If you’ve just gotten a new puppy, training Fido not to chew on your furniture is likely near the top of your list of things to do (right after teaching him not go to the bathroom in your apartment). Dog chewing is a fairly common problem, particularly with puppies who may be teething, but having a dog-friendly apartment doesn’t have to mean that you allow your furniture to be destroyed. Use this pet-friendly advice to correct dog behavior and give your furniture a fighting chance:
Provide Chew Toys
One of the main steps you can take toward discouraging inappropriate dog chewing is providing your pup with alternatives–in other words, make sure you have plenty of chew toys lying around your apartment. It’s natural for your puppy to want to chew on things; you just have to make sure his teeth aren’t digging into your brand new couch. Nylon bones are great for more vigorous chewers, while ropes and softer chew toys are also a viable option–just make sure you rotate them so he doesn’t get bored.
When training your dog not to chew on the furniture, it’s important that you are consistent in your commands. Dogs learn by repetition, which means you should do the same thing each time you catch Fido chewing on the furniture: Say “no;” grab his collar and lead him away; then introduce him to a new chew toy. This way, you won’t be teaching him that chewing in general is bad, just that chewing certain things is bad. If you have roommates, it’s important that you talk to them about your plans to train Fido not to chew the furniture. If everyone exhibits a different reaction to his behavior, he will get confused. Make sure everyone is disciplining and rewarding him in the same manner.
Try a Spray
If the obedience training isn’t working, it may be time to test out a spray. To make a safe and natural taste repellant, combine water and cayenne pepper in a ratio of 10 to 1. Before spraying the concoction on the couch, shake it to make sure the solution is fully mixed. The spray will cause your dog to have a slight burning sensation in his mouth each time he chews on the furniture. After Fido’s experienced that unpleasant sensation a few times, it’s likely he’ll opt to chew on his toys rather than the furniture in the future.