Your furniture is soft and comfortable. In fact, you probably purchased it because of its beauty and comfort. If you have ever come home to your dog napping on your couch, then know he appreciates your taste in furniture as well. However, you may not want your dog to be quite so comfortable on your beautiful, soft furnishings. Dog hair can be difficult to clean up off some fabrics and dirty paws can leave stains on your beautiful furniture. Moreover, sharp little claws can poke holes in fabrics such as leather. If you have furniture you do not want your dog on, you will need to train him to stay off it.
These training methods can be used for your fine furniture, your bed, and your everyday furniture. Maybe your household is run in such a way the pets should not be allowed on furniture at all. Or maybe you only have a few pieces you do not want your dog to ruin, but you may allow him on a family room couch while you are watching TV.
Teaching your dog to know the differences between the furniture he can get on, if any, and the furniture you do not want him on will be imperative to this training. If you are dedicated to keeping your furniture safe from your dog, this should only take a few weeks and lots of repetition and rewarding great behavior from your dog instead of becoming frustrated and angry when your dog forgets the rules.
To begin training your dog to stay off your furniture, you should start with an alternative for your dog. Invest in a thick and comfortable dog bed for your dog and place it in an area where he can still be part of social time and family entertainment. If your dog would prefer to sleep in your bedroom with you or even in one of the bedrooms belonging to your children, you can buy a bed for that space as well, so your dog knows he is welcome in the bedroom during sleeping time but not in your bed. You will also want some tasty treats to reward your dog for good behavior. Bring lots of love and patience to these training exercises because it can be quite frustrating if you have a dog destroying furniture with pet hair or claw marks.
Just want to THANK Caitlin Crittenden for 'spot on' reply to our situation with 'zoomies'! Our girl is definitely the 'circus dog' type...I just have to figure out how to maximize her talent into structured FUN! Dancing and hula hoop jumping definitely on her horizon!
Hello Alice, Thank you so much for you kind reply! It is always so nice to hear that my advice was helpful! I am excited for you guys and your fun with training ahead. Also, check out Kikopup and Zach George on YouTube for some fun how-to-videos to teach tricks and get ideas. Thanks! Caitlin Crittenden
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This dog loves to walk...up to 5 miles at a time. Despite walk, returns to house and races at mach speed through house. Over chairs, tables, couches, like a canine tornado... responds to ‘off’ command long enough to hit floor and receive a treat before tearing off through the house again.
She is a rescue, 16 lbs, was found wandering so no history available. She is mostly adapting very well to our household except this uncontrollable charging at such a speed it is hard to take any evasive action! She is certainly a candidate for a circus dog!
Hello Alice, What you described is called the "Zoomies!". Puppies commonly do it and some adults will continue doing it also. It's great that you walk him so much but I suspect he would also benefit a lot from mental exercise. Physical exercise is very good for a dog but some dogs with wonderful endurance will actually return even more excited from it. It you can make the walk more mentally challenging dogs tend to feel more relaxed and tired. I suggest teaching pup a structured heel for walks. Train pup to walk slightly behind you and focus on you during the walk. Practice things like "Doggie pushups" - which is Sit, Down, and Stand all together - changing the order of the commands and repeating a few times so that pup really has to listen and work. You can also walk pup on a long curled up leash, so that the leash is 6 feet in busy area, but you can let out another 15 or so feet in more deserted areas and practice Down-Stay, Sit-Stay, and Come on the leash periodically. Incorporating a lot of obedience into the walk, making it hard enough to be a bit challenging mentally and require a lot of self-control and focus from pup can really help wear him out, teach better obedience, build respect and trust in your relationship, and make pup feel more satisfied. I also suggest shortening some of the walks and using that time to have training sessions with pup, where you teach pup new commands, harder versions of current commands, or fun tricks - to keep his brain busy. Good mental stimulation has been proven to be twice as tiring than physical exercise alone for a dog. My previous dog (now past away after 12 years) was a Border Collie, bred to run all day in the field. While he was young, no amount of physical exercise I could give would completely wear him out (he just got in better shape and could walk further!). In addition to normal length walks I spent 30 minutes every day teaching him new tricks or harder versions of current commands, such as going from basic obedience to off-leash obedience commands, tricks like: how to pick up toys, how to dance on his hind legs, take a sock off my foot, bring me a tissue when I sneezed, play dead, roll over, close doors, ect...He eventually learned over 90 different commands. I didn't have a goal of teaching him that many words but it was just a nice side effect of stimulating him mentally through training for 30 minutes each day - overtime the commands added up as he got better and better at training. The training kept him out of trouble by helping him feel calmer while he was young and energetic, and he loved it! Perhaps your pup would be great at something similar. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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