog off the couch, make sure to provide him with a comfy alternative. Instead of giving your dog a flat pad-style dog bed, select a donut bed that has a bolster, which gives him something to lean up against. Keep the bed close to where you hang out and consider investing in a few beds so that your dog has a home base in all of your primary living spaces, like the kitchen, bedroom and family room. You can make his special bed even more enticing by frequently anchoring a treat-stuffed toy to it. Attach a thin rope to a hard rubber toy, fill it with peanut butter or treats, then tie the rope to a nearby table leg or another piece of heavy furniture that’s close to your dog’s bed. Your dog will soon understand that delicious things happen when he hangs out on his bed!
Management Techniques for Keeping Dogs Off Furniture
Does your dog jump on the couch the minute you leave the house? The best way to deal with the stealth sitter is to make furniture inaccessible and less enticing. Keep your dog off the couch by placing a baby gate or two flat on top of furniture, pulling the cushions up so that they’re vertical, placing empty laundry baskets on the cushions or stacking books near the edge of the couch. You can also consider a commercially available pet-safe “scat mat” that makes a shrill noise when your dog touches it. (Mats that deliver a shock to keep your dog off the couch aren’t recommended, however. There’s no need to train with pain.) An inexpensive alternative is to purchase a car floor mat and place it upside down on your furniture. The gripping “teeth” on the bottom of it will make the couch feel prickly and uncomfortable.
Training Your Dog to Get Off the Couch
So, you busted your dog on the couch, oblivious and dreaming. It’s time to teach him the “off” cue, a dog-friendly way to get your dog to move from the furniture. Take a small treat and throw it on the ground a few feet away from the couch where your dog is resting. Say “off” and make a sweeping hand gesture as your dog moves from the couch. Saying the cue as your dog is doing the movement is a way of creating an association between his action and the cue – you’re basically teaching your dog English (and sign language)! If possible, immediately lead your dog to his bed and give him a treat and lots of praise for going to his bed instead of the couch. Always make sure to acknowledge your dog any time he opts to sleep on his own bed instead of the furniture.
Some dog training advice suggests encouraging your dog to get up on the furniture in order to work on the “off” cue. While this will certainly help to help your dog learn the “off” cue, it might teach him an accidental lesson as well. Clever dogs often make the association between getting up on the couch in order to get a reward for getting off, and they might jump up on the furniture more frequently in an effort get you to use the “off” cue and give him treats. Though it can take longer to look for naturally occurring opportunities to work on the “off” cue, it’s less likely to teach your dog an accidental “up then off” lesson.
Let me jump in and give you 15 simple tips on how to keep your dog off the couch
1. Train your dog
You need to train your dog to stay away from the couch.
Some pet parents think that when their dog tries to get comfortable on the couch they are trying to show dominance. Well, this might not be the truth because the couch is definitely way comfortable and warm than the hard cold floor.
The first thing you need to do is to thoroughly train your dog to stay away from the couch. It might take time for him to learn but it is still worth a shot.
Never smack your dog for sitting on the couch or even yell at him. Always use positive reinforcement, which brings me to my next tip.
2. Give him treats
Dogs just like kids love to be pampered and given treats. Treats are an amazing motivation to your dog to always do the right thing.
According to dog experts, positive reinforcement always has a greater and long-lasting impact on dogs. In case you are wondering how to keep your dog off the couch using his favorite treat, here’s how.
Simply wait for your furry friend to get on the couch then toss his favorite treat down onto the carpet or rug. He will begin to associate the treat with staying on the floor.
Make sure not to make this a habit, you can choose to applaud him with praises or a pat on the back once he gets off the couch. Your little friend will stop sitting on the couch just to please you and earn a yummy treat.
3. Use Aluminium Foil
If you thought that aluminum foil is only used in the kitchen you are in for a treat.
Aluminum foil is one of the best ways you can use to keep your dog off your couch. Simply cover your couch evenly with long sheets of aluminum foil.
Let your couch remain so as you go about your normal house chores but keeping an eye on your dog.
Once your dog jumps on to the furniture and lands on the aluminum foil, it will make a crinkly noise without hurting him. This will deter your dog from ever thinking of jumping on the sofa set because of the aluminum foil.
4. “Poke” him using mats
Invest in a simple chair mat and use it to keep off your dog from sitting on your couch.
Buy a few of those chair mats that are used in an office on those low-pile carpets. Trim the chair mat into the size of your couch and place it upside-down so that the pointy bristles face up.
Definitely, your dog will not like the idea of lying on pointy plastic bristles. Just after the first few attempts, he will leave the couch alone. You need not to worry, the bristles will not hurt him, and they will only make his once comfortable couch very undesirable and will opt to stay on the floor or carpet.
5. Don’t throw away the bubble wrap
No need to pretend, we are all adults until we get hold of a bubble wrap. There is simply no one on this planet that does not like to hear the pop sound when bursting the bubble wrap.
This bubble wrap might be annoying to your furry friend. Spread the bubble wrap on your sofa and let it be. Make sure that the bubble wrap you get is unused otherwise it will have no purpose.
When your dog gets on the couch, he will hear a series of pops that will freak him out, he might not like the pop sound as much as you do. This will deter him from getting on the couch in the future.
6. Use the laundry basket
I hope this tip does not come out as selfish and mean to all you dog lovers out there. However, you can empty your laundry baskets and use them to cover all the space on the couch so that your dog has no place to sit on.
