How do I keep my dog off the new couches (but let other animals on...)

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How do I keep my dog off the new couches (but let other animals on...)

This is a discussion on How do I keep my dog off the new couches (but let other animals on...) within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; This is my first post, sorry if it's been re-hashed. I usually search thoroughly but I only searched briefly this time because my search eyes ...

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Old 08-17-2018, 09:26 AM
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How do I keep my dog off the new couches (but let other animals on...)

This is my first post, sorry if it's been re-hashed. I usually search thoroughly but I only searched briefly this time because my search eyes are worn out.

Why? I've been searching incessantly to find indoor invisible fence wire to no avail. Read on...

We just got a very expensive sectional microfiber couch (power recliners, USBs in the armests, heated and cooled cup holders, etc) to replace our shredded old leather couches (the 3 cats we have are clawed, trimmed regularly and didn't use the couch as a scratching post but shredded it just climbing). We chose microfiber because it doesn't show any cat claw marks (and it's working great so far!).

My dog is a 60lb mut... shepherd/pit/lab (?) mix. He's a very good dog around people, kids, outside, everthing, but he LOVES to tear the stuffing out of stuffed animals. He never messed with our leather couches (not sure why), but he sees the new microfiber couches and one big stuffed animal. We left him out one day to test and found he had tried to scratch the cushions open (no permanent damage this time but we don't want it to happen again).

My first attempt at correction was a plastic spike-strip type deal and his paws are too tuff - it didn't bother him one bit. My next thought was the static-shock scat-mats placed on the cushion tops, but we don't want the cats getting shocked accidentally, and we are okay with them being on the couch.

My last thought is an invisible fence type deal run under the couches and a collar on him that beeps first so he learns but I can't find anything for indoors except the little circular pods that radiate a signal. Our couch is long and "L" shaped and there is no good way to ward off just the couch area, without him getting shocked in other areas of the room we want him in.

Ideally, I'd like a system I can run wires hidden under the couch with adjustable range, so it only beeps/shocks him when he's right up against the couch (or even on it). When we are home and sitting in the couches, I don't want him afraid of coming up to us if he wants to be petted while sitting in front of it.

I can find under-ground invisible fence wire EVERYWHERE but nothing that says it's suitable for indoor use. The difference being range - most of the outdoor systems start the warning 10ft to 50ft before the wire ... with these couches, I want the warning as short as possible (1-2ft). My eyes are worn out searching for something like this.

We crate him at night and I really don't want to crate him all day... it's no life
being out of the crate for 5 hours a day after we're home.

What should I do?
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Old 08-17-2018, 02:29 PM
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I'd probably use a water spray and spray him with a firm NO every time he gets near it... and gates so you can gate your dog out of that room when you're not in it.
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Old 08-17-2018, 02:49 PM
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The problem is not when we are there - water spray won't work. He stays off the couches when we are around.

We have a small house - he's limited to the upstairs already (because it's all laminate or tile flooring), if I gated him, he'd be stuck in the kitchen only - maybe 10'-15' area. I was hoping to give him a little more freedom.
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Old 08-17-2018, 07:16 PM
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If you cannot find a way to keep him off when you are out then I recommend chucking big heavy thick blankets over the couch to protect it & deter from any biting or scratching when youre out. Its a kinder option than buzzing him & worked for me. My dog also liked to pull stuffing out of cushions but she never chewed the covered couches. I put the cushions out of her reach when I left until she grew out of that phase. Good luck. P.s I agree its much better if he has freedom ☺️
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Old 08-17-2018, 08:39 PM
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If you search boundary training online, there are many tutorials and articles about how to positively train a dog to not cross a boundary (indoor or outdoor). You could use something like a rope and place it in front of the couch, and teach your dog not to cross the rope. Eventually you can lose the rope, and your dog will just know not to cross the invisible line. It takes a lot of work, but will work very reliably if you work at it hard enough.
Also, when you leave the house, try to distract him things like frozen Kong’s and chew toys. If he is busy doing other things, he may not be so tempted to destroy the couch.
One last final, and sorta silly thought, you could purchase one of those furbo dog cameras. They allow you to watch, talk to, and throw treats to your dog. If you are out of the house and see your dog getting on the couch, you can call his name through the furbo and if he comes, you throw a treat. You would also probably have to work on boundary training with this tactic, but it could distract him just enough to get his mind off eating the couch.
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Old 08-19-2018, 06:38 AM
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One thing I would start with is take all the toys that are soft like the couch and get rid of them. Any toy that has a similar texture is no different from soft couches. I would only buy rubber toys like a Kong, and bones. If he was allowed on the couch before and not now it’s hard for him to even understand why. Like said before I would get a blanket and train him to lay on that on the couch.
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Old 08-19-2018, 03:42 PM
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The idea of shocking your dog when he approaches your furniture is just a really awful idea, so I'm glad that you're asking about it before actually doing it. This forum is an aversive-free forum because it's very possible that you can cause your dog real psychological harm by creating a damaging association between your family and your dog. Just think about it: your dog wants to come over to the very place where his family hang outs and zap!

