A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about my dog’s sudden behavior change. She had never climbed up on the back of the couch. Then, she became a Himalayan Mountain Goat. It seemed like I was telling her off multiple times a week.
Have you seen goats in trees? I think Misha was in training.
Why Was She Climbing On The Couch?
It took some time to realize that it had to do with fear. What else?
We have been getting a lot of storms after a fairly calm winter. Cold storms. Powerful storms with wind, thunder, and hail.
We don’t do hail very often.
One evening, when it started hammering against the window, I notice Misha had that look in her eye. It’s what we call the crazy dog look, which means something has spooked her.
then, she started to scramble for the couch. Her mountain climbing instincts coincided with the appearance of these strange sounds outside.
I coaxed her off the couch. The dog who hates to be held made me carry her for over a half hour. She was shaking like crazy!
I suspect the climbing is part of the fight of flight instinct. Good thing we don’t have a tall bookcase or she might sitting up towards the ceiling
How I Keep My Dog Off The Couch
After trying different ways to keep her from climbing, including losing my patience, I finally found something that works: Newspaper.
I draped two newspaper pages over the top of the couch and waited.
Sure enough, the next time Misha heard something outside and got scared, she tried to climb up on the back of the couch. But, she had no idea I had a trap waiting for her.
The minute she hit the paper it moved and rustled. And, my little 8 lb. dog freaked out. She ran over the shoulders of the person sitting on the couch. I saw fear in her eyes as she jumped to the ground and fled the room at 100 mph.
She is Staying Off
One thing I know about my dog is she never forgets. Now she looks up at the couch warily.
If she looks like she might jump up, I go over and shake the paper. The noise is enough to make her back off.
I hate adding to her fears, but this is like a kid and a hot stove. Being afraid of newspaper is better than having her fall off into the glass dining room table–a fall she might not survive.
Is your dog a climber? Does your dog do strange things when afraid? What methods do you use to stop those behaviors?