If your dog has claimed your couch as his own domain, you might be wondering how you can teach Fido that his place is in the luxury dog bed you bought for him that set you back a tidy chunk of change. Teaching dogs to stay off the furniture can be a challenging task. Sometimes a creative approach can be the key to learning. Believe it or not, making use of a simple item found in the pantries of nearly every home can aid you in teaching Fido to stay off the couch; all you need is some persistence, a few household supplies, and a roll of aluminum foil.
What Will I Need?
Training your dog to stay off your furniture can be accomplished, and in this case, all it takes is a little ingenuity to get the job done. As with most training techniques, there are a few items you will require for the task at hand. These include:
- A baking sheet
- A plastic bottle
- Aluminum cans
- Aluminum foil
What Do I Need to Do?
Once you’ve assembled all of your training tools, there are a few steps you will need to follow to effectively utilize this method for keeping your dog off your couch.
Follow these directions for great success with training your dog:
- Cut aluminum foil sheets
Begin by assessing the overall surface area that needs to be covered by aluminum foil. Working in sections that are slightly larger than each couch cushion, cut the aluminum foil to drape over the surface area. It is important to note that only the areas your dog likes to recline on need to be covered in order for this technique to be effective.
- Anchor in place
Since dogs are clever creatures, they are quite skilled at moving things that are an inconvenience or bother to them. To prevent this from occurring, you will need to tuck the aluminum foil pieces down the sides of the cushions to help anchor them in position. This will prevent your dog from easily knocking the foil aside or deciding to chew on it or tear it apart. Usually, the feeling of the foil against the dog’s paws and skin is enough for them to decide it’s best to find a place to nap elsewhere.
- Up the ante
If your dog has decided that a little aluminum foil isn’t enough to keep him down, it’s time to take things a step further. Prepare several baking sheets by lining them with pre-cut aluminum foil to properly fit the top of the pan. Once in place, the baking sheets can then be placed on your couch cushions with the edge of the sheet flush against the side of the cushion. When your dog attempts to jump on the couch, the trays will bang and fall, causing the dog to startle. This singular action is often enough for dogs to begin to avoid the couch for fear of a reprisal of the attack baking sheet.
- Consider reinforcement
If one booby trap wasn’t enough to get the job done, it’s time to add a second. Randomly place aluminum cans or plastic bottles in several areas along the couch cushions. When your dog jumps on the couch, the rattling and clatter from the cans and bottles may be sufficient to cause him to bolt back off.
- Provide extra supervision
Though it requires more concentrated effort, supervising your dog is one of the best and most effective things you can do to prevent unwanted behavior. It is important to note that the aluminum foil training method should only be undertaken when you have the time to be able to actively supervise your dog. Some dogs like to chew and eat foil, a habit that can lead to stomach distress. Your primary objective when making use of aluminum foil on your couch is to teach your dog that jumping on the couch leads to a circumstance the dog finds unpleasant, thereby teaching him to avoid this behavior in the future.
- Be consistent
As with all training techniques, consistency is the key to learning. Dogs need boundaries, and sending mixed messages is sure to have Fido scratching his head…or his hind end…in complete confusion. Be consistent in teaching Fido that he is not to get up on the couch at any time. If one day you insist he remain on the floor while another you invite him up for a cuddle, you are setting him up for failure. Decide what your house rules will be and carry through with them, being consistent 100 percent of the time for best success.
An Important Caveat
Some dogs are extremely sensitive. These pooches are deeply affected by strange noises. It is also important to take note of whether your dog is naturally a nervous little pooch. For dogs that express noise sensitivity or that are lacking in confidence, it may be best to only attempt the use of aluminum foil as equipping the couch or chair with booby traps may have a lasting negative impact on your dog.