How to Train Your Dog to Jump on the Couch

Medium
2-4 Weeks
General

Introduction

While many people prefer their dogs to stay off the furniture, there are a few good reasons for training your dog to jump on the couch, bed, or a grooming box. These include making it easier to keep him groomed or simply because you would like to snuggle with him. Allowing your dog to jump up on the couch or bed with you can be a great way to bond with your dog, but at the same time, you only want him to do this when he is told to.

Once the training is completed, you should be able to get your dog to jump on the couch, the bed, into your vehicle, onto a grooming box and just about anywhere or anything it is safe for him to jump on. Imagine how nice it would be if you could drop the tailgate of your truck, give the 'jump on' command, and watch your dog jump up into the bed without any fuss or bother, let alone needing your assistance to do so.

Defining Tasks

While this is a relatively simple command for your pup, it will take a few weeks for him to master the command to the point where not only will he be able to jump on the couch, but anywhere else. You can use any command you want, like 'jump on', 'get up', or simply 'on', but whichever you choose, be sure to stick with a single command to ensure your pup doesn’t get confused. It also helps if only one person is trying to train him, as too many people trying to teach him will also become confusing.

You should check with your vet to make sure your pup has reached the stage of maturity where jumping on and off of the furniture is not going to cause him any injury. Young pups' bones, muscles, and ligaments have not fully formed and jumping can lead to serious injury that he may not be able to recover from. 

Getting Started

Teaching your dog to jump on the couch really doesn't take much in the way of supplies. You will need a couch (of course), a bag of your pup's favorite treats, a quiet place to work, and plenty of patience. This is one trick you can work on any time there is a little peace and quiet in the house and no one is sitting on the couch. What strikes most dog owners is that while their dog might jump on the couch when they think you are not watching, actually getting your pup to jump on the couch when you want him to can prove to be a little challenging. 

The Start Lower Method

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Step
1
Ground level
Start with a lower item such as a footstool or, better yet, a grooming box.
Step
2
Put your dog on a leash
Attach your dog to his leash, walk your dog up to the grooming box.
Step
3
Tap the box
Tap the box and tell your pup to "jump on", or your choice of command, and use a treat to lure him up on the box.
Step
4
Reward him
Use the leash to help guide him up on the box. When he steps up, give him praise and a treat.
Step
5
Let him remain in place
Let your pup stay on the box for a few minutes before giving him the "jump off" command and making him get down. Treats when he does.
Step
6
From different angles
Try this again approaching the box from various angles using the same command each time. When he hops up on the box, be sure to praise him and give him a treat.
Step
7
Move on to the couch
Time to move on to the ultimate goal, the couch. Using the same method work with your pup until he is used to jumping on the couch whenever you invite him. Just be sure you also teach him the 'jump off' command at the same time or you may never get him to come down from his comfortable perch.
Recommend training method?

The Using a Treat Method

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Step
1
Grab treats
Grab a handful of your pup's favorite treats.
Step
2
Call your pup
Call your pup over to the couch while you are sitting on it.
Step
3
Lay the treats
Lay one or two treats on a cushion and encourage your pup to jump on the couch to retrieve them.
Step
4
Reward time
When he finally jumps up on the couch, be sure to praise him for being a good boy and give him the treats.
Step
5
Rinse and repeat
Keep doing this until your pup will jump up on the couch every time you invite him to do so. Remember, it is going to take a lot of time, patience, and a more than ample supply of treats for him to master this fun skill.
Recommend training method?

The Hand Signal Method

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Step
1
In front of the couch
Have your pup sit on the floor just a few inches from the couch.
Step
2
Take a seat
Have a seat on the couch and get comfortable.
Step
3
Hand signal time
Pat the cushion of the couch with your hand and use your 'jump on' command at the same time. This might take a while as your pup needs to associate the hand signal and the command with the action you expect him to do.
Step
4
Treat time
Once your dog follows your directions, be sure to praise him heavily and reward him with treats.
Step
5
Get down
Now you need to reverse this process by patting the floor with your hand and telling him to get down. When he does this, be sure to tell him he's a good boy and give him treats.
Step
6
Keep at it
You can repeat this process multiple times during a training session. It shouldn't take long for him to get the idea and be ready to jump on the couch whenever you tell him to. The good news is you can use this same training to get him to jump up on the bed and snuggle with you. This is a great bonding experience for both of you.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

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