6 Rules for Keeping Dogs Off Couch

Wish your dog would stop jumping up on the couch? Tired of needing to lint-roll your clothes every time you get up from the sofa? The solution: teaching your dog to stay off the furniture and learn the answer to “how to keep dog off couch” once and for all!

While there’s no magic to teaching your dog this simple rule, there are a few simple tricks you can use to reinforce the behaviors you want and discourage the behaviors you don’t, and learn the answer to “how to keep dog off couch” once and for all!

1. Buy Plenty of Dog Beds

how to keep dog off couch

One of the reasons your dog jumps on the couch is to be comfortable! By providing plenty of other options for your dog to get comfortable (a dog bed in every room, for example) you’ll reduce their need to seek comfort from the couch. Giving your dog a place of their own to settle down is also great for keeping you consistent since you don’t need to feel bad about them not being comfortable. 

2. Teach a “Place” Command

how to keep dog off couch

While an “off” or “down” command is an excellent place to start when training your dog to stay off the couch, a better option is to teach them a “place” command. This involves giving your dog a designated “place,” and teaching them to go to and stay there when told. A place command not only tells your dog to get off the couch but also gives them an easy task to accomplish, making it a good experience for them. 

3. Crate Train Your Dog

how to keep dog off couch

No matter how well you train your dog, they will still probably jump up on the couch when you’re not home, making it much more difficult to enforce when you are home. To remedy this, take the time to crate train your dog. Keeping your dog safely in a crate while you’re away from home will not only help to keep them from secretly sitting on the couch, but is also a good option for general safety. 

4. Use A Barrier

Keeping Dog off furniture

If you have a particularly persistent dog who just isn’t understanding that they’re not allowed on the couch, try using a physical barrier. A baby gate, a chair, or even just flipping the cushions vertically to prevent your dog from jumping up can make a big difference. Dogs are physical communicators, and the presence of something physically preventing them from getting on the sofa may help to reinforce the rule in their minds. 

5. Be Positive

The idea that we should be “showing our dogs who is boss” and controlling their behavior through punishing behaviors has long been debunked, and we now know that the best way to train a dog is with positive reinforcement. Instead of punishing your dog or negatively reinforcing their unwanted behavior, it is better to redirect the unwanted behavior into a wanted behavior and reward that. 

how to keep dog off couch

For example, if your dog gets on the couch, you would redirect them using the “place” command, and then reward the behavior of getting off the couch and going to their own bed. When a dog knows they’ll be praised or given a treat, they are much more likely to do the behavior you want them to. 

6. Be Consistent

Dogs don’t understand that rules can be flexible when you’re human, so it’s super important to be consistent when training them to stay off the couch. Don’t let them sit on the couch occasionally if you plan to make them stay off in the future–this will only confuse them, and make getting the desired behavior much more difficult. 

Hopefully this article has helped you learn how to keep dog off couch.

Do you have a dog that always wants to be with you? Learn strategies to keep them entertained when you have to be at work.

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