How can I stop my dog from guarding furniture? Why does my dog do this?
When a dog jumps up on a couch, chair, table, stairs (whatever it may be) and growls when you come near him, touch him, or protest when you ask him to get down, the dog is telling you he owns it. This behavior must be stopped or this will most certainly lead to biting.
First, let’s look at what it means to the dog. When a dog behaves like this, he is telling you he owns that particular spot. A dominant dog will often seek out high places to watch over his domain, claiming the place as his own. He's communicating with you that he is the boss and he is demanding you respect his space. As anyone approaches they must ask permission to be there. The dog will growl, and eventually snap and bite, in order to correct YOU. He is telling you, as his subordinate, to leave the area, or to get his permission to be there. First comes growling, and later will surely come biting, because this is how a dominant dog communicates; they set a "rule." Your dog is not doing this because he is mean, he is doing this because he wants and/or thinks, he is the boss of your house. The top dog owns everything and makes the rules. This is a primal instinct hardwired into your dog’s brain. It is because of this instinctual behavior, when one owns a dog, the dog owns nothing. Everything must belong to the human, from the furniture to his toys to his food bowl. You, as his leader, will make all of the decisions. You, as the human, own the furniture, and you, as the human, will decide who can and cannot sit on it, and when.