Keeping dog off sofa & bed - Advice

summerOctober 14, 2006

A friend is taking care of a neighbours' dog for the next 3 months or so. The dog is a 3yr old shepherd/lab/cocker mix. The neighbour was unable to take Mandy with her, while she recovers from a serious illness at her daughter's home 7 hrs. away as the daughter is in a strict no pets apartment.

Question my friend needs help with ( a big no, no, at her house)is how to keep Mandy off the sofa & bed. When she agreed to take care of her, she had no idea this would be an issue as in her almost daily visits she'd never once seen Mandy on her neighbours' couch. Had she known, in advance this was a problem, she would not have offered to take the dog.

She really wants to help her neighbour out (boarding is not affordable) but needs a solution. What advice can you give me, for her?


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When you get a an answer, I would love to know the same thing. My labs are on the bed until lights out and then they lay on their dog beds on the floor. I usually put the sofa cushions and chair cushions up when I work. But I will tell you that the two boys sneak down during the night and I when I come down in the morning I can tell they were making themselves very comfortable on my leather. Yellow dog hair on black leather is a dead giveaway. Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 14, 2006 at 1:42PM
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Since you'll have her for 3+ months, ask your neighbor about purchasing the item below. Or.........just purchase it and give your neighbor the receipt when she returns.

Other option is to buy a plastic throw, the type found at paint stores and used to cover furniture. It's not pretty, but it works, and most dogs don't find it comfortable.

You might want to shop around online for better prices and also check with your local pet stores. PetSmart online carries it at a lower price but you'll have to compare shipping charges.

Here is a link that might be useful: sofa scram

    Bookmark   October 14, 2006 at 2:22PM
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With a three year old dog it will take time, but I found some of the following to be useful. First, get the dog his own bed in the rooms where the bed and sofa are located so he has somewhere to lay down when your friend is in the bed or on the sofa. Then she will need to keep a leash on him in the house for a while, and as soon as he gets up on the furniture, she will have to snap the choker chain and say DOWN and pull him off the furniture. Then lead him to his new bed and have him at least walk into it and give him a favorite treat and say good things to him and the word BED. And do this over and over till he gets it. Could take a week or so, but it works.

She could also get something which makes a sound to scare him when he jumps up on the furniture before she pulls him off, so next time the sound will alert him to get down.

The key is to make it clear he can't get on the furniture AT ALL, no giving in, and making it clear the new beds are his and they are wonderful places to be.

We did that with our dog when she was a puppy and it took about a week and she never gets on furniture.

Good Luck.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2006 at 2:28PM
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Summer - please ask the owner before your friend uses a choker chain to train the dog. I would never use nor want one used on my pet. She may not either.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2006 at 2:39PM
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Max is our 7yo Lab. He is allowed on the sofa most of the time, but he did know "off" when we got him. Michelle, his previous owner, trained him just with positive reinforcement. She says Off, Max gets off the sofa and gets his reward- he's very food motivated.
Once he learned off, he's easy to keep off if we need to. He walks over to the sofa, we say off, and he doesn't get on. He used to be allowed on their bed (mind you, we got the dog at age 7), but he doesn't here. He has a bed right next to ours, super-comfy. He tried a couple of times to get into bed, but we ALWAYS said off before he did, so he learned no bed for him. When we are not home, we keep the bedroom door closed, so there's no sneaking. He is allowed onto the sofa when we are not home. We keep a blanket on it to prevent fur/oil slicks (Lab's coats can be oily, which is bad for leather).

The simplest way with the least amount of training?
Keep her out of the bedroom by closing the door.
Keep her in a crate when not home or next to the bed at night.
Keep her on a leash when home, to prevent getting up onto the furniture.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2006 at 3:31PM
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I just called my friend Ruth & read the suggestions to her. Liz, Mandy's human did send over a large plaid fake fur type dog bed as well as several doggie blanket beds for Mandy. Mandy has never been on a choke collar. When Liz walked her (two or three times, daily) Mandy always walked about 6ft ahead while carrying a stuffed toy or glove in her mouth. Ruth, & I have never heard of the sofa scram, but she would be willing to get it, & not have Liz pay, if it works. Liz has been a very good neighbour & friend for about 15 yrs. & Ruth is very keen on helping her out at this difficult time. Hope someone here can offer a solution.


