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Pet Resources - Dog Behavior and Training

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Allowing Your Dog On The Furniture

dogWhether you choose to let your dog on the furniture or not is really a matter of personal preference. There are pros and cons to each. If you let him on the furniture, your furniture will no doubt experience some extra wear and tear, not to mention dirt. Further, wherever you take your dog, such as to a friend or relative’s house, your dog will expect the same rules to apply. On the other hand, letting your dog up on the furniture often allows him to be closer to you. If you’re away, he may also find comfort in sitting on the couch or bed because it smells like you. And, of course, the furniture is no doubt more comfortable for your pooch than the floor is.

Whatever decision you make, the important thing is to be consistent. You cannot allow your dog on the couch one day and then reprimand him the next. Also make sure that every member of your family knows and sticks by the rules. If you or anyone else lets him up on the furniture, he may just think he’s welcome all the time.

If you decide to keep him off the furniture, first make sure that he has his own bed or other comfortable spot that’s all his own and located in a central area where he can be a part of the family. You can train your dog to get off the furniture using the ‘off’ command. This can be used when he jumps on furniture or people. You should not use the ‘down’ command if you’re using that command when you want him to lie down. If your dog gets on the furniture, say ‘off’ and then gently help him down. Once he is on the floor, reward him with a treat or your praise. Repeat this command and be consistent and patient and your dog will soon learn that he’s not allowed on the furniture.