Dogs love to make themselves comfortable, which often means sitting wherever you sit. The couch is a favorite spot for both humans and furry friends, but not all dog parents are happy about it. So, if you have a couch hog that often neglects their own bed, you need to learn how to keep your dog off the couch. Here are some tips to help you redirect your pup’s habits.
Why Do Dogs Jump on the Couch?
Dogs of all ages and sizes are interested in sitting on the couch for one clear reason: it’s comfortable! Why sit on the floor when the couch is soft and has a better view of the window? If your dog is always drawn to the couch no matter how many times you say no, then it might be because they don’t have anywhere more comfortable to rest. Many dogs are also more likely to sit on a couch if it’s near a visible window.
While your dog might feel like a king or queen on the couch, you might have different thoughts about it. Dogs on the couch often means more cleaning, and it could potentially lead to more bad habits. So, it’s okay if you want to keep your dog off the couch, but it will take some hard work if your dog is already used to climbing on furniture.
Tips for How to Keep Your Dog Off the Couch
Teaching your dog to stay off the couch will likely take you more than one training session. So, here are some tips on how to reach success as soon as possible.
Be Consistent with Rules
Being consistent is the most crucial part of any dog training. If your dog is not allowed on the couch, then all members in the house need to follow through with that. Even letting it slide once could confuse your dog, making the training process take even longer.
A similar example is trying to stop puppy biting because if one person tells your dog no but another allows your puppy to play bite, then you’ll never get anywhere. So, go over the rules of your household with all family members to ensure that your dog learns how to behave.
Teach Your Dog an “Off” Command
Choosing a consistent command when your dog jumps on the couch can help them learn. Words like “off” or “down” are commonly used when a dog jumps up on something they shouldn’t. Whatever word you decide, make sure it’s the same word that all your family members use. That way you won’t confuse your dog.
Whenever your dog successfully listens to the command, reward them with a small, low calorie treat. It’s a good idea to always keep a few treats in your pocket so you’ll be ready if you catch your dog in the act.
Train Them to Use Their Dog Bed Instead
If your dog isn’t allowed on the couch, then they still deserve a comfortable place to rest. Giving them a cozy dog bed or two is a great way to keep them off furniture. If their dog bed is comfortable enough, there will be no need for them to curl up on the couch anymore.
Some great options to consider are memory foam beds and fuzzy beds. That way, their bed will be just as comfortable as the couch, if not more. They’ll especially prefer it if you keep it close to you or near a window. Many dog parents also teach their dog the command “go to bed” along with their “off” command. Using both of those commands together can teach your dog that the bed is a substitute for the couch.
Keep Them Away From the Couch
Even if you teach your dogs to stay off the furniture, they might still jump up when your back is turned. Most commonly, dogs will sleep on furniture when their humans aren’t home and jump off as soon as they hear the doorknob turn. Just because they seem well-behaved around you doesn’t mean they don’t have a secret sneaky side.
So, when you’re not home, it can help to keep your dog confined to an area away from the couch. You can use dog crates to keep your dogs relaxed and out of trouble, and that can work especially well if you place a comfortable bed in the crate. Other families keep their dog in a gated area or in a room with the door closed. Any of these options can guarantee that your dog will follow the rules even when you’re not around.
It’s no surprise that dogs love furniture. After all, they always want to be by our sides no matter what. While many dog parents allow their furry friends on the couch, it’s perfectly fine if you choose not to. But you have to be ready to enforce those rules and get your whole family on board. As long as your dog has a place that’s just as comfortable for them, they’ll eventually be content napping there instead.
About the Author:
Peter Schoeman is the creator of the The Dog Adventure where he writes on all topics related to dog training, nutrition and the best dog equipment. He lives with his wife, 2 kids and one very cute labradoodle.