Dogs have an innate desire to chew, and while it is a natural behaviour, it can be destructive and costly when they chew on furniture. If left unchecked, this habit can ruin your furniture and cause a serious headache for you as the owner. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent your dog from chewing on your furniture.
Identify the Cause
Before you can stop your dog from chewing on furniture, you need to understand why they are doing it in the first place. Chewing can be a sign of boredom, anxiety, teething, or even a lack of exercise. Once you identify the root cause of the behaviour, you can address it directly and stop the behaviour from happening.
Provide Appropriate Chew Toys
To stop your dog from chewing on furniture, you need to provide them with appropriate chew toys. Choose durable toys made of materials like rubber or nylon that are designed for aggressive chewers. You can also try offering your dog frozen or refrigerated toys, as the cold temperature can provide relief for teething puppies.
Teach the “Leave It” Command
Teaching your dog the “leave it” command can be a useful tool in stopping them from chewing on furniture. Start by holding a treat in your hand and saying “leave it.” When your dog turns away from the treat, praise them and give them another treat from your other hand. Repeat this exercise until your dog understands the command and can follow it reliably. You can then apply this command to your furniture, redirecting your dog’s attention to an appropriate chew toy.
Use a Deterrent Spray
Another way to stop your dog from chewing on furniture is to use a deterrent spray. These sprays are designed to taste bad to dogs and can be sprayed directly onto furniture. Make sure to choose a spray that is safe for your furniture and your dog, and always follow the instructions carefully.
Provide Plenty of Exercise and Mental Stimulation
As mentioned earlier, boredom and a lack of exercise can contribute to your dog’s destructive chewing behaviour. To prevent this, make sure to provide your dog with plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. Take them for regular walks, play games like fetch or tug-of-war, and offer puzzle toys to keep their minds active.
Correct the Behaviour Consistently
Finally, it’s important to consistently correct your dog’s behaviour when they chew on furniture. If you catch them in the act, firmly say “no” and redirect their attention to an appropriate chew toy. It’s important to be consistent with this correction, as even a few instances of chewing on furniture can reinforce the behaviour.
Stopping your dog from chewing on furniture requires patience, consistency, and an understanding of your dog’s behaviour. By providing appropriate chew toys, teaching the “leave it” command, using a deterrent spray, providing plenty of exercise and mental stimulation, and consistently correcting the behaviour, you can prevent your dog from destroying your furniture. Remember to always be patient and consistent in your training, and never punish your dog for chewing on furniture. With time and effort, you can help your dog break their destructive chewing habit and live a happier, healthier life.