Should dogs be allowed on the furniture?
I have heard many inaccurate reasons to why we should not allow dogs on our furniture, and there is only one accurate reason - you may really care about your furniture! Even so, there are other ways to accommodate your dog on your furniture. The quickest and easiest answer to this question, is yes! Yes absolutely allow them onto your sofa, it will not make them think they are "top dog" etc as dogs do not think this way and the dominant dog theory has been debunked years ago. Most people nowadays have dogs because they want them to be part of their family, and dogs make an excellent job of becoming a part of your family! They want to be up on the sofa snuggled up, not because they are mass plotting how they will take over your household and enslave you to the bottom of the hierarchy, but because for a lot of dogs the sofa is much more comfortable than their beds! Also most dogs have been bred to be companion dogs, and what more could a companion do than to flop out on the sofa, cuddled into us? Letting your dog on the sofa won't create negative behaviours, it will enlighten your dogs behaviour because they will feel happier and calmer! A dog relaxing on the sofa with you is a content dog, and a more relaxed dog, this does however depend on the dog as some dogs prefer their own bed or to sleep on the hard floor! Allow your dog the choice of where to relax, both my Spaniels seek comfort on the sofa but my Retriever much prefers to sleep on the cooler floor than anything else.
Boundaries are different to strict rules, we often do not need strict rules when welcoming a dog into our home, but we do need boundaries! If your dog is jumping all over the sofa, tearing it apart, trying to playfight with you when you are trying to relax on the sofa, then teaching them to go to another area to outlet these behaviours would be best, the sofa is for relaxing not play fighting!
If you are hesitant to allow your furry, rather messy dog onto your designer sofa, there are a few things you can do. You can either relocate your designer sofa to another room and have a more dog friendly sofa in the area you spend the most time in, or you can use throws and covers or section off a bit of the sofa with throws and blankets and your dog can relax on the allocated dog spot.
What about dogs on your bed? I hear you loud and clear, sometimes it is not someone's preference to have their dog on their bed! This is completely understandable, but again this is just down to personal preference or circumstance, if you are like me and love to snuggle your dogs in bed with you then this is not anything to feel ashamed over! I allow my dogs the option to sleep on the bed, their bed/crate or the floor, they can leave the room if they like. Dogs do like to change position when they sleep, have a stretch and change what they sleep on depending on temperature and comfort, although my dogs are crate trained, I do not make them sleep in the crate each night. Crate training has become useful for when we take them to holiday homes or when they stay over at the dog sitters home, but for every day use it can be a little restrictive. If you do choose to have your dog in the room with you, or on the bed with you just make sure that they do have the ability to sleep elsewhere if you need them to.
People may choose to not have a dog in the bed because of comfort reasons, even hygiene reasons, which of course is understandable. Regarding hygiene, as long as you keep on top of your grooming routine, keeping them clean and fresh, free from ticks and fleas and keep your normal bedroom cleaning maintenance then this should not be a cause of concern.
We share every day with our dogs, they are our companions, family members, it is perfectly ok and greatly beneficial to treat them as such by allowing them onto our furniture.