What canine wouldn't like to sleep under a recliner? It's dark, safe and, as your pup knows, if he can't see something, it can't see him. But his sleeping spot is a pain for you, plus it's dangerous for him if you don't know he's taking a snooze there. A little redirection or a deterrent will have him resting somewhere safer.
Tip #1 - Give your pup more enticing places to rest his head. Keep a bed or two of his in the same room as your recliner so he has more options than just darting under your chair each time he wants a snooze. If he likes the perceived safety and darkness under the recliner, put his bed under a table or somewhere similar. Avoiding placing it next to your chair.
Tip #2 - Redirect him to his bed each time he goes for the recliner. Maybe you've unknowingly conditioned your pup to seek the shelter of the recliner each time you sit down and relax, or he just wanders over there occasionally. Regardless, it's time to make him realize there are way better places to be. Each time he tries to fit himself under the recliner, stand up and redirect him to his bed. Hold a treat or one of his favorite toys over the bed, and say a unique command, such as "rest." When he comes over and steps in the bed, toss the treat in and praise him. Say the command each time you redirect him to his new spot. Eventually, that command is all you'll need to say if he tries to sneak under your chair.
Tip #3 - String a few aluminum cans together under the recliner. As soon as your pup throws himself to the ground and tries to army crawl underneath your chair, he'll smack the cans, startle himself and will likely pull himself out of the confined space. If your pup's easily spooked, don't do this. You want him to be wary of crawling underneath the recliner, not so terrified of it that he runs into another room and hides.
Tip #4 - Block it off. If all else fails, slide a box, crate or something similar in front of your recliner's base. The only downside to this is that you have to bring out the box and move it each time you sit down and stand up.
Tip #5 - Look for a specific reason for your dog's behavior. If he's running under your recliner out of fear, then training him to lie in his own bed probably won't work, and aluminum cans will make him freak out even more. Blocking off the area is your best bet, but if your pup's especially frantic, he may do everything in his power to move the box or crate out of his way. Better to pinpoint his fear and try to desensitize him to it. With any type of desensitization training, start out slow, use positive reinforcement and increase the difficulty gradually. If he's afraid a booming noise, for instance, subject him to a very low volume level of that noise. Feed him treats if he doesn't panic, and slowly increase the volume.
Caution: Don't yank your pup to his bed or scold him for going under the recliner.
By Chris Miksen
About the Author
Located in Pittsburgh, Chris Miksen has been writing instructional articles on a wide range of topics for online publications since 2007. He currently owns and operates a vending business. Miksen has written a variety of technical and business articles throughout his writing career. He studied journalism at the Community College of Allegheny County.