What can you put on a couch to keep dogs off? A Step-by-Step Guide

Start off on the right paw

Dogs need training to help teach them appropriate boundaries. So the sooner you start, the easier your life is going to be, as you can instill boundaries in them at a young age. Consistency around any ‘no dogs on the furniture’ policy is crucial, so if you live in a multi-human household, you’ll want to make sure everyone is on the same page – or they could be undoing any work youve done.

It can be tempting when you first bring home a new dog, especially if they’re a puppy, to let them curl up beside you for comfort, but it’s best to start to keep them off from the beginning if you intend to keep it that way for their entire life. If you make it clear from day one that the couch and all other furniture is off limits, your dog won’t know any different.

Why Do Dogs Get On Furniture?

As you can imagine, properly diagnosing any one dog’s individual motivation for getting on the couch is a challenge.

There are a myriad of reasons dogs prefer our $2,000 couch to their $100 dog bed, but here is a list of just a few off the top of my head.

  • Allowed to get on and/or sleep on beds or couches as a puppy
  • Behavior was reinforced with cuddles and petting
  • Lack more comfortable beds to sleep on
  • Furniture smells like owners and is comforting for dogs with separation anxiety
  • Furniture placed where dogs have a better view of the outside world
  • Preference for pillows which are often lacking on dog beds
  • Location of furniture in the home is preferred
  • Following cat
  • The dynamic between two or more dogs in the home may reinforce or encourage behavior
  • An aging dog needs therapeutic support
  • They want to
  • I want to provide a word of caution as you view this list and consider your own dog’s motivations.

    What we DO NOT want to do is anthropomorphize, or give our dogs human qualities or characteristics in order to garner insight into their behavior.

    In other words, say something like, “My dog jumps on my couch when I leave for work because he’s mad at me for leaving him home.” Or even better, “My dog gets on my bed at night because he loves me and wants to cuddle.”

    Give me a break. Neither of these is remotely close to how a dog thinks or behaves.

    Dogs are dogs. Not humans. And not your kids. They live in the moment and react to their environment and their people like a dog would. Not a human.

    For example, you may be reinforcing your dog’s behavior of getting on your bed at night by not consistently preventing him from doing it.

    Let’s take a look at this all too common, yet fictitious, example.

    Every night at 2 am your big dog leaps up and curls himself into a giant ball at the foot of your bed happily snoring until your alarm goes off at 6.

    While you rationalize his behavior by believing, “Aww, he must be lonely and want companionship and cuddles,” he takes pride in elevating himself to better observe his surroundings thinking, “I would rather she not hug me, but if that’s the price for entry, I will survive.”

    I am not saying our dogs don’t love us. They do. But do not make the mistake of giving your dog’s behavior human motivations. Often the two are like comparing apples to oranges.

    Understanding WHY your dog is jumping on your furniture is helpful, but not critical. The benefit of even asking this question is that it can help lead you to the very best solution for your particular dog and situation.

    I will explain more about this in the following section…

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    How Can I Stop My Dog From Getting On My Couch When I Leave?

    The answer to this question is not an easy or straightforward one, but I will attempt to help guide you to some great solutions that will work for most big dogs.

    Before I give you my top 5 tips or methods for keeping dogs off furniture (beds, couches, chairs, etc), I want to expand on the comment I made above about understanding your dog’s WHY.

    Let me give you an example to illustrate how better understanding your dog’s motivation can lead you to the best solution.

    Say you have a Great Dane who you rescued from an abusive situation. She is understandably shy and nervous in new situations and runs if she hears loud sounds. With her, I might consider home-based exercise, walks at times with fewer noises, and feeding out of a plastic versus metal bowl to avoid the loud clanging sound. These are small ways in which I would modify her environment to make it less scary.

    All of these modifications come from observing her behavior and understanding the why behind them.

    With that said, as I go through these 5 tips for keeping dogs off your furniture I will share when I would or would not use each one.

    I am hopeful this analysis will lead you to a slobber-free sofa very soon!

    Be sure to watch BOTH of the videos linked below as they illustrate nearly all of these tips.

    **Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE, LIKE, and let me know you watched by leaving me a comment below the video!**

    How to keep dogs off of any couch! (actually works)

    Has your pooch started hanging out on the couch way too much? Do you often come home to find your dog lounging on your couch or armchair? If yes, and you aren’t happy about it,what can you do?

    Why do dogs like to lay on the couch? Because it’s comfortable! Studies claim that over 80% of dogs love the couch, especially when their favorite human is sitting on it!

    Dogs love to be with us and like to sit with us on our furniture. Often times, they like to be on the couch even if we aren’t there. Sometimes, you don’t necessarily want them on the furniture. Maybe you just got a new sofa and want to keep it dog-hair free. Many pet-owners complain that their dogs take up residence on their big, comfortable couch, and end up covering it with dog hair. Not only is the hair difficult to clean, but it also might smell. Now to be fair, this isn’t your dog’s fault. For those who don’t mind their dogs sharing their furniture with them, this isn’t a problem. But for those who do, it’s best to learn what you can do to keep him off the furniture.

    Before we go further, let us first stop to think about why your dog seems to love the couch so much in the first place. Many people claim that they do it to show their dominance in the house. Whoa, back up! Your adorable fur puppy isn’t trying to prove anything to you. Instead, it’s highly possible that the soft couch is way more comfortable than the floor, and in the case of cold areas, the couch is simply warmer than the cold, hard flooring. If you haven’t objected to it before this, your dog has assumed that it is okay with you, and made a habit out of it. If you’re the one who invited him up on the couch for a cuddle (sigh!), well, who can blame him? The point is, your dog prefers the couch only because it is more comfortable than the area where you want him to be sitting/sleeping.