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Keeping your dog off furniture – some solutions.
For some owners this is not a problem, they simply don’t mind. For other dog owners this can be a major problem, for some - no dog on any furniture is the house rule, and there are those in between who don’t mind their pet on certain furniture.
If you are in the first group then no suggestions are necessary, it’s your furniture and your choice.
If however you want to impose some restrictions then here are a few suggestions:-
1. Start as early as possible, establish what is out of bounds and do not allow your dog on that furniture ever.
2. Make sure everyone in your family is aware of these restrictions and be consistent.
3. Avoid “sometimes” rules, e.g. your dog is allowed normally but not when he is wet or has muddy paws.
4. Until your dog is trained, try to restrict him from rooms when you can’t be there, close doors or use gates. You may also want to use these at night to stop him roaming around the house.
5. Use a command your dog will readily understand to train him. Keep it succinct and easily recognisable. “Off” is a good one especially if you already use “down” to get him to sit or lie down.
6. If your dog is on the furniture try to move him off with as little fuss as possible, try luring him off with a reward while using the command “off” this reinforces his understanding that he is doing something good and is being rewarded for being on the floor as a consequence.
7. Give your dog an alternative that is comfortable to sit or lie on. You have probably provided him with a comfortable bed but you may not want to keep moving that, so provide a mat or rug you can move easily and encourage him use this with a reward every time he does. He will soon get to know that is where he should lie.
Whatever decision you have made and whichever rules you are going to apply the most important thing is you must be consistent and remember if you make rules you must stick by them.

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