Some puppy owners encourage their puppy to sit beside them on the couch, while others find this behavior unacceptable. If you choose not to let your puppy on the couch, or other furniture, it's best to train them to stay off the furniture while they’re still a puppy, before they gets too used to getting comfortable on the couch. The following article will provide you with tips on training your puppy so they understand the “off” command.
Why do dogs like to be on the furniture?
Your puppy may not be misbehaving when they jump up on the couch; they may not know that you don't want them on the furniture. It's natural that a puppy who doesn't know the rules will make up their own. If you've invited your pup to snuggle up on the couch with you even once, they may take that to mean they’re welcome on the furniture all the time. Let your puppy know what is allowed, in a clear and gentle manner.
Your puppy may like to be on the furniture for many reasons. First, they may want to be as close to you as possible. And if you're sitting on the couch, then the closest spot is right there beside you. If you're not on the couch they may want to be there anyway, because they’re lonely and the couch smells like you. It may also give them a view of the room that they don’t get from the floor. If the couch is located near a window it may be even more appealing, as it may give your puppy a look outside
First, decide right from the beginning if you will allow your puppy to sit on the furniture. And stick to your decision at all times. Consistency is key. Everyone in the family needs to know the rules, and help your puppy to remember them. If you allow your puppy to cuddle up beside you on the couch at some times, and not others, they won't understand what the rules are. Remember, too, that puppies grow. If you decide as they get bigger that you don't want them on the furniture anymore it may be a hard habit to break. You should also take into consideration that they will lie on the furniture when they’re dirty if you let him lie there when they’re clean. Also, some puppies become more aggressive when they are allowed on the furniture—they may confuse their role in the dog hierarchy because they are on the same level as you, the pack leader.
Teaching Dogs the “Off” Command
The “off” command tells your puppy that you want their paws on the floor, not on the furniture. Some people use the command 'down' for this, while others differentiate between the commands 'down' and 'off', using 'off' for when their puppy jumps up on furniture, or people, and 'down' for when they want their puppy to lie down on the floor. Whichever you choose, be consistent.
To get your puppy off a piece of furniture take them gently but firmly by the collar and say “off” while helping them down from the furniture. Release your puppy's collar once they are on the floor and give them praise and a treat. Do this consistently to encourage the behavior you want, and eventually you will not have to physically lead your puppy down from the furniture—giving the command in a firm voice will be enough. You may want to provide your puppy with their own dog bed so they can get comfortable on the floor and will be less likely to climb up on the furniture. The bed should be kept in a central area of the house, where your puppy is not lonely and can interact with the family