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How to stop your dog from destroying your furniture when you are out

How to stop your dog from destroying your furniture when you are out

Dogs can be hard on your home; often, this is why landlords and letting agents don’t allow tenants with dogs to rent their properties. However, if your dog’s destructive tendencies go beyond the normally expected wear and tear and actually comes down to a concerted attempt to rip up your curtains and upholstery and chew on everything you own, you likely have your hands full!

There are a great many potential reasons behind why your dog might attack your furniture, including boredom, excess energy levels and acting out. Whatever the reason behind it, it can soon prove expensive, and it is important to make an effort to correct the issue and its cause.

Telling your dog off for ripping things up after the event, often when you first discover it but some time has passed will not prove effective, and your dog will not understand why he is being chastised. In order to deal with the problem, it is important to make sure that you are providing for all of your dog’s needs, and giving him a healthy outlet for his energies. Read on to find out more!

What is the problem?

First and foremost, you will need to assess your dog’s living situation and establish what factors are contributing to the problem. If your dog is young and teething, do they have plenty of appropriate chew toys that they can use? If your dog is an avid digger, are you able to provide for this by allowing them an area of the garden that they can dig in, to divert their attention from your furniture?

It is also important to consider whether or not your dog is receiving enough exercise to fulfil all of their needs, as a tired out dog is much less likely to get into mischief! Added to this, your dog should not be left alone for long periods of time while you are out, and you should ensure that they have plenty to entertain themselves with when you cannot be with them.

Don’t make it easy!

If your dog has started picking at or ripping something, they are more likely to persist with it if you leave it unchecked. So if your dog is ripping at the curtains, put them up out of reach, and if your dog is chewing bits off your upholstery, tape over them or find a way to cover loose trailing fabric so that it doesn’t look so appealing to your dog!

Tackling the issue

  • When you cannot be at home with your dog, keep them confined to one room such as the kitchen where there is not much that they can get their teeth and claws into, to reduce the chances of them destroying your best rooms. If your dog is crate trained, use their crate when you are out, and provide plenty of toys and diversions for them in the crate as well.

Once your dog begins to become less destructive, they can be trusted to have access to a wider area!

  • Ensure that you walk and play with your dog before you need to leave them alone; tiring them out and making them feel fulfilled will help to minimise destructive tendencies. A quick pee in the garden is not sufficient; make the effort to walk and interact with your dog properly before you leave them alone!
  • Give your dog plenty to do and think about when you are gone, to divert them from finding their own methods of entertainment! Give them plenty of toys and games with different textures, and puzzles such as a stuffed Kong that your dog will need to work at to earn the reward inside of it. This will also help your dog to associate being left alone in the house with good things, and not see it as a negative experience.
  • If your dog has particular favourites in terms of what he likes to destroy, use deterrents on them while they are unattended. It is easy to buy bitter sprays designed to repel chewing teeth, so liberally coat your favourite furniture with them to deter your dog from chewing on them in your absence.
  • As your dog becomes more trustworthy in terms of being left alone, you can gradually extend how long they are unsupervised for, up to a limit of about four hours, which is the maximum amount of time that it is fair and realistic to expect an unsupervised dog to be happy for.
  • You can also allow them a greater range to roam within the home once they have proven that they can be trusted, ultimately working up to letting them loose in the rooms where they previously used to go to town!
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