It sure is hard to love Rusty when you walk into the living room and see he's destroyed several of your sofa cushions. He doesn't mean to make you mad. He was bored and lonely while you were at the grocery store. Fortunately for him, that sofa kept him occupied for hours, so he didn't even notice you were gone. Keep the peace in your home and work with your pooch to prevent his destructive chewing habits. You'll fall in love with him again soon enough.
Pick up some bitter tasting spray from the pet store. These formulas -- which also come in lotions -- are perfectly edible, but have an awful flavor. Dab a small amount on the legs of your sofa, where Rusty tends to chew. The next time his tongue touches the sofa leg, he'll get an unpleasant surprise. It won't harm him, he'll just quickly learn that the sofa tastes bad.
Unfortunately, some dogs actually enjoy the flavor of bitter products. In this case you'll need an alternative. Open up your pantry and reach for a bottle of hot sauce. Drizzle a little hot sauce on a cotton ball and dab it on the edge of the bureau he always chews on. Much like the bitter spray, he'll get an alarming surprise when he takes a nibble. It won't hurt him, but he definitely won't want to keep chewing there.
If Rusty continues to gnaw away at your antique table, you may have to resort to a repellent. Dog repellents come in sprays designed for indoor use, allowing you to conveniently spray the area underneath the table. Repellents also come in granules that you can mix in the dirt of the potted plant next to the table. You won't be able to smell the repellent, but his sensitive nose won't like the odor.
Water is another handy deterrent. Fill up a spray bottle with water and when you catch Rusty in the act, spray him square in the face. The key is that he cannot see you spraying him. Otherwise he'll just think he gets a squirt in the face every time you walk in the room. Water isn't harmful, it just startles him, making him want to stay away from that particular piece of furniture.
If your furry friend tends to chew on the sofa while you have a morning cup of coffee on the patio, hide out around the corner where he can't see you -- bottle in hand. When he chews, spray him in the face, quietly, and duck back behind the corner. He'll get the hint.
Dogs are born to chew. There's really no way around it. Give Rusty lots of acceptable chew toys to keep him busy. He'll be less likely to chew on your beloved pieces of furniture. Yelling at him doesn't help the situation either. He doesn't understand why you're upset. Rather than getting your blood boiling, put something in his mouth that he can chew on. You're replacing the behavior you don't want with a behavior you want to encourage.
Lastly, keep in mind that if you don't want it in your dog's mouth, don't give him access to it. If he chews the furniture while you're gone, don't give him free roam of the entire house. When you're home, keep him in the same room as you so you can watch over him. With a little patience you should be able to tackle the destructive chewing behavior.
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