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Can you invite your dog on/off furniture
Dog trainer says "NO"


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#1 MY 3 SONS X

Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:42 AM

Wecalled on a Dog trainer to help us with a few issues we were having with our Spoodle such as barking and jumping on everyone also over excitement when we have visitors drop by. She has pretty much had the run of the house and is spoilt wrotten.  Our dog sits on the couch with us for cuddles she go's to bed with DS and comes on our bed for awhile before we put her in her own bed but of late she has started to growl when we remove from our bed. When the dog trainer came over her saw her sitting on the back of the couch and told me to never have her on the couch or in our beds "EVER" he said we cannot invite her as it woukd be too confusing for her. She has been sitting with us on the couch for 5 years and we love having these cuddles with her we were told if we want cuddles we have to sit on the floor  sad.gif Well we spent a bit of money on this guy so we thought we should try his recomendations he told us what to do for jumping barking and how to keep her off our furniture and i must say she is a fast learner and hasnt been on tge furniture and beds for 2 days now.  Here's our problem we are all miserable. She sits in her bed we lay on the floor and cuddle her but shes not interested.  She cries at my sons bedroom door he cries and wants her on his bed. We miss our lap dog! I don't believe we cant train her to join us on the couch or in our beds when invited.  Does anyone have any suggestions.  Can we actually invite our dog once she now knows that we are the boss or should we just leave it as is and get used to it?  Why cant we enjoy our dog on our terms?

#2 noonehere

Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:54 AM

We have a am staff x.

We trained our girl so that when she is inside shes on her bed unless invited with us.
It took very little time for her to get used to it.

#3 Oriental lily

Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:54 AM

You can enjoy your dog on your own terms!

However if you want a well adapted dog that knows its place in the pack then he needs to be treated like a dog.
Until he knows he is a dog and on the bottom of the pack then you need to listen to the trainer.

It's weird, it's like you think the trainer is asking you to do his this to be mean.
When it's a training technique that you can choose to follow or not follow.

But then don't whinge if you don't get the results your after.

Training is all about consistency. If you allow your dog on beds and on couches now your dog is getting mixed messages.
Your dog needs to know that he does not get the same privileges as his human owners.

Sure he will whinge and beg, it's something that has worked in the past to get his way.

You just need to harden up.


Or you can decide the sacrifices are to hard and continue the way your going. And end up with a dog you might love, but visitors find highly annoying.

Ultimately it's up to you.






#4 Nanaimo Girl

Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:58 AM

If your dog is growling at you when you go to remove her, then it's high time she be shown her place. It won't take long until that growl turns into a small snap when your sons foot accidentally brushes her in his sleep.

Your dog won't be acting maliciously, just stating her place above you all in the pack.

#5 boatiebabe

Posted 22 November 2012 - 10:04 AM

I don't think you can have it both ways.

I would be very worried about a dog that growls at you when you try to move it. It needs to learn it's place in your family, which is exactly what your trainer is doing.

I would continue with the training, or you'll end up with a big fluffy problem.

#6 la di dah

Posted 22 November 2012 - 10:07 AM

I've had dogs that were on and off furniture at our command. But - not every dog.

It worked for one because he didn't really want to BE on the furniture, he just wanted to be affectionate if you called him onto it and he'd cuddle for a few minutes and be happy enough to get down afterwards and go lay on some nice cool tile instead. (He was always too warm.)

It worked for our female but she was quite submissive and pliable and not the sort to get a big head and think she's the boss of the house. And I would ORDER her up, and then ORDER her to lay still, and she would. Then we would cuddle on the terms of the people involved. And she was happy with that.

She wasn't running anything by laying where I told her to lay so she didn't go silly with imaginary power. She likes being on sofas and chairs and beds and we were told "you must never ever ever do that if you want them to be polite" but she was too mushy to ever be an issue. However - the whole point is with her we never needed to get a trainer in. She didn't have an alpha bone in her ridiculous stumpy staffy body.

So I must say I am not a huge believer that it's laying on the sofa or not that is the make or break for a well-behaved dog, buuut I do think "extra privileges" can give cocky dogs the wrong idea.

