BitingSeparation Anxiety

How to Stop My Dog Biting the Sofa

You just want to sit back and relax at night with your loved ones but you can’t because of one strange little problem: your dog keeps biting the sofa! Why the heck are they doing this? Why is your dog biting the couch, and can they get hurt doing it? Are they ever going to grow out of this strange behavior?

Today, we’re going to give you the answers to all of these questions, and most importantly, we’ll tell you how to stop your dog from biting the sofa for good! I’m sure you’re eager to not have to worry about this frustrating problem any longer, so without further ado let’s get to our article “How to Stop My Dog Biting the Sofa.”

Why Is My Dog Biting the Couch?

How to Stop My Dog Biting the Sofa

Your dog is biting the couch because they’re experiencing anxiety, and the chewing releases endorphins that soothe them. It’s also possible that your dog is doing so out of boredom, teething (if they’re under six months old), or pica, a condition where dogs attempt to eat non-food objects (though this is the least likely of these possibilities).

Dogs can develop strong attachments to certain people in the home, and it’s likely the couch carries this person’s scent. Dogs can smell up to 100,000 times better than we can, so even if you can’t sense anything — it’s there. Your dog biting the couch helps to relax them when they’re stressed out, especially when this person leaves.

Though it could just be general anxiety that your dog is looking to relieve, the fact that your dog has chosen the couch to bite makes a subset of it known as separation anxiety the likely culprit for your dog’s behavior. Some dogs go through this because they feel overly protective, while others experience it because they can’t feel safe without the person to whom they’ve attached.

Sprays are often touted as a fix for when your dog is biting the couch, but they should not be used as they are ineffective and could stain the fabric. And in many cases, the dog actually becomes more attracted to the scent and will bite and chew the couch even more.

Allowing the behavior to continue is obviously not an option because your couch is being damaged, and your dog is experiencing a lot of stress. Left unchecked, your dog’s problem will grow and escalate and you’ll soon likely find them biting your door frames, biting your walls, and even chewing the nightstand.

To stop your dog from biting the couch, you need to use behavioral training. Skip to the last section now where we’ll go over exactly how to do that.

Can My Dog Get Hurt Biting the Sofa?

Your dog can get hurt biting the sofa. Prolonged chewing on the sofa could easily lead to your dog breaking off slivers of wood or pieces of fabric. These are both significant choking hazards, and the slivers also pose a digestion risk as they could become lodged in your dog’s intestines.

Will My Dog Grow Out of Chewing on the Couch?

Your dog will not grow out chewing on the couch, unless they are still under six months old and are still teething. If your dog is older than this, then you can be certain they will not grow out of chewing the couch, as then you have a behavioral issue and not one that is age-related.

And even if your dog is only chewing on the couch due to teething issues, it’s not something you should allow to continue. Ignoring the possible damage to your couch, you’ll also be giving your puppy the impression that it’s okay to chew on and destroy whatever they want. And as they age into an adult dog, you’ll have even bigger problems on your hands.

How to Stop Your Dog Biting the Sofa

To stop your dog biting the sofa:

  1. Do not make loud, sudden noises like clapping or yelling. Your dog is likely biting the sofa due to anxiety, and scaring them like this will only make things worse.
  2. Do not use sprays or similar solutions. They are ineffective, can damage your sofa, and often will make many dogs even more attracted to biting on the sofa.
  3. Ensure that your dog has a proper and acceptable outlet always available, like a quiet chew toy.
  4. Ensure that your dog is getting plenty of playtime and exercise.
  5. When you notice your dog is biting the sofa, immediately give a calm but firm “no.”
  6. Next, put your dog into time-out in their crate or a closed-off room for about 10 minutes.
  7. Let them out, but repeat the last two steps as many times as necessary if the behavior continues.
  8. When your dog is around the sofa but not biting it and instead using their chew toy, give them praise, pets, and a small treat.
  9. Ensure that anyone else in the home is also following these steps so that your dog is receiving unchanging feedback.
  10. Be patient and consistent.

Your dog should soon learn that biting the sofa gets them negative results, while not doing so gets them rewarded. Still, you’ll need to address the underlying anxiety issue which was causing all of this in the first place. And to do that, we need to discuss what makes dogs function deep down.

You’ve probably heard before that dogs are pack animals, and that in every pack there is a pack leader. Well, when your dog is biting the sofa or showing other signs of stress and anxiety, and then not obeying your commands to stop, they are clearly telling you that they don’t respect you in this role.

If they did, they would listen when you tell them to stop biting the sofa. They would not feel stressed and anxious when you’re away. They would not get so worried that they would soothe themselves by destroying things when they’re not around to protect you. And they would listen to your commands at all other times as well.

But once you’ve proven to your dog that you are not just their pack leader, but a capable one who is worthy and deserving of their respect, your dog will stop biting the sofa. You’ll also be able to put an end to all of the other related behavioral issues you’re likely having, or will be soon.

You’ll be better off for obvious reasons (not to mention your poor couch), but so will your dog. That’s because you’ll have freed them of all the stress and anxiety that they’ve been going through. So you win,  your dog wins — sounds terrific, doesn’t it?

“Yes, of course, but how do I do any of this?”

You should watch an excellent free video series on how to be your dog’s pack leader by a renowned trainer named Dan which will show you all that you need to know. In his series, Dan explains everything in ways that are very easy to understand and teach to your own dog, and he gets right to the point so that you’ll start seeing these important results in no time.

Start watching Dan’s free training series now by clicking here. And don’t worry, you’re not going to have to yell or even be mean to your dog at any time. Dan uses only humane and loving methods, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but also because it’s the only way to achieve fast and permanent changes in your dog’s behavior.

I’m sure you’re ready to have all of this frustration behind you, so I’ll let you get started now. Good luck with everything, and thank you for reading “How to Stop My Dog Biting the Sofa.”