How to Stop Your Dog from Chewing on Furniture

Dogs have a natural instinct to chew, a behavior essential for their dental health, stress relief, and entertainment. But when this instinct leads them to your favorite shoes or expensive furniture, it can be frustrating. Providing them with appropriate chew toys and edible chews can effectively redirect their attention and protect your belongings.

two brown dogs

Types of Chew Toys

Variety is key when it comes to satisfying your dog’s chewing instinct. Different types of chew toys cater to different preferences and chewing strengths.

  • Kong Toys: These durable rubber toys can be stuffed with treats, making them a popular choice for many dog owners. Their unique shape makes them bounce unpredictably, keeping dogs engaged as they play and chew.
  • Orbee Tuff by Planet Dog: Known for their resilience and eco-friendliness, these toys are made from recyclable material and are designed to withstand aggressive chewers. They come in various shapes and sizes to keep your dog entertained.
  • Zogoflex Line by West Paw: These toys are guaranteed against dog damage, making them an excellent investment. They are non-toxic, dishwasher-safe, and come in bright colors to easily spot during playtime.

Offering a mix of these toys ensures your dog remains entertained and less likely to turn to your furniture for amusement.

Supervising and Redirecting

Supervision is crucial in the initial stages of training your dog not to chew on inappropriate items. By keeping a close eye on your dog, you can quickly intervene and redirect their attention to suitable chew toys.

  • Catch Inappropriate Chewing Early: As soon as you notice your dog starting to chew on something they shouldn’t, gently interrupt them and offer an appropriate chew toy instead. This immediate redirection helps them understand what’s acceptable to chew on.
  • Stay Consistent: Consistency is paramount. Regularly supervising and redirecting your dog to the correct items can significantly reduce incidents of unwanted chewing over time.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Always praise your dog when they chew on the right items. Positive reinforcement helps establish a clear connection between their actions and the rewards they receive.

Using Deterrents

Deterring a dog from chewing on furniture often requires making those items less appealing. Bitter-tasting sprays and home remedies can be effective tools in this process.

Bitter-Tasting Sprays

Bitter-tasting sprays are designed to make furniture and other household items unappealing to dogs.

  • Application: Consistently apply the spray to the items you want to protect. It’s advisable to apply the spray every day for at least three to four weeks. This period allows your dog to develop a long-term aversion.
  • Ease of Use: These sprays are simple to apply and can be found in most pet stores. They provide a quick and easy solution to deter your dog from chewing on specific items.

Home Remedies

If you prefer a more natural approach, home remedies like apple cider vinegar sprays or mild chili pepper sprays can also be effective.

  • Apple Cider Vinegar Spray: Mix equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water in a spray bottle and apply it to the areas you want your dog to avoid. The strong smell and taste often discourage dogs from chewing.
  • Mild Chili Pepper Spray: Combine water with a small amount of chili pepper. Spray this mixture lightly on the desired areas. The spiciness can act as a deterrent for your pet.

Using these methods, you can make your furniture less attractive to your dog without causing them any harm.

Managing the Environment

Creating a controlled environment for your dog can prevent many chewing problems. Simple adjustments can make a big difference in their behavior.

Limiting Access

One of the most straightforward approaches to prevent your dog from chewing on your valuables is to limit their access.

  • Store Items Away: Keep shoes, clothes, and other personal items out of your dog’s reach. Use closed closets, drawers, and storage bins.
  • Create Barriers: Use baby gates or dog pens to restrict your dog’s access to certain rooms or areas in your home where they might find items to chew on.

Providing Mental Stimulation

A bored or stressed dog is more likely to chew on your furniture. Keeping your dog mentally stimulated can significantly reduce such behavior.

  • Engaging Toys: Interactive toys and puzzles can keep your dog busy. Toys that dispense treats or require problem-solving can be particularly effective.
  • Physical Exercise: Regular walks, runs, and playtime are essential. Physical activity helps to burn off excess energy that might otherwise be directed towards unwanted chewing.
  • Training Games: Incorporate training sessions that involve commands and tricks. Training not only stimulates their mind but also strengthens the bond between you and your dog.

Training Your Dog

Training your dog not to chew on furniture requires patience and consistency. There are some effective methods to help them replace inappropriate chewing with positive behaviors.

The “Trade Game”

The “trade game” is an excellent way to teach your dog to give up items they shouldn’t be chewing on.

  • Step-by-Step: Start by offering your dog a treat in exchange for the item they are chewing on. As they catch on, increase the time before giving them the treat. This teaches them that giving up the item leads to a positive outcome.
  • Consistency: Practice this game regularly. It not only helps with chewing issues but can also be useful for other training purposes, such as teaching them to release objects on command.

Praise and Rewards

Positive reinforcement is critical in training your dog to adopt good behaviors.

  • Reward Good Behavior: Whenever your dog chooses an appropriate chew toy instead of furniture, praise them enthusiastically and offer them a treat. This reinforces the behavior you want to see more of.
  • Be Immediate: Rewards should be given immediately after the desired behavior to strengthen the association between the behavior and the reward.

Using these training techniques consistently can help reduce and eventually eliminate unwanted chewing behaviors.

Consulting Professionals

If all else fails and your dog continues to chew on your furniture, it might be time to seek professional help.

  • Veterinarian Consultation: Sometimes, persistent chewing can be a sign of underlying health issues, such as dental problems or anxiety. A veterinarian can rule out any medical conditions and provide guidance.
  • Professional Dog Trainer: A certified dog trainer can offer personalized training plans and techniques tailored to your dog’s specific needs. This professional insight can make a significant difference and help you address the issue more effectively.

By addressing your dog’s chewing behavior through a combination of the methods above, you can protect your furniture and ensure a happier, healthier life for your furry companion.


*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.

Recent Posts