Repellents are an easy way to keep dogs off the furniture. They work well compared to other methods because, unlike training, they don't require someone in the room to be effective. Store-bought repellents can be expensive and contain chemicals aren't good for kids and pets. Homemade repellents are easy to make and use. They can often be made with natural ingredients found in the average household.
Spray repellents contain scents the dog doesn't like to be around, causing it to avoid the area or furniture. What scents work depend on the dog's taste and sense of smell, so some experimentation may be necessary. Vinegar, alcohol and citrus are all strong smells dogs dislike.
Buy a plastic spray bottle to use for the repellent. Do not reuse an old bottle, because residue from the previous contents will remain and either dilute the smell you are trying to create or contaminate it with chemicals. Fill the bottle with vinegar, ammonia, rubbing alcohol or a mixture of water and lemon juice. Spray the repellent on and around off-limits furniture. If one smell doesn't work, try again with another.
Dogs are repulsed by the smells of some essential oils. Eucalyptus, cinnamon and sour apple are all scents you can use to keep your dog off the furniture. A few drops in a spray bottle of water should be enough for a dog's sensitive nose. If results aren't seen quickly, increase the amount of essential oil.
Be careful that the repellent doesn't stain or discolor furniture or carpets. Test the spray on an inconspicuous area first.
Homemade pepper spray can also be used to keep dogs away from furniture. The pepper will irritate dogs' eyes and noses. Mix about 1 tbsp. of ground cayenne or habanero peppers in a spray bottle of water and spray it on the furniture. Be careful with this mixture on light-colored fabrics because it may stain.
Instead of pepper spray, pepper can be used as a powder. Just sprinkle ground cayenne, habanero or chili peppers on the off-limits furniture.
Mothballs also deter dogs and other animals but aren't as natural as some other methods.