Chewing is a serious problem for a lot of dog owners. If you have a dog who is chewing up your furniture or other belongings, read on and find out what causes chewing and how to stop a dog from chewing furniture.
Chewing is in itself a natural behavior for dogs. It is a form of stress relief and it is good for their gums and teeth. The problem is when your dog start to chew up your valuable belongings. Some dogs have an amazing strength in their teeth can gums and it sometimes seems like they are able to destroy just about anything you own including your furniture, even if they are made in hard wood, but there are ways to stop this behavior even if it feels hopeless and you think you have tried everything without results.
The first thing to do is to figure out why your dog is chewing your furniture. Remember, chewing is a natural behavior for a dog and in some cases it might simply be that the dog in question does not know what she is allowed to chew and what she isn’t allowed to chew. Or it she might not have any alternative, if she does not have any chewable toys and/or bones or other chewable itemes available. If this is the case with your dog, then do this: find something which is great for your dog to chew. This could be anything, a toy, a piece of wood, a bone or even an old rag.
You can try different items and see what your dog likes to chew. The next thing to do is to watch the video below. The video will show you how to redirect your dogs chewing from your furniture (or anything you don’t want your dog to chew) to something it is allowed to chew. This is a simple but effective method to teach your dog that it is allowed to chew certain things while it must leave other items alone.
However, it is not always this simple. Like mentioned, there are several reasons why dogs chew furniture and sometimes the reason could be another than the desire to chew. For example:
- Boredom a dog who is left alone with nothing to do might become bored and restless and start chewing and tearing things apart. This is often the case with dogs who behave perfectly well together with its owner but who starts chewing things up as soon as it is left alone.
- Separation anxiety. If your dog suffers from separation anxiety it will often engage in destructive behavior such as chewing or ripping things apart.
- Puppy teething when a young puppy is getting her teeth it is often painful and chewing something gives a great relief from the pain and discomfort
When it comes to a dog who is bored at home it might be enough to give him some nice chewable toys or bones to make him stop chewing your furniture. If this is not enough you might want to try giving your dog a little more time. If possible come home during lunchtime to walk her or consider hiring someone who can take your dog for a walk. The extra stimulation and exercise might be what is needed to make your dog calmer and stop chewing your furniture.
Separation anxiety is another common reason why dogs chew and this problem goes deeper than just boredom and lack of stimulation. When an adult dog suffers from separation anxiety it is often due to the fact he feels responsible for the family and wants to protect you. When you leave him alone and he can not see you he gets anxious because he does not know where you are and therefore he can not protect you.
This happens when the owner(s) have not established themselves as the pack leader. In this case the dog will take the role as the pack leader and as such it is his role to protect you which he can not do if you leave him alone in the house. This will make him anxious, nervous and restless and he might become very destructive, chewing up everything in sight and even try to escape from the house to go and find you.
If separation anxiety is the case of your dog’s chewing and then this need to be dealt with immediately. You can read more about separation anxiety, what causes it and how to cure in this post: Help dog separation anxiety- simple tricks to cure it. Basically what you need to do here is to make sure to establish yourself as the PACKLEADER. When your dog sees you (and all other members of your family) as his leader then he will no longer feel responsible for you and he will relax considerably. In the wild the leader comes and goes as he likes whereas the other members stay together. Here is a post on how to become the pack leader of my dog.
Puppy teething when puppies get their new teeth it is often both itchy and painful and it is a great relief for them to chew. In this case you simply have to make sure that the puppy has other objects to chew than your valuable furniture and other belongings. Make sure you immediately correct your puppy when it chews something it may not chew and immediately provide an alternative for him to chew and the problem should be solved.
Tips and tricks on how to stop unwanted furniture chewing
When it comes to smaller items such as shoes, belts or clothing, these can of course be put away where your dog can not reach them. However, this is not practical solution when it comes to big items such as your furniture but there are a couple of other things you can do if it turns out to be difficult to stop your dog from chewing furniture.
Some people report great success when spraying their furniture with citrus, apple cider vinager or cayenne pepper spray. Here is a post on how to make a spray that will keep your dog off your furniture. There are also sprays which are made for this purpose. You can find them at your local pet store. This sometimes works great though some people report that the spray does nothing to stop their dogs from chewing furniture.
Another solution to the chewing problem might be to crate your dog when you are away for longer periods. Dogs often feel protected in a crate and this keeps them calm and without access to furniture and other chewable belongings. Make sure the crate is cosy with blankets and toys and give her enough time to get used to the crate before you leave her there for longer periods of time. Here is a post I wrote on Crate Training Puppies
I hope you enjoyed this article on how to stop a dog from chewing furniture. If you have any tips or tricks you would like to share please make a comment below.
All the best.