Many of us, myself included, love to sit on the couch with a dog or three. Unfortunately, this can sometimes lead to disagreements with guests who don’t have a dog’s sense of entitlement and think that the couch is for human use only. Here are some tips for making your pet feel comfortable without offending your friends—or destroying your furniture.
Keeping your dog off the couch may be good for your dog, but it’s also good for your house, and even your relationships.
The couch is a place of comfort and repose, a spot to snuggle up with your favorite blanket and watch Netflix. But if you have a dog, it can also be a source of anxiety, as your pooch drapes himself over the cushions, leaving fur all over the place for you to sweep up later.
There are two schools of thought when it comes to dogs on couches: One says that dogs shouldn’t be allowed on furniture at all (or at least only in certain rooms), while another says that every single surface in your home should be fair game for canine lounging. We’ll explore each side of this debate below.
The argument against letting dogs lie around on couches goes something like this: Dogs are wild animals; they don’t belong in our homes or on our furniture; they should stay in their crates or outside until we want them inside—and even then they should use their own dog beds instead of ours! People who subscribe to this philosophy tend not just opposed but downright angry about having their sofas used as chew toys by puppies who don’t know any better than to tear apart pillows whenever they get bored; they also tend not talk much about how much fun it must be when those same puppies are fully grown and want nothing more than curl up under blankets next us while watching movies together!
The other side sees things differently: They think dogs need mental stimulation just like humans do (if not more so), which means allowing them access wherever possible within reason; furthermore, many consider keeping pets indoors 24/7.
The issues come when you want your living room to be a place for entertaining friends and family.
When it comes to entertaining guests, the issues come when you want your living room to be a place for entertaining friends and family. When you have a dog and people over, there’s bound to be some dog hair on the couch or chairs. And while that might not be a big deal at first blush—who doesn’t like petting dogs?—it can become an issue if you’re trying to have people over often.
In addition, many breeds shed in excess (and some even require regular brushing) so if you don’t want your furniture being constantly covered by fur or hairballs from shedding pups, it may be worth investing in some cleaning products designed specifically for removing pet dander from fabrics and furniture.
Letting guests know that you allow the dog on the couch, but prefer that other people not join them may help.
If you have a dog who loves to be on the couch and you want to let guests know that this is an option, it may help to leave something next to the couch explaining that you allow your dog on the furniture but prefer they not join other people. This way, guests can choose whether or not they want to be lounging with Fido—and if they do, then at least there’s no confusion about whether or not that’s okay.
Don’t be afraid to train the heck out of your dog not to go on furniture.
You are the one in control. Don’t let your dog get away with it. If your dog jumps on the couch, remove him or her immediately and firmly say “no.” If you’re having guests over, move the dog out of sight if he or she tries to jump up on any surfaces (including people). Don’t give in to any demands for attention—even if that means ignoring your own needs for a moment as well.
The important thing is that you don’t allow yourself or others around you to be tempted into allowing this behavior simply because it’s easier than making an effort not to allow it.
Crate training can be a good way to protect your furniture from dogs with clawing issues.
If your dog has a problem with chewing or clawing furniture, crate training may be the solution for you. When your dog is in his crate, he’s unable to cause damage to the furniture because it’s out of reach. Also, some dogs will not want to soil their own bedding when they’re locked in a cage.
Crate training can also be effective at curbing potty accidents if you use it as part of an outside-in program. You can place a puppy pad in the crate and keep him confined until he goes on it without any problems; once he does his business outside instead of inside, let him out so he knows what you expect from him going forward.
Remember that some dogs just like to burrow under blankets and pillows when they get on couches. Those dogs will just want a little more attention if they’re not allowed in their favorite spot.
There are some dogs who just like to cozy up on the couch with a blanket and a pillow or two, and they’ll be perfectly content with that. If you have one of these types of dogs, don’t worry about it—just make sure they’re still getting plenty of attention when they’re not allowed on the couch.
Allow dogs on furniture or create a space where they can still burrow and feel comfortable.
If your dog is used to being on the couch or the bed, you’ll want to find a way for him to still feel comfortable and secure in that space. One option is to buy a pet bed that has a place where she can hide away from view and sleep. That way, when you’re not around, she can still feel safe and secure.
You could also create an area for your dog within your home where he feels comfortable and safe. By creating a space of his own, he’ll have somewhere he can go when you aren’t around so he doesn’t have to lay on the couch or bed all day alone while you’re gone at work or running errands.
Laying down ground rules early in your dog’s life can help them establish boundaries and feel safe and comfortable. If you are lax about letting your dog on the furniture as a puppy, then later decide to change the rules, your dog will likely be confused and upset. At that point, it might actually be better for everyone if you keep the furniture open to all family members, including your four-legged ones.