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As with your pets and most things in your home, there are pros and cons to letting your dog lie on couches and other furniture. Some dog owners enjoy snuggling with their favorite furry friends. Others have strict no-couch rules for their pups. If you fall into the latter category, getting your dog to obey your restrictions can be frustrating and time-consuming. Try one of these strategies and tools to keep your dog off the sofa or other furniture forever.
1. Best Friends The Original Calming Donut Dog Bed by Sheri
- Great for calming dogs prone to anxiety
- There is a lounge and sides for your dog to rest its head and limbs
- Soft, plush exterior
- Fully washable and easy to clean
- Available in a variety of sizes and colors
Best for calm and comfort
2. Petcube Cam pet surveillance camera
- Two-way audio keeps your dog off the furniture
- Veterinary support to help with any troubling behavior or issues
- night vision see in the dark
- Easy to install and use
- Sound and motion alerts can be set
best pet cam
- Features two-way audio so you can tell your dog to get off the furniture
- Includes veterinary support to assist with behavioral issues
- Night vision allows the camera to work when the lights go out
- easy to use
- Sound and motion alerts can be set
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keep consistent expectations
One of the most important things you can do when training your dog to stay off the couch is to be consistent. It will be easier to recognize situations where you need to redirect or reward your dog if you treat it like any other trick or behavior you want to train your dog to perform.
It may be a good idea to have some treats or other rewards on hand when starting to train your dog. When you direct your dog off the couch, give them a small reward. Repeat this frequently during the first few days of training. Be consistent with your expectations as your dog gets used to a new routine. You can start away from the treats and instead give verbal praise or other signs that you are pleased with their behavior.
Some dogs are easier to train than others. For dogs that are stubborn or just don’t have the same likable personality, stick to it and be consistent with your expectations. Most will eventually catch on. However, once you let the day slip by, expect to retrain them from scratch to stay off the couch.
Your dog may jump on the sofa or other furniture because it provides a comfortable place to rest. If you think this is the case, try a dog bed. There are countless options on the market. You can find a dog bed for just about every need, from orthopedic braces to the ultimate luxury heated dog bed.
Some dogs like to be near their owners for comfort and affection. Setting up a dog bed in the same room might be the perfect answer. Once you’ve introduced the dog bed, give them some time to get used to it. You can redirect them from sofa or furniture to dog bed with one simple command, such as “lay down” or “bed”. Most dogs will quickly learn to follow these commands, especially if he can take a quiet, comfortable nap in a nice bed. You can also reinforce it with treats as you would when training your dog for any other behavior.
If your dog likes to spend time outside and the weather allows them to do so, consider a dog door so they can access their favorite spot when they need it. They might opt for a sofa or other furniture for some variety. Giving them other options that work for you may be the answer.
make furniture hard to reach
If your dog can’t reach the sofa, it will be difficult for him to stand up. You can use baby gates, pillows and cushions, or place an appropriate coffee table to block the sofa. Keep in mind that if you make it difficult for your dog to get onto the couch, it might get in the way for you too. This option is best used as a short-term solution while training your dog not to get up on the couch. It’s also a useful way to get your dog off the couch when you’re not home.
One thing to consider before rearranging your furniture is your dog’s determination. Some dogs are restrained and determined to climb onto that couch. If you put it where it’s dangerous for your dog, you could end up with injuries instead of soiling the couch. In this case, stack the items on the sofa itself to make it less accessible, rather than moving the furniture.
However, we generally don’t recommend trying a couch barrier, as it can make your dog uncomfortable on the couch. This can cause anxiety and stress in the dog. They may rebel by redoubled efforts to settle on furniture. Other unwanted behaviors, such as chewing, may also start when they are stressed.
As with any training with your dog, you must monitor their progress. Offer lots of positive reinforcement and pay attention to them, even when you’re not home. Some pet monitors allow you to talk to your dog from your phone. You can watch them on the couch on the video feed and redirect them using the same commands you trained them on earlier.
This is best used as part of a training program or program. You shouldn’t expect your dog to respond if you haven’t personally taught them commands. Some dogs also startle when they hear you but don’t see you in the room. Watch your dog’s cues to see if this tool helps with their training or causes them more stress and anxiety. If the latter, limit your training to in-person sessions.
Using a monitor also requires you to check it regularly. For most of us, staring at our pet monitor all the time isn’t an option. Accept that your dog may change their direction by jumping on the couch or furniture in your absence, especially at first. Over time, most dogs will learn to follow these expectations even when you’re not around.
Provides stimulation and enrichment for your dog
Your dog might be jumping up on the couch just to get some attention and company. If you suspect this is the case, find other ways to give them this outlet. Add to your daily walks, play in the yard, or play a fun game of tug of war on the floor. You should do these things away from the sofa to encourage connection with things other than furniture.
If your dog tends to jump on the couch when you are on it, but not much (or not at all) when you are not, they are likely trying to get closer to you rather than focusing on the furniture itself . When they get the attention they want, you can sit on the floor with them, then go back to the couch when they’re happy again.
Should I let my dog on the furniture?
Whether or not to let your dog climb on furniture is mostly a personal preference. Letting your dog curl up next to you on the couch won’t cause any behavioral or health problems. Snuggling with your dog can even reduce your anxiety and create a wonderful bonding experience.
Some dog owners prefer to provide their dog with a place to lie down on its own, such as a nearby kennel or dog bed. Keeping your dog away from the furniture can really reduce wear and tear and keep the furniture overall clean.
If you’re concerned about an allergic guest sitting on a sofa covered in dog hair, you can use a removable cover or blanket to give your dog his own place to go. Before your guests come over, simply remove the blanket or cover to reveal the dog hairless sofa underneath. It’s a good idea to give it a quick vacuum too.
Can I use a sofa guard or other barrier to keep my dog off the sofa?
Some dog owners use items like aluminum foil, bubble wrap, or special sofa barriers to keep their dogs from getting comfortable on the sofa. While these may be effective, they can also make the dog anxious, leading to more disturbing behaviors like chewing or urinating.
In general, we recommend using positive reinforcement over negative reinforcement when training your dog. Instead of making their trip on the couch unpleasant or uncomfortable, teach your dog what you want them to do, like go to a dog bed or other designated place. This may take longer, but will produce better, longer-lasting results.
Finding a great training treat or reward can make this process easier. Check out great tips and tools for training your dog.
let your dog on the couch
Some dogs do require special consideration if allowed on the couch.
Small dogs such as toy dogs, chihuahuas, and Pomeranians may have difficulty climbing onto the sofa. They may also fall when they try to get off the couch. Having a set of available pet stairs can alleviate this problem. Training them to switch to a dog bed is another way to keep your small dog safe.
Large dogs such as mastiffs and wolfhounds may not be comfortable sitting on the sofa. Even when they do fit, these dogs can be so large that they leave you with very little room. Pet owners can benefit from having extra-large dog beds so their pups can stretch their long limbs without knocking others off the furniture.
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Specifically, my research investigates how the configuration and composition of landscapes influence the movement and population dynamics of forest birds. Both natural and human-derived fragmenting of habitat can influence where birds settle, how they access the resources they need to survive and reproduce, and these factors in turn affect population demographics. Most recently, I have been studying the ability of individuals to move through and utilize forested areas which have been modified through timber harvest as they seek out resources for the breeding and postfledging phases. As well I am working in collaboration with Parks Canada scientists to examine in the influence of high density moose populations on forest bird communities in Gros Morne National Park. Many of my projects are conducted in collaboration or consultation with representatives of industry and government agencies, seeking to improve the management and sustainability of natural resource extraction.
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