Dogs enjoy getting up on the furniture, because just like us, they enjoy having a place to comfortably rest. Furniture and beds have high levels of human smells on them. Dogs who wish to bond closely to their owners find this smell irresistible. Dogs also enjoy being able to see the room from a higher perspective, as they can see dogs walking by outside and other interesting sights. They are also able to get away from events happening on the floor, like children playing. What if you don’t like the idea of your doggie lounging on your beautiful furniture? Vetstreet gives some advice on how to train your dog to stay off of the furniture.
Provide Your Dog With a Resting Place
The first thing you need to do to get your dog to comply is provide him or her with an alternate place to lie down in areas of the home where they like the best. But what if your dog likes to lay down on the furniture all over the house? You may need to provide separate resting areas in the living room, office and bedroom, for example. It is a good idea to provide different types of resting places in the different rooms.
You could put a kennel in a quiet room for times when your dog wants some peace and alone time. In other rooms, you could use comfortable dog beds that remind them of the furniture they find so appealing. All some dogs need is a mat or a round bed, while others like the feeling of being surrounded by soft fabric and getting cuddled up in a bed with high corners. If your dog particularly enjoys being high up, there are dog beds that more closely resemble human furniture, like a doggie couch. To get your dog to settle on the dog beds instead of your furniture, you could place some treats on the area to entice him.
The “Off” Command
Logically, to keep your dog from sitting on the furniture, you should use some dog training to teach him the “off” command. Teaching your dog this command in advance is useful should your dog mistakenly get up on the furniture and you want him to get down. Be aware that you should never physically force your dog to get off your furniture as this may cause him to become aggressive.
To teach the “off” command, you first need to teach him the “on” command. Do this by saying “on” and put a piece of food on the furniture to get him to jump onto it. Now that your dog is on the furniture, you can teach him to get off of it too. To do this, speak the word “off” and put a treat in front of him that is away from the furniture. As soon as your dog moves off of the furniture, praise him and reward him with another treat. Now that your dog understands what this cue means for furniture in the home, you can use this cue to redirect him to his own resting area as an alternative.
Consistency Is Key
Now that your dog has become familiar with the “off” command, he should no longer be invited up on the furniture. It is important to be consistent, so that he understands that there is no situation where it is okay for him to get onto your furniture. It will only confuse him if you allow him to get on the furniture at some times and not at others. What about when you are not at home? You can simply block access to the furniture by using a dog gate or other device. If your dog slips up and gets onto your furniture, tell him “off” and redirect him to a better resting area with the help of his favorite treats.