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It's not hard to keep your Bully off the couch while you are at home to stop him. But, when you come home day after day from work to find the throw pillows all over the floor and dog hair covering the couch, well something has to be done. While many dog owners take this all in as part of having furry four-legged family member, not everyone wants to deal with this. Bear in mind, it is not mean for you to keep your pup off the furniture.
Although your Pittie is a member of the family, this doesn't automatically give him dibs on the couch no matter whether you are home or he is home alone. Keep in mind, your pooch likes to be on the couch because it is a lot more comfortable than the floor--just like you. Of course, you could just as easily buy him his own cushy bed. This would leave him with no reason to get on the couch, at least in your mind.
Most dogs will do things because they feel as though they are getting some type of reward for doing them. For example, they play fetch with you which is all the reward they need, they eat and the reward is a full tummy, they climb on the couch because it is comfortable. Start working on this training from the moment your dog starts looking like he is trying to jump up on the couch. By never letting him get up on the couch in the first place, you might not even need to work on training him to stay off at all. Be sure everyone in the family works with you on the training process to help speed it up and make it more successful.
If Grover has already been getting up on the couch, be prepared to spend a few weeks working with him until he finally understands that getting up on the couch or any other furniture is strictly a "no-no." For this, you may need to teach him commands such as "No", "Get Down" and "Stay Down" Along the way you may also find the following supplies come in handy:
- Treats – For rewards
- A bed – Somewhere for Grover to lie down comfortably that is all his own
- Blockers – You can use empty boxes, laundry baskets, or anything you can find to block access to the couch
- Rattle – A tin can with pennies or rocks inside and taped up to make a loud rattle
- A Sofa Saver – A cover designed to make a loud noise if your pup gets up on the couch
Along with these items, you are also going to need a lot of time and patience as it may take poor Fido a few weeks to understand the couch is now off limits to him.
The Basket Blockade Method
Collect laundry baskets
Start by making sure you have enough laundry baskets to block the entire length of your couch.
Block in place
Each time you get ready to leave the house, be sure to cover the couch with the baskets. When your pup comes over to investigate, tell him "No!" and then send him to go lie down on his bed.
Repeat after me
Keep repeating this every time you leave to help reinforce the idea he is not allowed on the couch. Each time you come home, and the baskets are still in place, be sure to give him a treat and lots of praise.
Oh no you didn't
If your pooch busts the blockade while you're away, it's time to take things up a notch. Stack noisemakers made from cans filled with pebbles or pennies underneath the baskets.
Tin can tumble
The next time your best bud decides to knock down the baskets, he will be in for a big surprise as the rattle cans falling is going to make one heck of a noise. After he does this a few times, he might finally get the idea that trying to get on the couch is just not worth the hassle.
The Tin Can Pyramid Method
Make your noisemakers
Start out by making several tin can rattles. You will need enough to build a relatively stable pyramid on your couch.
Create the pyramid
Choose a spot on your couch to build the pyramid where they are sure to be knocked down if your pooch decides to jump on the cushions.
Meet your pyramid challenge
Bring the pup into the room and let him see the pyramid you just finished building. Tell him to go lie down on his bed. Give him a treat if he complies.
Take a break
With your pyramid and your pup in place, go ahead and head out for the afternoon. Relax and go do a little shopping or your next doctor's appointment. You don't need to be gone for too long, a few hours at most.
The cans are untouched
If you come home and the cans are right where you put them, be sure to give your dog plenty of praise and a treat. Repeat this training each time you go out until you can get rid of them and your dog still won't get on the couch.
The cans are scattered
Chances are good that if your dog knocked the cans down, the noise scared him enough to make him wary of them. This is a good thing. If he is frightened by the noise, then it won't take him long to put two and two together and stop trying to get on the couch.
The Screamer Mat Method
Only if blocking fails
You should only use this method after you have tried both of the blocking methods and they have not persuaded your persistent Pittie to stay off the couch.
Head out on the highway
Time to take a road trip to your favorite pet store. You are looking for a screaming alarm mat. This mat is designed to cover your sofa cushions from end to end and make a very loud screaming noise if your dog jumps up on it.
Place the mat
The next time you are ready to go out, place the mat on your couch.
Not a word
This time, do not show your dog the mat, just tell him to go lie down on his bed when you leave.
Oh, my goodness, what on earth was that?
When you come in the door you will see one of two things, the mat laying on the floor far away from the couch and one very sheepish looking pooch or the mat intact and the pooch nowhere near the couch.
If he was a good boy
If your dog was a good boy, praise him and give him a treat. If not, well you are in for a few more weeks of training until he figures it out for himself. Be sure to praise your dog and give him a treat when you come home and the mat is still in place. In time he will no longer have any desire to get up on the couch.
By PB Getz
Published: 04/12/2018, edited: 01/08/2021