Why is your couch your refuge at the end of a hard day? Obvious isn’t it? It’s soft and comfortable that you sink your aching limbs and body into it for a while before doing anything else. Is it any different for your pet dog? Your dog is not the biggest fan of the hard floor and naturally prefers your living room couch over anything else. While you do adore your pet, you would like to sit on a couch that’s not covered with mud, hair and doesn’t reek of ‘doggy-smells’. Keeping your dog off the couch could take some doing and can be quite a challenge.
There are many things that you can do to restrict pet-access to your couch, so let’s take a look at a few.
Restrict Access to the Couch from the Beginning
This perhaps is the best way to make your couch pet-free. Don’t ever allow your pet to use the couch even a couple of times. Make the couch off limits right from the start and never make an exception, lest it becomes the rule. Every time your pet jumps on the couch, pick him/her up or nudge them off the couch. The more you do that, the quicker will your dog get the message that the couch is taboo. Be gentle and kind, but firm while restraining your dog. Over a period of time, it’s sure to get the message.
Comfortable Dog Beds
Why would your dog prefer to sit on the cold, tiled or wooden floor when there is a comfortable couch right in front of it? Fair enough- but you’d personally like to have the couch to yourself. The best dog beds are a great way to keep the dogs off the couch! You can either buy one or make a nice, soft, warm bed with old clothes, sponge, and foam and throw in anything that’s soft and pliable. A couple of old cushions or soft pillows and the dog bed is ready. Now all you have to do is to introduce your dog to use it.
Make Sure Your Couch Is Off Limits
That is easier said than done and may require a little or a lot of training. Coax your canine with treats and thus encourage them to use the soft, warm, cozy dog bed. Ensure that the whole family follows the same approach without any let-up, lest it confuses your pet. Before long he or she will begin to prefer the dog bed over your couch. Sometimes such disciplining takes a while, but by motivating your dog with its favorite foods and applauding it whenever it uses the dog bed, you’ll soon win your pet over and make it want to to actually repeat to behavior.
Make the Couch Less Attractive
You’re not always going to be around- in order to deter your pet from using the couch during your absence, pile it up with chairs placed upside down or even empty laundry baskets. The couch doesn’t appear as cozy as it was before and your pet will surely avoid it. There are alarms, poky mats, soda cans with coins, bubble wrap, aluminum foil, which when placed on the couch, frightens your pet and dissuades it from using your refuge. However, it does seem a little unkind to treat your adorable pooch that way, so avoid it if you can.
Confine Your Pet
There’s no saying what your pet is up to in your absence- so one thing you can do is to restrict access to all rooms except the one it’s kept in. Confining it in a playpen or a crate is even more restrictive. Dog gates can be used to prevent them from going into different rooms.
Dogs yearn to be cuddled and loved and will go a long way to please its owners, so you need to use soft and kind words. You’ll be surprised at how willing they are to learn and be trained the right approach works wonders. Remember, you need to reinforce what you want your pet to do by repeating it over and over again.
Dogs are animals of habit and quickly settle down into a behavioral pattern. You just need to be patient and give your pet time to adjust to the new rules. Discipline or praise when either is due, be stern when they make errors but don’t fail to appreciate them when they are good. Your pet deserves that!