How to keep a dog off a couch
Do you love having your dog curl up next to you on the couch when you watch TV?
Or maybe climb up for a quick snuggle after a long day at work?
If so, then this blog post is for you!
We will discuss the pros and cons of letting your dog on furniture, as well as how to keep them off a couch. So if your furry friend has taken over your favorite seat, read on!
Should you let your dog on the couch?
Typically, this decision all comes down to personal preference.
Some people love having their dog up on the couch, while others find it distracting or unsanitary.
Others have certain furniture that's acceptable for their pets to get on while also having forbidden furniture that their pups are never allowed on.
It is really a personal choice and there are both pros and cons to each side of this debate! Let's look at them below:
Pros for letting your dog on furniture:
The pros are pretty obvious.
Having your dog on the couch can provide a great deal of comfort.
It is nice to snuggle with them after a long day at work, during a tough life event or just because you want some everyday love and affection.
There may be some cons to consider, but just this simple point that encompasses the entirety of the "pros" could be worth letting your dog on the sofa in and of itself!
Cons for letting your dogs on the furniture:
The primary reason dog owners don't want their dog on the furniture is due to cleanliness. It's nearly impossible to keep dog hair, slobber and dirt off of your couch unless you have something like these waterproof dog blankets to cover your furniture.
Dogs need boundaries instilled in them. Letting your dogs on your couch, bed and other furniture can make it hard to establish these boundaries.
Dogs who have free reign of furniture often get territorial. When you invite friends or family over, your dog may bully their way onto the couch regardless of if your company wants to join them or not!
Keeping your dog by your side at all times can cause separation anxiety for your dog. Although it may seem sweet, it can be very detrimental psychology for your dog. If your dog shows signs of separation anxiety, you should NOT let them on the couch or bed with you. Period!
4 Tips to Keep Your Dog Off a Couch
Get your dog their own bed
Most dogs prefer to get on your furniture simply because it's comfortable. Don't you agree that a couch cushion is more comfortable than the floor?
Get your dog an orthopedic dog bed that not only is more comfortable, but it also provides health benefits by providing comfort and support for their body and joints.
Once your dog has it's own bed, that soft couch may not be so appealing anymore.
Dog beds your pet will love
This is a safe bet for your dog as there are thousands of 4 and 5 star reviews for this bed. It is made from CertiPUR-US Certified Foam which is human mattress grade. It's literally just like mini mattress for your dog!
The Original Bully Beds are made with 7 solid inches of memory and support foam with 4.5-pound density, and the foam is also non-toxic and hypoallergenic.
This highly desirable construction is far better for your dog's health than the average surface your dog lies on like the floor, crate or even most other dog beds.
The cover of the Original Bully Bed can be easily removed and machine-washed. You will never have to worry about your dog's comfort or hygiene with this bed! Especially considering how long a dog may spend on their bed throughout the day and to sleep, it is important to provide them with more than a comfy spot. Ample support is crucial for joint support especially for large and aging dogs.
The high-quality foam is not the only advantage here either.
The microfiber covers are removable and washable (simply zip it on and off) which makes it very easy to keep clean. They also have a non-slip base so it doesn't slide around the floor every time your dog jumps on it.
And, there is also a waterproof liner around the bed inside of the cover which keeps the foam from getting wet and saturated which helps considerably with the durability.
Dog beds with bolsters have raised padding around the edge(s) of the bed.
Bolsters on dog beds are very popular because they provide both head support and side support which can help with anxiety, stress, discomfort or simply just to be more comfortable. If your dog prefers to have somewhere to prop his head, a bolster bed is the answer!
There are a couple bolster beds we recommend:
The 3-Sided Bolster Bed is a large rectangular bed with bolsters around three of the four sides. This leaves your dog plenty of room to prop it's head and is supportive around most of the bed but it still has an opening for easy entry.
The rectangular shape with the 3 sides almost resembles getting you dog it's own couch! It just sits on the floor instead of being elevated so your pet steps right onto it as opposed to climbing or jumping up onto your furniture.
It uses the same orthopedic memory and support foam as the Original Bully Bed described previously in this post. And it also uses the same removable and washable microfiber cover.
With very similar construction and shape to the Original Bully Bed, the decision between the two really comes down to if your dog prefers more opportunity for head and body support.
This dog bed has many similarities to the two previous beds described while it also has some significant differences.
The bed is constructed of the same type of orthopedic memory foam, but it's slightly shorter at six inches as opposed to seven.
