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Tips to Stop your Dog Biting the Furniture

 
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. September 28, 2016
Tips to Stop your Dog Biting the Furniture

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It is one of the most common canine behavioral problems, especially in the case of puppies - although it does happen in adult dogs too. Maybe you don't mind when your dog bites an old shoe or a rag, but what about when it's obsessed with your PlayStation controller or a nice bag or accessory? You might want to start dealing with this problem.

The most important thing is that you confront this problem as soon as possible, with a healthy dose of patience and positive training. Stay at AnimalWised to learn our tips to stop your dog biting the furniture.

You may also be interested in: Why Does my Cat Scratch the Furniture?

Puppies that bite furniture

As with human babies, puppies need to bite because their gums hurt as they develop. By doing this, they reduce the anxiety caused by the pain. Probably as a result of their inexperience, they won't understand when you tell them off or punish them. Teaching puppies not to bite, then, is a repetitive and constant process.

What can I do to keep my puppy from chewing on my things?

  • Get hold of a chew toy. There are many types and shapes; some are silent and others make sounds, some are soft and others are hard. Choose a couple of different ones so that you your puppy can try them both out.
  • You should go to an empty enclosure with enough space to move around, and give them the new chew toy. When it starts nibbling it, reward it with kind words like "well done", stroking it and even by giving it a treat. This is called positive reinforcement.
  • Interact with your puppy and the chew toy, and reward it each time it uses it. Make it into a shared game.
  • While it's important to encourage positive training, your dog needs to learn the meaning of no. When it bites furniture or forbidden objects, say "no" categorically and move it away from the object in question.
  • Marking is also an option which consists of a touching or patting your puppy - on the shoulder, for example - while saying "no". This is a common procedure in dogs of the same litter. This will divert their attention; move them elsewhere and give them the chew toy once again.

Remember that the habit of not biting things needs to be acquired, and that your puppy will need time to understand the whole process since it is very young.

If the problem worsens and the puppy begins biting your hands, you have two options:

  • Pretend that you are in severe pain: Just like the other members of the litter would do, your dog will understand if you cry "ouch!"
  • Walk away: When your puppy bites you, stop playing with it and walk away without paying it the slightest bit of attention.
Tips to Stop your Dog Biting the Furniture - Puppies that bite furniture

Adult dogs that bite furniture

The most serious and worrying case is when adult dogs continue to bite furniture and objects.

Why does my adult dog keep biting objects?

It usually comes down to anxiety or mismanaged energy. You must be strict with its walking, exercise and meal timetables. If all your dog's requirements are catered for, you can skip to the next point. When your dog is anxious, we would recommend using a Kong. This chew toy is especially designed for such scenarios.

What can I do to stop my dog biting the furniture?

  • As with puppies, you need to give it a chew toy that's appropriate for its size and - most importantly - one that it likes. You can get two or three different ones (one that makes noise, a smaller one, one with lights) which capture its attention and make it want to play.
  • Interact with your dog and the chew toy, capturing their attention and praising it every time it bites it. The use of treats is also permitted.
  • You must also tell the dog off with a "no" exactly when it bites the furniture or an object. Doing so afterwards would be a waste of time and confuse the animal. Additionally, take it away from the object in question and quickly give it its chew toy.

An adult dog should fully understand when it is doing something that it shouldn't be. It should be enough to offer it a solution for its desire to bite. Even so, the dog will try to bite whatever it wants to, and you should flatly forbid it.

Tips to Stop your Dog Biting the Furniture - Adult dogs that bite furniture

What else can I do to stop my dog from biting my things?

If you've already tried all types of positive reinforcement and given your dog a load of appropriate toys but the problem still persists, try the following tricks:

  • Repellent: Nowadays you can even find a variety of sprays in supermarkets, which dogs hate due to their horrible bitter taste. When your dog is in another room or out for a walk, generously spray your favorite furniture and the objects it tends to bite most often. If you're going to apply it on your furniture, get hold of a high quality one from a specialist shop so that you don't spoil the varnish - although this is surely the least of your problems.
  • Dog trainer: If you are really out of ideas and none of the above has helped you out, look for a professional dog trainer. Consider that if the problem persists it will generate greater anxiety in both you and your pet. Avoid this situation once and for all by seeking out an expert who will treat your pet as it deserves.
Tips to Stop your Dog Biting the Furniture - What else can I do to stop my dog from biting my things?

If you want to read similar articles to Tips to Stop your Dog Biting the Furniture, we recommend you visit our Behavioral problems category.

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