Can’t seem to get your dog off the couch?
Do they keep jumping on it without your permission?
I’ve been there too.
Well, after reading this article, you’ll soon understand:
- 7 surprising reasons why your dog jumps on the couch.
- The answer to why your dog jumps on the couch when you leave.
- 5 effective tips on what to do if your dog continues with the behavior.
Table of contents
Why does my dog jump on the couch?
Your dog jumps on the couch because of comfort and the feeling of being surrounded by you. They’ll also do this as a way to get your attention or to even aim for some treats. Constantly jumping on the couch could also mean that they’re showing signs of resource guarding.
Why does my dog jump on the couch when I leave?
Your dog jumps on the couch when you leave since that could be the only piece of furniture that smells like you. This helps them relieve their separation anxiety. Also, it may be the fact that they’re bored and they realize no one is there to stop them from jumping on it.
7 reasons why your dog jumps on the couch
#1: They find it comfy
If the couch was one of their first nap or sleep areas, it could be a challenge to change it.
And if your pup sees that you spend most of your time on the couch, they’ll understand that it’s an area you find comfy as well.
This will make them want to give it a go.
So when the opportunity comes that they can get on the couch, expect that they’ll jump right beside you!
#2: They want to be closer to you
Affection is our weakness for our furry best friends.
When they hop on the couch, it also means that they want to be closer to you, feeling your warmth and companionship.
If your dog sees that the couch is your everyday area where you relax, they’ll most likely join you. What’s more, if it’s part of your routine.
They don’t want to be left alone. Even though they can see you from afar, it’s completely different for them when they curl up against you on the couch.
Fun fact: Dogs can understand human emotion by the way you feel or even the facial expressions you do.
Remember that closeness forms a loving relationship and this is all your dog asks of you.
#3: They want to be surrounded by your scent
Ever wonder why your dog always gets on the couch when you leave?
Aside from your voice, your scent is another indicator for your dog to know you’re in the area.
It’s known that a dog’s sense of smell is much more powerful than ours. You can’t fool their sense of smell because they’re always able to trace it back.
What’s more, when the couch is the area where you’re often sitting, your scent will stick to it. This would lead to your dog associating the couch with you!
Think of it this way, when you leave your dog alone, they get sad. They could even be crying.
And when they try to pick up your scent, it brings them to the couch. So what’s next? They’d jump on it because, for them, it feels like you’re right there.
Moments later, no surprise! You find them sleeping or sitting on your couch.
Read also: Why does my dog sleep on my clothes?
#4: Resource guarding
Did you know that resource guarding is also known as “possessive aggression”?
To insert research that relates to this, 21.7% of stubborn dogs are shown to be possessive.
They’d often guard the territory they feel is theirs because they think it’s valuable.
So once you try to take them away from a spot they like, sense that they’ll not follow your commands. Plus, they could even get aggressive.
Keep in mind that you have to approach their aggressiveness calmly, but firmly.
But don’t worry, we’ll talk about some effective tips later!
#5: They understand they’ll get a treat out of it
If you’d ask me, this is the smartest way a dog can get what they want from you.
But this can end up turning into a bad outcome if you don’t do it the right way.
Always giving treats when they get off the couch will make them jump on it, even more, to get a reward out of it.
This would turn into a normal routine that they could even take advantage of.
Too many treats could even lead to ruining their appetite. This is why it’s very crucial to set boundaries.
You have to make smart choices when giving treats as a reward.
Try thinking of other ways of rewarding your pup to get them off the couch.
Need some ideas? Watch the process of how Zak trains Blu without treats:
#6: They’re looking for attention
We know that we can’t always keep an eye on our dogs.
I’m sure there were moments when your dog was crying, but you made them wait for a few more seconds. Don’t feel guilty, sometimes the timing isn’t right too.
So your dog gets impatient because all you keep saying is, “Hang on. I’ll be there soon.” YThen you can expect that they’ll jump on the couch to get your attention.
They may even start nibbling on the couch or get a few throw pillows.
