Whether or not you allow your canine companion to sit on the sofa is entirelydown to personal preference. Some owners don’t allow their dogs on the furniture because they don’t like the hair, or are concerned about hygiene – maybe they have young children, or perhaps they just like to keep some areas of the home dog-free.
Others have no problem with their dog using the sofa, either because they don’t consider dog hair to be a problem, or because they enjoy snuggling up next to their pets in front of the TV. Of course, everyone is different and deciding whether or not to allow the family dog on the furniture depends very much on house rules and what you feel comfortable with.
About.com advice for letting your dog on the sofa stresses that a dog’s preference for the sofa isn’t necessarily territorial – it’s usually simply because the sofa is most comfortable! However, if your pet starts to growl or snarl when you approach to sit down on the couch, or starts “couch hogging”, then you should shoo them off to discourage the bad behaviour.
One way to encourage your pooch away from the sofa is to consider their dog bed. Is it well padded? Do they like sleeping in it? Is it the right size? If your dog appears to infinitely prefer the sofa to their dog bed, it may be time to treat them to a new, more comfy model. Like most animals (including humans!) dogs like their comfort, so if their dog bed isn’t padded or soft enough, they probably won’t use it.
Even if you’re happy for your furry friend to share the sofa but you can’t stand the dog hair, sometimes a compromise is best. Using a dog blanket or throw for the sofa can protect your furniture from dog hair, leaving your pet free to lounge at will. For easy cleaning, make sure the dog blanket or throw for the sofa is machine washable – you might want to invest in two, so that when one is being washed, the other can be used on the furniture.
If you do decide to let your dog use the sofa, it’s worth bearing in mind that when visiting others with your pet, the same rules may not apply. Not everyone is happy to have an animal jump on their furniture, so training your dog to jump off the sofa on command, or -even better – to only use the sofa when specifically invited, is a smart solution.
To help you get started, some tried-and-tested dog trainer tips on keeping dogs off the sofa include treating your dog to a biscuit when they’ve jumped off the furniture, allowing access to furniture as a treat for good behaviour, and offering them a treat when they use their dog bed.
Whether you decide to let your canine companion on the sofa or not, it’s important to be consistent. Ensure every member of the family knows the rules and follows them: otherwise you could end up with a very confused doggy!