How to Keep a Dog Off the Sofa

Written by elle smith
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How to Keep a Dog Off the Sofa
Don't let your dog become a couch potato. (sofa image by Ewe Degiampietro from

Most dogs love a soft, cushy sofa to lie on. They also like to lie on or near the scent of their owners, especially when their owners aren't there. While some people don't mind having their dogs on the sofa, many do. If your dog has been allowed on the sofa in the past and now you want it to stay off, it will take some patience and persistence on your part. If you start with a younger dog who has never been on the sofa before, your training period might be quicker. Whatever age of dog, consistency is the key. A dog will get the hint after a while.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Dog
  • Sofa
  • Empty can
  • Baby gate
  • Pennies or coins
  • Mouse traps
  • Aluminium foil
  • Books
  • Boxes
  • Balloons
  • Bitter apple spray
  • Stair runner

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  1. 1

    Make the sofa an uncomfortable or inaccessible place to lay. Pile it with balloons that may pop when the dog tries to jump up. Prop the sofa cushions up at an angle. Place books or boxes on the sofa.

  2. 2

    "Booby trap" the couch. Place mouse traps under newspaper on the couch, which will snap and startle the dog when it jumps up on it. Place cans filled with pennies or items that will make noise. String the cans from one end of the couch to the next to startle the dog when it jumps up.

  3. 3

    Place plastic stair runners with the small spikes face up on the sofa. It is uncomfortable and the dog will likely not tolerate lying on it.

  4. 4

    Spray repellent such as Bitter Apple on the sofa. It is an irritant to the dog. Test for colour fastness on the back or inside of your sofa prior to doing this.

  5. 5

    Place aluminium foil sheets on the sofa. Roll out to cover the entire length. Dogs don't like the feel, noise or texture of the foil.

  6. 6

    Place baby gates at the entrance to the living room or room where the sofa is located. Alternately, shut the door to the room.

  7. 7

    Be consistent. Don't let your dog on any furniture if you don't want it on the couch.

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