My 4yr chocolate that my husband and I just adopted from a lab rescue likes to get on the sofa. B/c he is completely housebroken, when we run out for short periods of time we leave him out but when we come back he is on the sofa. I think that his previous owner may have allowed him to do this, but some day I would like to have a really nice set of living room furniture and not have my 82 lb lab on it. Is there anything I can do other than telling him down, redirecting him to his bed or putting him in a crate to correct this behavior?
Roscoe will sneak onto the couch when he thinks we are asleep. We have started putting something on the couch so he can't get up there. We don't use the crate anymore, or he would be in there at night.
When we had our Max, at night we'd lay a couple of newspapers across the couch. He didn't like the sound and would never try to go up there. After awhile, he'd just ignore the couch at night and sleep on the floor at the foot of our bed. We're still working on 5 month old Madison however. But Max was also older when we started letting him sleep inside with us, about 6 years old. He was one VERY pampered dog the last 3 years of his life, but we had also moved to town and it was just easier.
As you say, he was probably allowed up on the couch in his previous home.
Unless you put him in a dog proof room, the only way to stop him when you aren't there is to block it off. I don't like my dogs going on the couch when we aren't in so I put the big cushions down so they can't jump up. This has always worked for us.
I agree that you should use the "off" command- however, it doesn't prevent or teach him to not get on the couch when you are not there.
My parents don't like Mav on the couch, and so when he is with them and they are gone, they put a bar stool across the couch. No access to the couch when they are away + consistent enforcement when they are there= mav not on the couch.
I like the command "off", but i disagree on the crate; reason: the crate should never be used as a bad thing, even though you are only redirecting it is still giving him the signal that the crate isn't great.
I would keep teaching "off" and much praise when he listens.