Dogs fulfill a unique role in our homes. They’re not humans, but they’re fully part of the family, sharing the same spaces. And yet as much as you love your dog, there are some spaces you’d probably rather not share, like the furniture. Sure, it’s great to cuddle Spot after a long day — but at what cost? Your couch gets covered in grime, and possibly torn up… and couches aren’t cheap to replace. Good news: You can learn how to keep your dog off the couch with these quick and easy training tips.
Dogs on Furniture: The Pros and Cons
Do you allow your dog on the sofa next to you? If you do, you’re far from alone. The American Kennel Club conducted a survey, and discovered that 80 percent of the participants allow their dogs on the furniture with them. The reason is easy to imagine: Relaxing on the couch is great. Relaxing on the couch with your cute, furry best friend is even better. Couch cohabitators may find it annoying when their pooch steals their seat as soon as they stand up; however, they may do this just to revel in your scent and warmth. Awwww.
As great as a canine couch cuddle can be, there are several reasons you may not want Fido on the furniture with you. Dogs shed, and depending on the fabric of your couch, that hair may be difficult to remove. Their nails may scratch and rip your cushions. The dirt, grime, and germs that dogs naturally carry may be hard to clean out of soft surfaces like couches, leading to unpleasant odors and allergen buildup. Also, if your dog is older or prone to joint issues, you may not want them jumping up and down off the couch, potentially causing them pain or injury.
How To Train Your Dog to Stay Off Furniture
Good news: Training your dog to stay off the couch is simple and easy. One way to do it is with the “Off Method.” See the instructions for this training method from Laylo Pets below.
- As soon as your dog hops up on the couch, approach her with her favorite toy or treat.
- Say the word “off,” and use the item to lure them to the floor, off the couch.
- Repeat this method until your dog responds to the “off” command without a treat or toy.
Things to Keep In Mind
Teaching takes patience, especially when your student is of a different species. When training your dog to stay off the furniture, there are a few things you’ll want to remember, so the process is as stress-free as possible.
Be consistent. Dogs learn through repeated action. If you tell your dog to get off the couch one minute, but don’t correct her the next time, she’ll have trouble understanding what she’s supposed to do, says Dog Gone Fun. Stick to your guns to make it easier for both of you.
Block it off. When you’re not home, your dog may be tempted to jump on the furniture. If she gets used to being on the couch every day when you’re gone, the “off” command may become harder to teach her. Consider making the area inaccessible to her by blocking it off with other furniture and objects, or keeping your dog out of the room altogether.
Provide comfy alternatives. You’re not relegated to the floor all the time, so your pup shouldn’t be either! Make sure she has other soft, comfortable places to rest, preferably near the couch, says Dog Gone Fun. If she isn’t enticed by a dog bed, try putting one of your blankets or T-shirts in it. Your smell may make her feel more relaxed.
How do you handle dogs on furniture in your home? Whatever you decide, make sure you still give Spot a cuddle — even if you’re both on the floor.