How To Keep Your Dog Off the Couch
You love your comfy couch, don’t you? And if you are reading this, I bet your dog loves it even more! But not all are comfortable with their dogs on the furniture. While some simply feel uncomfortable, it might rightly seem unhygienic with dog hairs and saliva for many. Being a dog owner myself, I have also been through the same struggle. While my dog is super cute, he had marked his territory over a particular seat on the couch. And every time we had guests, he made sure no one else took his seat by occupying it himself. Not only was it embarrassing, the couch too suffered from scratches from his paws. So what I am sharing here is what helped me turn the tables. And I hope it helps you too.
Start From Day 1
Prevention is always better than cure. And for that, the ‘no couch rule’ must start from the first day your four-pawed bud enters your home. And this works well for two simple reasons. First, they are easy to train when young. And second, just don’t let them pick up the trait, so they’ll not do something they never learned. And trust me, this is the easiest step.
Get Them a Dog Bed
A puppy or a grown-up dog, a comfortable dog bed is a must to keep them off the couch. And while buying a bed, take care of your dog’s comfort. And for that study their sleeping style. If they like curling up like a furball get them an extra-soft bed. If they sleep with legs sprawling out, you’ll have to go for an oversized bed. The intent is to make your couch less appealing than their bed. And then you may place their bed even near your couch.
Train Them to Follow Commands
Train your dog to get off the couch. And for that, you must neither yell nor push them off physically. Treat them like a little kid who has to learn to walk. Have patience. Every time they climb up, speak a particular command like ‘get off’, ‘no’, ‘out’, etc. And meanwhile either allure them down with a treat or leash them and softly make them get off. This can act as a temporary relief.
Tricks and Treats
This might sound like an extended version of the previous step, but there’s a difference. The trick here is to distract them from the couch. Buy them some toys they are unable to carry up the couch or get them into more activity on the floor. And while you may use treats to get your dog off the couch, they must get them a little away from it. Also, make sure no one else litters food on the couch, sending an invitation to the dog.
When They are Home Alone
The hardest time to keep the dog off the couch is when they are home alone. But it is not difficult. Simply block your dog’s access to the couch by placing a deterrent on the way or on the couch itself. In fact, there are multiple ways to achieve this. Either confine them in a particular space sans a couch. Or place stuff like aluminum foil, baskets, etc, that they can’t climb onto. You may find just anything your dog fears and yes it could be a vacuum too. Dog gates also work really well in partitioning parts of the home from the dog.
While I suggest following the ‘no couch’ rule from day one, make sure that it is followed by all. Especially, if you have kids, make sure they don’t let the dog on the couch in your absence. Keeping them off the couch is achievable only when the dog is meted the same treatment by everyone.
But before all else what counts the most is your dedication towards and bonding with your dog. Or these little steps I mentioned might render worthless. While dealing with dogs, we sometimes tend to forget that they are just like kids. They too have feelings, habits, preferences, besides attraction and attachment to certain people and things. And to change their habits, we have to be patient with them, just like we are with nursery kids. So we don’t need to punish them or teach them a lesson. But with some consistent efforts, we can curb their behavior and with some love and kindness, that’s easily achievable.