Yes, our beagle, Penny, has her own bed. We place it on the stair landing next to the glass wall because she loves sunbathing during the day.
The problem is, she seems to love the couch more than her bed. And, when no one’s looking, she jumps on to a couch, stretches herself there and, more often than not, falls asleep.
From the perspective of dog behavior, it’s not unnatural. In fact, I read that it is quite natural because dogs love the smell of their owners and couches in the house often reek of the smell of its owners.
Dogs shed hair and Penny is no exception. All couches in the house are upholstered with fabric and it takes vacuuming to remove dog hair.
Dog feet get dirty (they don’t wear shoes, do they?) and when she stretches and scratches on the couch, the dirt on her feet get embedded in the upholstery.
And the smell… Oh, the smell. Penny gets a bath once a week but she’s a dog and dogs have a peculiar smell that gets transferred to fabric.
We’ve never been amiss at calling out to her and making her leave the couch. She’d jump and inch herself under the couch, quite sheepishly (and with difficulty because she’s not a small dog), as though to escape getting berated. But she’s sneaky too. The moment everyone has left the room, she jumps right back on the couch.
We’ve tried warning her in a stern voice. It worked momentarily but only very momentarily. Go from stern to angry and, well… one time, she got so scared she peed on the couch.
The only solution that works is to pull down the backrest cushions so that the couch seat becomes twice as high. Penny does not jump too high so that’s a deterrent for her.
But then, who wants to see couches with the backrest cushions out of place? When I want to sit on the couch, do I really have to pick up each cushion and put them all back in their proper place?
So, I read up trying to find other solutions.
An “expert” says a dog bed is the solution. Penny has a dog bed. An oversized one, in fact, that’s soft and comfortable. Like I said, she likes the couch — all three in different rooms — better.
Another “expert” website says giving treats to lure the dog away from the couch works. We’ve tried that. Penny loves bananas so we peel a banana to make her jump off the couch. She’d eat the banana but, left by herself, she’d be back on the couch in no time.
An new idea I read about recently has to do with spreading a large sheet of aluminum foil on the couch. The crunching sound it will make when the dogs jumps on the couch and the shiny reflective surface will supposedly keep the dog off the couch. But, oh, I don’t know. Aluminum foil is not cheap and with three couches in the house… Besides, do we want to roll aluminum foil when we humans want to relax on a couch and unroll it every time we vacate the space?
Another suggestion says spray the couch with scent. It sounds promising. Beagles have a more acute sense of smell than other dog breeds and Penny hates strong smells.
Dogs are repulsed by the smells of some essential oils. Eucalyptus, cinnamon and sour apple are all scents you can use to keep your dog off the furniture. A few drops in a spray bottle of water should be enough for a dog’s sensitive nose.How to Make Dog Repellent for Furniture
If I remember correctly, Penny hates the smell of kaffir lime leaves. And we have a huge kaffir lime tree in the garden. So, yes, I think using a repellent spray on the couches is worth trying. It’s natural, it isn’t messy and that should make the rooms smell wonderfully citrusy too.