How to Keep Dogs From Using the Bathroom on the Furniture

Furniture should be for sitting, not for bathroom use.

Furniture should be for sitting, not for bathroom use.

Has your couch become a pee pad? Rather than punish your dog, take steps to change his behavior. If you convince him there are better places to go to the bathroom than on your couch, he might just decide to leave your furniture alone.

Neuter your dog. Chances are your male dog is peeing on the furniture as a way to mark his territory. Don't expect miracles, though. It can take months after the surgery is done before there's a change in behavior.

Give him an option. Some companies sell pee pads or puppy training pee pads with special smells that are attractive to dogs. If you place one in the bathroom, your dog might be more tempted to use that than to jump on the furniture.

Take him outside more often. In fact, learn to interpret the signs that your dog needs to go to the bathroom and respond immediately to reinforce his letting you know when it's time. Some dogs start doing circles when they need to go to the bathroom. Others will scratch the front door to try and get out. Some will just stand and stare at you, or whine without going to the door. Don't expect your dog to "hold it" just because you don't feel like walking him right now.

Keep him entertained. If the "accidents" are happening when you're out of the house, two things could be causing him to potty on your furniture: Either Fido is really bored and looking for an interesting place to go to the bathroom or he's punishing you for leaving him alone inside the house all day. Either way, a TV turned on to the Animal Channel or a puzzle toy could keep your dog's mind off the furniture.

Buy a pet repellent spray. These sprays, sold at pet stores, have an odor that animals find unacceptable. Keep in mind that whatever area you spray your dog will end up avoiding completely. If you want Fido to sleep on the couch -- but not to use it as a bathroom area -- the spray is not a good idea.

Have a refresher course on housebreaking. Even if your dog has been housebroken for a while, he might have forgotten which places are okay and what places are off limits when it comes to going to the bathroom. Not completely housebroken yet? Push on with the training. In the meantime, cover the furniture he's chosen as his bathroom with a piece of plastic or some foil paper to discourage him from jumping on it.


  • Reinforce training when you're home. Say "no!" if you see the dog jumping on the furniture and immediately get him down if you see him getting into a "suspicious" position, such as lifting a leg or squatting down.

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About the Author

Tammy Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including Woman's Day, Marie Claire, Adirondack Life and Self. She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.

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