To train a dog not to get on your furniture, you need to do two things – deter, and then attract.
Specifically, you need to deter them from getting on your couch by attracting them to a place that they’ll enjoy and that they are allowed.
For the deterrent part of the puzzle, I recommend a motion sensor that emits a burst of air when a pet approaches the forbidden area. It’s harmless but can be very effective in keeping pets from not only jumping on your couch but also getting into garbage cans or venturing into rooms you deem off-limits.
At the same time, you have to offer an attractive, comfortable place for your dog to relax. There are a variety of cozy, quality dog beds to choose from. Just be sure to pick one that’s a proper size for your pet.
Since dogs are territorial animals, they don’t always adjust to a new bed right away. When a new sleeping area is introduced and their old sleeping area isn’t around anymore, a dog will initially be confused and possibly a bit hesitant.
To make the bed smell familiar – and more enticing – place some of your clothes, a blanket or even a toy on the bed so your dog knows the territory is safe.
Silly as it may sound, I also suggest laying on the bed and using it as your own for a little while.
Dogs have a tendency to respect where their owners lay, so not only will it attract them to the bed, but it also will keep them from damaging the bed if they’re into chewing.
You can also try bribing them into the bed with treats, but remember to not ‘over treat’ your pet.
Before you know it, your dog will claim its new bed as its own, marking it with its scent to let other dogs know that they should back off.
Keep up the air spray deterrent for a while after they’ve embraced their new sleep space to ensure they don’t fall back into old couch crashing habits.
Got a question for Mike? Email your question to AskMike@MetroParent.com.