How to Stop a Dog from Chewing on Wood

Supervise and Manage Access

Keeping a close eye on your dog and managing their access to wood furniture is a fundamental step in preventing them from chewing on it.

Dogs have an instinctive drive to chew, which can often lead them to gnaw on wooden furniture if not properly supervised.

Without proper supervision, you risk expensive damage to your furniture and potential harm to your pet from splinters and ingesting non-edible materials.

By actively monitoring your dog’s behavior and access to wood items, you can mitigate these risks.

Use Baby Gates and Blockades

One effective way to keep your dog away from wood furniture is to use baby gates and blockades. Baby gates can be strategically placed to block entryways to rooms where your wooden furniture resides.

Blockades, on the other hand, can be used to shield specific pieces of furniture. For example, if your pup shows interest in the legs of the dining table, place a lightweight blockade around the table to prevent access.

These physical barriers are highly effective and relatively inexpensive. They don’t only deter dogs but also provide a visual cue that certain areas are off-limits.

According to a survey by the American Pet Products Association, 68% of dog owners use some form of barriers to manage their pets’ access within the home, proving its effectiveness.

Limit Access to Wood

To further control your dog’s access to wood furniture, consider rearranging your home environment.

Placing furniture out of reach or creating designated, dog-free zones can make a significant difference. If a piece of furniture is lightweight, moving it out of your dog’s frequent roaming area is an easy fix.

Alternatively, using physical barriers like furniture covers or room dividers can add a layer of protection, minimizing the chances of your dog getting close enough to wreak havoc.

Provide Appropriate Chew Toys

Another powerful strategy to curb your dog’s wood chewing habit is to offer them safe and appropriate chew toys.

Chew toys not only satisfy their natural urge to chew but also provide a stimulating activity that can keep them occupied for hours. By providing various types of chew toys, you can redirect this behavior away from your precious wood furniture.

Types of Chew Toys

There are countless types of chew toys available, each designed to cater to different chewing habits and preferences. Some of the most effective types include:

  • Rubber Toys: Durable and long-lasting, rubber toys like Kongs are perfect for aggressive chewers.
  • Bones: Both natural and synthetic bones can provide hours of chewing pleasure.
  • Chew Sticks: These simulate the feel of wood and can serve as an excellent alternative.

By offering your dog a mix of these toys, you can ensure they have a suitable outlet for their chewing energy.

This variety also helps keep them engaged, reducing the chance of them turning to your wooden furniture out of boredom.

Rotating Chew Toys

To keep things interesting, consider rotating your dog’s chew toys regularly. This prevents your pet from getting bored with the same toys and potentially returning to chewing on wood out of curiosity or restlessness.

Rotating toys is simple but effective.

Keep some toys hidden and interchange them with the ones in use every few weeks. This not only keeps your dog engaged but also extends the life of the toys.

Behavioral studies show that dogs given varied stimuli are less likely to develop destructive habits.

Exercise and Mental Stimulation

Regular exercise and mental stimulation are essential components of a happy and healthy dog’s life. These activities help to reduce boredom and anxiety, which are often the root causes of destructive behaviors like wood chewing. By engaging your dog’s mind and body, you can effectively curb their chewing tendencies.

Engage in Physical Activity

Physical activities like playing fetch, going for walks, or engaging in agility training are excellent ways to keep your dog physically fit and mentally stimulated.

Activities like these not only burn off excess energy but also provide mental enrichment, making your dog less likely to seek out wood furniture to chew on.

  • Fetch: Simple yet highly effective, fetch can wear out even the most energetic dogs.
  • Agility Training: Setting up small obstacle courses in your backyard or local park offers an intensive workout.

Frequent exercise can significantly reduce your dog’s inclination to engage in unwanted behaviors.

A study by the University of Bristol found that dogs that receive regular exercise are less likely to display behavioral problems.

Mental Stimulation

Mental stimulation is just as crucial as physical exercise. Activities that engage your dog’s mind can help reduce boredom-induced chewing.

Puzzle toys, for example, are a fantastic way to challenge your dog’s intellect. These toys often contain hidden treats, encouraging your dog to work to obtain them.

Training sessions, where you teach your dog new commands or tricks, can also serve as excellent mental stimulation.

  • Puzzle Toys: Hide treats inside puzzle toys to keep your dog engaged.
  • Training Sessions: Teach new tricks or commands to keep their mind active.

Use Taste Deterrents

Applying taste deterrents to wooden furniture can be an effective way to discourage your dog from chewing on it. These substances taste unpleasant to dogs, teaching them that wood isn’t something they want to chew on.

Bitter-Tasting Sprays

One of the most commonly used taste deterrents is bitter-tasting sprays. Products like bitter apple spray can be easily applied to the surface of wood furniture.

These sprays are generally safe for pets and humans alike and offer a non-toxic way to discourage chewing. According to a pet owner survey, 60% of those who used bitter sprays found them to be a successful deterrent.

Other Taste Deterrents

Besides commercial sprays, there are household alternatives you can try.

Substances like Tabasco sauce or even a dab of wasabi can also be effective in deterring your dog from chewing on wood. However, it’s essential to apply these substances carefully, ensuring they won’t irritate your dog’s skin or eyes.

Always observe your dog’s reaction to any new deterrent to ensure it’s both safe and effective.

Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool in training your dog and altering its chewing habits.

By rewarding your dog with treats and praise when they choose appropriate items to chew on, you can encourage positive behaviors and discourage unwanted ones.

Rewarding Good Behavior

Whenever your dog chews on an approved toy instead of a piece of wood, reward them immediately with a small treat or verbal praise.

Over time, your dog will associate appropriate chewing behavior with positive outcomes. This method is more effective and humane compared to punitive measures, which can often induce fear or anxiety.

  • Treats: Offer a small, tasty treat as soon as your dog chews on an appropriate item.
  • Praise: Use a happy, encouraging tone to verbally praise your dog.

Consistency is Key

Consistency is crucial when using positive reinforcement to alter your dog’s behavior.

Make sure that everyone in the household is on the same page and rewards the dog consistently for good behavior.

Inconsistent reinforcement can confuse your dog and undermine your training efforts. According to research, consistent positive reinforcement can significantly accelerate the learning process, making it a highly effective strategy.


Here are some frequently asked questions about stopping a dog from chewing on wood:

Q: Why is my dog chewing on wood?

A: Dogs may chew on wood for several reasons, including boredom, anxiety, or a lack of appropriate chew toys.

Boredom or anxiety-driven chewing can often be observed in dogs that don’t receive enough mental and physical stimulation.

Q: What are some effective ways to stop my dog from chewing on wood?

A: Effective methods include supervising and managing access to wood furniture, providing appropriate chew toys, ensuring regular exercise and mental stimulation, and using taste deterrents.

These combined approaches can significantly reduce your dog’s inclination to chew on wood.

Q: Can I use punishment to stop my dog from chewing on wood?

A: No, punishment is not an effective way to stop your dog from chewing on wood. Instead, focus on positive reinforcement and consistent training to encourage good behavior.

For further insights into dog behavior, check out why does my dog bark at nothing.

By actively employing these strategies, you can effectively manage and redirect your dog’s chewing habits, ensuring the safety of your wooden furniture and the well-being of your pet.


*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through one of my links, at no cost to you.

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