Advice About Your Dog Chewing Furniture
One of the concerns for many dog owners is the destruction a dog can wreak on their furniture and other items. Yet, there is hope. There is an immense amount of advice about stopping or preventing your dog chewing on the furniture that is available from a variety of sources. There are also dozens of ways to take that advice about your dog chewing on furniture and make it work for your particular dog.
First, most advice about dogs chewing furniture will tell you that it is best to begin deterring the behavior at a younger age. Part of the reason for starting early is that chewing tends to be a product of teething, and when left unchecked, transfers into even more damaging adult chewing of our furniture. Still, if you have adult dogs, advice to stop or prevent your dog chewing on your furniture is just as applicable.
Re-Direct the Behavior
One great piece of advice to stop your dog from chewing furniture is to re-direct your dog's chewing. As you find your dog chewing on your furniture, you should take a toy and re-direct his or her attention on the toy. When they turn their attention away from the furniture, you need to praise them greatly and give them the toy to continue chewing. Soon your dog will learn to enjoy the praise from chewing appropriately.
Understand that Chewing Is Normal
One thing that many people need to learn about dog chewing is that chewing is a very normal dog behavior. Some people believe that you need to deter all chewing to keep your dog from ruining the furniture, but most advice about your dog chewing will tell you that you are better off providing appropriate chewing activities to deter chewing on furniture or other items. This means that your dog needs to have his or her own toys, and the more active the toys the better. For the most part, dogs chew out of boredom, frustration, loneliness, and anxiety. By having active toys, dogs find other things to do besides chew on your furniture.
What are Active Toys?
When reading or listening to advice about how to keep your dog from chewing furniture, you will hear the term "active toys" over and over. Plush toys, tennis balls, and more are all good toys, but active toys are ones that stimulate your dog and allow him or her to play alone. There are great active toys available like The Amazing GoDogGo that allows your dog to play fetch on his own. Also, the infamous Kong and snack activity balls or squares allow your dog to seek out food in an active way. Finally, there are hide-a-toy plush toys where smaller toys are hidden inside one larger toy. Keeping your dog busy by using these toys will often prevent chewing on your furniture
Anxiously Waiting Your Return
Allowing your dog to remain busy when you are gone is also a key way to keep your dog from chewing on your furniture. Most of this chewing occurs right before you get home. Therefore, you will need to give your dog a new activity right before you get home, like seeking out a toy. You will need to teach your dog to greet you at the door with a specific toy in his or her mouth before you will greet your dog. This training begins by helping your dog seek out the toy, and not greeting your dog until he or she has it in his or her mouth. After a few days your dog will learn to bring the toy to the door, meaning he or she will spend time right before you get home seeking out the toy rather than chewing.
No Punishment Allowed
Most advice on keeping your dog from chewing on furniture will remind you that punishment will not deter chewing, but can actually increase the behavior. Redirecting and conditioning will always be more effective. You may need to keep your dog confined with toys for a while to discourage chewing while you are not there. Also, many experts recommend that you spray your furniture with chewing deterrents, like Bitter Apple, that you can purchase at pet stores.
No matter what advice about how to keep your dog from chewing on furniture you choose to take, you will find that changing your dogs chewing behavior will take time and patience. Eventually, though, using the advice to keep your dog from chewing on your furniture will curb the behavior and keep your furnishings looking like new.
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