Dogs are notorious for jumping on furniture, whether it’s your bed, couch, or a chair.
While this may seem like a cute behavior when they’re just a puppy, it can become quite bothersome as they get older (and a lot bigger).
Not only does it become uncomfortable for you but there’s also the chance that they might damage your furniture. Which is an expensive replacement. The best solution is to simply keep them off the furniture.
Let’s first get a better understanding of why your pup is jumping on furniture in the first place.
Why dogs jump on furniture in the first place
There’s a few main reasons why dogs jump on furniture. First is simply because it allows them to see more! Depending on the size of your dog, when they’re up on the couch or your bed, there’s a lot less blocking their view.
Which means they get to keep an eye on everything that’s going on in the house to make sure they’re not missing out on anything. Whether that’s so they don’t pass up an opportunity to play or to ensure you and the rest of your family is safe.
The second reason is boredom. Your dog likely has a good idea as to what gets your attention. If every time they’ve jumped on furniture it resulted in you shooing them off, this was more attention than they were getting just 5 minutes prior.
While it’s not the most exhilarating activity, it’s better than lying down by themselves being bored.
The last reason is the most common, and that’s to be close to you. Your dog likely spends quite a lot of time alone which means when you’re home and not doing anything, they want to be cuddled up right next to you.
Which means if you’re on the couch or in bed, they want to be right next to you.
Step-by-step guide to stopping it
Before getting into the steps it’s important to note that everyone in your family needs to be on the same page. If your dog gets to be on the couch when dad’s home, for example, they won’t understand why they can’t be up when anyone else is home.
In order to make sure your dog learns to stay off the furniture as quickly as possible, everyone needs to be on board. With that being said, let’s jump into the simple steps.
Step 1: Have treats on hand whenever you’re using the couch. This way if your dog decides to join you you’ll have an incentive for them to listen to you.
Step 2: Get their attention with the treats you have.
Step 3: Throw the treat on the floor while making the hand/arm gesture you would normally make when telling them to get off.
Step 4: Say the command “Off” as they jump off the couch to get the treat.
Step 5: Praise them and give them attention once they’re on the floor. You want them to develop the understanding that being on the ground gets them attention and being up on the couch/furniture does not.
Step 6: Repeat steps 1-4 until they listen without needing a treat.
For dogs that jump up on furniture to see out the window or are having difficulties listening to you, you can also place objects on your couch, bed or chair to prevent them from jumping on them. Obviously this is a less than ideal solution, but it’s not forever.
After a while of not being able to jump up on things they’ll lose interest in trying to get up on them.
Things to avoid
There are a couple things you’ll want to avoid while training your dog to stay off the furniture.
First, don’t use a general word/command that you use elsewhere like “no” or “down.” These commands can be confusing as they have different meanings and are used in a variety of situations.
Make sure you’re using a unique command so they know exactly what you’re talking about when you say it to avoid any confusion. This could be “off”, “four on the floor” or something else you have in mind that’s unique.
Second, don’t punish them after they’ve jumped on the furniture. Dogs don’t understand punishment after the fact, so it’ll do more harm than good. This is why it’s best to praise the good behavior you want to continue, rather than punish the behavior you don’t want to continue.
If they do happen to jump on the furniture while you’re not around, simply remove them and continue with the training when you are around. Punishing them will only make the training process longer and more difficult.
How to know you’re making progress
The best way to know you’re making progress is by paying attention to your dog’s behavior.
A good sign is if they start going to their bed or lying down on the floor when you’re sitting on the couch or in bed.
This shows they understand that being on the furniture is not allowed and they’re choosing to stay off of it.
As long as you stay consistent with your training your dog should learn to stay off the furniture in no time!