Our dogs improve our mental health and are the perfect furry companion to our lives. That’s why we shower them with love by caring for them and giving them the best. But, sometimes, we need to set boundaries in our space.
Dogs love to get comfortable, and they want to find a nice cushy spot to snuggle up on. There’s nothing wrong with sharing your couch with your furry companion, except it can be a pain to get all of that fur off your couch and you may quickly lose your spot to relax after a long day. Also, there’s no telling what sort of contaminants your doggo is bringing onto the furniture.
Unfortunately, once your pooch gets a taste of the good life, it can feel darn near impossible to keep them off the couch. That’s why we’ve come up with the top six tips to keep your dog off the couch.
1. Train Them
It’s best to train your dog to stay off the furniture before you have to clean up the mess they leave on your couch. When training them a new command, always reward your pup with treats in your pocket to provide them with positive reinforcement. At first, you may have to toss the treat on the ground so they get off the couch. However, you’ll want to eventually switch to giving them the treat when you say the command and they’ve jumped off the couch. Use the command “off” to get off the couch, “out” to leave the area, and “bed” to go to their doggy bed. If you have a stubborn pet that just will not listen, get out your dog’s leash or harness to help coax them off of the couch. Once they have listened, reward them with praise or a treat.
2. Provide a Comfortable Doggy Bed
Your dog wants to be with you and stay comfortable, so it’s hard to fault them for it. I mean, isn’t that why you got a pet in the first place? You can still provide your pooch with what they want by offering them an extra cozy bed close to the couch so they can watch over you. Use interactive toys, like a treat-filled kong, to get them to associate with the bed positively. Consider placing a fan nearby to keep your dog cool while they snooze away.
Is your dog still uncomfortable? If so, it may be time to consult a veterinarian to see if your pet has any underlying conditions that are causing them to be uncomfortable. Some dogs experience osteoarthritis which may warrant necessary bone medications. Or maybe your dog’s paws are sore from the cold winter months or from being active outside. In this case, you may want to look into a natural salve to soothe your dog’s paws. It’s important to do your research or consult a veterinarian to fully understand why your dog may be experiencing discomfort.
3. Be Consistent
The most important part about training a dog to stay off the couch is to be consistent with it. If one household member allows the pup to get on the couch while you (the owner) don’t, then your dog ends up being confused, setting you up for failure. Make the rule known to all family members and visitors not to invite the dog on the couch under any circumstances.
4. Use Deterrents
Deterrents are effective in getting your pup to stay off the couch. There are usually special mats that vibrate or create a distinct noise like a snap or alarm when touched. Since the noise or vibration happens right when the dog touches the couch, they will quickly learn that it’s not a safe place to rest.
5. Block Access to the Couch
Consider putting a laundry basket on the couch, so that there isn’t any place for your pup to sit. While your dog might be confused at first, it will have no place to sit on the couch and eventually look elsewhere to snooze. But make sure not to leave dirty clothes in the basket since that can only leave your dog more items to play with.
6. Use a Pet Fence
Pet fences are effective because they can give your pup a space to roam around in with all of their favorite toys, food, and water while you’re away. Make sure you get an appropriate-sized pet fence depending on the size of your dog and the space of your home. Since nearly 48% of households have a small dog, pet fences provide ample space for your furry companion to enjoy their space.
We want to provide the best pet care possible. However, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t establish certain boundaries if it affects our lifestyle. Your pup should feel happy and comfortable around you without having to intrude or mess up your furniture.
Julia Nikolaus is a content strategist for an LA-based company. She enjoys working with pet brands and writing about pet care. Julia currently shares a dog, chickens, and two pygmy goats with her parents on their joined farmette