Thursday, January 24, 2013

DoggyStyle: On White Couches and Dogs on Furniture

A lot of people have been telling us we're brave to have so much white furniture and 2 big dogs. Here are some things we've learned about the relationship between the pooches and the furniture in our home.

Our No Dogs on Furniture Decision
When I first adopted Miss M, I was sure she was going to try to bully me. Especially with a face like this:
So from the beginning she was never allowed on the couch or the bed. I knew I could always allow her to come on the couch later. I also knew once she had a taste of 'sitting on the couch' there was no going back. Especially since this happens a lot we were ok with our decision.

Enforcing No Dogs on the Furniture
Originally our pups respected not being on the furniture.
But then the floodgate was opened.
E enjoys sitting with Mr. B on the outdoor porch sofa. So Mr. B thought he could be on any sofa.
So we tried 2 ways to change it. First we put tin foil on the couches. I'm not sure whether it's the shininess, the sound, or the texture, but tin foil is supposed to be a dog deterrent.
The second thing we did was letting the pups think we had left. But really, I was hiding behind the kitchen counter. So when Mr. B decided he was going to go near the couch I popped up and scared him. And he hasn't gone back on.

Keeping the Sofa Clean
Despite all of this, Miss M is quite sneaky. She has a whole sofa trilogy.
And even if the pups aren't sitting on the sofa, they might just be using it as a pillow.
To keep the furniture clear of mud and 'Chicago Grime' we have this whole wiping feet routine.
We keep the grime and shedding down with this.
We've also had our sofas professionally cleaned. It wasn't as expensive as I thought, and speaking with the cleaner, he told me more than I ever wanted to know about the effects of dog saliva and squirrel feces. We wrote more about it here.

So what does everyone else do. 
Are you a dogs on furniture household? Invite only? Or mean like me?

Also:
Caught!
Outdoor Sofa
And carpets.

20 comments:

Jordann said...

Hi! Just discovered your blog and am officially in love! We adopted our dog Molly in June, and the original rule was no dogs on the couch/bed, but then we discovered how nice it is to cuddle with her on the couch in the evenings. We're still trying to enforce "only when invited" but it's tough. I'm going to try the tin foil trick!

Two Kitties One Pittie said...

This is so funny because I was just thinking about writing about this.... because we let Zoe sleep on the bed with us and go on the couch, things are VERY hard right now because she absolutely cannot jump on furniture! Let's just say that as a result.... not only the dog has been sleeping on the floor lately.

EquiDanes said...

Great topic! I've never allowed dogs on the couch or in the bed; not only for cleanliness reasons but so we don't have any alpha confusion. Dogs, as pack animals, need a clear line of who is alpha (but that doesn't mean "MEAN" alpha!) because confusion can cause a lot of other personality struggles later in life.

Besides, if I want to snuggle my Dane puppy I can get down to her level anytime I want :)

Pauley James said...

The picture in my mind of you jumping out at Mr. B has me rolling! There was a time when we did not let the dogs on the furniture, but when we started fostering, it all went out the window. Some days I think it would be nice to be able to sit down & not have a giant baby (Pauley) sitting in my lap, but most of the time, it does not bother me.

Taylor G said...

Do you have video of you trying to scare Mr. B? I have a feeling that's a hidden gem if you do. Unfortunately, Mugsy rules the house. He has free reign of couches, etc except for our bed. He is only allowed up if asked. So of course this is what he tests us on. We will be eating dinner and it will be all too quite so ill go look for Mugsy.....and yup, he will be curled up in a ball on our bed. He has his own dog bed in the room but has way more room to stretch out on our bed. The second he sees me he books it and runs away. Trouble maker

Rebelwerewolf said...

The first thing puppy Badger did when we brought him home was climb on the couch and jump off the back, very nearly crashing into our dinner table. After that, we began enforcing no dogs on the couch because we knew Badger would just turn it into a playground. We hadn't thought about the effects of the dogs using our couch as a pillow, though, so maybe we ought to get ours cleaned too.

Debra@Peaceabull said...

First, I'd like to thank you. My computer screen is now newly cleaned since I just wiped off all the coffee that shot from my mouth at the mental image of you popping up from behind the counter to scare poor Mr.B. :-)

Ray is allowed on furniture in the family room as long as it has a blanket on it and when my husband is out of town, Ray is allowed to sleep in bed with me.

