Hi, I’m Nancy Frensley. I’m the training manager at the Berkeley East Bay Human Society at Berkeley, California. And I’ve been asked how to teach dogs to stay off furniture. Well, this is my friend Lolly here and obviously she is on the furniture. So, I allow my own dogs on furniture because I have no problem with that. They get off when I ask them to. But some people really really don’t want their dogs to get on furniture and there’s a way to do that. The best way to have your dog stay off furniture is again, never let them get there in the first place. If you start out a dog in your home on a crate tied down or in a pen, and they never reach your furniture, then they never develop a desire to get on it. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t invite your dog on to the furniture sometime and expect them to stay off of it all the time.
For dogs, this has to be a all or nothing proposition. And they learn simply by a process of habituation. If you have a dog that you’ve allowed on the furniture or who gets on the furniture when you’re gone, and you need to solve that as a behavior problem, you have to start over, not letting your dog on the furniture and creating a place for your dog to go. Dogs can’t understand a concept like don’t get on the furniture. But they can understand a concept of where I want you to go. So your dog should have his own, or her, his own bed or mat at various places around your home, so that your dog is always taught to go to that mat and then they will stay off your furniture.