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.

By By September Morn | Posted: April 12, 2012, 8 a.m. EDT

dog digging in a chair

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 a digging dog 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 that 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.

Learn more about dogs that dig. 


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Carol   Shorewood, Illinois

10/19/2014 12:22:10 PM

We are getting ready to buy new furniture and I have a digger as well...I am investing in a few "Scat Mats" to train them to stay off and away. They also don't like aluminum foil, so if you lay a few sheets across your couch and chairs, they will stay off of them.

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Sarah   Kansas City, Missouri

8/5/2014 1:53:00 PM

I have a Chocolate Doberman and he is digging as well. He sleeps in a recliner in our family room and has dug out the cushion. We put a blanket down and he digs that up and sometimes grabs it off and plays with it. I came home the other day and noticed he had scratched and punctured our leather couch so I put the cushions up when we leave. He just started digging on my kitchen mat and has ruined it. He only does this when we aren't home so I'm guessing it's a separation anxiety issue? He hasn't had any issues like this in the past so we are stumped.

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Cathy   Salem, Oregon

7/23/2014 8:26:30 PM

I have a Blue Doberman, he has totally dug a hole in one of my lazy boy chair to where he is almost falling threw it lol.Sorry I know its not funny but you would have to see he is trying to to the same to my futon ...I have put a blanket on his chair and on the futon and all he does it shake it and drop it..Please help , what can I try next ...

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Leslie - 233329   Lakeside, AZ

9/30/2013 9:59:35 PM

Good information. thanks

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