Weaning The Dog From The Couch: Explained Step-by-step By a Professional

Does your dog leave you no more space on the couch, spread its hair all over the place or aggressively defend its regular place on the sofa?

Then it’s time to wean him off the couch.

Whether your dog is never allowed on the sofa or only sometimes is your decision. He will learn to accept your rules.

In a nutshell: How do I get the dog off the sofa?

Set up your four-legged friend’s own, comfortable place to lie near the couch.
Occasionally put a piece of clothing in it that has your scent on it.
Block the sofa so your dog doesn’t have room on it.
If he reacts aggressively when someone approaches the sofa, you need to work on your relationship.
Train your dog on an “up” and a “down” command.
Make the couch spooky, for example by placing crackling plastic bags on the lying surface.
If your pup wants to climb up the sofa, reach out and use your correction word.
If he is already on the couch, lift the puppy down without comment until he gives up.

Why are dogs such couch potatoes?

Most dogs like to lie on the couch. From the elevated position you have a good overview. In addition, our four-legged friends like to rest near us.

If we enjoy the contact as well, there is nothing to be said against it. The dog doesn’t suddenly become more dominant because it’s allowed on the sofa. But there can be enough reasons that speak against the dog on the couch.

Attention danger!

If your dog becomes aggressive when someone approaches the sofa, it can become dangerous. Here you should first block the sofa and work on your binding. The aim is for your dog to accept you as a responsible pack leader. Only then can he go back to the sofa.

How to wean your dog off the couch

Luckily, weaning your dog off the sofa is not difficult. Just don’t lose patience – some dogs are quick learners, some are a bit more persistent.

It works with these four tips:

Offer a comfortable alternative

Make the dog basket a comfortable place for your four-legged friend. Place it close to the sofa so the dog can continue to lie close to you.

Offering him a quiet spot is also helpful when your puppy is struggling. So you kill 2 birds with one stone.

You can also increase the lying surface a little if your dog likes to keep an overview.


Dogs also like to lie on the sofa because it smells like us. From time to time put a worn t-shirt or a used pillowcase in the basket of your furry friend. So he can snuggle up with your smell in his nose. He will love it!

Leave no space

Very simple: If there is no space on the sofa, your dog cannot lie on it either. For example, block the sofa with upside down chairs. This is especially useful if you want your dog to avoid the sofa even when you’re not in the room.

If you want to sit on the sofa yourself and your dog jumps up to you, you can gently push him down with your feet.

Down command

If your dog is only allowed on the couch occasionally, you can teach him to jump off the couch on command.

If he’s lying on the sofa, lure him down with a treat or a toy. You can also pretend you found something insanely interesting on the ground. Your dog gets curious and jumps off the couch.

That’s when you say your down command and praise him.

Of course you can also teach him the high command. For example, lure him onto the couch with treats while saying “Up”.


Jumping puts a lot of strain on the joints of growing puppies. So wait with this training until your dog is fully grown.

Make the sofa scary

If your dog makes negative associations with the couch, he will avoid it in the future.

You can put squeaky plastic bags on the seat or make a loud noise when your dog jumps onto the sofa. Both are uncomfortable for your dog.

But please be careful not to scare your dog too much. If you are sensitive, it is better to use the other tips.


When your dog stands in front of the sofa with trusting eyes. But the more consistent you are, the faster your dog will learn the new rule.

Can my puppy go on the sofa?

First things first: Puppies’ joints shouldn’t be put under too much stress to avoid interfering with healthy bone growth. Jumping puts a lot of strain on the joints.

Therefore, it is better to lift your puppy onto the sofa and off again. Once he’s big enough, you can train the signal words to stop him jumping onto the sofa uncontrollably.

Clear rules from the start

Start thinking about whether your puppy will be allowed on the couch as an adult dog. If not, the sofa is now taboo for him. This will save you a lot of training later.

Also consider: Puppies explore the world with their mouths. It can happen that your little ball of fluff chews up the padding.

For the sake of the furniture, you can only ban your puppy from the sofa for the first six to eight months of life.

When the puppy jumps on the couch

If the pup wants to climb up the sofa, quickly put your hand in front of it and use a stop signal (e.g., no). So he quickly learns that the couch is taboo.

If the little rascal has already climbed onto the couch, put him on the floor or in his basket without comment.

You should not scold, because negative attention can also be an incentive to keep breaking the ban.

Most puppies, after several repetitions, understand that climbing on the sofa is not worth it and let it stay.

It is important that you show your puppy what behavior is desired. Reward him now and then when he lies down in his basket.


In order to wean your dog or puppy off the sofa, it is important to offer them an attractive alternative.

Only then can you make the new berth attractive to him and your couch unpopular.

Be consistent and reward him for the right behavior.

Do you still have questions? Then feel free to leave a comment or take a look at our dog bible.

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