And then we’d call them out and go back to where we left off, but guess what?
They’d jump right back on it and do the same thing!
#7: They’re bored
And finally, another reason why your dog gets on the couch the moment you leave is that they’re bored.
Dogs can get bored, and this can be dangerous, especially when you’re not around.
When you leave them alone, they have no one to play with, so they’ll end up finding ways to keep themselves busy.
Not only does jumping on the couch remind them of you, but it also keeps them entertained.
They have no one to stop them from doing what they want, so they can make the most out of the time they have alone.
5 tips on what to do if your dog jumps on the couch
#1: Be assertive and don’t give in easily
You have to act right away.
If you want your dog off your couch immediately, say a firm ”No” or “Off”
What you shouldn’t do is use their collar to pull them down. Doing that could be dangerous and it could even make your dog uncomfortable.
Now, you know that all they want is a reward for getting off the couch. This is why you need to make them understand that sometimes they won’t get one.
One thing to follow is your dog’s hierarchy of rewards. You can’t always give your dog the best treats for jumping off the couch when you tell them to.
You have to save the big treats for bigger problems.
Keep this in mind: Once they understand your authority, they’ll become more obedient!
#2: Secure the couch
This is an important tip especially when you’re not home.
Using a couch guard or couch defender will stop your dog from jumping on it. It’ll help set a boundary for your dog when you’re not around.
Couch guards are beneficial and safe for your pup. This acts as a cover, making your cushions scratch and bite-free!
A couch defender is also beneficial. Although, if you place that new object on the couch, remember that there could be a sense of curiosity.
This would lead your dog to be even more interested to jump on it, ruining both the defender and couch itself.
Take note of this: Plan the right position for your couch guards and defenders!
#3: Give your dog a new toy
Another tip to get your dog off the couch is to get them busy with something new.
Giving them a new toy or an activity would do the trick!
It would take their mind off the couch and they’ll focus on figuring out their new activity.
Not only will this help protect your couch, but it’ll also help exercise your dog from all the playing they’ll do!
Note: Make sure the toy is a fun activity so it would also exercise their thinking skills.
#4: Introduce a new place to stay
This would be difficult if your dog was introduced to the couch at an early age.
But of course, it’s still possible. To do this, you have to establish a new place.
Dog owners deciding where their pup should sleep impacts their future sleep behaviors.
Introducing a new place to stay will take time, but trying every day would soon send your dog a clear picture.
Always remember: If you want to change your dog’s behavior, start early and think about its future effects.
#5: Regulate their couch access
Lessen the number of times they can jump or stay on the couch.
This goes back to the first tip: you have to be firm with your decision.
Decreasing it day by day could also help them forget about it and they’ll focus on other things to do.
It would be best to make a cue so your dog would know the signal when they’re allowed to jump up on the couch.
Dog parent #1
Their 4-month-old puppy, Bessie, keeps jumping on the sofa and doesn’t respond to “No” nor “Off”.
They’ve tried the reward system. Although, whenever Bessie was given a treat for jumping off, she would jump back up to get another one.
The dog parent resolved this by turning Bessie’s attention to a stuffed Kong.
Diverting Bessie’s attention to a new toy lessened the jumps on the couch.
Dog parent #2
Their 3 dogs have always been allowed to jump on the couch. And as time went by, the couch looked worn out.
A new couch arrived and camping chairs were set up around it. This gave the dogs no possible access to jump on them.
They soon realized that the camping chairs can’t stay up forever. The dogs need to feel like they’re trusted.
This was solved by buying new dog beds. The dog parents also asserted authority through firm commands.
Dog parent #3
Their 11-week old Labrador jumps on the couch even while people are sitting on it. The dog parent found out that their pup turns aggressive when they’re told to jump off the couch.
There was even barking involved.
The dog looks as though they want to assert their claim on the couch.
To solve this, treats were given every time the dog would jump off the couch. It would be regulated until the cue of “Off” would be established.
This cue word was said consistently for the dog to understand.