How to train a puppy not to get on the furniture

debbiep_gwJuly 1, 2010

I always said if I had any other dogs come inside I prefer they didn't get on the furniture.Annabelle the stray puppy which is a black lab mix and around 12 weeks old has started today getting on the furniture.I turn my back and she is on the loveseat,I tell her down and she just looks at me,if I go towards her and say down she hops down.How do I train a puppy the basic commands it needs to know?If I try using treats she doesn't leave my side wanting the treats.She smells them in my pockets.Any tips to offer?

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I think Annabelle is testing your authority and trying to turn furniture jumping into a fun doggie game.

This is how I would handle it (and I am assuming she knows very basic commands like "sit", "down" and "stay"). Start in the room with the furniture she likes best (eg. living room sofa). Be sure to have a mat or something that she is allowed to lay on into the room with you. We actually use an old beach towel. Bring her into the room with you and allow her to roam freely. Pretend not to be watching her, but keep your eyes on her. When she approaches the sofa, correct her with a stern "No!" and redirect her to the mat. Do not wait for her to actually jump on the sofa, correct her before that. Make her "down" and stay on the mat for about a minute, then praise her.

Note that this is not time out or punishment. You are taking the fun out of jumping on the sofa and are rewarding her for staying on the mat. It may help to keep her on a leash during this exercise. Once you have established a place for her in one room, you can train her in other rooms in the same manner. Remember not to let her make it a game. If it becomes a game, stop the training and get back to it later.

Also, keep in mind that your dog will probably get on the furniture when no one is home. If you have good furniture that you are concerned the dog might ruin, I'd cover it with a sheet or a quilt when leaving the house.

As to training, I think she is at the perfect age for you to enroll her in a puppy obedience class. Working with a trainer will allow you to develop a reward system that does not require having treats at all times. Try to enroll in a class with a few other puppy students (not a solo class). Watching other puppies will help you work with your own girl.

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 7:54PM
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The penny can works wonders for something like this if he doesn't see where it comes from. Throw it at him without him seeing. This simple idea broke our pup from grazing in the litter box, getting on furniture, and digging moles out of holes.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 8:59AM
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She doesn't know the basic commands.I'm in a rural area and we have no obedient classes so whatever she learns I will have to teach her.She does seem to know what No means if spoken in a certain tone.I foresee a lot of trial and error ahead.On a good note she is potty trained.She has been with us a month on the 4th and has been in the house for three weeks without a accident.She does appear to be smart and quick to learn.Thanks!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 12:18PM
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And remember that she's still a pup and that she's not going to trained in a couple of lessons. It'll be ongoing for awhile so just be patient, calm and consistent.

I used to foster puppies and kept them until they were 3 months old. All of them easily learned the house rules.

I've used the techniques cindy described with an adopted, adult, male poodle that kept lifting his leg the first day in my home. I placed him on a dog bed and gave the command down & stay. He started to walk away and again I gave the command and stood there. He gave me a 'who the h#ll are you' look but he didn't move until I told him he could get up. I made him stay on the mat until he was completely relaxed (about 5 minutes).
He was one of the smartest dogs I ever owned, lived for 17 yrs and never had another accident in the house, even after he was deaf, blind, and senile.

BTW, the rescue group I got him from recommended the 'pennies in a can' technique and after three tosses and him looking at me like 'what are you doing?!'........ I tossed it in the trash.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 12:42PM
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We also tried the pennies in the can. Our Akita thought it was a toy. ended up back in Dad's penny jar after just a few days. we found a towel or the puppy cushion worked the best.
BTW - most of the toys she likes the best, all make some sort of obnoxious noise. The worst one I bought (on sale)sings the dreidle song. Dam thing just won't wear out.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 1:56PM
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Any dog would decide the penny can was a toy if he had time to pick it up and examine it. The whole idea is to startle the dog with the noisy throw and not letting him know where it came from. You need to retrieve it before the dog sees you. Sounds difficult, but isn't at all - you just need to distract the dog momentarily.

We used it with too many puppies for too many bad habits to agree that it doesn't work.

Also effective is the squirt bottle or squirt gun but only if the dog doesn't like to be sprayed. Our current lab LOVES water from any source!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 9:20AM
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Debbie, there are many online blogs that feature puppy/dog training videos which might help you with Annabelle's education. I found a link to one such sight (The Daily Puppy) and watched a couple of the videos; they are very well done, IMHO. I put the link into this post, but if you do a search, you can find others. If Annabelle is smart and quick to learn, I have no doubt that "home schooling" using online resources will work for you.

In my experience, it is best to have very short lessons, say 5 minutes maximum. Also, try to have these lessons when the puppy has been exercised, like right after a walk and in a place there are no distractions (away from other humans or pets). Once she gets the hang of the commands, you can also add training in as part of the walk, for example, make her sit or down along the walk. Finally, end the session with 5 minutes of play, or some other positive activity.

Good Luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to Daily Puppy Training Videos

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 10:32AM
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