1. Restrict access when not at home.
It will be almost impossible to teach your dog not to jump up and sleep on your couch or bed if they have access to it when you're not around. They will be able to learn not to do it in your presence and it may still discourage them to jump up when you are not around, but they might still sneak up if they think they can get away with it. So it this is definitely not something you want your dog doing, then restrict access to this area so they don't get the chance to have a cheeky nap on the couch.
2. Lure off.
Never, ever try to physically remove your dog from your furniture. This is a sure-fire way to get on the wrong side of your dog, damaging the trust between you and it could even result in a bite. Plus there is a much easier way to get your dog off the furniture without it turning into a battle. Simply lure your dog off the couch with a food treat or toy, and offer them a further reward for remaining off the couch. See easy!
3. Put a command to it.
Give your dog a command to get OFF the furniture and use this at the same time as you lure your dog off the couch. This way you can use the command to remind your dog later that they are not supposed to be up on the couch if they forget or want to try their luck.
4. Alternative place to sleep.
This is the step where you provide your dog with a comfy, alternative place to sleep that is not your couch! I suggest you use a dog bed and place it somewhere near the couch so they can still be close to you and feel like part of the family (plus I'm sure they are into Netflix just like we are.) The closeness of their bed will also help you to easily remind them where they should sleep if they try to approach the couch.
5. Reinforce the right behaviour.
To help your dog understand that their dog bed is the best place for them to sleep, reward them whenever they go on their bed. At first you will be reminding them, but over time they will go their on their own and you should definitely reinforce that behaviour by offering them a reward for making a good choice. To keep them on their beds you can also periodically throw them a food treat to further reinforce being there or even offer them a food toy to eat while on their bed. Trust me, these rewards will work to make the bed a very happy place for your dog!
As a dog owner, dog trainer and pet sitter I have learnt many different tips and tricks over the years and I thought this would be a great way to share them with you. Enjoy!