Do you have a boisterous dog who is always on the run, all over the place? Controlling your dog might be a mammoth task indeed. Does your dog have a crate to stay, or does he prefer staying on the bed or couch most of the time?
If you don’t have issues with your dog staying on the couch, that isn’t a problem. However, if your dog creates a menace each time he is on the couch, to the point of destroying the furniture, that could be a problem.
So, are there ways to keep your dog off the couch or furniture? Let us take a look at a few ways.
Why do Dogs Get on Furniture?
Knowing why your dog gets on it before learning tricks for keeping the dog off the furniture is essential. There could be various reasons behind the same.
- Your dog sees you spending most of the time on the couch or furniture, and he, too, wants to follow suit. Your canine wishes to be with you always, and what can be better than remaining closely cuddled to you as you relax on the couch?
- If you have a plush, cozy couch, your dog will find comfort in resting and reclining on it just as you do.
- When you have kids at home who often jump and play on the couch, your canine may imitate their behavior and do the same thing. Dogs have this unique mental skill of imitating their owners or their kin. Studies have shown that canines can copy a behavior even after ten minutes since it occurred. So, your dog replicating your children’s act and spending a significant amount of time on the couch isn’t an impossible feat.
How to Keep Dogs Off Couch? 3 Effective Ways
If your dog seems to be messing up the couch, you would surely desire to find ways to keep him off it. Check out the few things you can do from your end:
1. Crate Train Your Dog
One of the best ways to prevent your dog from damaging the couch or other furniture is to crate-train him. However, you must do that since the time you brought him home as a puppy.
When your dog is given a dwelling of its own and made to feel comfortable with his choicest belongings, he will be less inclined towards wandering about in other parts of the house.
He will understand his boundaries and spend less time on or destroying the furniture. You must ensure your dog’s crate is comfortable and has all the amenities needed to make him feel at home.
2. Teach Him the “Off’ Command
Command training should begin for your dog at eight weeks. When your canine has mastered basic commands, like ‘Come,’ ‘Stay,’ or ‘Sit”, you may proceed to teach him other commands like “Off”.
The ‘off’ command will be helpful for your dog in various ways; whenever your dog is jumping on the furniture or in places where he shouldn’t, a firm ‘Off’ from you may help him remain disciplined.
Each time he listens to you and doesn’t get on to the couch when you command ‘Off,’ you may reward your dog with a treat.
3. Provide Your Canine with a Cozy Bed
If it’s the coziness of the couch that attracts your dog more towards it, then you may solve the problem by providing a comfortable bed for him. Research well while searching for an appropriate bed for your dog, per his needs and choices.
A raised metal frame bed will help if you have a heavy chewer. Memory foam beds would be helpful for seniors, giving them the required comfort. Dogs who overheat will feel comfortable sleeping on beds made from cooling fabrics.
When your dog has a cozy bed, he will be less inclined to spend more time on your couch or bed.
How do I Keep My Dog Off the Couch When I’m Not Home?
When your dog is right in front of you, managing him is easy. However, he will take advantage of the slightest opportunity to scan the couch when you leave home. So, you must make arrangements beforehand to ensure your dog remains off the sofa.
1. Use Obstructions for the Furniture
Creating a physical barrier is the best way to stop your dog from accessing the couch in your absence. There are a lot of ways to do it.
Pet training mats contain pointy nubs, preventing your dog’s access to the couch or other furniture.
You could even put a couch defender on the couch to prevent your dog from spending too much time on it. Couch defenders will block your dog’s access to the furniture but won’t scare your canine or cause him discomfort.
If you do not want to spend on commercial products, the best way to create a barrier would be by stacking books on the couch. Your laundry basket will serve as another great option for a physical barrier.
However, using aversives or unpleasant stimuli to eliminate your dog’s unwanted habits isn’t good. So, you must try stimulating your dog and training him well since his puppy days to eliminate the unpleasant habits.
2. Use Dog Repellants
When spraying dog repellants on the couch, ensure you use dog-safe ones. One of the safest ingredients is vinegar – mainly apple cider vinegar and white distilled vinegar. You may add any essential oil with a citrus scent to the vinegar. Once you mix the ingredients well, spray it on areas you do not wish your dog to access.
Should I Consider Letting My Dog on the Furniture?
This is a matter of your discretion. Many owners enjoy snuggling with their dogs on the couch. When you have small or toy breeds like a Yorkie or Maltese, having them on the couch wouldn’t be too much discomfort.
However, you wouldn’t want him to occupy a significant portion of the couch when you have bigger breeds like a Great Dane or a Doberman.
Another possibility is if your dog has resource-guarding behavior and considers the couch its property. In such cases, you may not want them to remain obsessed with the couch.
Most owners prefer keeping their dogs off the couch since they do not wish it to be messed up with debris, dirt, or hair. If you have a high couch and a small breed, you wouldn’t want your dog to fall off the furniture and hurt itself. In such cases, restricting your dog from the couch would be a better option.
So, whether you are all right with your dog sitting on the couch or wish him to stay away from it is up to you.
What to do if Your Dog Won’t Stay Off the Furniture?
If your dog doesn’t wish to leave the couch despite several efforts from your end, you should consider talking to a professional therapist specialized in assessing dog behavior. You would also have to check for any health problems bothering your dog. Perhaps there is a pain in his back or elsewhere, which makes your dog glued to the soft, cozy couch.
There are certain odors that your dog would never want on the couch. These include alcohol, mothballs, nail polish, and cleaning. However, it isn’t an excellent option to use them as deterrents. They will produce toxic effects on your dog.
The strong, pungent smell of vinegar isn’t something your dog prefers. So, dog-repellants containing vinegar will be a helpful remedy to keep dogs off furniture,
Vinegar isn’t harmful to dogs, and when you spray it on the couch, it will keep your dog away from it but will not produce toxic effects.
To sum up, if your dog gets on the couch occasionally, that isn’t too much of an issue. But if your dog is obsessed with the couch, you must find ways to distract him. Moreover, sometimes it may not be the couch but the objects on it. For instance, it could be your dog’s favorite pillow or cushion lying on the couch that fascinates him the most.
It may even be the smell of edibles that remain scattered on the couch that draws your dog towards it. So, once you identify the trigger, it helps you to solve the problem soon.
Dr. Lillian is a D.V.M. passionate about promoting awareness of dogs. She shares her expertise through her blogs on canineweekly.com and provides animal care services, including internal medicine, dermatology, and emergency care. Dr. Lillian is committed to contributing to animal welfare.