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How Do I Stop My Dog From Chewing The Furniture?

Research shows that adopting a dog is an excellent way to promote better health. Dogs lower stress, provide us with companionship, and even motivate us to get into the Great Outdoors for a brisk walk or run. If you find that your pup is chewing at woodwork, sofas, or shoes, however, you may wonder what you can do to stop the behaviour. Not all dogs chew, and only a small percentage will actually need training. Fortunately, this problem is usually temporary and it is an easily solvable problem that the whole family can work together to avoid through training.

Chewing is Often Normal in Puppies

Puppies usually teeth until they are about seven or eight months old. When teeth break through gums, it can be as uncomfortable for dogs as it can be for babies, and in the same way that babies can cry or get cranky, dogs try to alleviate their discomfort by chewing.

It is very easy to get your dog interested in chewing the right items by providing them with good toys. Go for Kong or similar level toys, which won’t break off and pose a choking risk, and which contain hidden treats inside; these will make your dog works hard and burn a few welcome calories, to obtain his treat. 

Training is Key

Sometimes, adults dogs can take to a particular item of furniture or shoes, which they will repeatedly chew on when they are bored or restless. The key to stopping your dog from chewing on woodwork is to let him know that this behaviour is not acceptable. Fill a glass jar with rocks or marbles; shake the jar loudly when your dog starts chewing and give him his chewy toy quickly, to let him know that only some items are okay to gnaw on. 

Is Your Dog Active Enough?

One of the most common causes of chewing, is boredom or excess energy; if this is the cause of your dog’s chewing, the only solution, is movement. The exercise needs of your dog will depend on his age, breed, size and overall health. Dogs in good health can enjoy between half and hour to two hours of activity a day.

Try to take your dog out for a walk several times, to meet and greet with other dogs and have a good sniff around the neighborhood and green areas such as parks. Your dog should enjoy brisk exercise, which you can provide him with by throwing a ball and enjoying a game of fetch, or holding him on a leash while you skate.

If your dog is a senior, he will still need exercise; gentle walks are an ideal way to keep his weight down; remember that older dogs are more prone to weight gain and osteoarthritis and preventing heart disease and other illness through exercise, is key.

Chewing is a common but easily controlled behaviour, which can be tackled through training, exercise, and patience. If it is accompanied by other destructive behaviour, your dog might have separation anxiety, a condition which should be attended to by your veterinarian or a dog behaviouralist.


By Jane Gordon, a dog owner who learnt through trail and error what worked for her dog, Oscar