    Bookmark   October 14, 2006 at 6:17PM
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Go to the thrift store and get some old cookie sheets, they work great

    Bookmark   October 14, 2006 at 7:08PM
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My mom used double-sided tape on the sofas & chairs to keep the cats off. They don't like getting their paws stuck & after a few days, they know to avoid these areas, and off comes the tape. This may work for a small toy dog, although, I don't know if it would deter the large dog you describe. Good luck. Hope you find something that works. I heard about putting balloons on a couch, that makes a bang when a dog pounces on them, and also aluminum foil.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2006 at 9:43PM
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We're teaching our Beagle to stay off the furniture with aluminum foil. We made the mistake of letting him sleep on the sofa when he was a puppy, so it's not at all his fault that he feels the furniture is his bed. I bought him a dog bed, got our chairs cleaned, and covered the seats with small square of foil. The first month he wouldn't even touch the furniture. Now he may jump on an arm to look outside if he's alone in the room, but hops down when spotted. We still have to use the foil though. If it's not there and he's alone, he'll sneak back on the chairs.
We've recently switched to wax paper, which is just as loud, but slightly less hideous. Neither is a permanent solution but it cuts down 99% the amount of time spent on the furniture.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2006 at 12:58AM
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When the pet sitter is home - being on furniture should be a no - no simply with voice commands.

When the owner is not home - the dog should be confined to one room - and then the furniture in that room, should be protected by placing bulky or uncomfortable objects on the furniture - like a guitar, a large box, a large peice of cardboard (that can be slid under couch for the storage)... examples taken from my own home.

And in our situation, over time the dog will stop getting on the furniture just because its uncomfortable and then you can stop putting "stuff" on it. But his is a short term situation - so the "stuff" is temporary.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2006 at 11:24AM
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Don't use foil for a dog you don't know well. Mine would chew/swallow it.

If I were holding on to a dog for that length of time, I'd teach the "off" command (which is pretty easy for most dogs). For when I was not home, I'd crate the dog, put her in a room without a sofa or bed (aka kitchen), or cover the bed or sofa with an old (washable) blanket.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2006 at 1:57PM
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We used the foil on with our adult Brittany. However, she would not tear anything up and the sound of it when she touched it was enough to keep her off of it. I wouldn't try it with my two new puppies, though. They would tear it to pieces and eat most of it!

    Bookmark   October 23, 2006 at 8:29PM
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I would get some of that clear vinyl carpet protector mat with the little pokey nubbins on it. When cats or dogs step on it, it's uncomfortable on their paw pads. You can buy a bunch of it fairly cheaply at Home Depot and places like that. Just fold it up when you're not using it and stick it in the closet or under the bed.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2006 at 5:12PM
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its easy the henrypad way, email me and I will help

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 4:03PM
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i agree with crating the dog, for everyone's safety and well being (including the dog!) dogs usually prefer their crate, it is a nice safe place to stay and you can even get a tee shirt or blankie that smells like the dog's owner and put it in the crate for added comfort. i don't like my large dogs on furnature, either and i don't wish to spray my couches with anything. i have a large dog who is such a wonderful boy, but as soon as he is alone, he will do all sorts of things he isn't supposed to, including getting on our couch. we crate him when we leave, he loves his crate, and we put things on the couch when we are all home inside. i don't like to have to put things on the couch all the time, but it works. we are wondering if we could use some sort of shock collar training or something to make him hate being on the couch, training him to lay elsewhere even when nothing is all over the sofa...hmmm...

and i would not use mouse traps as mentioned by some people...if i forgot to take them off that would suck. but my dog is stealthy, he very slowly and carefully gets on the couch so he doesn't make any noise. if the traps didn't spring or i placed them wrong, they could pinch him or hurt his tail. i have seen a well sprung trap break large adult fingers, i don't want that to happen to my dog or child who forgot about mouse traps.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 11:23AM
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Buy one of those loud airhorns. Sit where you can see her. When she jumps on the furniture, blare the airhorn.

She should not know that you are connected to the sound. She should learn that her jumping on furniture will cause the sound.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 11:49AM
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My dog is not a destroyer of furniture or things, she doesn't even get into the trash or pet foods which are still in the bags I buy them in, opened and over in the corner. Even with all the good behavior she is kept in the back room while I am at work or out of the house. It just makes life easier and the house cleaner to confine all the mess to one area.

I found that with my dog if you buy the plushest, softest dog furniture she will prefer it to the human furniture. They want the softest bed to lay in - so a little extra money on super comfort for them keeps them off of my bed and sofa.

If I was in this situation I would just cover the sofa with an old bedspread or something because you won't have the dog long enough to reprogram it. Or find a small room like a laundry room or large bathroom and set it up for the dog while you're away.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 2:31PM
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