It can be so cosy: you with your dog on the sofa. Or is your giant schnauzer already taking your best seat? Is it really so bad to let your dog on the sofa? And how can you break him of the habit?
Should Dogs Be Allowed On The Couch? - yes or no?
First of all: Not every dog that lies on the sofa is boundlessly spoiled and latently dangerous. And not every owner who allows it has a dominance problem.
There are so-and-so many dogs who sit peacefully next to their people on the sofa and where there is never even the slightest problem. So why should it be forbidden?
- As a practical matter, the sofa might suffer. If you have a puppy, you have to expect it to nibble and sharpen its claws on the sofa. But even an adult, well-behaved dog will leave fur, dirt and possibly claw scratch marks.
- It might bother you. Your dog is big, he needs a lot of space, you don't have enough room on the sofa yourself. Or your partner, the children or visitors no longer fit when the dog spreads out.
- Dogs that are quite self-confident, that limit you and visitors, that think of themselves as the master of the house, have to learn that the house does not belong to them, but to you. Here it can be very helpful for the education to forbid the dog certain places, for example the sofa.
Dog on the sofa - how to get him out of the habit?
Now, of course, the question arises: How do I teach the dog that he is not or no longer allowed on the sofa? How do I make it clear to him that he is only allowed on the sofa when I allow it?
- Be sure of yourself. If you stand behind it, you will be able to follow through and get it across to the dog. If you're unsure of yourself, you'll have him back on the sofa in no time at all.
- Start early. When the puppy comes to you freshly into your life and the apartment, he first tries out what he is allowed and what not. If you consistently show him at this stage that the sofa is off limits to him by putting him down with a calm 'no', he will learn the lesson quickly and easily. Training off a behavior that was once allowed is much more difficult.
- Establish a command like 'down'. Say the command and at the same time lure him off the sofa with a treat. Praise him very much and give him the treat. Practice this for a while. Don't scold him when he goes on the sofa, but praise him when he listens.
- Provide a comfortable alternative place for your dog: a dog blanket, a soft dog pillow ... something that smells like you or otherwise pleasant for the dog.
- Try to make the sofa more uncomfortable for the dog - at least if you don't want him to go up there at all. Put a baby gate around it, lay out crackle paper on it - anything that the dog can't hurt himself on, but that will make the sofa a little 'miserable' for him.
- The most important thing: stay consistent. It's easier for your dog if you allow less, but are consistent, than if he doesn't know what to expect.