In the long run, your dog will have no place to sit on and will eventually give up ever enjoying your comfortable couch. He will be forced to look for a new spot for his naps.
The laundry baskets should be empty, do not leave any clothes in the basket because you will only give your puppy a new chilling spot on your couch! If you also suspect that your puppy might end up sleeping in the laundry basket, you can as well turn them upside down.
7. Crate your dog
This is one way you can effectively contain your dog. Crating your puppy will not only keep him away from getting on your couch but also from causing a distraction in your home.
There are pet parents who might not agree to this but others will embrace this idea especially if you are leaving the house for a few hours.
You can invest in a pen or crate and have your dog confined to a dog-friendly space in the house. As a way of keeping your dog occupied, you can as well give him some of his favorite toys and puzzles. This will effectively keep your dog off the couch.
8. Apply some Tabasco sauce
This is a method that you can use to keep your dog away from your furniture.
Tabasco sauce has a strong smell that your dog will probably not like. This will disturb him every time he wants to come near your furniture.
However, make sure not to directly apply it on your couch because it might spoil your seats. Instead, you can apply the sauce on a piece of cloth, maybe a rug you do not use and spread it on the sofa.
The strong smell will keep your furry friend away from your couch and other furniture as well.
9. Disarrange the cushions
If you have been looking for ways to keep your dog off the couch, turning up the cushions is one. Disarrange the cushions with the aim of making the place very uncomfortable.
Remember, one of the reasons why your dog loves to sit on your couch is because the place is soft and cozy.
When you turn up the cushions, your aim is not to make the place disorganized but to make sure it no longer is inviting to your dog. Without the cushions, your couch will be empty and hard. This will no longer be appealing to your dog and he will stop wanting to get on the couch.
10. Use plastic bottles
This may sound a little bit awkward but if used correctly it can also be an effective method to ensure that your dog keeps off the couch.
Collect a few plastic bottles and fill them with stuff that will make noise, could be stones or pennies. Put these bottles on the couch in a manner that your little furry friend is likely to drop them when he gets on the couch.
This will startle him and freak him out to the extent of making him jump off from the couch. The plastic bottles can also be kept on laundry baskets just to make louder noise to startle your dog.
11. Spray, spray spray
Spraying some essence on the couch will also help in keeping your dog off the couch. This is because that most dogs do not like these smells at all.
You being his owner, you need to be familiar with a particular smell that your little poochie hates and will do whatever it takes to stay away from.
You can also try to make your own homemade sprays using oils and water. There are also non-chemical sprays at most pet stores. Once you spray this on your furniture, your dog will stay away in order to avoid the smell. He will eventually learn how to stay away from the couch.
12. Apply some vinegar
Vinegar has always been a home remedy to cover some smells around the house. Your dog is probably going to dislike the smell of vinegar on your couch.
Simply soak some cotton balls in vinegar and put them on the furniture. Be prepared because there might also be members of your family who might avoid sitting on the couch because of the strong smell of vinegar.
You are lucky because vinegar will also come in handy in covering up the dog smell on your furniture. Remember, dogs have a much-enhanced sense of smell compared to humans, the smell of vinegar is likely to be too much for your puppy to handle.
You can also soak some unused rugs with vinegar and spread it on the couch. Your dog will avoid your furniture and that is how to keep him off the couch.
13. Use pet repellents
You can also use pet repellents to keep your dog away from your couch. However, you need to do a thorough background check before getting some of these products.
The last thing you want is your dog to contract some skin infection or suffer from an allergic reaction after sitting on a sofa sprayed with some pet-repellents.
There are many kinds of pet repellents including mats and traps. These will produce some noise every time your puppy gets on the couch. This is meant to startle your dog so that he stays away from the couch.
The pet repellents are not going to harm your dog in any way but it is just prudent to do your own research before purchasing these things.
14. Make your dog a comfortable bed
Have you tried to find out why your dog will opt to sleep on the sofa and not in his bed or crate? The reason could be his sleeping basket is not comfortable enough.
Make sure that you give your dog a comfortable place to sleep. Make it warm and cozy, easily accessible and he will enjoy sleeping in it more often than not.
You can also give him another place where he can relax and just take a nap apart from his bed just to break the monotony and to avoid him sleeping on your couch.
15. Be consistent
Consistency is everything. You need to be firm and consistent in your training and everything that you are trying to teach your dog.
Make sure that everyone in your house knows the rules. It will be much easier to set the same standard other than have one person allowing him to stay on the couch and another shooing him away.
Be consistent in your training as well. Teach him some of the basic commands, of importance, in this case, is how to “Get off!” A few minutes every day over the next few weeks is enough to effectively train your dog to get off the couch.
In a nutshell, training your dog to stay off your furniture should not be a difficult task.
Always try to discover the reason why your dog prefers sleeping on the couch and not his bed or basket. Make sure that his space is comfortable and warm.
Use positive reinforcement when training your dog to stay away from your couch. Practice patience and do not smack or shove him off the couch, instead use his favorite treats to lure him away from your furniture.
Aluminum foil is also great in deterring your furry friend from jumping on the couch. Be consistent in your training and your dog will learn to stay away from your furniture.
A very good dog training problem like “Easy Way to An Obedient Dog” would be helpful.