Skip to main content

How to train your pets not to jump on furniture

You love your pet, but you don’t appreciate it when they jump on your furniture. Your beloved puppy, cat, rabbit, or other pet might get a thrill from lounging on your couch or even skittering across your kitchen counter, but it’s certainly not fun for you. So, let’s take a closer look at why they do this and how to train your pets not to jump on furniture.

Why does my pet like jumping on furniture?

Cat lying down on wooden table
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The reasons differ between pets, but here are some common reasons why your fur baby enjoys bouncing up onto your furniture.

Dogs tend to love getting on the couch, bed, armchair, or anything soft, really. One big reason might be that you allowed them on the surface once, and they now think it’s acceptable to hang out there whenever they like.

Your dog might also enjoy the wide view of your living room or bedroom. Since dogs like to keep tabs on their surroundings and keep an eye out for strangers, yours might feel safer on a higher level.

Lastly, when you’re not home, your dog might like furniture that reminds them of you, whether it’s your scent or your usual hangout spot.

Cats are natural climbers. Like most dogs, they also feel more comfortable when they can take a visual survey of a room for potential threats. They’re also just inherently curious and love to explore.

Tall structures, like the tops of kitchen cabinets or ceiling ledges, will tempt them, especially if they feel scared. Your cat might also like a certain spot because it’s warm and cozy for sleeping and lounging.

Rabbits will jump on furniture mainly if they’re running away from something or someone. Other times, they’ll climb because they’re excited or just need an outlet for their high energy levels. However, each rabbit is different, and most actually prefer to stay low, like they would in their natural habitat.

How do I train my dog not to jump on furniture?

two dogs laying on couch
Kevin Turcios/Unsplash

There are several ways to reduce jumping behavior in dogs:


When your fur baby is still young, train them early. Place a leash on your pup in the living room and wait until he eventually goes to his own bed. If he tries leaping up the couch instead, utter a firm, “No.”

When he willingly walks to and stays in his own bed, praise him! Give him a pat and say, “Bed!” to reinforce the connection between the command and his personal area. You might also leave puppy treats and toys in areas where you want your pet to go, like on the floor next to the couch or the area by their bed.

Teach the “up” and “off” commands

If you don’t mind your dog hanging out on the furniture when you are on the furniture, teach him the “up” and “off” commands.

Prevent access

When you’re not home, put up baby gates around the couch if possible. You might also purchase a mat that slightly shocks your dog when they make contact with it. This harmless shock feels like a static shock you feel when touching a metallic surface after wearing a wool sweater. In other words, it’s safe, painless, and approved by pet parents.

How do I train my cat not to jump on furniture?

Two cats sleeping on cat tower
Alessia Querzola/EyeEm/Getty Images

Here are some popular training methods for cats:

Use climbing towers

Purchase and put up climbing towers for them to explore. Instead of worrying about them climbing onto shelf tops and cabinets, they’ll be safer on a pet-specific structure.

If this encourages them to climb onto the couch and other furniture, install a sonic sofa repellent, too. When your cat touches the mat, they’ll hear an undesirable sound that quickly makes them retreat.

Place rubber runners on furniture

These mats are great for making floors slip-free and waterproof, but they’re also great at keeping cats off of furniture. Turn the mat over before you put it on the furniture. Cats dislike the top side’s texture, keeping them off surfaces.

Apply double-sided tape to furniture

This is another texture cats don’t enjoy, so placing it on the couch and in other areas is effective at keeping pets away.

How do I train my rabbit not to jump on furniture?

If you have a pet rabbit that enjoys jumping onto the couch or bed, here are some training tips:

  • Build an indoor corral to keep your pet rabbit off of furniture. This helps block off their access to easy-to-reach surfaces, like your couch or bed.
  • Don’t invite them onto furniture. Your bunny might get the idea that the furniture is now their own space and will even start going to the bathroom on it. Avoid this slippery slope and always spend time with them on the floor instead.
  • Provide plenty of outlets for your rabbit. This includes chewing toys, chewing boards, climbing structures, snacks, and social time.

By and large, the best way to train your pets not to jump on furniture is by never letting them on in the first place. Other ideas are to restrict access, install sonic or shock pads, and give them plenty of appropriate outlets for their energy. These needs vary between pets, so we hope this comprehensive guide will help you find the best solution for your dog, cat, or rabbit.

Editors' Recommendations

Off-leash dog training is easy if you follow these 5 tips
These tips will make this process smoother
Puppy learning to heel

We’re going out on a limb here, but it’s safe to say that if you’ve ever caught the look on a dog’s face when he’s running off leash at the dog park, you’ve caught a glimpse of what pure bliss looks like.

As a pet parent, it’s only natural to want to see that expression more often. And, without disparaging the leashed walk around the neighborhood, your dog would probably tell you he’d prefer being off leash more often. Is that possible, given local leash laws and all the mischief your untethered pet can get himself into? Perhaps, if he is well trained.

Read more
Why do dogs eat cat poop? And how you can get them to stop
These tips will stop your pup from eating cat doo-doo
Dog wears a yellow sweater and looks at the camera

Sometimes you might think you hear your cat using their potty, but when you go into check, it's actually the dog eating cat poop. Gross! While it seems pretty revolting to us, dogs sometimes eat poop, the feline variety included. Coprophagia, which means eating poop, shows up reasonably frequently in pups, and certain diets, environments, and even breeds can make this act more likely (research says hounds and terriers are the groups most likely to chomp poop, in general).

So why do dogs eat cat poop, and what should you do about this behavior? Read on for a few things to check and a couple of tips to prevent this extra meal.
Why do dogs eat cat poop?
Theories abound, but it turns out lots of different mammals eat poop, their own and others'. One possibility is that not all nutrients fully digest when they go through our systems, which means there are plenty of vitamins to have by consuming feces. Sometimes, these cravings result from a nutrient-deficient diet that is easy to fix by changing up your dog's food.

Read more
Best guard dogs: These 7 breeds will protect you with their life
These dog breeds are some of the best personal guards you'll find
An Akita sitting on the bed

Most dogs are loyal and loving animals. That’s why we know them as humans’ best friends. They’d do anything for us. For some dogs, “anything” means protecting us with their lives. And these breeds make the best guard dogs. For many of them, it’s instinctual. They’ve evolved to protect the family they love. You’ll notice these pups keeping a watchful eye on your property. They may bark to alert you when your company arrives or the mail gets delivered.
Remember, guard animals mean well. They aren’t trying to be vicious, but instead, they want to keep you and your home safe and sound. Some prospective pet parents want this quality in a dog. If that’s you, consider these breeds that make the best guard dogs.

What is the easiest guard dog to train?
There's a whole group of beasties that are often referred to as the guardian breeds — many of them make this list. Those animals with a predisposition toward defending and alerting will likely also learn their duties quickly. However, you'll also need a pup who has been properly socialized. Remember, you only want your guard to go into protection mode when there's a serious threat, not every time the mailman stops by.

Read more