Seeing your beloved pooch on your favorite sofa can be adorable and frustrating. You know your dog simply wants to be near you and maybe catch a snooze in a soft spot. Thankfully, with some targeted training and strategic furniture placement, your dog can find his spot on the floor.
Start 'em off young. Puppies bring cuteness, energy, affection and sometimes destructive tendencies into a household. Teaching your dog early that the sofa is for humans will make it easier as he grows older and bigger and becomes a full-fledged member of your family.
Give your pup one, or several, comfy beds. Your pooch sits on the couch because it makes him feel good. To keep him off the sofa, you need to give him a space just as good. Keep at least one bed near where the family hangs out so he can rest peacefully and still be a part of things.
Use positive encouragement. Call a larger dog off the sofa. When he comes down, lead him to his bed and reward him with a treat and praise. Smaller dogs can be gently lifted off the sofa; they may hurt themselves if encouraged to jump down. Make your dog feel good whenever he chooses to stay off the sofa and cuddles up in his designated spot. In the beginning, a treat every time should do the trick; over time, lessen the number of treats, but keep up the praise.
Make the sofa inaccessible when you're not at home. Even the most successful training can end up teaching your dog just one thing: the sofa is off-limits when you're there. When you're not there, your dog may think it's his turn to lounge. Place an overturned chair on the sofa or gate off the rooms where he's likely to go.
Move the furniture. Your dog may not, in fact, love the sofa cushions; maybe it's the view out the window he's craving. Relocating the couch to a spot that gives him less of what he likes may keep him from jumping up. Give him an alternative; move his bed closer to the window and increase his access to the view outdoors.
- dog image by Trav from Fotolia.com