As the sun goes down and you come inside for the night, you decide to cozy up on the couch. You turn on the television and prepare to have a nice and relaxing evening. Soon enough, your dog sees you up on the couch and runs over, jumps up, and climbs onto the top cushion. Her small body cuddles up and she looks at you, hoping you are okay with her relaxing on the couch. Dogs love to climb on furniture for many reasons. It is important to understand why they do it so we can help them feel comfortable in their own space.
The Root of the Behavior
Just as humans love to be comfortable, so do dogs. Dogs love to be in places where they feel safe, comfortable, and loved. They also love to be where their owners are. Dogs know that the couch and all furniture are reserved for humans and they also know that humans find those items sacred and comfortable. Due to this, your dog is going to want to climb on your bed, your couch, and any other furniture that feels comfortable because they simply love how it feels and they know it is rewarding. Laying on the floor for them is in no way rewarding, but it is just a casual part of being a dog. Dogs also love to be around people because they are empathetic creatures. If you are on the couch hanging out or if you are sleeping in your bed, your dog is going to want to crawl up onto the furniture because you are there. If your dog is on the floor, they may feel like they are separated from you. Most dogs love to be around their owners because they are loyal companions and want to follow and protect their pack leader. If you feel like your pet needs the training to adjust to life on the floor, you can train your dog and show her that the floor is a nice place to be, too. This could start with you spending time with your dog on the floor, creating a nice bed area for your puppy, and through training with treats. If you do not mind your dog coming over to your furniture once in a while to see you, then the training may go a bit easier. They may adjust to the floor and only come over to the couch if it has to do with spending time with you. Furniture or not, your dog just wants to be comfortable and loved by you.
Encouraging the Behavior
If you do not mind your dog coming onto your furniture once in a while, then there is no harm in allowing your dog to do that. Yet, this is not a behavior that you are going to want to encourage your dog on a daily basis. If your dog adjusts to climbing on your furniture all of the time, she will begin to see the owner and pet relationship differently and she may not listen to you. Your dog may also ruin furniture you love if you are not careful. You, also, may want to give your dog a space of their own just as you have a bedroom of your own to sleep in and to relax in. This can consist of a dog bed, toys, and even a place for their food and water to sit. If your dog doesn’t want to be in their own area, you can make it near you in your bedroom and you can also spend time with your dog in their area to show them that is comfortable, good, and you love it just as much as they do. Most times, your dog loves your furniture because you are on it and it is more comfortable than their own area. If you replicate what they love in their own area, there is no reason they will not love it.
Other Solutions and Considerations
If you find that your dog loves to sit on your furniture, there is a high chance that your dog likes being elevated. Most times, dogs love being on your furniture because you are on it and it is comfortable, but part of that is because you are elevated up quite a bit. Sometimes, smaller dogs will even climb to the top of your couch and sit on the back cushion’s edge like they are a cat. If your dog is on the floor, they may feel beneath you and, in some ways, invisible. When you are creating your dog's space, you may want to consider elevating their bed a bit, if that is what you feel they desire. This can help them feel like they are at the same height as you, near you, and comfortable.
Dogs love to be comfortable, loved, and safe. Your furniture resembles all of those things and they know you enjoy sitting on your furniture so they want to enjoy it with you. Although it is great to spend time with your dog in a comfortable way, you may want to set boundaries with it just so your furniture remains clean and intact.