If you don’t want your pet jumping on your furniture because you’re worried he may stain it, get dirt on it, scratch it up, or leave fur on it, there are certain training strategies you’ll need to employ. After all, your pets have minds of their own and they’ll want to do what they desire rather than what they’re told, unless they learn to respect you and understand that there are limits.
Training a dog or a cat requires a lot of patience. Never punish your animals, hit them, or yell at them. The last thing that you want to do is instil fear in them, cause them stress or anxiety, and make them uneasy around you. There are ways to gain their respect effectively with gentle training methods, some of which are listed below.
Train Your Dog
If you have a puppy, start training him right away to stay off your furniture, as establishing the rules early on will ensure he’ll grow up and continue to follow them. Consistency is the key to any effective training program, so everyone in the family has to decide whether or not the dog will be allowed on the furniture. Perhaps you’ll let your dog on the couch but not on the bed, or vice versa. Make these decisions as a group so that you can all implement the rules consistently and never confuse your dog. Remember, letting your dog on the furniture once and then not again, or as a puppy but not as an adult, will render your efforts ineffective.
Choose a command that you’ll use to let your dog know that he shouldn’t be on the furniture. A popular choice is “off” because “down” may get confusing if you also plan on using that command to tell your dog to lie down on the floor or stop jumping on another person.
To start, say the command firmly and pick him up and remove him from the furniture. Once on the floor, provide him with a treat and plenty of praise. Keep following this routine until the verbal command is enough.
Place a comfortable dog bed in an area of your home where the family spends their time. This will give your dog his own spot off the furniture to rest while still feeling like he’s being included rather than isolated from his “pack.”
Train Your Cat
Just as you need consistency when training dogs, you have to set the rules from as early as possible and remain consistent if you own cats. Keep in mind, though, that cats tend to be harder to train than dogs.
You’ll probably have to use a variety of cat-repelling aids to assist you, especially when you aren’t home, in deterring your cat from jumping up on the furniture. You can cover the furniture in foil or double-sided tape, for example, because cats hate walking on it. Many other deterrents are available for purchase.
Spraying your cat gently with some water (cats don’t like being wet) after he jumps on the furniture can make him associate being on the furniture with being wet, so he’ll stop.
Like dogs, cats want to be a part of the family so give him his own cat bed to lie in, complete with a sprinkling of catnip or a catnip-filled toy, and make sure it’s in a central location where he can be included.
Provide your cat with other areas around the house, such as cat trees and window perches, where he can jump, climb, and run to let out energy and exercise, which is really important to his well being.
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