Maybe at one point, you were totally cool with your dog sleeping on your couch. You used to let your cat snuggle in bed with you. Things may have changed, or you may notice that when friends and family come over, they’re not too fond of sharing space with your four-legged friends. Whether you’re trying to get some peace and quiet on the living room sofa or trying to get your dog to stay in his own doggy bed at night, learn about these helpful tips to help train your pet to stay off the furniture – not to mention, less clean up of all that fur for you!
Signs It’s ‘Okay’ for Your Pet to Be on the Couch
Not all pets need to stay off the furniture. Some general signs that it’s okay for your pet to be on the couch include a positive and receptive response to your requests. For example, when you tell Fido to get off the couch, they get off immediately. If you sit next to them or slowly approach them when they’re sitting on furniture, they don’t show any signs of aggression.
They don’t guard specific objects, don’t growl, and especially don’t bite. If you and everyone else in the house are okay with your pet being on the furniture, that’s fine. Just keep in mind that your pet’s hair is going to get everywhere, so be sure that you’re using a handy tool like a cat hair remover to get rid of all that pet hair.
Benefits of Keeping Your Pet Off the Furniture
There are many reasons you and your home can benefit from keeping your pet off the furniture. For one, there’s less pet hair to clean up. Do keep in mind that even if you do keep your pet off the furniture, your pet will still shed throughout your home, and you’ll still need to clean up their hair.
Use an easy and practical tool like a pet hair remover brush to remove pet hair from furniture, clothing, and any other non-knit surface at home. Once your pet is no longer taking their cat naps on the couch, you’ll find that your furniture will last longer, smell better, and be cleaner!
You, your family, and your guests will love having a bit more space without having to share that corner of the sofa with the dog. Does your dog jump on the couch the minute you leave the house? The best way to deal with the stealth sitter is to make furniture inaccessible and less enticing.
Keep your dog off the couch by placing a baby gate or two flat on top of furniture, pulling the cushions up so that they’re vertical, placing empty laundry baskets on the cushions or stacking books near the edge of the couch.
You can also consider a commercially available pet-safe “scat mat” that makes a shrill noise when your dog touches it. (Mats that deliver a shock to keep your dog off the couch aren’t recommended, however. There’s no need to train with pain.)
An inexpensive alternative is to purchase a car floor mat and place it upside down on your furniture. The gripping “teeth” on the bottom of it will make the couch feel prickly and uncomfortable.
Considering Different Training Methods
Just like every person, every dog is unique, which means that what works for one dog may not work for another. If you’ve been trying the same method over and over again with your pet but can’t get them to stay off the furniture, consider trying different methods.
You may need to combine any of these methods with positive reinforcement to help them stick, such as rewarding your pet with a nice snuggle and groom session with a dog hair remover brush afterward.
The Spot Method
The spot method is helpful if you’re okay with your pet being on the furniture but just don’t want them getting their claws or hair all over the bed or couch. Place your pet’s bed or a small blanket down where you’d be fine with your pet sitting.
Place a treat or toy down on this designated spot. If your pet tries to get off the spot and go to the rest of the furniture instead, keep using the toy or treat to lure them back to their spot.
The Off Method
The off method requires you to catch your pet in the act of getting on your furniture. The moment they hop onto your bed or couch, go over to them with a treat or toy in your hand but don’t give them the reward just yet.
Say “off” to your pet and point to where you want them to go. You can use the toy or treat to lure them off the furniture. Reward them each time they follow your request to get off the furniture and practice this on multiple pieces of furniture in your home that your pet likes to jump on.
The Block Method
The block method is easy to try to train your pet whenever you have family or guests around. Have them take up as much space as possible on the furniture your pet keeps trying to climb on. You can take other measures to effectively block your pet from gaining access to the furniture – hence, the block method.
If you have an older pet that has trouble climbing, remove any aids that have steps, a stoop, or an ottoman that allows them to hop onto the furniture. Use other barriers like a baby gate or even just your legs.
The most important thing when training any pet is to have patience. It may take time for your pet to understand your ongoing requests to stay off the furniture. At times, even after you successfully train them, they may show regressive behavior.
According to Awesome Dog Academy, regressive behavior is extremely common. It can occur for a number of reasons, such as a lack of consistency or a sudden change at home. Don’t lose hope, and continue to reward your pet for good behavior.