Does your dog love to couch surf? Then you probably want to know how to keep your dog off couch.
While some pet parents do not mind having their pup beside them on their favorite couch, other dog owners prefer to keep their couch fur-free. If you are among the latter, you have come to the right page.
Here, you will discover not just one but six tips on how to break your dog’s habit of couch surfing and keep the paws of your best friend off your couch and your other furniture.
Why Does Your Dog Love Your Couch So Much?
Wondering why your pet dog loves lounging on your couch? Well, your dog’s reasons for opting to sit or rest on the couch rather than on the floor are probably the same as yours.
The couch looks and feels cozier than the cold floor. Besides that, they also get to snuggle close and spend quality time with their owners – something many dogs enjoy doing most days.
Should You Share The Couch With Your Pooch?
Sharing the couch with your pet dog is a personal preference.
So, if you’re among the many dog owners who can stand having fur or a bit of dirt on the couch and having your furry best friend taking up some or most of the space, then so be it. As long as you’re both happy.
If you’re the opposite, and you’re someone who hopes to keep your couches looking clean and fresh, don’t feel guilty. Keeping dogs off the couch, your bed, and other furniture is completely fine. You just need to find a way to keep dogs off furniture without hurting your dog’s feelings or instigating fear.
How To Keep Your Dog Off Couch & Other Furniture?
Now that we’ve cleared some things up, let’s discuss how you can keep your dog (and even your cat) off the furniture, including your bed, couch, or sofa.
As mentioned, we’re giving 6 tips on how you can keep dogs off furniture, most especially your fave couch. Whether your pet is still a puppy or an older dog, you’d want to try one or a combination of the tips below to see which one works since every dog is unique.
Offer Your Pet Dog A Comfy Alternative
Just like you, your pet dog prefers to laze around in something warm and comfy. So it just makes sense to give your pets their own bed that offers that same couch-like feel. That said, you might want to look for a cushioned donut-shaped dog bed instead of a flat, pad-like bed.
And since dogs enjoy hanging around with their owners, you might want to put your dog’s bed close to where you are. That way, they won’t feel so alone and lonely.
Lastly, buying your pet dog a few dog beds is also a good idea. You can place one in each room where you and your family members often hang out. This includes your bedroom, living room, and kitchen. This way, your pets will not feel left out and will still feel comfortable wherever they are in your home.
Turn Your Couch Into Something Less Appealing
Even if your pets already have a bed of their own, your dogs might still be tempted to jump onto the couch, bed, and other piece of furniture, especially when no one is looking or when you’re out and about. So what can you do to protect your couch and keep your dog off it?
There are a couple of management techniques you can try. Check out below:
- Put empty laundry baskets, pans, or boxes on top of your bed, couches, and furniture
- Flip the cushions of your sofa
- Cover the full length of your couch with a couch defender or a couch guard
- Use dog deterrent sprays
Block Access To Furniture
Aside from making your couch or furniture less attractive to your pet dog or puppy, you can also try to make your furniture inaccessible to your pup.
One way to do this is by simply closing the door to that room. Alternatively, you can set up a temporary physical barrier around the furniture (think baby gates).
Baby gates will not only work for puppies or small dogs since these come in various sizes, including sizes perfect for large dog breeds. Besides blocking your dog’s access to your furniture, you can also use the baby gate to close off particular areas in your home (like your indoor garden, dining room, or staircase).
Train Your Pup
Training your dog to follow house rules is best done while they’re still puppies. If from the beginning, you never allowed your puppy to get on the couch or furniture, your puppy will know that these areas are off-limits.
On the one hand, training older dogs to break the habit will be a bit more challenging. As the saying goes, old habits die hard. It’s the same with your furry four-legged companions. But don’t fret because there’s still hope.
As always, any bad behavior can be corrected and replaced with good behavior with proper training. It will just take a bit more time and a truckload of patience when it comes to adult or senior dogs.
Teach Your Pet Dog The “Off” Cue
Teaching your dog the “off” cue comes in handy, in cases wherein you let your pet dog sit on the couch or furniture once in a while.
For this to work, you need to accompany the “off” cue with a sweeping hand gesture. This way, your dog will associate the command with that particular action. If your dog obeys, make sure to praise and reward your pet with some treats. This will reinforce good behavior and teach your dog to repeat the same behavior.
Consider Crate Training Your Dogs
While some may think that putting dogs in a crate is inhumane, crate training your dog actually offers a couple of benefits. And you know what? AKC also supports this.
Crate training your pet will not only help keep your dog off the couch and furniture, but will also help build their confidence, prevent nighttime mishaps, and strengthen their bowel and bladder. Besides that, crates (plus a dog bed and a soft blanket inside) serve as a safe sleeping area for dogs, if you’re the type who prefers to keep dogs off the bed and sleep without distraction.
Important Things To Keep In Mind When Training Your Dog
If you want to achieve positive results in a shorter period without putting a dent in the dog-owner bond, you’d want to remember the following:
Although punishing your dog can get rid of the bad behavior, this can scar your dog for life (thing trauma, stress, and anxiety). To avoid this, train or teach your dog without scolding them or using aversive methods. In addition, scat mats that emit loud noises or static electricity when your pet steps on them should not be used.
Use Positive Reinforcement
Instead of scolding your pets, opt to reward your furry pal with a treat whenever your dog successfully follows a command. This way, your dog will associate that behavior with something positive. When this happens, you can expect that behavior to recur.
The same thing will happen if you stash away some dog treat toys in your dog’s bed or crate. Sooner or later, your pets will opt (of their own free will) to lounge in their bed rather than on your couch and furniture.
Consistency Is Key
When training your pup (or cat), expect to only see positive results when you’re consistent with your actions. If you live with the whole family, everyone in the family should agree that your dog shouldn’t be allowed on the couch. Inconsistencies in commands and reward-giving will surely confuse your dog and lengthen the training period.
Resource Guarding: What To Do About It
Some dogs are more territorial than others. If your pooch growls at you or your guests whenever you ask them to scooch over, then there’s something wrong. Your dog may be resource-guarding.
Resource guarding refers to a dog’s tendency to aggressively guard those that they consider valuable. If your dog shows any sign of aggression when something like their food, toy, or their favorite furniture is taken from them, it’s best to seek the expert advice of your vet.
Yes, dogs just enjoy furniture or couch surfing. But if you don’t feel comfortable with it, the six tips mentioned above will help. Keep in mind, though, that you and the rest of your family must be consistent. If the tips seem to not work on your dog, you can always seek the advice of a vet or an animal behaviorist.
As mentioned, sharing the couch with your furry pal is a personal choice. At the end of the day, what matters most is that both you and your canine companion are comfy and happy.