How To Teach a Dog Not to Go on Furniture

Give your dog a comfy alternative to your furniture.

Give your dog a comfy alternative to your furniture.

Unless paw prints and slobber stains are part of your decor, you need to keep your dog off the furniture. Of course, he doesn't see it that way, so it's up to you to lay down some ground rules and enforce them every time he gets cozy on your couch.

Provide a comfortable space for your dog to relax. It isn't fair for you to have all that furniture to yourself without giving your dog anywhere to go, so hook him up with a cozy, comfy dog bed or body pillow for lounging.

Stop your dog during the act, not after the fact. If he is on the floor and getting ready to jump up, give him a firm "no." If he jumps up anyway, lift him or otherwise direct him back to the floor and repeat the command. You may even take him directly to his own bed, at which point you should praise him or even give a treat. He will learn to associate sitting in his bed with praise, and jumping on furniture with negative reactions.

Repeat this every time your dog jumps on the furniture, and never waver. Inconsistency in your reactions not only prevents him from learning, but can also confuse him. The only way for your dog to learn his boundaries is if you enforce the rules every single time.

Booby-trap the furniture when you aren't home. If you crate your dog while you're away, you don't have to worry about this, but if not, he needs to know his boundaries even if you aren't there to remind him. Make the furniture inaccessible by putting things on it, like raising your coffee table onto the couch. Alternatively, make a noise trap on the furniture by stacking empty aluminum cans. When your dog jumps up, they will fall and startle him off of the furniture.

Items you will need

  • Dog bed or pillow
  • Treats (optional)
  • Aluminum cans (optional)

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About the Author

Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

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