Should Your Dog Sleep On the Sofa?

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I have read a lot about this subject on forums and facebook pages – with some people even saying that they wouldn’t move their dog off the sofa if a visitor came.

When Coco arrived she didn’t even know what a sofa was! But being the softy that I am I quickly introduced her to it – and now I am sure she thinks it’s her own sofa!

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Tips To Keep Your Dog Off The Sofa

1. Don’t allow free run of the house when you are not home.

I can guarantee you that if you leave your dog free to roam the house while you are gone they will find a comfortable spot on the sofa and get quite cozy. The best way to avoid the beginning of bad habits is to make sure they can’t start them; so if you crate train your pet and give them a comfortable place to lie while you are away then they won’t form the bad habit of jumping on furniture while you’re gone.

2. Be firm. (sometimes easier said than done!)

If you find your dog is jumping up on the sofa to be with you be firm with them. When the puppy jumps onto your sofa instantly pick them up and place them either on the ground or on a special pillow or mat you have near you for them to lie on. This gives them their own place to lay and allows them to still be with you.

Sometimes nothing more than a soft piece of carpet is needed or a throw. If they get up again two seconds later, repeat and repeat again. Being consistent and firm that they are no allowed up in that area will eventually sink in with repetitive action.

3. Use the same command

I know we all talk to our dogs (well maybe just me!) But I know when I explain to Coco the reason she shouldn’t do something she just hears blah blah blah! However, using the same command when you pick them up and set them in their comfy spot will connect a single word with a single action. For example, use the word “OFF” as you remove them and put them on their special comfy spot near you.

This same word, spoken each time they go to the same spot will begin to click with them and you will eventually be able to remove them with just the word and not the action.

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4. Show Them Love

If your dog is getting up there while you are on the sofa it means they want your attention or to be near you. This is where showing them some attention in a positive way after you have set them down off the sofa comes in. Of course providing them with a space near you is the first step, but then paying some attention to them while they are nearby will help.

A simple rub of their tummy or back  once in a while reminds them that you know they are there and you love them.

5. Cover your sofa with paper, foil, or magazines

Covering your sofa with articles that crinkle and make noise can sometimes deter your puppy from jumping up on it. They don’t like the sound or the feel of the crunching under their feet. I did try this with Coco and she just made a nice bed out of all the magazines! So maybe it doesn’t work for all dogs!

Whatever you decide to do – let your dog on the sofa or not – it’s entirely your decision.

Sometime a throw or a sofa cover can be just as easy to allow both you and your furry friend to watch a movie together!

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4 thoughts on “Should Your Dog Sleep On the Sofa?

  1. My dogs are my extended family, they sit where they want, friends who know me dont mind, people who mind dont matter, my 2 girls are my babies xx

  2. Hi Mike and Kate,

    Love reading your blogs!!!

    You know our feelings on dogs on sofa! We are firm believers in dogs knowing the human or humans (including children) in the house are the pack leaders. Therefore we have never let any dog from Dachshund to German Shepherd on any sofa. We believe they should be on the lowest point, i.e. the ground and all human family members should sit in a higher level than them.

    This is not cruel. It should be remembered that dogs are naturally pack animals and are happiest when part of a pack. That pack includes humans. Once a dog accepts humans as pack animals they are happier and less likely to be confused about their place in the pack. A fantastic read on the subject is “The Seven Ages of your Dog” by Jan Fennel. Published by Harper Collins. Jan is known as The Dog Listener.

    Friends of ours who don’t instill this have endured their dogs growl at them when they try to remove them from the sofa. Best to let them know their place while pups rather than wait until they are bigger and stuck in their way with ability to snap or bite and possibly cause damage. Most dog trainers will agree that you need to instill these basic ideas while the dog is a pup.

    Happy for you to post our response.

    Richie & Isolde

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