Ask the Trainer

Ask the Trainer: How to Stop a Dog From Chewing Furniture

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Dear Kevin,
My Dobie will be 2 in October and she has plenty of chew toys but still is gnawing on the furniture and her bed. Walk her twice a day for a 1/2 hour each. What can I do?

Hi Pam,

This is a bit of a tough one. I would recommend increasing physical and mental stimulation. Dobies can be very high energy. If a dog has extra energy it will find a way to get rid of it. And usually they will get rid of that extra energy in a way the human does not like. I would also recommend that she is supervised at all times or in a place where she can’t get into trouble. You could use baby gates or a crate.

In regards to the mental stimulation. Do little 10 minute training sessions. Practice sits, downs, loose leash walking/heeling etc. When you work a dog’s brain it will tire them out. You can also add in some mental stimulation on your walks. Add in sits, downs etc. in the middle of your walk. Just keep her focused on you.

In addition to mental and physical stimulation, you can use positive reinforcement and redirection to teach her which objects are appropriate for chewing. The moment you see her chewing on the furniture or her bed, say “No,” then give her one of her chew toys along with a high value reward (a yummy treat if she is food-driven, or lots of good attention if that’s her favorite). She’ll eventually associate her chew toys with good feelings and will opt to chew those instead of the furniture.

One last note. You can try to use something like bitter apple spray or a vinegar concoction as a deterrent for the unwanted chewing.

Thanks for your question!

Kevin Duggan CPDT-KA

Kevin is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (  and is a Canine Good Citizen Evaluator through the American Kennel Club. He currently resides in Ohio with his dog, V, a six-year-old Shepherd/Lab mix, where he operates All Dogs Go To Kevin, LLC, specializing in helping build positive relationships between humans and their canine companions using clear communication, not pain and fear. For more training tips and tricks, and to meet his amazing dog, V,  follow him on Facebook by clicking here.

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  1. I always emailed this blog post page to all my friends, since if like to read it after that my contacts
    will too.

  2. Avatar Of Pam



    Thank you have tried Bitter Apple as well as giving her a chew toy and treat – will try the training sessions. I do, downs and sits during walks. Just need to be more diligent and consistant.

  3. Avatar Of Tammy Cartagena

    Tammy Cartagena


    I have a 7 month old German Shepherd he still teething he did pretty good at first then he started biting me mostly and my husband at times what can I do besides muzzle him which we do when he gets outta control hes a good boy otherwise !!

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