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Puppy training tip: Keep your puppy off the furniture

Frequently, owners of dogs wonder how to keep their puppy off the furniture. The keys to successful furniture training: start early, be consistent, and only allow furniture sitting as an occasional treat.

Is there a right way to train your puppy to stay off the furniture? There is a consistent way to train, as puppies thrive on routine. When you’re teaching your puppy to stay off the couch use consistent language, hand signals and training methods. Everyone in the family should use the same word or phrases so the puppy doesn’t get confused. Soon he or she will understand snuggling up with you on the couch is a treat.

Who wants their puppy to stay of the furniture? Pet parents with large dogs or those who shed continually or dogs who love jumping in mud and rolling in smelly things usually want their furry friends to stay off the furniture. Once your puppy has been trained to stay off the furniture when you don’t want him on it, you may relax the rules and offer a space next to you on the couch on special occasions. If you do that, make certain he understands it’s by invitation only.

Here are some ways to train your puppy to stay off the furniture:

  • Train your puppy to “stay off” or “get off” when she is getting on the furniture. Choose a short phrase and be consistent in its use. When your puppy puts her paws on the couch, you need to say, “get off” and gently put her paws back onto the ground. Reward her for good behavior. If she’s already on the furniture when you walk into the room, again say, “get off.” Nudge her off the furniture if necessary. If she gets down when you say, “get off” give her a treat and praise her.
  • Make sure your dog has his own comfy bed. Put that bed by the furniture or in the room in which you’re sitting. Train him to “go to bed” when he’s trying to get on the furniture. Put a treat or his favorite toy in the bed and reward him for going to it when you point and say, “go to bed.” Heap on the praise and offer a treat or two when he goes to his bed when told.
  • If you’re concerned your puppy will get on the furniture when you’re home, crate train him and/or block off the furniture so he can’t get to it. Overturned laundry baskets are great for blocking off the furniture from a curious puppy. Make sure his bed in an accessible area of the house; hopefully, he will sleep in his bed and not on the furniture.

We don’t recommend using scare tactics to keep your puppy off the furniture by making him wear a shock training collar, shaking a can of pennies, or putting a static blanket on the furniture to keep him off. Training your puppy is about strengthening the bond you have with him, not making him afraid of objects in the house. Consistency, love and positive reinforcement are the best training tactics for keeping your puppy off the furniture.


Robbi Hess, award-winning author, is multi-petual: She shares her home with two Devon Rex kittens, three adult rescue cats, a mini poodle, a Goldendoodle, three lizards and two ferrets. When not caring for her pets, she is an editor, speaker, time management and productivity guru, content creator, social media manager and blogger. She writes at All Words MatterMy Divas Dish, and is the story editor and chief cat herder at Positively Woof.

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