How to Stop My Dog from Climbing on the Sofa

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. October 17, 2017
How to Stop My Dog from Climbing on the Sofa

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When our dog is a puppy, we often let them sleep and play on the sofa. As they grow, however, this habit can create conflicts - and even destroy our furniture! Therefore, it's very important that we train dogs not to climb on things from a young age, especially if they are a larger breed.

Establishing rules of behavior and being consistent with them will be of great help to teach your dog to lie quietly on their bed and leave the sofa to the humans in the family. The better your relationship with your dog, the better and faster the results!

In this AnimalWised article we'll share our best tips on how to stop your dog from climbing on the sofa.

You may also be interested in: My Cat Is Climbing the Furniture

Should a dog be allowed on the couch?

It's entirely up to you. However, it is very important to decide if you are going to let your dog climb on the sofa occasionally or if you don't want them up there at all. The dog's training will depend very much on this. If as a rule they are not allowed to climb on the sofa but then someone else lets them do so, your dog will become confused. It is important to establish rules beforehand with the whole family so that everyone respects the dog's boundaries.

  • I do not want my dog to climb on the sofa: never allow them up. It is essential that you are consistent and do not give up, even if at first they take no notice. Do not make exceptions and order them to get off as soon as they climb on the sofa.
  • I don't mind if my dog gets on the sofa occasionally: you can train your dog to get on the sofa only when you invite them to do so. It can be difficult at first, but if you are consistent you can achieve it. However, don't try to teach them this during the training period, as you will only confuse them. Invite your dog up once they respect the sofa, and order them down and back to their own bed when you go.
  • I allow my dog to climb up: If you allow your dog to lie on the sofa with you, see films together and fall asleep on your sofa when you go, it means that you allow them to climb on it. For your dog, the sofa is a shared area. For this reason, your dog will not understand it if, when you have visitors at home, you do not let them get on the sofa.

You cannot expect your dog to suddenly behave under rules that they have never known. Therefore, we recommend that you train them to get on the sofa only when you invite them to do so.

Do not forget about hygiene should you let your dog on the sofa. After each walk, your dog returns with traces of dirt from outside. You must wipe their paws after each walk, especially if it rains. There is no need to bathe them with soap every time, only to regularly remove accumulated dirt on the legs.

How to Stop My Dog from Climbing on the Sofa - Should a dog be allowed on the couch?

How to stop your dog from climbing on the sofa when you're home

First of all, do not let your dog climb on the sofa at any time when in your presence. If you must insist and make them come down several times, do it. You must be consistent and keep to the rules you set.

Use words like "no!" or "down", and say them vigorously while looking at the dog. You can reward them when they get down, but this is not recommended. Use this resource only if your dog is especially attached to the sofa. Every time you order the dog down, send them to their bed. This way, they will understand that this is their area in the sitting room and not the sofa.

It is common for dogs who were allowed to climb on the sofa when young to find it difficult to understand that they can no longer do so. If your dog is adopted or comes from another house with other rules, be patient and take your time to re-train them. Never use violence: it is always more productive to use positive reinforcement when they go to their place.

Offer them their own bed. Dogs love to jump on the sofa to smell us and to be by our side, but also because it's comfortable. A fluffy cushion is always better than a carpet on the floor, and they know it. If you put your dog's bed next to the sofa, they will feel closer to you without having to climb on the sofa. If you can reach your hand out all the better: a few caresses of recognition the first times they use the bed will be perfect during their training.

Choose a good, comfortable bed where they can sleep. Even if they do not sleep at night in this room, it is convenient that your dog has their own space to accompany you while you are watching TV or reading on the sofa. Here you can learn how to make a bed for your dog.

How to Stop My Dog from Climbing on the Sofa - How to stop your dog from climbing on the sofa when you're home

How to keep dog off couch when not home

Perhaps you have managed to stop the dog from getting on the sofa in front of you, but when you return home you still find them sleeping on the sofa or getting off it quickly as you come through the door. This is a problem that many home owners have, and it has no easy solution.

All you can do is physically prevent it by placing objects on it like a chair on its side or some plastic bags. This way, it will not be comfortable or pleasant to climb on. Over time, you will be able to skip this measure.

If the dog has their own bed in the same room and you have taught them to not climb up in front of you, they will gradually cease to do it. There are sofa and furniture repellents available in the market that can help you, but if you dedicate some time to your dog's education you will not need to use them.

How to Stop My Dog from Climbing on the Sofa - How to keep dog off couch when not home

Your house, your rules

As we have seen, with a number of rules and coherence we can get our dog to respect the sofa. When our dog is trained, spending time together in the house is very rewarding. Establish behavior standards and ensure they are always met. Here you can find more tips on basic dog commands and problems when training dogs.

In a household's daily life it can become a point of conflict if your dog does not leave the sofa and makes it their territory. The simple rule of not jumping on the sofa will improve your getting along and prevent arguments and conflicts at home. The whole family should be involved in training the dog from the moment they come home, whether as a puppy or as an adult.

If you have decided that your dog can occasionally jump on the sofa, use protective or washable covers and maintain proper hygiene after daily walks. Each owner must decide how they want their dog to behave, what is allowed and what is not, and maintain these standards. Best of luck!

How to Stop My Dog from Climbing on the Sofa - Your house, your rules

If you want to read similar articles to How to Stop My Dog from Climbing on the Sofa, we recommend you visit our Basic education category.

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