Mike's Q&A

An interactive question and answer forum with expert dog trainer Michael Wombacher for all of your most pressing dog behavior and dog training-related questions.

Pups on Furniture - Yes or No

Q: We were told that allowing our Great Dane puppy on the couch would make her think she was our equal? Is there any truth to that? She is allowed on the couch, but she still gets off when she is asked. I didn't think that having her share my seat would effect her view on our pack hierarchy! I'd love your thought on this.

A: Whoever told you that was more or less right. Letting a young dog have unfettered access to furniture can send very confusing signals about rank and status. I would suggest you allow the dog to grow up a bit first, make sure he or she is very well trained and respects you and then teach him or her that they can only get on the furniture with your permission. In other words, he or she should wait to be invited up.