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How to stop a dog from chewing his bed — 12 Comments

  1. Oh my God! This is so good. So many helpful tips. I have a dog and she doesn’t chew her bed but takes all the stuffing inside her bed out. I am guessing the same tips apply for this behavior. I will read again all your tips very carefully and will start to apply some of them.
    Great site. Very cute.

    • Thank you for your kind comments.

      The same suggestions should apply in your case. Try to discover why she is doing it then you’ll have a better idea of how to stop it. For example, does she do it while you’re there? If so, she may be hungry or bored or possibly not ‘know’ that the bed is not a toy to be chewed.

      If she only does it in your absence, again it could be boredom or connected with separation anxiety.

      Have another read and see if anything rings a bell.

      Hope it helps.
      Ian

  2. Hi Ian,

    This is a great article with some sound advice. I have an Ozzie and she is a really high energy dog that is not easily outsmarted. Training her to what she is now took years of consistent training and alot of patience. Dogs are not born with the immediate knowledge of what behavior is acceptable and what is not. What they are born with is the need to please their pack leader which in this case is you. With patience, they will learn what pleases you and that is when the correct behavior should be positively reinforced.

    I learnt with our Ozzie that positive reinforcement of good behavior is far better than negative reactions to unwelcome behavior. 

    Rich

    • Hi Richard – is she an Australian Shepherb? That sure is a lovely dog and, yes, she will have lots of energy and she’ll be smarter than your avergae dog, too! 🙂 Sounds like you’ve been doing the right thing.

      If youwant some ideas about engagement, you could take a look at How to walk a dog which is about how to create a better relationship with your dog as much as how to have good walks.

      I’m sometimes surprised by people who get a real working dog but don’t spend time with them playing with them or training them and then wonder why they are destructive. So would they be if they didn’t get much exercise and had no challenges. Oh dear.

      Sounds like your dog is great, thanks for sharing,
      Ian

  3. Hi Ian, so many helpful tips!! Thanks for these.

    Our dog doesn’t chew his bed much but he does like grabbing shoes whenever he can, not to destroy them but just so we chase him around. We got him as a rescue and he was already 1 yr old, any tips for training a rescue?

    • Hi Marvin – thanks for getting in touch.

      It sounds like your dog simply wants to play. He’s grabbing what he thinks is a toy, running around and you’re chasing him. What a great game! 🙂 The worst thing you can do is chase him while he has a shoe as you’re only rewarding him for taking it.

      One thing I’d try is to put the shoes out of reach if you can and place a suitable toy there instead and see if he takes the bait. If that’s not possible, the next time he takes a shoe, don’t chase him or tell him off but offer him a toy instead, say by playing with his ball or throwing a toy up and down so he sees you playing with it. In such situations, most dogs will drop what they’re holding in favour of the other toy – the grass is always greener 🙂 Don’t make a  big thing of the switch but once he has the toy play with him like mad. So essentially, don’t reward him for grabbing a shoe but lots of reward for playing with a toy.

      Murphy was a rescue dog, a little under a year old we think. He was abandoned and we don’t know his history but think he had been ignored rather than being badly treated.  It took a while for him to settle but he turned into a great dog. Unbelievable to think anyone wouldn’t want him.

      So it’s just baby steps, showing him what he can and can’t do. Use positive reinforcement, engage with him often and keep him safe and challendged. You might want to read How to walk a dog – Worry Free Walks book review for a few engagement tips.

      Good luck and have fun!
      Ian

  4. Oh God!!! This is so good and informative. So many helpful tips in this article. Though, i don’t have a dog anymore because i had to sell it due to anger of the dog eating and biting almost everything in my house. I had to sell it because I thought I wasn’t made to have a dog at home. 

    Reading these tips just changed everything I believe about dogs. Now, i think i have a clue on how to make a dog behave.

    Many thanks to you author. Thumbs up

    • Hi Kehinde – so sorry to hear that you had to sell your dog. Some dogs are more difficult to train than others but they all respond better to consistent engagement and positive reinforcement training. But I know it’s not always easy.

      If you are thinking of getting another dog, look for a breed with a good temperament or perhaps a resuce dog with a good  history – Murphy was a rescue dog. BUT FIRST – do read some books and articles about dog training and try to talk to other dog owners who have well-behaved dogs. It’s incredibly important that you spend a lot of time with your dog when you first get him so you can bond and teach him how to behave, so arrange to have the time to do that.

      Once you know what to do you’ll be well prepared and better able handle any potential problems.

      Good luck,
      Ian

  5. Nicely done, this is best practices dog care for sure. I make it a point to allow my dog to sniff even though I want to get on with our walk (“it’s a “walk,” not a “stand,” I mutter to myself) but I know how important it is that he gets that mental stimulation and that I indulge him.

    I feed my dog three times a day, a big breakfast, a small afternoon snack, and dinner. Each meal is almost always associated with a walk afterwards.  His weight is good, and he only bugs us for food when we’re running late and he “knows” it’s time. This seems to be working for us.  He only ever chews anything on very rare occasions for reasons I haven’t been quite able to figure out. 

    Thanks for the post, so much useful information, I’ll be saving this one. 

    • Hi Jon – thanks for your comment. I’m exactly the same on walks – it’s not a dawdle! I find a retractable lead very useful here so you can slow down at your own pace instead of coming to an abrupt halt.

      Murphy only every chewed one thing and that was the foot of a rocking chair when he was staying overnight with my parents. Never chewed anything before or since. Sometimes you just can’t fathom it.

      Depending on what your dog chews and when, it might be possible to spot a pattern. But intermittent faults are the hardest to diagnose 🙂

      Sounds like you have a happy dog. Good luck,
      Ian

  6. Thanks for the comprehensive post about how to stop a dog chewing his bed! My dog is not a serious chewer but now and again he will chew at a corner of his bed.

    I always thought that dogs chewed their bed out of habit. I didn’t know that nutrition plays a part, too. Seems like we cannot jump to quick conclusions but have to dig deeper to find out the real reason when dog exhibits such behaviour. 

    I love your idea for mental exercises, especially mental puzzles. Can’t wait to try it out next time my dog starts to chew his bed.

    • Hi Grace – yes, there’s quite a list of potential problems that can cause a dog to chew his bed. Nutrition is not common but it is a factor people might want to look at, if only to rule it out.

      I think habit, from when they were a puppy, can be a cause but also boredom as many dogs now are left for hours each day while their owner goes to work. Active dogs in particular can get bored quite quickly if they are not exercised enough.

      Hopefully you can find the cause with your dog and, if it is boredom,  let’s hope some mental stimulation will prevent it.
      Ian

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