Pets on Furniture...Do you allow it or not?
Are you able to get your dog off of the furniture without yelling, pulling, yanking, or physically removing them from the couch?
First, let's cover they WHY. Why does your dog want on the furniture? Most likely, to be comfortable themselves or to be near you when you are settled in for the night, haha or both! Most likely both. It's no secret the couch is comfortable or else you wouldn't be choosing it as your favorite resting spot. If you want your dog to stay off of the couch entirely, then provide a comfortable spot for your dog and then reinforce laying down in that spot by giving treats in that spot. The treats must be placed on that bed, not beside of it and definitely not from your hand, to the dog's mouth. If you feed to the dog's mouth instead of placing the treat on the bed then you will notice your dog will stand up or come off of the bed when he/she notices that you are about to deliver a treat.
So, let's say you are like me and you could care less if your dog gets on the couch or not. What you want to do is, teach your dog how to get up and off when you ask. You do this by first teaching Hand Targeting then you hold your target hand above one of the cushions and cueing the target, your dog should jump up on the couch to touch your hand, if you trained targeting the right way. Then after you feed the dog the treat for jumping up, you will hold your target hand away from the couch and cue the target (touch) and your dog should jump off of the couch to touch your hand and presto, that is how you START up and off. After you can get your dog up and off of the couch reliably then it is time to transfer the cue from "touch" to "up" and then from "touch" to "off". If this is something you would like to learn try signing up for our Private training course. If you have a puppy, I also offer socialization classes to my students already signed up for private training.
Yes, you can teach this to your cat too!! And your pig, and your ferret!! If you are reading this and you have an animal other than a dog that you would like to train, reach out to us! If you would like to start lessons, contact us here.