How to Train Dogs to Stay Off Furniture Unless Invited

How to Train Dogs to Stay Off Furniture Unless Invited

May 12, 2022
11 min

Dogs see where we hang out the most and do the same. They have a strong belief that they are part of our family, so they feel okay when they sleep on the couch like their owners. It’s often a temptation dogs find hard to resist.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with letting your furry friend relax on the sofa. However, not everyone wants to see their dogs on the couch unless invited. Many dog owners may not want to come home from work only to find their dogs lounging on the sofa. It even feels worse when you cannot be able to keep him off the couch once he’s used to the comfort.

Your furry friend may not understand your rules and why they differ for different times, but you can train him to stay off the sofa unless you invite him there. Below are some of the tips to help you know how to keep your dog off the couch- whether you’re there or not. The guide also applies to other household items like beds and even your clothes.

How to Keep Your Dog from Getting Too Comfortable on The Furniture

The easiest way to teach a dog to stay off the sofa is from the beginning when they are young. It’s much easier to train a puppy who has not yet developed the habit of getting too comfortable on the furniture than an adult dog. However, with patience and consistency, you can still teach an adult dog to keep off the sofa. Here is what you should do to keep your dog from getting too comfortable on the couch:

1. Avoid Spending a Lot of Time with Your Dog on the Sofa

Avoid spending time with your furry friend on the sofa or any other comfy household goods. Encourage your dog to play with you on the floor or in other places they’re allowed to be. Dogs are “pack” animals and they see humans as their pack mates. So, when you cuddle them on your couch, their instincts tell them you’re both equals in the pack hierarchy.

2. Use the “Out” Command

Block the area every time your dog wants to jump on the furniture. You can use words like “out” as you gently guide them out of restricted areas. “Out” means get out of a place. This command also eliminates other undesirable behaviors like destructive chewing.

Your dog understands that you don’t like seeing him on the couch. Dogs naturally understand body language. Don’t use the “out” command if your dog is the aggressive type. You can teach him slowly while using treats such as the Absolute Bites Freeze Dried Salmon Pet Treats which are large enough for your dog to see from a few feet away.

Call your dog over and show them this treat while using the command word “out” politely. Praise them the moment they walk over to the treat. Practice “out” commands often until your dog starts to work away from you every time you say “out.”

3. Provide Your Dog with Another Great Place to Be

Provide your dog with a comfy alternative. You can use dog beddings and treats to entice your dog into visiting the area often. Leave a treat between their front paws every time you catch him lying on the place. You can try using the Coolaroo Elevated Dog Bed with a bolster to give them more comfort.

Keep the bed close to where you hang out with your dog. Consider investing in a few more beds and sofa-like items to be placed in several places where your dog loves spending most of his time. Try the Paw Made Elevated Large Sofa Bed for Pets. It alleviates pressure on your dog’s joints since it’s a bit raised.

4. Teach Your Dog the “Off” Command 

This command is very useful when you want to teach your dog to get onto the sofa only when invited. Tell it “off” every time you catch it sleeping on the sofa. Reward your dog if it gets up and goes to their place. With time, your dog will understand that they should be on the floor and not on the couch unless invited. Reduce the frequency of treats after a few weeks and simply use praises instead. 

5. Block the Area When You’re Not Around

Confine your dog or block the area when you’re not around to prevent him from sleeping on the sofa. Close the doors to some of the restricted places to make sure that your dog doesn’t get into that room at all. Use a pet gate or keep your dog in a pen every time you’re out.

Tips to Train Your Dog to Get Up on the Furniture When Permission is Given

Teaching this skill will help your dog understand when he is invited to stay on the sofa and when he’s not. Here is what you should do if you want your furry friend to come onto the sofa from time to time.

  • Talk it up with your dog when it is time to invite him to the sofa with you. Tell him it’s okay while patting the couch with your hand. You can use command words such as “up.” You can also use some treats to entice him.
  • Praise your dog and offer him a treat as soon as he gets on the couch. Allow him to settle for a while with you before telling him to get “off.” 
  • Repeat this a few more times until your dog finally jumps onto the sofa every time you say “up.”

Your dog will be able to understand and practice this behavior, especially when you’re not around. Spending time with your pet on the sofa is a positive reinforcement on its own. This means you’ll be able to skip using treats in a very short period. Encourage everyone at your home to use the command words; “up” “off” and “out” accordingly to enable your dog to adhere to them.