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How to stop dogs & puppies from chewing furniture

Dogs have a natural instinct to chew and most dogs love doing it. Owners of full-grown dogs and puppies alike have come across many difficulties when trying to train their pets not to chew on items of furniture around the home. The destruction caused by your dog's chewing can be costly, but there are a few proven methods of curbing your dog or puppy's behaviour that are cost effective and not very hard to achieve.

Puppy-proof your home. One thing you will need to do is dog/puppy-proof your home. Remove any items that seem to be of accelerated interest to your canine co-inhabitant. Removing temptations is an effective way to prevent damages from occurring to your belongings by a teething puppy or chewing dog.

Provide your dog or puppy with safe and durable chew toys. Keeping your pet entertained and free of boredom is an effective way to help her refrain from chewing on your furniture. By providing your pet with an abundant selection of safe and interesting play things, your dog will be less likely to turn to your belongings to satisfy her chewing urge.

Confine your dog to a damage-free zone. Find a clear and comfortable area free of furnishings to confine your pet when you cannot be home to watch her. There are numerous child- and pet-safe portable and retractable gates that can be purchased at department stores. These devices attach easily to walls and doorways and are effective in safely keeping dogs and puppies confined to restricted areas of the home.

Treat your furniture with substances distasteful to canines. Depending upon what type of furniture your dog is chewing, you can often coat the areas that your pup enjoys chewing with a non-toxic substance that is distasteful to him. Be sure to spot check for staining potential prior to coating the items. Tabasco sauce and lemon juice are often effective fluids to achieve this task.

Make the pup's toys taste good. An effective way to encourage your dog or puppy to take interest in her chew toys is to make them taste good. Dogs enjoy the taste and smell of vegetable oil and garlic salt. Spray a small amount of vegetable oil onto your pup's chew toys and rub them with garlic salt to make them more inviting to her.

Reprimand your dog and offer him a toy. If you catch your dog in the act of chewing things he is not supposed to, swiftly (and non-violently) reprimand him in a loud and firm voice. Then immediately offer him one of his chew toys and commend him for taking it. Teaching him what is right or wrong to chew on is imperative in the training process.

Turn on the television or radio when you leave your dog home alone. Many dogs chew when they are feeling bored or lonely. If your pet must be left alone for several hours, turning on a television or radio can make her feel like she has company. Talk radio is recommended rather than music as the goal is to mimic human socialisation.

Tip

Consistency is the key to effective dog training. Be sure to stay consistent with your chosen training procedures and ensure that all household members are conforming to the chosen strategies to train your dog.

Warning

Never physically punish your dog. Never offer a dog or puppy toys that can fit fully into his mouth to prevent choking.

Things You'll Need

  • Chew toys
  • Portable gate
  • Dog treats
  • Tabasco
  • Vegetable oil
  • Garlic salt
  • TV
  • Radio
  • Lemon juice
  • Spray bottle
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About the Author

Michelle Renee is a professional trainer and quality assurance consultant in the career, education and customer service industries, with two decades of experience in food/beverage and event coordinating management. Renee has been published by Lumino and Career Flight as well as various food, education and business publications.