We all want a dog who sleeps soundly at the foot of the bed, warming our feet. This is a fine goal to have, but wait to make it a reality until they are fully developed adults for your own sanity!
Avoid letting them on the furniture when they are not fully potty-trained (accidents are hard to clean), during their teething phase, or during adolescence. Yes, this means that they might be over 1 year before they are allowed on the furniture, but you will not have to deep clean, repair, or replace your furniture – and this is important too!
Once you allow access to the furniture, it is very difficult to prevent it from occurring later – it will be confusing to the dog that it was allowed and now it is not. Dogs will naturally try to get up on the furniture – it’s soft, cosy, and smells like you!
- Keep a cosy dog bed near your couch and all the good stuff happens on that dog bed – toys, treats, etc.
- Sit on the floor beside the dog bed so that you can still have that cuddle time, but on their level.
- If your pup tries to jump on the couch or successfully does, silently pick them up, pop them on their bed, and then reinforce them a few times for being on that spot. Spend some time teaching a down, go to mat, stay.
- Never scold your puppy or over-react to them going on the furniture – simply move them to their spot and reinforce well.
- Use a laundry basket to block the couch when you are not closely supervising or actively training.