Our trainer told us we shouldn't allow him on any furniture if that was going to be the rule because he wouldn't be able to differentiate between the yes furniture and the no furniture which makes sense.

couchesforbreakfast said...

Gambit was allowed on the couches to start, but had dominance struggles as a pup that got him kicked off while we played little dominance games like "humans go through the doorway first." Once we had established ourselves as the pack leaders, he was allowed back on the furniture by invitation only.

Our foster policy is now that they start out with no furniture, then couch by invitation only, and sometimes eventually bed by invitation. Eddie has been here 10 months and has just gotten furniture privileges, but only because he had no interest in int previously.

SherBear said...

I'm actually the opposite of you, when I first adopted Nala she wouldn't try to get on any furniture and actually jumped away when I tried to put her on it. I wanted a snuggle buddy so after a couple tries I convinced her it was okay to be on the couch. Of course now she OWNS my couch and bed, and when I want to lay down I have to move 50 lbs of dead weight. But fortunately she tolerates this behavior from me and doesn't mind when her mommy insists on cuddling ;)

Keri @ Trinitys Love said...

Ah difference of opinions, love it! My dogs are allowed anywhere & everywhere. I believe that as the provider of all that is holy aka the food & treats, my dogs know who is in charge aka the 'parent' so I don't think that my dogs are dominating me by being on the couch or bed. They just want to be comfortable and I'm ok with that. I clean my couches & bedding every week to avoid sickness from them being outside. I also believe that my dogs lives are to short & I wanna make there stay with me as comfortable & awesome as possible. If that means being on the furniture then so be it :) (that's just my opinion)

The cats on the other hand were not allowed on the table & counters prior to having dogs. I would hear them pop up then yell there names and would hear there paws hit the ground and run Away (that's how Cookie Dough learned her name). But once we got baby Trinity I still tried to keep them off but she would chase them and the only safe place was the counters (of course). I just wipe the table & counters before eating from them.

adventuresofadogmom said...

Our dogs are allowed on the furniture which I think may have been a mistake because our couches are completely ruined and Boomer refused to sleep on dog beds or pillows anymore. But, after 9 years I don't think I'm going to change his routines, I'm just going to let him continue on and be comfortable and try and keep the couches and our bed as clean as I can. We won't be purchasing new couches any time soon even though we really should!

Hannah@Eriesistibull said...

Tess has always been allowed on furniture - when I first got her, she wasn't yet comfortable with the crate and I was gone all day, so she had free reign of the living room.

Ed, on the other hand, had a strict furniture ban placed on him until he understood the rules and expectations. Now we have him on an invite only.

And (mostly because it's too small), we have a no dogs in bed rule - although just this morning I found Ed had climed into bed without me feeling!

thegirlandherdog.com said...

You are brave to do this! I could never enforce it. I love a good snuggle with the pup on the couch. I used to get in trouble sometimes growing up with our big dog who I would invite onto the couch with me. My dad's evil wife didn't like that. Oh well :)

Pitlandia Pooch said...

Athena isn't allowed on the furniture....buttttttttt, we did buy her a daybed that she spends most of her time on =) She doesn't seem to make the correlation between daybed and couch though, so we never find her trying to sneak up on the couch!

Sarah said...

We are a "by invitation" only family. 3 big dogs and 2 people simply do not fit on any couch or bed so one or two of them will get special privileges every now and then...or in my case, when the Hubster isn't home to catch me inviting them up.

My Two Pitties said...

Personally, probably my favorite thing to do with my dogs is cuddle so yes, they're allowed on furniture. But from the beginning I have enforced no play on furniture so it is always relaxing. I am also very strict about no people food so if I'm eating they don't even stir. And they know to stay off furniture at friends and family's houses unless invited. Gotta say though...I do not have white couches or sheets!

Two French Bulldogs said...

You guys are too funny
Snorts,
Benny & Lily

Wyatt said...

We are not even allowed in the living room! Unless there is a party, or there are presents, or a really good movie and popcorn...BOL.

Wyatt and Stanzie

Kirsten (peacefuldog) said...

The dogs are allowed on all the furniture, and we are not the sort to try to do constant battle against the accumulating mohair coverings and paw print decorations. Things don't look disastrous in here but they don't look pristine either! And no, we don't have white couches:)

Tiago said...

What a beautiful dog!!! I taught my dog to have a correct behaviour at home, but when we moved out, I had to travel to an apartment in buenos aires, at the new home it started to do everything wrong and destroyed the apartment´s furniture. When we came back home it became normal again :)

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