Many of us who own dogs have had the experience of finally sitting down on the couch after a long day of work and then a hectic evening of parenting and managing the family, only to realize that we are now covered in dog fur that was left on the cushions. As we brush it away and sneeze and blow it off of our faces, we are anything but relaxed. The last thing we want to do at that point is clean furniture, but it’s either that or accept our hairy fate while we unwind. For quite a few people, this is the last straw, and they decide that it’s time to change the way things are done. Specifically, it’s time to keep the dog off the furniture, and you realize that the fur that’s left behind isn’t the only reason as you discover the damp drool spot and smell that ever-distinctive doggy musk in the cushions.
While many people make this choice, quite a few folks are not fully aware of how to keep dogs off of furniture. There is a protocol to it to an extent, and as is the case with all other dog’s behavioral training, you’ll need to be committed to accomplishing the goal. KONG has been working with dog owners for nearly 50 years, and we know that there are downsides to letting your furry friend have access to your furniture. As far as how to keep dogs off of furniture successfully, we’re going to present you with some ideas to keep in mind as you embark on this journey.
Make Your Decision and Get Agreement
Of course, before you even dig deeper into how to keep dogs off of furniture, you need to decide with finality whether or not that’s what you really want. There isn’t one correct answer to this question. If you don’t mind the mess and the smell on your furniture and would trade it for a lap companion or a sleeping companion in your bed, that’s up to you and that’s totally fine. However, if you do not want to live like this, then you not only need to decide, but you need to make sure that everyone else in the house is on the same page, as having people enforce this rule differently – or not at all – is only going to lead to confusion and problems.
Another idea regarding how to keep dogs off of furniture concerns consistency. What we mean by that is if you’re going to keep your dog or dogs off of the furniture, you need to keep it off of all of your furniture, and not just certain pieces in certain rooms at certain times. That’s too much for a dog to process, and once again that’s only going to lead to confusion and problems. That may mean that if you’re tired of picking dog hair off the couch but you like to sleep with your pet, then it’s time to make a difficult decision. You can’t expect a dog to process a complicated policy.
Put Up Obstacles
As you embark on your journey of how to keep dogs off of furniture, your first step or steps will likely be to order your dog off the bed or the couch for a few days while you’re home. Dogs tend to be literal learners, so don’t be surprised if your dog takes that to mean that he or she isn’t allowed on the couch or the bed when you’re on it or when you’re home, but that everything is fair game while you’re away. That’s because no one will be there to enforce this new rule when you’re not home. You can help reinforce the message that the furniture is always off-limits by putting obstacles on the furniture before you leave the house. Examples include heavy objects like boxes or simply turning up the cushions so there is nowhere to sit.
Present Other Options
If you’re looking for ideas for how to keep dogs off of furniture, then one of them should be to provide your furry friend with other options. You shouldn’t take away your buddy’s favorite lounging spots and then expect him or her to just accept lying on a cold floor somewhere. They sleep on the furniture for several reasons, including the fact that it’s soft, it may present a view and it smells like you, but dogs mostly sleep on the furniture because it’s comfortable. Offer a proverbial olive branch to your friend by placing comfortable dog beds, blankets, or cushions around the home in nice places that offer that view, that place in the breeze or that safe location.
Keep Them Entertained
While all dogs sleep for at least half of every day, that doesn’t mean that you can’t also make them a bit happier to sleep just about anywhere by tiring them out. Yes, regular and rigorous exercise will make a difference with your dog as you look to enforce new rules. They’ll be happy to grab that floor cushion if they’ve been out walking all day. Not to mention, you can engage in extensive play sessions with your buddy so that he or she gets all the bonding necessary during the average day. All of this can lead to a happier resolution to this challenge.
If you’re looking to reinforce your new furniture rule with treats, spark that playtime with new toys or if you just want to do something nice for your friend as he or she adjusts to the new normal in your home, reach out to the pet coaches, vets and trainers at KONG Club for advice, guidance and support. Enjoy your fur-free couch!
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