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How to Get Your Dog To Stop Chewing on Furniture

Updated on September 23, 2014

It's Simpler Than You Think!

Do you have a dog that thinks chair legs are a delightful smooth-finished snack? Did you know that your dog's not chewing them because they have an irresistible taste. Nope, he's chewing them because he thinks they are the perfect texture for chewing and give his teeth and gums the most nirvana-like chewing sensation. The trick to curbing this unwanted behavior is finding a chew toy that mimics the same kind of chewing feeling. It may take some trial and error but, with tons of dog toys out there, you'll find the ones that your dog prefers the most. Here are some helpful tips in finding that "perfect" chew toy.

Destructive Chewing is an Expensive Habit!

dog chewing shoes
dog chewing shoes

It's unfortunate, but many dog owners find themselves in the situation of having a dog who leaves a trail of destruction (for example, wood shavings from chewing on table legs, shredded couch cushions, ripped up wallpaper, torn shoes, etc.) in the home - especially when left alone. Some people think that the dog is enacting his "revenge" on the owner for leaving him home alone. This, however, is not the case. In most situations, the dog is chewing on household items because of boredom or lack of preferred chew toys in the house. Many dogs owners respond to this with, "But my dog has TONS of chew toys in the house to play with. He just prefers to chew on shoes or furniture for some reason."

dog chew toys
dog chew toys

Having the RIGHT Chew Toys in the House is Key

But Finding the "Right" Chew Toys Isn't Always Easy...

The reason is that not all dog toys are the same. There are many types of chew toys available and they offer a wide range of chewing sensations. Some dogs will play with just about any dog toy and have fun chewing it all day long. Other dogs are a lot more finicky and prefer to chew on something that gives them a particular type of chewing sensation. (So, if the chew toys in the house don't provide this particular chewing sensation, the dog will many times find something else in the house that does!) It's important to find out what is your dog's preferred type of chew toy.

For Couch Cushion Chewers - The "Right" Type of Soft Chew Toy

rip 'n tug
rip 'n tug

There are soft dog toys, but even within this seemingly narrow category are several types of toys. There are soft and fluffy stuffed animals (basically repackaged baby toys) which are very soft and easy to rip and tear open. Some dogs are happy to chew on these types of toys and will never bust open a seam because they are chewing gently. Other dogs get satisfaction out of ripping open and destroying the toy. For dogs like these, there are two dog toys: Rip 'N Tug Ball and Rip 'N Tug Lotus that are durable but made with Velcro sides so that the dog can "destroy" the toy and There are soft but extremely durable chew toys (like the ones made by Tuffy's Dog Toys) which are made with tough fabrics, several layers of stitching and fabric to make it more difficult to rip and tear open but that still give that soft chewing sensation that some dogs enjoy.

If you find your dog chewing on something that's springy (like a couch cushion or mattress), then your dog is looking for that spring-back action. A tennis ball can do this but unless it's a dog safe tennis ball it can ruin the enamel on your dog's teeth. Another option is the Pogo Plush dog toy. It's soft on the outside but has a rubber scaffolding in the center to give it a bounce back feeling as a dog chews on it. It also has a squeaker inside - bonus!

If You Think Your Dog Is Just Addicted To Furniture Chewing - You May Want To Try This Chewing Deterrent

Now For the Table Leg and Corner Chewers - The Elusive Hard-But-Soft Chew Toy

zogoflex dog toys
zogoflex dog toys

Dogs that are chewing on wooden furniture are most likely doing it because the hardness of the wood is just right because it's solid but it also gives a little when chewed. Those hard Nylabone chews are great for some dogs, but not dogs like these because those chew toys are too hard. Same with any plastic chew toys.

There is a line of made in the usa dog toys made with a natural rubber-like material called Zogoflex. These chew toys are hard but also bendable with a good amount of give. They give a lot of chewign satisfaction are made super-tough so even the most powerful of chewers will have trouble destroying these! These hard-but-soft chew toys are:

1) Hurley - A stick-shaped chew toy that comes in mini, small and large sizes.

2) Tux - A tri-orb shaped chew toy that has a hole in the middle that can be filled with treats. The Tux is also one of the most durable chew toys available - it's rated extra, extra tough!

3) Jive - A ball shaped toy that is great for chewing or fetching. Comes in mini, small and large sizes and works with any tennis ball launcher.

4) Twiz - A torpedo shaped toy that flies through the air or makes for a great round of chewing. Has a hole in the bottom perfect for hiding a treat reward. Available in mini or large sizes.

Another made in the usa line of dog chew toys that are hard but pliable comes from Ruff Dawg. These tough chew toys are made in the USA from 100% superior rubber. They are built extra durable with powerful chewers in mind. The Ruff Dawg Stick, for instance, is a hollow stick that, you guessed it, can be filled with treats (peanut butter works great) for an extra reward.

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Have You Ever Had a Dog Who Chewed On Furniture Relentlessly? - What Did You Do to Solve The Problem?

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    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 3 years ago from United States

      This is truly a problem for most dog owners, especially through the puppy stage. I have laughed at some of the different tricks pet owners have told me they tried. My own sister tried putting hot sauce on the wood. Turned out, her dog loved it and thought wood was a source for hot sauce. Things just got worse. They do need appropriate toys to play with.