Why is My Dog Having Trouble Jumping On the Couch?

When dogs have trouble jumping on the couch, they usually have a hip problem such as arthritis or hip dysplasia. There’s also a chance that your dog is too small and can not jump high enough. Portable stairs for dogs may help your dog get back on the couch.

There are so many opinions out there when it comes to owning a dog. Everyone seems to have advice to share on issues like jumping on furniture, crate training, nutrition, and vet visits. Another popular topic of discussion for pet owners, specifically dog owners, is how to help dogs who are having trouble with basic tasks.

In the next few minutes, we will share how to help a dog who is having trouble getting on household furniture like the couch.

Stay Away from Misleading Advice

In addition to advice from family and friends, now we have reason to worry about advice from google. A simple google search on your smartphone will show you countless articles that promise to answer your search.

Articles like “Reasons Your Dog Has Stopped Jumping” and “Why Can’t My Dog Jump on the Sofa” sound helpful, but don’t quite answer the question.

Forum threads have countless tips sent in by anonymous users. It is easy to see how confused one can feel after reading through the information on the web. These threads are fun to read, but they can also be misleading.

Make sure you choose a reputable pet-specific website to get information from instead of getting advice from random strangers on the internet. This will prove most helpful to both you and your pet in the long run.

Several options are available if your dog is having trouble jumping onto furniture like the couch.

Observe Your Dog – Get Ready to Report

If your dog is having difficulty jumping on the couch, you should first observe them. It sounds simple enough, right? Believe it or not, this first step is crucial to figuring out what is going on.

Paying attention to when your dog is jumping is a great start. Is there a specific time of day that the dog struggles with jumping? For instance, is it first thing in the morning, after a long walk, or at any specific time of the day?

Make a mental note of this and report it to the veterinarian later (if a trip to the vet is required). Any details you can gather about your dog’s abilities will help your veterinarian get to the bottom of this change in behavior.

From this first observation, you can move onto other observations like:

  • Does your dog seem to be in pain when jumping?
  • Are they avoiding a certain leg?
  • Are they more cautious than normal when you touch their paws?

Through questions like these, continue making observations and noting your dog’s patterns. Be sure to involve your entire family, including kids and spouse, so you can report accurate information to the vet.

Avoid Supplements Without First Talking to Your Vet

Many blogs on the internet advise feeding your dog baby aspirin or adding a supplement to their diet. This is poor advice and could be potentially harmful.

The number one thing you DO NOT want to do is add pills or supplements to their diet without first consulting a vet.

While baby aspirin or fish oil may seem harmless, it is not a proper solution. Remember, veterinarians go to school for at least eight years to learn about all varieties of animals. They are trained to deal with common injuries and changes in behavior.

While it can seem expensive or inconvenient, it is worth it to consult with your veterinarian before making any dietary changes.

Consider Negative Experiences

If your dog has trouble jumping on the couch, it may be because of a negative experience. If you’ve adopted or rescued a dog, you won’t always know what happened to your dog previously.

It is very possible that a previous experience has made your dog unsure about getting on furniture. After all, there are many people who prefer pets to not be on furniture, and not everyone humanely goes about this.

If your dog is not jumping on furniture, they may be capable but are choosing not to. In this case, be sure that you have observed your dog’s behavior before jumping to a conclusion. Arthritis or an injured leg is a more likely explanation than an undiscovered abuse story.

Praise and Positive Reinforcement

If you have determined that your dog is not injured or traumatized, it may be a behavioral issue. Some dogs are anxious and (like their human owners) have their own quirks.

Maybe your dog does not want to get on the couch. In this circumstance, try praise. Positive reinforcement and treats are the best way to train dogs.

Positive reinforcement will depend on your dog. Treats can work well for most food-motivated dogs. However, food and treats are not a great choice for long-term health.

If you use treats to reward your dog, order some low-calorie treats so they are not receiving a large milk bone or biscuit for every jump.

One of the best things you can do for your dog is reward them with praise, pets, and scratches. Most dogs love human attention and aim to please their owners. When asking your pet to do anything, be sure to reward them with praise and affection. This will reinforce positive behavior and make them more likely to do what you ask.

Consult Your Veterinarian

After observing your pet’s behavior regarding difficulty jumping on the couch, consult your veterinarian.

If you do not have a vet yet, friends and family can be a great resource for finding a clinic. You will want to call and speak to the front desk receptionist. They will ask the right questions to determine if a vet visit is necessary.

They may schedule an appointment for you, but they can also offer some preliminary suggestions over the phone.

If the veterinarian determines that the lack of jumping is not injury-related, they may offer other resources. This can include referrals to training classes or dog behaviorists. Through the veterinarian’s network, you will have a better chance of finding care for your dog.

Be Patient

Remember that your dog is… a dog. Remember that your dog is… a dog. It cannot speak to you and tell you what’s going on. Much of our understanding of dog behavior is through intuition and research. Getting your dog to learn “new tricks” or pick up new habits will be a trying, frustrating adventure. Be prepared to try new tactics as you train your dog.

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