Is she actually any better about jumping on people yet? My personal bias is I'd care a lot more about jumping up and getting silly every time new people come over than if she lays (QUIETLY!) on the bed at night or with me on the sofa.

I think if everything else was in place the bed/sofa thing wouldn't be that big a deal but obviously everything else isn't in place because she's growling about commands (rather than hopping into bed when told and hopping out when told) and she's jumping all over everyone.

#7 Froger

Posted 22 November 2012 - 10:10 AM

I agree totally with the trainer. I don't like to have dogs on beds or couches. They start to think they are above you in the pack. IMO dogs should be near you, but always on the floor.

I also don't agree with cuddling dogs either. While we humans may enjoy it dogs may see it as an attack or a challenge (dogs don't cuddle each other, it is not something they understand). I'd especially never cuddle a dog on a chair or a bed. The dog sitting on the chair or bed is often feeling like your equal or above you, then you go to cuddle it (which the dog doesn't understand) and the dog may feel threatened or challenged in its dominant position, like you are attacking it. While most dogs will sit there and suffer through a cuddle, sometimes (especially if it is a child doing the cuddling) the dog may  growl or nip if it isn't a naturally submissive sort of dog.

The whinglng and begging is the dogs way of tricking you into being dominated by it again. Don't give in! You may think she knows you''re the boss, but really if you are inviting her onto the chair and couches you are just confusing her all over again. A happy dog is one that knows its place and isn't continually being confused by its humans.

Edited by SarahM72, 22 November 2012 - 10:17 AM.


#8 MY 3 SONS X

Posted 22 November 2012 - 10:10 AM

Oriental lily you sound like the trainer haha. But so true. We are occused of humanizing our dog whats wrong with that i thought! But i guess thats why we had to call in a proffesional.  
Nanaimo girl  again true i think our dog needs to know she is a dog and we are the boss. I woukd hate for her to hurt anyone.

#9 Froger

Posted 22 November 2012 - 10:15 AM

Also, I just thought I might add another possible suggestion. Maybe instead of sitting with your dog on the chair and cuddling, (which is confusing for the dog, as cuddling suggests you are trying to dominate the dog, while letting the dog sit next to your is suggesting you are letting it dominate you at the same time), instead sit in the chair next to the dog, with dog on the floor, and pat the dogs head. The dog then knows its firm position.

Edited by SarahM72, 22 November 2012 - 10:19 AM.


#10 MY 3 SONS X

Posted 22 November 2012 - 10:18 AM

La di dah - shes better all round she isnt jumping up as much or barking she forgets at times but we give her a stern reminder.   Thats why we bought in a trainer for excactly those issues but it is becoming clearer now that she doesn't and won't respect us until we lay down the law!

#11 la di dah

Posted 22 November 2012 - 10:22 AM

QUOTE (MY 3 SONS X @ 22/11/2012, 11:18 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
La di dah - shes better all round she isnt jumping up as much or barking she forgets at times but we give her a stern reminder.   Thats why we bought in a trainer for excactly those issues but it is becoming clearer now that she doesn't and won't respect us until we lay down the law!

That's your answer then. I don't really buy "never/always" rules about beds and things with dogs, but it's certainly true that it can be a bad road to go down with some dogs. Some dogs have more hierarchy issues than others.

(and I have a mean ol' man voice)

#12 Feral*Spikey*

Posted 22 November 2012 - 11:30 AM

Your dog has the top status in your pack. I know this, because you're being chastised (growling) when moving her from places she believes she's entitled to be as boss dog.

Your trainer is 100%  right.

At this point, you cannot afford to have this dog on beds or on couches, or anywhere where they are at the same height or position as the humans, at this time. I'm sure that the trainer went through other activities to reinforce your dog's lowest status, and you need to enforce them for the good of your dog.

I'd also recommend that you crate train your dog, that will give them a den, and will also prevent roaming and howling at doors during the night.

Finally, you need to book into an Obedience Training Course, and keep at it until the dog knows its place and relies on YOU to decide what it is going to do. This will get you the respect and bond that you need for a happy relationship between dog and family members.

