So you've bought the couch you've been eying, only to find that your puppy is using it as a doggie bed and jumps up when he sees you using the new piece furniture. To avoid future problems, correct your pet companion's behavior while he's still eager to learn house rules.
Tell all family members in the household that your puppy isn't allowed on the couch at any time. Everyone has to be on the same page -- if one person allows your pet companion on the couch, it sends the wrong message and can confuse him.
Provide your puppy with a comfy dog bed in the room with the furniture that he's not allowed to jump on. If there's more than one piece of furniture that's off-limits in the house, ensure you have several tempting dog beds ready to serve as an alternative. Place the dog beds in areas that your family visits often to avoid isolating your new family member.
Lift your puppy off the couch the moment he jumps on it to cuddle with you. Use the "off" command and place him on the floor. Reward him the moment he's on the floor and walk him to his pet bed. Keep a short leash attached to him so you can guide him. Praise him and give him a treat when he uses the bed. If you're consistent, your pup might stop jumping on the couch and automatically go to his pet bed without your assistance. When he does, make sure to reward him.
Place boxes or an upside-down carpet runner on the couch when you're unable to observe your pet companion. The boxes make the couch inaccessible and the carpet runner spikes make it uncomfortable. Alternatively, place your puppy in a crate or block the entrance to the room with the comfy furniture by closing the door or using a baby gate.
Place a stack of empty soda cans on the backrest of the couch in a way so they'll fall around your pup when he jumps on the couch. The cans will startle your pup and he might stop using the couch. Only use this trick if you're sure that your puppy can safely jump down from the couch without hurting himself. Alternatively, use commercial products that make an alarming sound each time your pup jumps on the couch.
- If you don't want to deprive your pup of the comfy couch, place a slip cover or blanket over it so he can't do any damage to it.
- Regularly trim your pup's nails so they stay short and can do minimal damage when he manages to get on furniture.
Kimberly Caines is a well traveled model, writer and licensed physical fitness trainer who was first published in 1997. Her work has appeared in the Dutch newspaper "De Overschiese Krant" and on various websites. Caines holds a degree in journalism from Mercurius College in Holland and is writing her first novel.