How Do I Keep My Dog Off Furniture?
Keeping your dog off furniture can be a challenge, but it's possible to train your pup to stay off the couch and other pieces of furniture. Not allowing dogs on furniture can actually have many benefits besides keeping your leather couch pristine. Dogs that are not allowed on furniture can actually be a way for you to maintain a leadership role with your dog.
However, while the concept behind it is simple, it doesn't mean achieving it is going to be easy. As Daniel explains:
"You can't make a mistake and everybody in the family has to agree to the same set of rules. Meaning, if you do not want your dog on your couch or on your bed, then nobody should allow your dog on your couch or bed since day one. If people break that rule, then the dog actually feels more empowered to do it, even in front of you."
Essentially, it promotes the idea in the dog's mind that if they can get away with it once, they may be able to get away with it again. Then, the situation will quickly and continuously devolve into a power struggle. This is why it's important to make sure that you and everyone else in the home follow the same rule regarding the dog on the furniture.
Training a Dog to Stay Off the Furniture
So, let's take a look at some basic steps of how to keep your dog off your furniture:
First, start by not allowing your dog on the couch. This is phase one of getting your dog to learn that they're not allowed on the furniture. During this time, you can use a leash or some kind of tether like a tie-down to make sure the dog stays close to the area you have designated as their own. This may be a dog bed or, preferably a crate.
Second, if people in your home break the rule of not allowing your dog on the furniture, then it is absolutely essential that you correct them immediately. If they do not correct themselves, do so yourself. Whether it's using a leash or putting them back into their space, make sure that nobody breaks this rule.
This can sometimes be difficult because people are always trying to be more lenient on the dog. However, remember that it's crucial if you want to follow through with your training. If you're not consistent with this rule, then the dog will certainly be able to take advantage of it and may try to skirt around other training areas.
Third, phase two is going to have you removing the leash and allowing them to wander about as you sit down on the furniture. However, stay vigilant and do not let them jump up on the furniture even if you have to walk over.
By doing this, you're reinforcing the fact that the furniture is off-limits. Hold the line steady, and you will prevail. Good luck!