Q: My three-year old beagle is a delight, but he has one vice: He insists on jumping up onto my furniture. His spiky hair gets embedded in the upholstery until it’s nearly impossible to clean. I’ve tried putting old bed sheets on the furniture when I’m gone, but when I come home I find the sheets on the floor and Peppy happily snoozing on the sofa. I got him about a year ago from a rescue group and can only assume that he was allowed to get up on the sofa in his previous home. I’m planning to purchase nicer furniture and upgrade the interior of my house soon. Before I do, I want to find a way to end Peppy’s possession of my sofa. How can I accomplish this?
A: Credit Peppy for having the good sense to bypass boring bare floors and seek a comfy sofa for his snooze sessions. However, it’s your house and he needs to play by your rules. First, you need to provide him with a designated spot of his own. Before you begin picking out your new furniture, buy Peppy a comfy bed and put it in a spot where he will still feel like part of the family. When you are home, have him lie on it and reward him for spending time there. The world of canine decor has exploded recently, and you have many choices of functional but fashionable doggy beds and other canine comforts (even a small sofa of his own, if you like!) that will blend with your style of furnishing, be it rustic or elegant or anything in between.
As you being your mission to relocate Peppy from the sofa to his own furniture, you need to make your furniture uninviting. Use fitted bed sheets instead of flat sheets so that you can tuck them in snugly. When you leave the house, pile items on your furniture to make naptime anything but pleasant. Take a plastic carpet runner, turn it upside down so that the hard points are facing upward, and lay it across your sofa and recliner. Or put heavy boxes of books on the furniture before you leave the house so there is no space for even a determined beagle.
For more tips on improving your dog’s behavior, purchase The Dog Behavior Answer Book from Your Dog.