We adopted Amber about 3 weeks ago. She has been very good but still has a few things to work on. She was staying off of the couch and laying on her bed or so we thought. I left for a couple of hours today, prior to this i noticed Amber on the couch. I was firm and told her no, she got off and rec'd the praise. I decided to set up the video cam and sure enough she got up on the couch as soon as i left.
My main concern is what to do about the situation, we have given her the privilege of not being in the crate, so how do you take it away? Also, i do not want to have to resort to putting her in it either. I would like some tips on what to do. She knows when i pull in the driveway so catching her will be difficult.
Although, she did do it when i was home today.....hmm, she's being a sneaky little thing.
This must stop.
Dogs tend to be creatures of routine so, if you can break it for a month or two, maybe it'll form a rut and become the routine.
Possibly with some Labs that might take but it could be a little like trying to swim up Niagara Falls. I think most dogs naturally defer to their peeps as being the "alphas" or leaders and when we're absent, they move up to fill our positions. For instance, when Bess went riding with me in the car and I left it to get something, she was always in my driver's seat when I returned. (And she was reluctant to leave it -- I usually had to shove her aside with my hip.) Puff is very similar except when I open the door, she automatically hops over to the passenger side. And when I've been lying in bed reading or using the laptop, Puff beside me, when I leave, she'll move to my recently vacated position.
We were never successful with Bess -- the coach was our preferred place when we were home and hers when we were absent. Lining it with straight back chairs or sometimes sheets of aluminum foil (which she hated) worked but was a lot of work. Putting a big throw over it to keep off pet hair after it'd just been vacuumed worked almost as well as anything when company was coming soon. But learning to accept dog hair was what worked best.
This is not one of those things you can prevent when you are not there. These dogs are pretty cleaver, so they know what they can and can't get away with when you are in or out. Prevention is the best policy. Either put the big cushions on the sofa down or block it off --laying a plank of wood across should deter her.
My childhood dog had a bad habit of doing just what you're lab is doing. My mom solved the problem by laying a long piece of aluminum foil across the cushions of the couch. Of course, I'm assuming your dog doesn't chew on random things while you're away. (like long strips of aluminum foil!! )
But, blocking the cushions is probably the best way to break this habit, or at least prevent it!