Let’s face it – it’s an age-old question for dog owners everywhere. No matter how much you work with your dog teaching them not to go on the couch, it’s a game changer when you aren’t home. You are not there to redirect them to a better behavior or intervene in any way. That makes this problem much harder to solve.
First, I have to ask – are your dogs allowed on the couch at any time? If so, it’s going to be harder to stop them from getting up there when you are away. Everyone in the house needs to be on the same page so they’re not sending your pup mixed signals. No dogs on the furniture mean no dogs on the furniture, at all, for any person or any reason.
So, how do you stop your dog from laying on the couch when you’re not home? Let’s break the problem down to find the best solution for you.
- Sight See-er: If your dog wants to check out the world as it cruises by your house when you aren’t home, then what better vantage point than standing on the couch? I mean, come on! You would do it, too! One option for you may be to keep the blinds or curtains closed when you aren’t home so your pooch can’t see what’s going on. Alternatively, you could pull the couch away from the window and that may not make it as appealing for them.
- Comfy Factor: Your couch is probably super comfy, right. It’s probably the best seat in the house. Take a look around – do you have any comfy dog beds for your dog to sleep on? If the answer is no, then you should RUN to your local pet store and buy your canine companion a comfy bed. Just having a nice place of their own may curb the behavior.
- The Fun Stuff: If your dog was allowed on the couch before and you’re changing the rules or now making sure everyone in the house is on the same page, think about all the cool things that you did with your dog on the couch. Maybe a short game of tug, lots of cuddling and attention? Take time to make sure that you sit on the floor with your dog and give them that same time and attention. This will help them see that the fun things still happen….they just happen on the floor.
If you’ve tried the suggestions above and are still noticing dog hair on the couch, then let’s try some blocking techniques.
- You might want to put folding chairs or TV dinner trays on the couch to block them from jumping up.
- Tin foil – lay sheets of tin foil on the seats of the couch. Some dogs don’t like the sound or feel of the tin foil so they avoid it at all costs.
- Double Sided Tape – your dog may not like the feel of the tape on their paws and may hope back down. Obviously, you want to make sure the tape won’t damage your couch before you apply it to the seats.
- Office Mats – Think the big, plastic mats that go on the floor in offices under desks so the chairs roll easily around. When you flip them over, there are hard spikes on the opposite side. You can try laying the mats, spike side up, on your couch. The spikes will be uncomfortable to stand or lay on for your dog.
- Skat Mats – A Skat Mat is a thin, clear, vinyl mat that is touch sensitive. When touched, it emits small electrical pulses for 3 seconds. Although this isn’t something I am comfortable with for my dogs, we have clients who utilize them with some success.
Nothing is going to be a quick fix, especially because you are not present to make an impact. Over time, these suggestions should help your dog learn not to hop up on the couch.