Doggie keeps jumping on the couch and you feel bad for saying no? Trying to keep your dog off the couch but nothing seems to be working? Keep reading for the answers to both these questions, and the solution that will work for you!
Should dogs be allowed on the couch?
While your dog is a member of the family, you don’t necessarily want them getting their muddy feet and hair all over your furniture. Though it might feel mean, it isn’t unkind to teach your dog to stay on the floor. They can be just as happy in a cozy bed of their own.
Some people do like to let their dogs on the couch and this is a personal choice. But for dog owners who have large or hairy breeds, or dogs that like to take up all the room, learning to keep dogs off the couch is a must.
Start by making the floor a fun spot.
It’s natural for dogs to want to be a part of the fun and the fun is on the couch! Most of us don’t think to reward our dogs for lying on the floor so why would they want to be down there? On the other hand, the sofa is where everyone sits, it’s fun and it’s comfortable. It’s an easy choice for a dog.
If your dog is still a puppy, one of the best ways to avoid the problem of them climbing on the couch is simply never to let them started. But if you own a dog who’s already started to make themselves comfortable on the sofa, it’s time to start training that it’s not okay.
Teaching Your Dog To Keep Off The Couch
1. First and foremost, everyone needs to be on the same page. There can’t be anyone sneaking the dog on the couch when no one else is around. This will only confuse them. Put the rule in place and stick to it at all times.
2. Choose a command. A simple command of “off” or “down” will work, just as long as you stick to that command and your entire family uses the same one. Never push or wrestle your dog off the couch. He should get down on his own, by responding to the command, to learn the behavior.
3. Teach your dog that he’ll be rewarded for staying off the couch. Start by calling your dog off the couch and giving him a treat. If he jumps back up, immediately ask him to get off the couch again and give another treat. Always have treats handy in a jar by the sofa.
4. Teach your dog that the floor is a good place to be. Make the floor fun and comfortable place by giving your dog a comfortable place to lay, toys to keep him busy, and treat (a bone, chewy, etc.). If your dog gets bored and tries to get back on the couch use your “off” command and give a treat when he obeys.
5. Use a leash with stubborn dogs. For the most part, dogs will learn to stay off the couch with treats and commands alone, but some dogs can be stubborn and will need extra encouragement. Leave a leash on your dog. When they jump on the couch give the command to get down.
If they don’t respond, grab the leash and put downward pressure on it to guide them back to the floor. Repeat every time they jump on the couch until the dog gets off and stays off the sofa. You can help to reinforce this by practicing loose-leash training during walks.
6. Use a timeout when necessary. If your dog does not obey your commands, is demanding your attention from the floor, or is acting out, sometimes the best thing to do it to put them in their crate for a short period of time so that they can calm down. This should be a solution you use sparingly, as it doesn’t teach your dog to stay off the couch. Its sole purpose should be to let your dog collect himself.
7. Use an upside-down plastic runner when you’re away. You know the clear, sometimes oddly-shaped mats you place around your computer or other areas so that you don’t damage the carpet with your chair? They come in handy here too!
If you have to step out for a while and aren’t confident your dog will stay off the couch, simply place one (or two) of these turned upside down on the couch. The soft spikes on the underside won’t hurt your dog but will be uncomfortable enough to keep them off the couch.
You can tuck them into the cushions a bit so they don’t slip off easily. Also, be sure to get a mat meant for carpet with “grippers” on the bottom. Mats meant for hardwood floors will be smooth on both sides and won’t help.
Consistent Training is Key!
Dogs may be dear members of our family, but that does not mean they enjoy the same privileges as us, like lounging on the couch. It’s easy to gently train your dog how to get off the couch!
I hope this has given you the solution you've been looking for to keep your dog off the couch. Remember to be consistent in using a simple command of “off” or “down” when keeping them off the couch. You could also try using a leash for stubborn dogs!
P.S. If you found this article helpful, I would love it if you could pin it. Thanks a bunch!