Battle of the Sofa: The Dog Edition

dog sofa behaviour

There’s nothing better than coming home at the end of a long day and plonking yourself down on the sofa and binging on the latest Netflix series. But, what if your favourite spot becomes your dog’s favourite spot – should you even let your dog on the sofa in the first place?  

Speaking of sofas, we recently collaborated with Eva Home for an exclusive giveaway for the launch of their dog-friendly All Day Sofa. That’s right, a sofa made especially to withstand the wear and tear of daily life PLUS the wear and tear inflicted by your dog’s nails, hair and drool – all the things that can impact the longevity of your sofa.  Available as 2 or 3-seater, the sofa is sustainably made from 100% recycled plastic bottles, is easy to assemble and super chic. Tick, tick, tick.  

dog sofa behaviour

So, should your dog be given sofa privileges?

Letting your dog on the sofa is a battle faced by many pet owners. It often involves some old towels and some bickering with your partner, but eventually ends in your favourite furry friend taking prime position cuddling up next to you on the sofa whilst you contort yourself to make sure they’re comfy – minus those old towels, of course. 

We all do it, because how can we say no to those cute little beady eyes that stare deep into your soul when you’ve just gotten home from work, you’re exhausted and you need a little snuggle buddy.  

Setting the ground rules

It’s often believed that by giving your dog sofa privileges, it will instantly make them think they’re in charge and rule the roost in your house, but it’s just not the case.  

Founder of Bondi Behaviourist, Ian Shivers, says,

“We love seeing dogs being a part of the family, but we REALLY love to see family’s set their dogs up for success with clear communication patterns and consistent situations.” 

Remember, you make the rules and you call the shots, and there is absolutely no reason why your dog can’t happily share the sofa with you. You just need to be careful not to encourage any bad behaviour like snapping, growling, digging or chewing – or jumping on someone else’s sofa if you’re visiting friends or family, now that can be a bit awkward. 
When: You need to decide when you give your dog access to the sofa – is it all the time, even when you’re not home, is it at certain times of the day, or just when you give permission. You also need to be mindful when having friends over, as you may not want your dog jumping on the sofa whilst guests are sitting there.  

What: If you have multiple sofas or areas to sit, you must also decide which sofa they are allowed on. This can be encouraged with firm training and some delicious rewards – a cheeky spoonful of your dog’s favourite Lyka recipe is always a good incentive. You also need to train your dog to not jump on the sofa if they are visiting other homes – once again, reward and encourage good behaviour.  

Behavioural training 101

If you’re going to allow your dog on the sofa, which we are obviously all in favour of here at Lyka, then it’s only fair to the dog and to the whole family, to establish some clear communication skills surrounding the times your furry friend is allowed to kick back and get comfy.   

“Have a conversation with the whole family and understand everyone’s preferences and dislikes. Be clear when your dog is allowed up on the sofa, on which one, at what end and whether or not you want them to use a blanket or simply have free reign over the whole thing,” 

Ian Shivers, Bondi Behaviourist

Consistency in behaviour is key and the whole family needs to be on board and in agreement with the rules put in place, as your dog will get very confused if you only let them up at night whilst watching MAFS, and the rest of the family invites them up for an early morning snuggle sesh. 

“If some members of the family are not following through with the agreement, it is most important to revisit the conversation with the family rather than blaming the dog. The dog is only going to do what has been taught. Inconsistencies often lead to frustration from other family members and this is where people can all too often unfairly reprimand the dog,” 

Ian Shivers, Bondi Behaviourist

Check out this video where Ian Shivers provides further advice on giving your dog sofa privileges.

dog sofa behaviour

Getting comfy

Snuggling up to your dog is one of the best parts about owning a dog, but what do you do if your furry friend is suffering a serious case of bad breath and can’t stop farting?  

Bad smells are generally linked to your dog’s diet. To ensure you and your dog have a lovely cosy time together on the sofa, we advise reassessing what is going into your dog’s bowl. Lyka’s natural dog food recipes are healthy and balanced for all life stages. They contain optimal ratios of Omega 3s and 6s, along with a beneficial serving of superfoods and ancient grains, to help your dog live their best possible life. 

What about wear and tear?

This is unfortunately almost a given when choosing to give your dog sofa privileges. So, we advise getting a sofa that has durable fabric and removable, washable covers. You can also invest in a bottle of Scotchgard and some sturdy throws that your dog can snuggle into to help give your couch the best chance at survival.  
Dogs love to chew and play, so for dogs that are determined to destroy the sofa, try these handy tips: 

  • Establish a routine and keep your dog active by taking them for a walk each day to work off excess energy 
  • Instill good behaviour by rewarding them when obeying commands like “up” and “down” 
  • Provide them with a comfortable and appealing alternative place to sleep 
  • Avoid your dog being bored or suffering from separation anxiety by giving them a variety of chew and enrichment toys  
  • Hire a behaviourist if the situation doesn’t improve 

Relax and chow with Lyka

There’s nothing better than cosying up on the sofa with your favourite food and a good movie. Let your adorable pup experience life’s simple pleasures, order a custom Starter Box today and get ready for some serious chow and sofa time!