Once your dog has become happy in its true place, possibly 12+ months or more from now, you could allow lap time as a special treat. But that can only happen if the dog won't immediately begin challenging for boss dog position again. Look for other ways to interact, such as using add breaks to do short snippets of training. All of that is fun, and it will reinforce what you're learning.

Good luck.

#13 Epitome

Posted 22 November 2012 - 11:36 AM

My dogs are allowed on couches & beds - but only when they are invited - its been the rule from day dot, so there are no mixed messages.

Once or twice tehy have tried to sneak up withoiut permission but they were removed immediately and it hasnt been an issue again.

Growling at you is not on - you've let her get away with too much.  My dogs are well loved and spolit, but they know that I am the boss and what I say goes, not the other way around.

WHen you discipline the dog you are not being mean or nasty you are teaching it.  A well behaved and mannered dog is worth working towards

#14 bluebirdbaby

Posted 22 November 2012 - 12:20 PM

We have a Spoodle who has similar over-excitement issues (jumping up and pirouetting when we walk in the door, even if we have only been out for five minutes). Out of curiosity, what did your trainer recommend you do to correct that? We have tried various things without much luck (but I'm pretty sure our lack of consistency is to blame more than anything).  unsure.gif
I agree with all above, if she is happy to get off the bed/ couch when you tell her I wouldn't see it as a problem, but the growling is a definite sign of aggression which can quickly escalate into something more if it isn't nipped in the bud. With obedience training from day dot we have been able to have our Spoodle wait to be invited onto the couch or bed (she will sit and paw to get our attention, then if we want her up there we pat the surface and she'll come up, if not she sulks off to her bed looking sad  wink.gif ) but as soon as we click and point or say "off" she knows to get down. She will come onto our beds during the night but if we direct her off she gets down and finds somewhere else to sleep. I don't see why this kind of method couldn't be introduced after the current ban on couches/beds all together is implemented for a while, but as soon as the growling thing started again I would go back to a full ban. It's all about making your (and your family members) dominance clear and asserting yourself as pack leader, which ends up creating a far more relaxed and content dog that doesn't need to be aggressive because they are comfortable that the pack is looked after.
I would listen to the advice of the trainer- do you have ongoing visits etc? If so, I think stick with that for the rest of the training sessions and once you notice that she has stopped trying to dominate, you may be able to 'invite' her onto the couch- but strictly on your terms. (i.e. invite her up for a five minute cuddle, then order her down) test the water a bit... if she growls you know that you need to do more to assert yourself as pack leader and the ban should still exist, if not then work on training her to 'ask' to be allowed up, then willingly get down at your request.
Good luck!  original.gif


#15 VioletRose

Posted 22 November 2012 - 12:41 PM

Our dogs are living decorative couch accessories most of the time.  The rules for being allowed free reign on the couch at our house are... dogs move with no complaints or grumbling. Dogs don't beg for snacks. No standing on the couch to guard/bark or chew bones. Humans pat or cuddle if they want to. Dogs who are pushy are on the floor.
Humans to supply comfy couches and soft snugly blankets roll2.gif
No dogs on the bed though* because that is where cat sleeps.

If there was any suggestion that the dogs didn't know their place in the pack  or were juggling with each other for position then they would not be allowed on couch at all.

*except sometimes when DP is away because I like to sleep with my girl in my arms, she's so snuggly wub.gif ( in that case the rule is head on pillow is fine but she has to face away. I opened my eyes once and she was yawning and my head would fit in her jaws oh my.

#16 brindle

Posted 22 November 2012 - 12:48 PM

I didn't read all the replies... but if you dog is growling, then the trainer is correct.

We do 'invite' our dog to sit on the couch - but it is occasionally. This started when I was pregnant with my DS1 (dog was about 4yrs old). He wanted to be close to me all the time. So we use a blanket. If I get the blanket out - then it is guaranteed he will come up and sit with me.

Mostly he has his own comfy bed and knows his place in our pack. In the long run I think that makes for a happier dog.

#17 Mrs Mc

Posted 22 November 2012 - 12:49 PM

Our dog is allowed on the couch and bed when invited, but he also knows he is only invited if his blanket is on the couch or the bed.  If we dont want him on the couch or the bed his blanket is on his bed on the floor.  We found this works well.




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