How to stop dog from scratching couch

Why is my dog scratching the couch?


Digging into furniture is a habit that some dogs are born with genetically. Their ancestors used this as a survival tool for hunting ground-based food sources. These include critters, rodents, or just buried bones. It is most popular with dogs that are closest to the ground. This habit means small dogs such as Terriers and Daschunds find it normal to dig into things. This action is typical behavior that they will develop on their own. 

Warmth & Comfort

In other breeds originally from harsher environments in the wild, digging is a way to build a shelter. This behavior is found most amongst huskies who had to find warm areas to sleep in prehistorically cold climates. These dogs are notorious for digging because they crave warmth and comfort. 

Looking for treasure

Generational traits are not the only driving factor behind dogs’ dig into couches. Dogs have a very keen sense of smell and can smell lost food items on the sofa. Dogs are quickly excited, and if you drop any food on the couch, they might try to dig until they get it out. Small grains and crumbs left while having a bag of chips can drive your dog mad with curiosity. When dogs pick up such a scent, even their training can go out of the window because of the vital impulses they are affected by.  

Hiding toys

Dogs can often be described as childish. They like to find hiding places for their favorite toys and goodies. With many dogs in the picture, they will want somewhere private to hide their toys to avoid other dogs from playing with them. To them, your couch is just a fun and secluded area. Hiding things in the couch is amplified when the dog isn’t your only pet. 

Negative reinforcement

You reinforce the bad behavior. Dogs learn through positive and negative reinforcement. If you are not firm with your dog when they perform this behavior, then they are unlikely to unlearn this behavior. Dogs might start digging to get your attention. If you pick them up after they start digging in your couch, this might reinforce the behavior. Now your dog will associate scratching the sofa with being picked up. With every action around a dog, you must ask yourself if you are training the dog or they are training you.

Stop dog from digging a couch.

Change the association

To combat your dog’s boredom and the constant search for treats, you can create positive associations. Offer them an alternative to digging in the sofa and reward them for choosing it. If you place an exciting treat in the dog’s bed, they will begin to associate their bed with lovely treats. This action will break their association with the couch and delightful treats. You can swap out treats for interactive dog toys, which will keep them thoroughly entertained. It is essential always to keep these toys near the dogs’ quarters. 

Positive Reinforcement

Your dog must understand the concept of permission. Many dog owners fall over for their pets and can’t help being mad when they do something wrong. Dogs are intuitive and can easily take advantage of this behavior. Avoid rewarding your dogs for scratching. This punishment involves babying them. Please do not pick the dog up and show affection when it marks the sofa. 

Start Early

Many pet owners worldwide train their dogs from a young age to avoid the sofa in its entirety. They say you cannot teach an old dog new tricks. This saying is accurate because it becomes harder to train more senior dogs. The moment you detect the behavior, you must immediately nip it in the bud. Punish the dog and reprimand them vocally. 

How to stop dog scratching leather

Clip the dog’s nails

Grooming your dog is essential for their hygiene and the hygiene of your living area. Clipping your dogs’ nails will help teach them that scratching is not an option. This simple solution will protect both you and your furniture from scratches. 

Keep them off the sofa.

Ban them from the furniture. If your dog doesn’t cooperate, you will have to ban them from the couch officially. This ban involves leaving bulky items on the sofa when you’re not in the room, thereby limiting access to the couch. It is an excellent way to train your dog that the couch is out f bounds. Another option is to lock the room when you’re not in it. 

Outdoor digging area

Giving your dog a place to dig is a great way to prevent them from digging in your leather. This benefit is especially true for dogs that dig because they enjoy it. If you take your dog outside and offer them a designated digging area, they will take ownership of it. This area can be designed by creating an outdoor sandbox. It helps to have a place where they can tend to any digging cravings. 

Stop dog from scratching carpet.

Vocal reprimand

If you make a startling noise every time your dog scratches the carpet, then they will associate the rug with that noise. Them stopping the behavior means they do not have to hear the sound. This cycle is referred to as negative reinforcement. Your dog will refrain from scratching the carpet to prevent hearing the uncomfortable sound you make. You will essentially annoy your dog out of doing it.

Ban them from the carpet

You can begin to train your dog against getting on the carpet entirely. This training is a safe way to eliminate the adverse scratching action.

Toys & treats

You can offer your dog something more exciting to do. Depending on why your dog is scratching the carpet, these methods will have a high success rate. The dog might be hungry or bored. Often solving the underlying issue will deter the animal from the negative behavior.

DIY dog scratching deterrent

Anti – Chew Spray

Sprays that come with tea tree oil are well known the deter dogs from chewing or scratching furniture. The smell is pleasant for humans but far too intense for dogs.

Clip Nails 

Getting rid of the dog’s nails will reduce the scratching problem. The important thing is to maintain this grooming. Once the nails begin to grow back, the dog will want to use them as soon as possible. 

Elissa Smith
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