Dogs That Dig Furniture

Some dogs have a habit of digging in and around the cushions on chairs and sofas. This habit can become expensive if the dog digs vigorously enough to tear the upholstery fabric and expose, or even remove, the stuffing.

In the wild dogs dig nest-like depressions in the ground, and this behavior can carry over into their domesticated lives... on our chairs and couches. Łukasz Szczepański/iStock/Thinkstock

Why Dogs Dig At Your Furniture

The ancestors of our modern dogs had no comfy beds or couches to lounge on, of course, so when they wanted a comfortable spot to lounge, they’d simply make one.

Dogs today retain the instinct to do that. Dogs who spend time outdoors will dig a nest-like depression in the soil or dry grass that comfortably fits their body contours, and lounge there, alternately napping and surveying their territory.

Why Digging Dogs Can Be A Problem

When indoors, this instinct is still active, and dogs will try to arrange the surface where they wish to lounge to fit their body. If this means digging a hole in the seat of your brand new lounge chair, the cost to repair or replace that cushion will never even enter your dog’s mind.

How To Live With A Dog Who Digs

One possible answer is obvious – keep the dog off the furniture, period. Provide your dog with her own personal blankets and pillows that you do not mind getting ruffled up.

If you wish to allow your digging dog to share your comfy furniture, but don’t want her to dig into it, lay a blanket or other durable fabric on the seat, with the edges tucked down around the sides of the cushion. When your dog indulges her instinct to dig a nest, she will untuck the blanket and rumple it up, instead of trying to dislodge and rumple the upholstery.

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Article Categories:
Behavior and Training · Dogs

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