Letting the Dog on the Couch: An Ode to the Sofa Dog

Before Bruce was even born, when I was simply entertaining the idea of getting a canine companion, I knew that I would be letting the dog on the couch. I would sit watching TV on an evening with my other half and think ‘the only thing missing is a dog’. Right from the start, I wanted a ‘sofa dog’.

In those early days of pre-puppy ownership, when I was counting down the days to bringing my bundle of fur home, I would daydream about snuggles on the sofa. I feel like everyone has their fantasy of what having a dog would be like. For some it’s dog walks on bright, sunny days in glorious coastal landscapes, for others it’s games of fetch with the kids. For me, it was giving ear rubs and cuddles on the sofa. I am a woman of simple pleasures, and letting the dog on the couch is one of them.

letting the dog on the couch sofa dog

We decided that if we wanted to have a sofa dog then we would have to do it right. There would be rules. He wouldn’t be allowed on the couch when guests were using it, because not everyone wants to sit next to a large dog when they come round for a coffee. He would only be allowed on the sofa when invited up. Finally, he would have his own blanket on the sofa for him to sit on, and he wouldn’t be allowed to be on the couch without being on said blanket.

Oh yes, I had it all planned out. You know what they say about plans though, right? Man plans and god laughs, for one. Or how about “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry“.

While I had visions of blissful puppy snuggle time on the sofa, Bruce the young pup had other ideas. It wasn’t that he didn’t stick to the rules. The trouble was that he had absolutely no desire to be on the sofa at all.

This wasn’t something that I had expected.

airedale terrier on couch

Everything I had ever read about dogs and furniture was about how to keep them from jumping on it and here I was, trying to entice my puppy to hang out with me in front of an episode of Sunday Brunch. This was all wrong.

After a couple of months of trying to temp Bruce into joining me for some sofa time, I gave up. I vented my disappointment to a dog loving and owning friend who gave me a knowing smile and simply told me “just wait, before you know it you won’t be able to get him off the couch”.

She was right, of course.

The turning point came in the summer, after we’d been on holiday, and Bruce had been chilling with his friend the pet sitter for two long weeks. He simply decided one day on our return that he was going to sit on the sofa, and up he popped. Plonking himself down on the other side of the couch to where I was, he switched between watching TV, looking out the window, and dozing with his head hanging off the end of the arm rest. I didn’t dare move for fear of disturbing him, and sat quietly and cheerfully, revelling in the moment and wondering if it would ever happen again.

letting the dog on the furniture

Of course, it did happen again. And again. And again. At some point (and he did it so slowly it was hardly noticeable at the time) Bruce practically took ownership of the sofa. Yes, it’s his sofa now. It’s where he takes naps, spends time with us at the end of the day, keeps me company when I’m working in the lounge, guards the house from foxes that dare to enter the front garden, and nurses me when I’m ill by sitting on my head. Then again, perhaps he was just trying to get me to move out of his spot on that particular occasion.

Those essential rules have of course gone out the window. He will sit where he wants to sit, thank you, and doesn’t need an invite to make himself comfortable in his favourite spot. He has a particularly undignified way of sleeping propped up against the sofa cushions, so that he can peek out the window should he do desire. He has been known to leap straight across me to get to the window at the sound of any unusual noise, sending tea flying everywhere.

letting the dog on the couch

It may not be the vision that I had, when I thought about spending time with my dog on the sofa all those years ago. I thank god for washable covers. However, every now and then I get the snuggles on the couch that I dreamt about, and I wouldn’t change a thing. Here’s to letting the dog on the couch!

I finally have my sofa dog.

Letting the Dog on the Couch

I took to Twitter to ask you if you let your dogs on your couches, and the answer was a resounding YES. Obviously, because if there is anyone that I can rely on to treat their dogs as family as much as I do, it’s you. There were some clever souls who actually stick to their rules about dog + couch etiquette, and I salute them! Then, the pictures started, and I lost all control over the cuteness. Why not join us, and send me photos of your dogs hanging out on the couch too!

Here’s what some of our Twitter friends had to say:



How do you feel about letting the dog on the couch? Let me know in the comments or join the party over on Twitter.


About me

Joy Jewell is a London based dog obsessive and style connoisseur. Joy has worked in the fashion and beauty industry as a writer for nearly a decade, and decided to fuse her two loves – style and canines – to create Paws and Prada in 2014. If you would like to talk to Joy about anything from blogging to puppy training then drop her a line at [email protected] or find her on Twitter @PawsandPrada.


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