Off. Get off the chair. Off. Get off the other chair. Do you sound like a broken record? Is your couch covered with dog hair? Don’t give up the ship. Here are some simple dog obedience training tips to keep your furry friends off the furniture, both when you are home and—better yet—when you’re not.
Dog House Training 101
The tried-and-true measure for house dog training? Startle her. Loud noises will stop your dog before she jumps on the furniture. When your pup starts to make her way onto the easy chair, clap your hands, slap your hand on a table, or use a “shake can.” To make a shake can, rinse and drip-dry an empty soda can. Drop about ten pennies or screws into the can and seal it well with duct or electrical tape. Whenever your pet goes near the furniture, give the can a good shake. The noise should send the offender scurrying.
Modifying Dog Behavior to Your Benefit
Let’s say that you want to keep your large dog off the bed when you turn in for the night (it gets a little cramped) but don’t object to her lying there at other times. Or you want your puppy to stay off the sofa when you’re on it but don’t mind him curling up there when you’re not around. A plant mister or spray bottle filled with water should do the trick. Just say the word “Away” as you give your pooch a squirt. You must be consistent, and that means having the spray bottle at the ready for at least six to eight weeks. Soon your dog will get the idea that “Away” means you don’t want to share your territory—and that’s a very proper attitude for the leader of the pack.
Dog Training With a Shocking Twist
One way to keep your dogs off the furniture when you’re not home is to (safely) booby-trap it. It’s also the best idea if you don’t feel like putting a lot of effort in your plan. Visit a pet supply store and check out products designed for this purpose. One is a vinyl mat, such as a Scat Mat, that you position anyplace that’s off-limits to your pup—perhaps on your grandmother’s heirloom chair or the delicate linens on your bed. When the mat is plugged in and your dog makes contact, the mat emits a weak electrical impulse. The pet gets an unpleasant but harmless shock. The mat is safe for puppies and larger dogs alike because it has variable correction levels. The downside? These devices are not cheap—depending on size, some cost more than $100—but as needs change, you can move them from place to place with no problem.
Like Fingernails on a Blackboard
Another product designed to keep pets off furniture works by emitting a loud noise that lasts as long as your dog stays on the furniture. These devices are sold in many pet supply stores and catalogs—usually for about a third of the price of an electrified mat. They can work well for a bold pet, but they’re not the right tactic for a timid animal; it may actually cause more problems. If Fluffy runs under the bed and quivers the first time you try this approach, switch to a different method.
Dog Won’t Give Furniture a Rest? Flag Him Down
Wondering how to house train a dog? Look to your outdoor training methods. If you’ve been using an invisible fence to keep your dog in your yard, you may have a ready-made tool for keeping him off the furniture (or away from other verboten areas of your home). Once your dog has learned to recognize and steer clear of the flags marking your invisible fence, move the “danger sign” indoors. Before you leave the house, put several of the flags in empty soda bottles—one flag to a bottle. Then create a border of flags in bottles around the area of the home you want your dog to avoid. He’ll see the flags, and making the association with the fence should force him to steer clear of your furniture.