Why do dogs like sitting on the furniture?
Tiger assuming the position....
Same reasons we do...
- It’s comfortable!!
- We also have a great perspective from up there
- Your dog is copying what you are doing.
- They get attention from you when they are on the furniture
- It might relieve pain from sore joints
- Floor can be hard and cold
Your dog creates behavior patterns and habits very easily. If your dog doesn’t know what is expected of him or where he is supposed to be, he will just follow your example. Why not? looks like a good idea.
If you are wondering how to keep you dog off the couch, your dog will need to learn how. As with any training, you will need to follow a few simple rules:
- Start early (if you can)
- Be consistent
- Get the whole family to stick with the rules so not to confuse your dog
If you dog creates a habit of jumping up on the furniture it will be very difficult to get him out of it and he may always revert to his couch surfing habit.
Why should dogs be kept off furniture?
Puppies can be very small and fragile so it is a good idea not to allow them on the furniture. Puppies can injure themselves easily when jumping off furniture.
Dogs on furniture are the same height as your child’s face. Screaming babies or laughing and running children can frighten or startle a dog easily. It is common for a dog to lash out bite the nearest thing to it which could disastrously be a child’s face.
Unless you don’t mind be covered with dog hair, this is another great reason to keep your dog off the couch. Guests are generally not too happy about leaving your place covered in fur either.
Dogs always seem to be dragging something in side, whether that be sand on their feed, muddy paws, sticks or a dead animal to show you. If you aren’t careful, these will end up on your sofa. That’s in addition to the drool, dog food and perhaps the odd poo stain.
You just don't like it
You may just not like dogs on the furniture. Perhaps you grew up in a house without animals inside or a well-behaved dog that slept on the floor.
Or should they?
Some people don’t mind their dog on the couch. Perhaps your dog is non-allergenic and doesn’t drop fur. Perhaps he is a service dog or an inside dog that doesn’t get dirty. Or perhaps you just love to snuggle up with your dog and watch a late night movie together. I know I do!
If you do allow your dogs on the couch, be careful with puppies and smaller dogs so that they don’t injure themselves. You may need a shorter bench or ottoman as a mid point if your furniture is too high for your dog.
Regardless, whether you do or do not like your dog on the furniture, teaching your dog the command "Off is a good idea. There are always a time when you need pooch to get down and if they know the command, all the easier.
Train your dog to keep off the couch
Teach the 'off' command
Dogs respond well to verbal commands so teach him the "off" command. When you observe your dog climbing onto the sofa use a calm and authoritive voice to say, "Off." Use a treat to lure your dog off the couch and onto the floor or his bed.
Use a Leash
Put a leash on your dog when you are home and can supervise. Sit your dog next to you with your foot on the leash so that they cannot go anywhere. When your dog tries to jump up on the couch, gently pull the leash down and say, “Off!” then take your dog to their own bed.
Reward your dog for getting off the furniture with a tasty treat. Also you’re your dogs treats when he sits in his own bed. I often leave tasty treats on his bed so that this becomes a nice place to be. You may also use a chew toy on his bed to keep him occupies and take his mind of the sofa.
Praise your dog regularly and consistently when he gets off the furniture with a verbal ‘good boy’ or a pat. Always remember to praise him when he gets off to command.
Other ways to keep your dog off the couch
Do not leave a new puppy or dog alone around your furniture until you have trained them to keep off.
Restrict access to the furniture when you're not able to supervise your dog. Close the door to bedrooms, or living rooms where possible. Consider getting a doggy or baby gate to block off open doorways particularly when you are not home.
You may try crate training and crate your dog when you don’t want him to have access to the furniture. I prefer to gate doorways to give your dog more room to move around but others have had a lot of success with crate training.
A scat mat works to will keep a dog off the sofa by giving it a little shock. Beware, this may also create fear or aggression in some dogs.
Noise and texture
Unusual and uncomfortable materials can be placed on your dog’s favourite place on the sofa to make it less desirable for him to sit there. Examples include:
- Double-sided tape
- Crunchy material
- Aluminium foil
- Sticky mats, adhesive side up,
- Booby traps - of a pile a cans that topples over to create noise
- Sofa scram
Deterrent sprays and devices
You can buy a deterrent spray that is manually operated or a device that is motion-activated and sprays or shoots a blast of air at your pet or a noise sounds to deter them. These devices are effective as they startle your pet without causing them harm and are great for using when you are not able to supervise or not at home.
Comfortable dog bed
Provide your dog with a great alternative. Your dog is probably looking for a simply spot to sit and have a nap. Make sure you dog has a comfortable bed on the floor as an alternative to the sofa. Ensure you get a bed with good padding and warmth.
A dog sofa
An alternate solution that you may wish to consider is to designate a piece of furniture to your dog. Put your dog's chair in a place where he can still be part of the family and enjoy his very own chair. Alternatively, consider a designer dog sofa for you pampered pooch.
How to assist your dog off furniture
- Always be gentle, especially with puppies or older dogs
- Try not touching your dog
- Lure your dog off the furniture and reward the dog
- Don’t be aggressive
Puppies and dogs need consistent and persistent training. Stick with it and you will have a well-behaved and happy dog. that everyone will want to be around.
And just in case you are wondering what your dog gets up to when you're not home.......