Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Pets and Furniture. Part II. Asking Our Dogs To Get Off Of Furniture

In our last post on pets and furniture, we talked about how to ask a dog to get off the sofa or bed.
And we briefly mentioned that we should never pull a dog off. Here are some reasons why:


1. When on a raised surface, as dog needs to be able to get down his/her own way.  If we pull a dog off, they might not be able to position themselves properly for the drop. Which could result in injury

2. Being pulled down from a raised surface can be quite scary. Think about it. I you were sitting on top of a 6 foot wall, would you want to dragged off?

3. Just being grabbed (by the collar or body) can be scary for many dogs. Also pulling on a dog's neck could cause injury (short or long term)

It might not seem like a big deal to humans; but if we scare or hut the dog often enough, we might see a dog who starts growling at us as we approach them when on furniture.

More info here on the problems with physical manipulation: http://www.stubbypuddin.com/2014/10/pitfalls-of-physical-manipulation-in.html

In our last post, we demonstrated some ways to ask our dogs to move.  We can also ask our dogs to move by tapping where we would like them to be: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUoBmYeE9T4




Or we can use targeting: https://www.facebook.com/groups/20444826822/permalink/10153012958176823/


When asking dogs to get off the sofa, be aware of our body language. If we are standing directly in front of the dog, our words might be saying off, but our body language is saying stay there.

Try this body positions:
- Walk backwards
- Stand sideways
- or face the opposite direction

For more on pressure, see: https://www.facebook.com/groups/20444826822/permalink/10152572735511823/

If none of these work, it's best to just wait until the dog leaves and remind yourself the next time to be more careful about blocking access.


Some people like to teach on and off, but I'm concerned about asking a dog to jump up and down too often (in case of any joint issues)
For detailed instructions on how to teach a dog on and off, see: "Placement Cues" on page 92 of Jean Donaldson's "Culture Clash": http://amzn.com/B00A2XQ17Q.

**Note: if a dog jumps up to a surface that is too high. It might be safer to lift him/her down rather than letting the dog jump off on his or her own. But do not pull the dog off.  Carry the dog off instead.  This can also be scary for your dog so try to set things up so that it doesn't need to be done.  But weigh the danger of the dog jumping off a high place vs the discomfort of being carried off. But also note that some dogs might bite if physically moved.
A better option might be to place something under the raised surface so the dog can safety get down on his or her own - like a mattress

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