It's cover is also removable and washable while having a non-slip bottom.
The biggest differences of this bed are that the shape is around as opposed to rectangular (some people have preferences depending on what room and where in the room the bed will be placed.
The other key difference with this bed is the cover. The cover is made from a heavy duty fabric which aids in longevity and durability, while the soft sherpa top provides and cozy and snuggly surface atop your dog's bed.
This Calming Faux Fur Round Bed is the softest dog bed we've ever found.
It's made with similar construction to the Round Sherpa Top Bolster Bed being that it's round, has a bolster for your dog's comfort, is made of the same CertiPUR-US Certified Foam and it also has a cozier top than the microfiber covers.
This bed was designed with the absolute softest faux fur we could find. This material stays cool and the deep donut style bed provides a calming place for your dog to relax.
The orthopedic memory foam is very supportive, yet this bed is much softer than the others mentioned above.
This is a dog favorite, but it also may become a favorite for your whole family as it's so soft humans often get caught joining their top on it.
If the goal is truly to keep your dog off a couch or other furniture, this truly is a great option. No couch cushion or even human bed can compare to how soft this faux fur bed is. When your dog wants to lay down, there's a high probability this bed will be the first place your dog goes.
This could be the most helpful tip to keep your dog off the couch without having to put in a lot of effort - get a new bed that your dog likes more than the sofa!
Block your dog's access to the furniture when you're not around
This is probably the hardest one on this list.
Do not give your dog access to the furniture whether you're going out of town for an extended period of time or just running to the store.
Otherwise, your dog will break the rules every time you leave and will make it nearly impossible for you to enforce your rules which you must be consistent with.
There are many ways to ensure you're successful with this, but the main component of this tip is that you truly have to make your furniture inaccessible.
One solution many dog owners use is crating their dogs, but if your dog is not crate trained, you can always use a baby gate or other methods to refrain them from certain areas of your house.
If your house has an open concept or it's just not set up in a way that you can easily block your dog's access to the room of the house completely, you can just block the furniture itself. For instance, you can put fairly large household items on your couch cushions like laundry baskets or other similar items that will keep your dog from being able to jump on the sofa.
Obedience training is crucial
No dogs naturally know how to keep off the furniture. You have to teach them that certain behavior is not acceptable.
That is where obedience training comes in!
Basic obedience commands like sit, down, stay and off are the foundation of your training, in general, but all can be effective for keeping your dog off your furniture.
To get a bit more advanced, the "place" command will be your best friend.
The place command is a simple command given to your dog that tells them to go to a dedicated place that you've already established with them. The most common solution is to use your dog's bed as it's "place". This gives them a consistent place that they feel comfortable and safe.
So when trying to determine how to keep your dog off a couch, you can simply tell your dog to go lay on their own dog bed.
This is really what it comes down to - reward good behavior and discourage bad behavior. Your dogs will learn to do what gets them a reward.
Use deterrents to keep your dog off the couch cushions
There are many products sold that keep your dog from wanting to get on the couch and will help break bad behavior even when you're not around.
Most of them are either physically uncomfortable or use something like a loud noise to deter your dog from jumping on the furniture.
There's not a one-size-fits-all approach here as some products deter some dogs better than others.
However, before you spend a bunch of money on training tools, there's one trick that is simple and inexpensive for anybody to implement.
That's right. Aluminum foil is one of the best deterrents for training your pet to stay off the sofa!
This is a game changer.
The sound and texture of aluminum foil will have your dog jump off the couch so fast they won't even know what happened!
One trick for easy use and to not create so much waste is to store the aluminum foil under your sofa or piece of furniture you're trying to keep your pet off of, so whenever you're leaving your house, you can simply pick it up and lay it on the couch cushions.
One tip to note - this typically works for awhile but as the aluminum foil gets wrinkled up, some people note that it becomes less effective. So if you notice that your aluminum foil is no longer doing the job, before you count this tactic out altogether, try a fresh strip of foil.
Consistency is Key
Regardless of which method you choose to keep your dog off a couch, consistency is crucial.
You cannot allow your dog on the couch for even one day or you'll be back to square one. Dogs are creatures of habit and they need black and white rules.
It is in their best interest that you're consistent, and it's in your own too because they will learn faster when there are no mixed signals! Once you establish what is allowed behavior and what isn't, stick with it to ensure success.
I hope you found the advice in this article helpful. If you use any of the options we laid out, you should be in great shape to keep your dog off a couch!