Dogs chewing furniture is a fairly common issue. Chewing is a normal behavior, but it can become a problem if they’re chewing objects such as your furniture. If this behavior isn’t corrected early on, it can lead to the destruction of your furniture on a very large scale. Learning how to stop a dog from chewing on furniture should be considered an urgent priority. In this article, we’ll discuss common reasons why dogs chew furniture, and specific ways to stop it.
Why Do Dogs Chew on Furniture?
There are several possible reasons why your dog is chewing furniture. Understanding why they’re doing it is the first step to stop it. The six most common reasons for dogs chewing furniture are:
1. Teething. Puppies will chew on furniture if they’re teething because teething is painful. Chewing helps to relieve the discomfort.
2. Exploring. Puppies, just like human babies, use their mouths to explore everything around them. Everything goes in the mouth, including furniture!
3. Separation anxiety. If the dog is chewing furniture while you’re away from home, they may be suffering from separation anxiety. If the dog is not just chewing on the furniture, but absolutely destroying it, that’s a good indicator that they’re suffering from separation anxiety. You can read more in my article, Treating Separation Anxiety.
4. It’s normal behavior. Chewing is a natural behavior for both puppies and adult dogs. What’s not normal is if it’s excessive.
5. Boredom. Many dogs and puppies have an enormous amount of energy and may be chewing furniture to direct that energy. Consider whether the dog is getting enough exercise. Are they being walked every day? Are the walks long enough? Does the dog have toys to play with (including chew toys)? Remember, a tired dog is a good dog. LOL
6. Medical issues. If your dog is chewing on furniture or other things, they may have a nutritional deficiency of some sort. You might try giving them a daily multivitamin. You can find flavored, chewable daily multivitamins here.
The dog may also be experiencing gastrointestinal issues. This might cause him to chew to bring on vomiting, trying to make himself feel better. If the dog’s chewing started suddenly, that’s an indicator that they may need a vet visit to see if they’re having a problem.
If Dog Chewing is Excessive
If your dog’s chewing, on furniture or anything else, is excessive, call the vet. The dog may be having a serious issue. This is true of anything your dog is doing that is excessive or out of the ordinary. Follow your instincts: If it doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t.
Here are some steps you can take to get ahead of this problem before it’s too late.
1. Block access. You may want to block access to rooms you don’t want the dog in with baby gates, at least until you get the chewing under control. You might also consider crate training for when you’re not home. Please refer to this free, step-by-step crate tutorial from Professional Dog Trainer, Doggy Dan called, Crate Training a New Puppy. It’s very important that you do crate training properly, and this training will help you to do that, whether you have a puppy or an adult dog.
2. Show your dog what to chew on. The best way to discourage inappropriate chewing and encourage appropriate chewing is to provide chew toys. You can find a nice selection of inexpensive chew toys here. If you have a puppy, make sure you’re providing puppy-safe chew toys.
3. When they’re chewing on the couch (or anything else), redirect them. The only effective way to train a dog is repetition. When you catch your dog chewing, redirect them to their chew toy. If they’re chewing, redirect them to their chew toy. Is the dog chewing? Redirect them to a chew toy.
You get the point, right? It’s this continuous, repetitive correction that will help your dog to learn to stop chewing on stuff they shouldn’t.
4. Lastly, play with your dog. Like I said earlier, a tired dog is a good dog. Spend time playing with your dog and make sure they get lots of exercise. Throw a ball for them, run around in the yard with them. This not only provides healthy exercise (for both of you!), but also helps to create a loving bond with your dog. It’s even better if you can get the kids to play with the dog more. Kids have the same high energy levels as your dog!
7 Steps to Keep Your Dog Off the Furniture
I’m happy to provide you with this step-by-step, free tutorial from Professional Dog Trainer, Doggy Dan called, 7 Step System for Keeping Your Dog Off the Furniture. Doggy Dan is the owner of the dog training website, TheOnlineDogTrainer.com. The site contains more than 300 videos where you get to watch Doggy Dan as he trains dogs and puppies and works with their owners. He offers a $1, three-day trial to the site, and a monthly membership for $37 per month. If you have a new puppy, or a dog with any sort of behavioral issues, you’ll find training videos on this site that will help. You can read my full review of this dog training website here.
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