If your has been jumping on the couch a lot, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of possible causes and what you can do about them.
Possible reasons why your dog jumps on the couch are that it knows that it will result in it getting rewards, it finds the couch more comfortable, boredom, wanting attention or that it is just being affectionate.
There are actually many reasons why your dog might be doing it and it could be due to a combination of them. However, there are some things you can consider when figuring out the main cause and there are some things you can do about it.
Why your dog jumps on the couch
Below are some common reasons why dogs do it and what would make them more likely to be the main reason.
It knows it will be rewarded
The reason why it has been doing it could be that it knows it will be rewarded. If you tend to give it things such as extra attention, treats or toys, when it jumps on the couch, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.
Instead, it would help to avoid rewarding it when it does it, to train it not to do it as shown below and to try to redirect its focus when it is about to jump on the couch.
The reason why it does it might be that it finds the couch more comfortable then other places. This would be more likely if your dog does not seem to be doing it to get things from you, if it lays on the couch a lot when you are not around and if it does not have many alternative places to lay down. In this case, it could help to give it its own bed to lay down on and to train it to lay down on the bed.
The reason why it does it might be that it is bored and it is looking for ways to stimulate itself. This would be more likely to be the reason if your dog tends to do it more when it has not been able to get any exercise and if it calms down after getting exercise. It would help to make sure that your dog is able to get the daily amount of recommended exercise for its age and breed.
It wants attention
The reason why it does it might be that it is trying to get extra attention from you. This would be more likely to be the reason if your dog tends to do it more when you have not been giving your dog much attention and if you tend to give it more attention when it does it.
It could be the case that it has been doing it due to being affectionate. This would be more likely if it tends do it more when you are on the couch yourself, it does not do it in a way that gets a reaction out of you and if it tries to lay down with you on the couch.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider when figuring out what has been causing your dog to do it.
What else happened when it first started doing it
If your dog did not always jump on the couch with you, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it. If it started doing it suddenly, it could be due to things such as learning that it gets rewards for doing it.
What is different when it does it
It would also help to consider if there is a certain time that it tends to do it. If there is, it could be the case that the timing has something to do with it. For example, if it tends to do it more when you have not been giving it much attention, it could be the case that it is doing it in order to get attention from you.
What to do about your dog sitting on the couch
Below are some things you can do in order to get your dog to stop doing it.
Avoid encouraging the behavior
As mentioned above, it could be the case that it has learned that it gets rewarded for doing it. Instead, it would help to train it not to jump up, to reward it when it does not jump up and to try to redirect its focus when it seems likely to jump up.
Give it other places to lay down
It would also help to give it other places to lay down since it could be the case that it has been jumping up because it finds the couch comfortable.
Train it not to jump on the couch
Positive reinforcement training is where you get your dog to behave the way you want it to by rewarding it when it shows signs of behaving that way and avoiding rewarding it when it does not.
To use it to get it to stop jumping on the couch, you could reward it when it does not do it and train it to sit somewhere else as shown in this post. You can also watch how to do it in the video below.
Why does my dog jump on the couch when I leave?
If your dog only jumps on the couch when you leave, it might be the case that your dog does it due to separation anxiety which causes your dog to not be able to control itself while you are gone. Another possible cause is that your dog knows it can get away with jumping on the couch while you are gone. If your dog does it while you are leaving, the cause could be that your dog knows it will cause you to give it extra attention.