Training your puppy to stay off of furniture is an important skill to work into your training regimen early on. The sooner you get started, the better. The less your puppy has a chance to practice being up on the couch or the bed, the more you will be able to depend on that, even when you are not there to supervise.
Puppies can be destructive. They chew on everything that they can get their mouth around, and love to pull out the stuffing from upholstery. They can drag in dirt and shed fur that can be impossible to clean. In addition, very young puppies are accident prone and may soil and ruin your couch in just a few moments.
Getting ahead of this problem behavior before it even gets started is your best bet. However, even if your puppy has been allowed on the furniture in the past, you can change the rules at any time. In this guide, we will give you three training methods to choose from, each with simple to follow step-by-step instructions.
Before you decide on a training regimen, make sure all of the members of the household are on board with following the new “puppy off the furniture” rules. It can be confusing for your dog if different people in the house have different expectations.
Jumping on the couch is known as “self-rewarding” behavior. That is, the second your puppy is on the couch, they are being rewarded. Therefore, it is critical to not let your puppy get too used to the most comfortable seat in the house. In addition, plan on restricting access to furniture like the sofa or beds until you have had plenty of practice with supervising your puppy without any attempt to get on the furniture.
You get to set the rules that you like. For example, some folks don’t mind if their dog is on the couch, but they only want it to be when they are invited. Others prefer to never have their pet shedding directly on the people furniture. Either way, we have you covered. Read on!
Everyone deserves a comfy spot to relax. Before starting your training program, make sure that your puppy has a nice soft place to chill out that is still close to the action. A doggy bed, large blanket balled on the floor, or even an old couch cushion tucked on the floor in the corner will work. If his only option other than furniture is a cold, hard floor, you can’t expect him to ever stop trying to get on the furniture.
It is also important to be thinking about how and when you may be rewarding your puppy. If you have been sometimes letting him get up on the couch for some attention, and are annoyed other times, then you are not sending clear signals. Decide on what the rules will be and stick to them. And, be sure to go out of your way to reward the behavior you do like with praise, pets, and attention.