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How to Prevent Your Dog from Destroying Furniture

 by jaime on 07 Jul 2014 |
1 Comment(s)
There is nothing worse as a dog owner than coming home to discover that your four-legged pal has destroyed a lovely piece of furniture. It is inevitable that at some point, every dog owner is going to lose a possession to chewing. Most of the time dogs will go after smaller items to destroy, such as remote controls, a shoe, or a children's toy. Sometimes dogs get ambitious and chew up furniture though.
 
Unlike the children's toy or remote control, a piece of furniture cannot be replaced so easily or cheaply. Preventing your dog from chewing on furniture and other household items takes knowledge and effort. Learning why your dog is chewing, and discovering a few helpful tips for preventing that behavior, can help avoid costly damage around the home.
 
Why is your dog chewing?
Dogs, especially puppies, are not so different from human babies. When you were a toddler you explored the world with your mouth. Dogs exhibit the same behavior at all ages. Young puppies chew on items around the house because they are teething. Chewing helps facilitate the teething process and offers relief to their sore gums in the process.
 
Adult dogs chew on furniture and other items for different reasons. One common reason behind chewing behavior in adult dogs is a desire to be playful. Dogs do not have thumbs like we do to make it easy to grasp things. As a result, dogs use their mouths as a hand for grabbing, tossing, and chewing on things as they play. Sometimes that playful chewing gets directed at your furniture instead of toys and other items.
 
There are other reasons that your dog may start chewing on furniture around the house. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Boredom
  • Separation anxiety
  • Desire for attention  
  • Never taught not to chew on everything 
How to prevent chewing
Now that you know some of the reasons your dog may be chewing on furniture, it is time to work on preventing that behavior. Most people take the easy route and buy a taste deterrent, such as Apple Bitters. The problem with using taste deterrents is that is does not address the behavior that is driving the chewing. If you want your dog to stop chewing on furniture, it is going to take a little work to address the issues behind the behavior.
 
For starters, you should be encouraging appropriate chewing behavior in your dog. Experiment with a variety of toys from your local doggie retailer until you find the type of toy that your pooch really enjoys. Some dogs prefer hard, rubber chew toys. Other dogs prefer softer toys made of cloth or rope. If you notice your dog going after the furniture, quickly correct the behavior and offer them a toy.
 
When your dog switches from the furniture to the toy, offer them praise to reinforce the idea that chewing on toys is good. You can also build an obsession for toys in your dog by offering treats and food inside of toys (such as a Kong). This offers its own positive reinforcement in your dog's mind that toys are good, and furniture is bad.
 
The best method you have for preventing your dog from chewing furniture is exercise. Give your dog plenty of exercise and the likelihood of it chewing on furniture will significantly decrease. Often times a dog will chew on furniture simply because it is bored and needs an outlet for its energy.
 
If you are going to be gone all day, start the morning by taking your dog for a brisk walk to help relieve some of that energy for the day. When you get home, you can further control that energy by engaging in some playtime with it. Playing a game of fetch will not only release physical energy, but it gives the dog a chance to expend some mental energy as well. Remember, a tired dog is a well-behaved dog.


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Comment(s)1

Jlr2912 - Comment
Jlr291219 Aug 2015Reply
Have 2 dogs, 2 cats, and 2 kids lol

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