Many dogs are a lot like people and enjoy being comfortable. This means they might prefer a couch, recliner or your bed to the floor when they lounge or sleep. However, they might track dirt or leave hair all over your furniture, which cans transfer to your clothing and make your guests hesitant to sit down when they visit. If your dog loves to lie on your furniture, there are a few training strategies you can use to reclaim your bed or favorite chair.
Your dog learns quickly as a puppy and needs guidance to learn proper indoor manners. Allowing him on the furniture as a puppy may make breaking the habit more difficult as he gets older. While it may look cute, you might regret it later on. Use training treats to reward good behavior, such as when he lies on his own puppy blanket .
Teaching your dog to stay off the furniture can be less frustrating for each of you when you teach him a one or two-word command. “Down” or “Off,” followed by positive reinforcement if he obeys, can help him understand boundaries. If he does not obey, coax or take him to his bed. Offering your dog a comfortable and snuggly fleece bed may make him more apt to lie there instead of on your furniture.
As your dog’s owner and trusted leader, he takes cues from you when it comes to your home’s boundaries. If you want your furniture to be off-limits, it is important to show him what you expect. Show your dog where his bed is, then use “No!” or “Mine!” when he shows interest in your furniture. Remember to be firm and calm as you give your dog the signal word or command.
If you want your dog to stay off the furniture, then offer him his own space. Crate training can help you accomplish this, and crating can also provide your dog with a place where he feels safe during times of stress. Begin by choosing a crate that is an appropriate size for your pet, where he can stand up and turn around with ease. Line the crate with a durable and soft cage mat that is also washable. Teach your dog “go to bed” when he wants to snooze and with consistent training, he will start to sleep there on his own.
You can discourage your pet from sleeping on your furniture by shielding it with plastic covers or spraying it with a non-toxic dog deterrent. Your pet may find both uncomfortable and avoid your furniture. Consider closing off certain rooms with pet gates to establish clear boundaries and only allow your pet in the room while you are there. Offer him a round plush dog bed that you can move from room to room so he can lie nearby as you go about your day.
When your family decides to get a puppy or young dog, it is important that everyone in the house understands your pet will not be allowed on the furniture. Remind your kids (or any adults who are easily swayed by puppy eyes,) that you will need their help training your new family member, and allowing “just this once” can be counterproductive and may only confuse your dog.
You may worry that no cuddle time on the couch or in bed with your dog might mean less of a chance to bond, but there are other easy ways you nurture this. Playtime is an excellent opportunity to encourage trust and give your dog plenty of petting and cuddle time. Remember to take along an outdoor rest mat for your dog so he has someplace comfortable and familiar when it is time for a break.
Not all dog beds are created equal, and some dogs require more support and comfort than others. For example, if your senior dog is suddenly seeking the warmth and plushiness of your couch or bed, he might have joint pain that is preventing proper sleep. After a trip to the vet to ensure he is not in pain, consider buying him a therapeutic pet bed that supports orthopedic health and may provide your friend with a night of more restful sleep.
Teaching your dog to stay off the furniture and having him learn a signal command does not happen overnight. Daily training can be your key to success, especially with a puppy or young dog. If you adopted a shelter dog and want him to get accustomed to the house rules, keep in mind that these animals may require additional patience, as the transition from the shelter to a home may be confusing for them.
When your dog wants to be with you in your home office or den, he is going to want a comfortable spot he can claim for himself. If you want to avoid dragging his bed around from room to room, invest in several beds or blankets he can burrow into. Burrowing beds can be especially comfortable for small dogs, such as terrier breeds, as they can hide in the burrow and indulge in their digging instincts without clawing up your furniture cushions or snagging your duvet.
Protecting your furniture from dog hair and premature wear due to your furry friend can be a challenge. However, providing your furry friend with a variety of comfortable beds and blankets, along with consistent training, can help ensure both you and your dog stay comfortable each day you spend together.