So what can you do instead:

a) As has already been suggested, cover up your new furniture with heavy blankets.

b) Use freestanding gates to create a fence around it. Here's an example:

https://www.grandinroad.com/freestan...407702?prank=6

c) Teach your dog to go to and lie down on a mat. Here's a training video.


Good luck!
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Old 08-19-2018, 08:17 PM
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I would go with covering the furniture. He is a part of the family, right?
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Old 08-20-2018, 06:27 PM
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Try to think of solutions outside the box that won't actually harm or possibly traumatize your dog.

We got a new couch last year and so far the adult dog and puppy haven't tried to tear apart the cushions, but the puppy did tear the back corner of the couch.

We have a bay window seat behind the couch that the dogs like to jump up on and sit on the cool tile. I noticed that the corner of the couch was ripped. So awful. I was worried about the rest of the couch that she could chomp on as she sits in the window. The solution ended up being a portable dog fence/puppy kennel that can fold flat. I put it behind the couch. It sticks up about a foot over the top of the couch but it makes it so the dog can't chew the couch because of the wires, and also solved the problem of the dogs jumping on the couch to get in the window area. They now use a bench that I placed at the end of the couch.

Big throw pillows keep our dogs from laying on the couch but that wouldn't really work for you since your dog tears pillows apart.

"This is why we can't have nice things!"

I just had 3 cords repaired or replaced that my puppy chewed in half. It's my fault because I really shouldn't let her go off unsupervised. Bad things happen.

Good luck with finding a solution, but please steer clear of anything that causes pain.
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Old 08-23-2018, 03:12 AM
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I have problem with my dog making holes on my sofa too. She's about 10 months old and naturally she wants to chew on everything. She loves sticking her head underneath the sofa. At first I thought she was just playing but later I heard something tearing. She was actually chewing a hole from underneath. She chewed a big hole from the front too and ripped out all the stuffing. You can see the bare wood from the hole.

I've lightly slapped her nose and bottom a few times, nothing violent, not too hard but she definitely felt it. One time she was on the floor chewing on the sofa again, with stuffing all around her, I got angry and grabbed her mouth and pinned her to the floor. Obviously, she didn't like it and it was a terrible move from me. Not only did it not stop her from chewing, she got scared too. Would never do something like that again. Whenever, she tried to stick her head underneath the sofa or chew on the sofa, I'd sit in between and play with her, distract her and draw her attention elsewhere.

Shocking her or anything physical isn't a good idea. Dogs don't react well against these types of things. They certainly don't learn from physical abuse. If you love your dog, you wouldn't do that anyway.

For me, it takes time and patient. My dog doesn't chew on the sofa as much as she used to. I've tried different way to stop her. I found that she chews on it most often when after walk and after I cleaned her. By the way, I give her a wet wipe down and wash her feet every time we come back from a walk, and then I'd take a shower myself. This is when she chews on the sofa most often. She's most likely still hyped up from playing outside. So my solution is not to take a shower straight away, even thought I smell like feet. I would play with her for a little while and give her something to eat or to chew. Let her calm down a little bit more, then I'd take my shower.
She used to chew on the sofa when I'm out at work too. Because she was just bored. The problem with my dog is, she doesn't have any toys that she really loves to play with, and she loses interest very quickly. Her concentration level is zero. The one think she really love, is food. So every day, when I leave for work, I'd give her some treat, and something that she could chew on for a whole day. Also, I try to give her as much activity as I possibly could and try to wear her out as much as I could. She doesn't chew when she's tired.

Locking her up, didn't work for me either. When I first got my dog, I didn't allow her to go into the living room and restricted her at the corridor when I was out because I knew she'd chew things up. That didn't go according to plan either; she chewed on the wire, the socket, the wall, the door frame & the floor side skirt. So I let her out and let her have more room. To be honest, I never wanted to confine her anyway, and locking her up in a cage is never an option. A lot of the time, it's just observation and tiny adjustments. Hope my experience helped.

Last edited by Nung; 08-23-2018 at 03:22 AM.
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