How to dog proof your chairs, sofa & other furniture

Are you fed up with being covered with dog hair every time you sit down? Or maybe you’re just as exasperated with having to hoover your furniture multiple times a week to keep it fur-free? 

We hear you. We’ve got you. And we’re here to help you. Keep reading for easy-to-follow practical advice on dog-proofing your furniture, once and for all! 

No matter how many times you ask your dog not to clamber up on your favourite chair or sprawl across your sofa, it’s amazing how many times it happens when you’re not looking. Having said that, you may be a dog owner who doesn’t mind your pooch being on your furniture, but you aren’t so keen on the trail of fur, paw prints, claw marks and other things that follows them…

Here are our 6 tips to help keep your furniture in a great condition.

1. Keep it covered

An obvious, but really effective tactic.

Covering your furniture with throws, blankets or other forms of covers that are large enough to be fully draped over your sofa or chairs will help keep them fur-free and help protect the material too.

If you do let your dog up, you may want to periodically wash the covers to prevent them from getting musty and accumulating so much much fur that it penetrates through into your furniture over time.

Top tip: choose machine-washable covers or blankets.

2. Keep a close eye on the wood

Puppies, and dogs who are mischievous and bored, are prone to chewing on things, especially wood.

If you already have furniture with wooden elements, e.g. wooden arms and legs, or a purely wooden furniture item, e.g. a coffee table, protect it by covering it with a blanket or throw when you’re not around.

However, having to constantly lift covers off and on your furniture isn’t ideal, so you could try spraying your furniture with repellent sprays, such as bitter apple.

And if you’re planning on buying some form of wooden furniture, you may want to have a rethink, unless you know you can shut it away out of the reach of little gnashers when you’re not around.

3. Teach your dog to get down

If your dog is keen to learn new things, spend some time training him/her to get down off your furniture.

These four steps are designed to teach your dog the ‘off’ command:

  1. What until your dog is on your furniture
  2. Grab one of their favourite treats and put it on the ground so they can see it
  3. Then say ‘off’ in a firm voice and make a sweeping gesture as they get down
  4. Praise them for getting down and make sure they immediately get their reward (dog treat)
4. Create some distance between your dog and your furniture

If your dog’s bed and toys are right by your sofa or chairs, chances are they’re more likely to hop on up on to your furniture without a second thought.

If you have the space, take their bed and other belongings and keep them in the same room, but maybe on the other side; definitely a short distance away, so they don’t associate their bed and snuggling up with your furniture. 

5. Encourage your dog to use their bed

How many pet owners buy their pets the softest, fluffiest, most comfortable-looking beds, only to find they never use them?

This tip may involve a little trial and error, but if you can find a bed your dog loves, they’re less likely to want to snuggle up on your furniture because they’ve got their own little spot they happen to find equally, if not more, comfortable.

6. Donate a piece of furniture to your dog

If your dog insists on sitting on your furniture just like a human, you could always try giving them a chair that’s old or you’re not particularly fussed about and making it their dedicated chair.

You may need to coax them on it by putting one of their blankets on it or scenting it with their toys, but once they’ve used it a few times and have claimed it as theirs, they should hopefully leave your other furniture alone.

What material is dog proof?

Leather and microfibre are up there in the pet-proof material stakes. Leather is hard-wearing and easy to clean (although it can be scratched). Meanwhile, microfibre is designed to repel wetting and is more difficult to stain than other materials. For more on pet-proofed materials read, ‘How to remove pet hair from your sofa.

Is there a couch that is dog proof?

Some sofas are more dog-proof than others because they’re dark (so stains don’t show up so easily), are made from easy-to-clean fabric (e.g. leather and nylon) and can be protected with special care kits. For more insight read, ‘The most pet-friendly sofas.’

What to put on couches to keep dogs off?

As we mentioned above, some people use bitter apple sprays. Other tangy scents, such as citrus and vinegar, are also reportedly hated by dogs.

Give this homemade dog repellent spray a try:
  • 1.5 cups of water
  • 2 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar
  • 20 drops of orange or lemon essential oil 

Mix together and decant into a spray bottle to spritz your sofa.

Best of luck with keeping man’s best friend off your furniture. We hope you find these tips useful and that they work for you!

Published: 6th July 2022