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How To Stop Your Dog From Destroying Your Carpets

Sharing one’s home with a dog is of course hugely rewarding and most of us couldn’t imagine life any other way, with our dogs very quickly becoming a much loved and highly valued member of the family. However, every dog has their own individual personality and core traits that in many ways dictate their behaviours both within the home and outside of it – and many dogs display a range of behaviours and preferences that can be very strange to us as humans, and even cause problems.

Dogs are quite mischievous and of course, don’t instinctively know what is and is not allowed or good for them, which can result in some dogs being destructive in the home, in a variety of different ways. This may be caused by boredom, a lack of understanding of what is allowed or in some cases, simple wilful naughtiness – but having a dog that seems to be obsessed with destroying something within the home can be a real problem.

If your dog has decided that your carpets are public enemy number one and seems intent on ripping it up, clawing at it or otherwise destroying it, this is both a behavioural issue and one that will potentially cost you a lot of money to repair in terms of your home décor.

However, a reasonable number of dogs will fixate on chewing or ripping up carpet within the home if this behaviour goes unchecked, and knowing how to prevent this from happening given that it is unlikely that you can prevent your dog from using carpeted rooms can be a challenge.

In this article we will address the question of how you can stop your dog from destroying your carpets, including addressing underlying issues that may be causing such behaviour, and looking at ways to physically prevent your dog from behaving in such a manner. Read on to learn more.

Why do some dogs destroy carpets?

There are a wide range of different reasons that in your dog’s mind, provide ample justification to destroy your carpets, and understanding them and being able to recognise what is going on when it comes to your own dog helps you to address the behavioural issue at the root of things.

Some of the most common reasons for a dog destroying carpets include:

  • Boredom: A dog that is bored or doesn’t get enough mental stimulation will proactively look for things to entertain themselves with, even if they know that they shouldn’t be doing something.
  • Excess energy levels: If your dog isn’t given sufficient walks and activities to do, this will in its turn lead to boredom, but also, to your dog desperately trying to find things to do to work off some of that excess energy.
  • Obsessive behaviours: Some undesirable canine behaviours may begin innocently, but soon become obsessive and pattern-forming in the dogs that exhibit them. This is particularly common in intelligent and tenacious dogs, such as many types of terriers like the Jack Russell.
  • Copy cat: Dogs learn a lot from each other simply by observation – which means that unfortunately, if you have one dog that attacks the carpet, another dog that lives with them may follow suit!
  • Your responses: If you catch your dog destroying the carpet, the chances are that you’re going to tell them off. However, for your dog, any response (even a negative one) is better than no response, and if they know they will get your full attention and trigger a reaction from you by attacking the carpet, this reinforces the behaviour for the future.

How to stop your dog from destroying carpets

Being able to understand what is going on in your dog’s mind will naturally help you to address and curb their carpet-destroying behaviour, and so if you can correlate their behaviour with one of the causes listed above and resolve the underlying issue, your dog’s behaviour should improve.

However, this may not happen automatically, because behaviours such as destroying carpets can become ingrained, and require repeated correction to resolve.

That said, if the underlying issue is not addressed, your chances of solving the main issue – destroying the carpets – are much lower.

  • Make sure first of all that your dog is not bored, and does not get left alone for so long at a time that they become destructive for want of something better to do.
  • Ensure that your dog gets enough walks and mental stimulation, and that they are not starved of company or entertainment.
  • Correct repetitive or obsessive behaviours by diverting the dog and providing an alternative form of stimulus, and rewarding them with a treat when they follow your commands.

In terms of what you can do to protect your carpet itself and make it less of a target for your dog, try the following:

  • Identify the areas of the carpet that your dog targets and make them less appealing. This means tacking down or securing loose corners or edges that your dog uses to grab hold of, or replacing or trimming carpet that has become ragged or stringy around the edges.
  • If your dog always heads for the same spot of carpet, try covering it with a piece of furniture, or using a dog deterrent spray to make it less appealing to your dog.
  • Close your dog out of carpeted rooms (or the rooms that they target) when you are unable to supervise them directly.
  • If and when your dog begins to chew or show signs of attacking the carpet, correct them, divert them and reward them with something else to do instead.
  • Be consistent – for your dog to learn the rules, you need to correct them reliably every time they act out. If your dog will not stop or change their behaviour upon command, give them a time out by removing them from the room for a while.

Correcting problematic behaviour within the home can be a fairly protracted process, and keeping calm and consistent in how you handle things is important. Shouting at your dog or getting annoyed with them won’t help, and you need to remain calm and responsive in order to redirect and tackle undesirable behaviours of this type.


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