Old Dog. New Couch.

I never really cared about the old adage, you can't teach an old dog new tricks, until our old dog met my new couch. Gunner had historically been allowed to lounge alongside of us on our old college-weathered furniture, until last month when I got my long-saved-for beautiful, new couch. Gunner's black fur and big paws wreak havoc on the upholstery, but he doesn't understand why we are now requiring him to be confined to the floor. So it's been a month full of "No!" and "Down!" followed by looks of confusion and bewilderment from him (and feelings of guilt for me). I know it's our fault that long before the long-saved-for couch, we taught Gunner it was okay to crash on the comfy furniture. But what now?

Googling a solution revealed mats with audible alarms (triggered when the pet jumps up onto the furniture) and mats that emit small static-charged shocks to create an aversion to the area (all deemed harmless to the pet, of course). They tout high-success rates, but didn't feel like the right fit for us. And some of these options can get a bit pricey.

So, in the end, we decided to go with a method a little less abrasive, and way more aligned with our price range. And all it calls for are pans, tinfoil and a comfy new dog bed. Here's how it works: Place tinfoil and a pan or two on the areas of the couch where you're not sitting. That's it. Really.

The shiny, metal deterrents miraculously keep Gunner from couch-hopping, and while the method does require a little finagling when we want to sit down, it's not overly cumbersome. And, from what I have read, it shouldn't last forever. Once Gunner learns that just because Mom and Dad get to sit on the couch doesn't mean he can, we can ditch the foil routine. And Gunner gets a "couch" of his own - in the form of a fluffy new dog bed.

Do you have a similar story? How do you keep your pets off the furniture? Share your tips for success in the comments below.