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  • Furniture Boundaries

    Posted by Rene & Jim on December 29, 2021 at 10:10 PM

    A few days ago we brought home our rescued GSD/Mal and signed up for Robert’s training course. This 1 year old dog is smart and has lots of promise.

    One thing we would like him to understand right away is that jumping onto furniture is only allowed when we say it is. In his foster home, he was allowed on furniture without boundaries. Now, we want to give him some, but we aren’t sure when to start setting them.

    Should we wait until he’s been with us at least a few weeks? Is there some point in training where it’s better to begin telling him when he can and cannot jump up? Or should we start right away? And if so, what’s the best way to do it?

    Thanks for any insight!

    Donna replied 4 months, 3 weeks ago 4 Members · 7 Replies
  • 7 Replies
  • Ed (RoninDog)

    December 29, 2021 at 10:31 PM

    Welcome aboard. I would establish and enforce the rules the day he sets foot on the home. In general you want to go from less freedom to more freedom. On the on and off the furniture, it may be confusing to the dog that sometimes he is allowed in the furniture and sometimes he is not. I’m not quite sure how I would “explain” that to mine in a way that would not seem arbitrary… perhaps if these are different prices of furniture (bed vs couch) or different functions (sleeping in bed vs letting him hang out on the bed when you are awake in the morning, getting dressed, etc)… One option is to never allow him on the furniture and when you want to cuddle or play you sit on the floor (with your back resting on the sofa). That works very well for us, well they are still allowed on the furniture, but when I sit on the floor it is a love fest. Hope it helps!

  • Ed (RoninDog)

    December 29, 2021 at 10:52 PM

    Reposting as I lost my edits… on the bed situation, one other possibility is that it is a status thing. So if someone has claimed the bed they only come when invited. However, if no one is on the bed they can claim it themselves. That may be a better explanation than “function”. Still that may not work for you since an empty sofa is an unclaimed sofa. Perhaps you can elaborate a bit more on what you are looking to achieve with the on/off furniture?

  • Gerard

    December 29, 2021 at 11:30 PM

    Okay this one I am able to talk to ….. first of all , I have always had large dogs .

    They just are NOT allowed on the furniture . I do not need my furniture to smell like a dog

    And I have enough hair as it is . The furniture is for people and the dog needs to know that . It is part of the hierarchy also . If your dog is little that could be managed .

    But yours is not . You have a real dog there you need to be a real leader .

    As a new dog he needs to adjust to you and you to him . Take a week or so to just be with him and observe . Do not push him right away . That is not to say you cannot direct him , keep a house lead on him so you can pick up control of him if you need . Lure the dog if need be with food . Personally I would not allow the furniture . That would also establish leadership right away . Now it may be that he won’t stay off the furniture and that would be another issue . New dogs need a little time to chill at first before you work them .

    Just work on bonding . Hope this helps some

  • Rene & Jim

    December 30, 2021 at 10:07 AM

    Thank you @Gerard and @ronindog

    I appreciate your taking the time to respond. You both have great ideas!

    Part of the challenge is that we live in a fifth wheel RV full-time. Our RV doesn’t have a couch, so otherwise he lays in his place on the floor. There are just two pieces of furniture in our RV that he’s trying to jump on, and there aren’t any places for him to look out the window except for when he’s on that furniture, or when we leave the door open in good weather.

    He seems to like being up on the bed and looking out over everything in the daytime. At night, he gets up there again and the bed just isn’t big enough for all of us. So is it too confusing to allow him on it when we give him permission, but kick him off at night?

    I refuse to let him on the dinette where we eat and watch TV, so that will always be off-limits. Do you think it would be too confusing to tell him “No!” for the dinette and to wait for permission for the bed?

  • Ed (RoninDog)

    December 30, 2021 at 11:15 AM

    I think you can do it. If he sees you as the leader he will have no trouble being off the bed when you sleep and on the bed when you allow him or when the bed is empty. That is almost like my dogs do it, other than when I wake up often times one of them is in the corner of the bed taking as little space as a 100lb dog can manage LOL. Which I like/allow. Where I think you may have trouble is if he is not allowed in the bed when it is empty because (I think) it will not make sense to him. If you do not want him in bed when the bed is empty I think never allowing him in bed in the first place would be more fair. The dinette is in a different location and looks very different from a bed. I think he will have no trouble understanding that those are different things. Each dog is different, but I think that is a very reasonable ask. I do not have any tips on how to do that, I think it is one of those things that you just do, no treats, no luring. I’m not sure if there is a video lesson on boundaries, but if there is it may help. Good luck!!

    • Rene & Jim

      December 30, 2021 at 11:34 AM

      Excellent input @ronindog ! I am OK with him being on the bed when it’s empty so I think we’ll go that route: show him we are the leaders by not allowing him on it at night. We’ll certainly sleep better and there’s a fantastic spot for him right next to the bed where he can sleep.

      A friend of mine who is too shy to post here but did see my question, says her dogs understand different furniture boundaries, she sounds confident he’ll understand about the bed.

      Thank you so much, this is a relief!

  • Donna

    February 4, 2022 at 6:56 AM

    I let my puppy sit on the outdoor furniture on my patio but she is not allowed on the couch inside the house. She loves sitting on our bed but i have to pick her up and put her on the bed because she cannot jump up. if I am in the room I sometimes let her on the bed but never when it is time to sleep. She is 7 month old and gets it, for right now