My husband’s solution to the problem is to pile chairs, books (or whatever else is handy) on the couch cushions to prevent Jasmine from jumping up. While this works, our family room often looks like a shanty. And when our new couch arrived last week, I realized that I could no longer take a laissez-faire approach to Jasmine’s bad habit. So my mission for the week became how to really keep your dog off the couch.
Googling for a solution netted quite a few remedies…some typical and others more out of the box. Here’s what I found, along with my own take on whether or not it will work:
1) Spray Repellents. Many folks swore by repellents such as Bitter Apple or Keep Off. Most are readily available at any pet store. My Take: While the manufacturers may claim their sprays won’t harm the furniture, I’m not so sure I want to spray anything on my brand new couch. I also don’t believe I won’t be able to smell anything. In addition, most sprays must be reapplied daily.
2) Close the Door. Great idea…if you have a door. Most of us, I suspect, have open family rooms that cannot be closed off.
3) Balloons. Blow up balloons and tape them on the couch. If the dog jumps up, they will pop and scare him. My Take: Balloons and dogs are a deadly combination. A popped balloon can get lodged in a dog’s throat and suffocate him. This was the worst idea I came across.
4) Pepper. Sprinkle your couch with pepper since dog’s don’t like the smell. My Take: Peppering your couch? How about a little garlic powder while you’re at it? Who wants their family room to smell like a spice cabinet?
5) Booby Traps. Tie a thread strung with cans full of pennies or other noisy items across the couch. When your dog tries to jump up, the cans clanking together will scare her. My Take: This sounds like too much work. I want something easy that I can set up quickly when I’m headed out the door.
6) Mousetraps. Some people recommended placing mousetraps under stacks of newspaper. When your dog jumps up, the traps will spring and scatter the paper. My Take: Again, this sounds like a lot of work. And if you have ever tried to set a mouse trap, you know how easily they snap while you’re trying to set them. We tried the mouse traps with Jasmine several years ago when she kept getting into waste baskets. We’d place fake trash on top of a trap so when she put her nose into the can, it would fly up and scare her. Unfortunately, it only snapped one time so we discarded that idea and bought waste baskets with lids.
7) Plastic Stair Runners. Put a plastic stair runner on the couch, upside down with spikes pointed up. My Take: This seems like it would work. A 5-foot piece runs about $25. My only concern is whether the spikes might cut the dog.
8) The Designated Chair. Stop fighting the issue and give your dog an old chair of his own. My Take: For those of us who like to spoil our pets, this is a great idea. I confess that Jasmine has her own chair. This does not, however, deter her from wanting to get onto the other furniture!
9) Electrostatic Mats. Most pet stores carry mats that deliver a small “harmless electrical pulse similar to static electricity.” The Pet Scat Mat is 48" x 20" and retails for around $80. My Take: Great idea. I know I hate to get shocked and I’m pretty sure Jazz won’t like it, either. However, it’s a little pricey so I’ll try this as a last resort!
10) Tin Foil. Place sheets of tin foil onto the couch cushions…dogs supposedly don’t like it. My Take: Though I don’t know if it will work, this was the easiest and most economical solution I found. I bought several rolls of foil at the dollar store and rolled the foil onto the new couch cushions this morning. So far, so good.
If you have a better idea, post away! I'm pretty sure most of us dog owners have had to deal with this problem at one time or another. In the meantime, I’ll keep you posted on our progress with the tin foil!
Ellen @ BestFriendsStudios.com