How to Stop the Dog from Jumping on the Sofa

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Stop your dog from jumping on the sofa by training him, giving him his own bed and providing positive reinforcement when he listens to your commands.

Set House Rules

Establishing house rules is important for a puppy or newly adopted dog. The sooner you start your no-sofa training, the better the results will be. Consistency is vital, and every member of the household should follow the same practices. If someone occasionally allows the dog on the sofa to snuggle or to sleep, he'll be confused and won't understand what is and is not allowed. If your dog gets on the sofa, lead him gently down, each and every time, and give a “No” command.

Provide Special Bedding

Provide your dog with his own special bedding or a dog bed that's his and his alone. Make the location inviting, placing it in a common area of household activity so he feels like he’s part of the family. Place blankets, toys and other favorite items in and around the bed to encourage its use.

Train Your Dog

Train your dog to go to his own bed, rather than the sofa, by using positive reinforcement. For example, play with your dog around his bed, groom him and make it a fun place to be. Give your dog the command, “Bed,” and when he complies, reward him with a high-value treat. Reinforce the behavior by providing a treat each time he goes away from the sofa to his designated spot. While you can gradually wean the number of times you provide goodies, being generous with them early on establishes good habits.

Sneaky Couch Dogs

Your dog may try to sneak up on your sofa when you're not at home. If this is the case, you may opt to crate him when you're away from the house. Another option is to place an upside down plastic floor runner across your sofa when you’re gone. The nubby, hard plastic won’t hurt your dog, but it will provide an unpleasant sensation that will keep him off the furniture when you're not there to monitor him. You can also purchase commercial couch-savers that sound an alarm when they're jumped on, or you can get creative -- lay down pieces of cardboard, cans filled with pennies or use a bitter orange-containing dog-deterrent spray.

Tip

  • Test color-fastness of furniture before using any commercial or homemade dog repelling spray.

Proper Discipline

Never hit or yell at your dog for getting on the sofa, simply redirect him and reward him for staying in his own special area. Punishing your dog in a physical or overbearing way will only build resentment and take away from the special relationship you have with your pup.

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