About the Author: Nettie Finley, the Professional Dog Trainer at MyPetDoggie. Specializing in behavior rehabilitation, Nettie leads our team with her effective training techniques. As a certified canine behaviorist, she brings transformative change to challenging behavior cases. Her experience and expertise elevate our content, providing practical, insightful training advice for our readers. Also, she loves her Cavapoo!
Dogs destroying their beds is an extremely common story. Many people get confused as to why exactly they do this.
As a dog trainer with many years of experience, I have seen many cases of dogs destroying their bed. So exactly why do dogs destroy their beds? Well, It’s due to many reasons such as teething problems, incomplete development, anxiety, and stress-related issues.
We also have to know that it’s not that simple either, That’s why I’m here to tell you all about it in-depth. So without further ado, let’s discuss why dogs destroy their beds.
Why Do Dogs Destroy Their Beds
We first need to figure out why dogs actually do this to their comfy beds. Understanding the issue is the first step towards fixing it.
Dogs destroy their beds due to many reasons like anxiety, stress, teething problems, natural instinct, separation anxiety, boredom, OR they are just not properly trained.
So let’s just discuss the main causes before we move on to actually address the issue. Starting with:
First things first, you need to understand that dogs are descendants of wolves. Yea Right! Those Wolves. If you know about wolves, you may also know that they are incredibly wild beasts.
If your dog is tearing things apart then it’s probably their wild instincts that basically persuade them to tear things up. In this case, it’s about natural behavior as this is an old-age behavior that’s been passed down through generations, kind of like inheritance.
Teething and Oral Sensations
Dogs, puppies especially have an oral sensation that gets relieved by chewing things. They chew to relax their teething discomforts. In this case, you have to understand that dogs like to explore the world through their mouth and chew everything they find.
The bed is a perfect victim for them so they relieve their teething and oral sensations by chewing and destroying their beds.
Boredom and Excess Energy
A bored dog with full energy is basically waiting for destruction. If a dog is left alone and is feeling bored with more than just average energy levels, then he is definitely going to do some destruction to pass his time.
During this time, beds happen to be a perfect target so he basically chews and destroys his bed to kill his boredom.
Anxiety and Stress
Yep! You heard that right. Dogs can suffer from anxiety and stress too. When we humans feel anxious and stressed out we like to use different objects around us to relieve our stress and tone down our anxiety. This includes scratching ourselves, using a ballpoint as a fidget toy, and many more.
Dogs, on the other hand, can’t do all this stuff, so they relieve their stress and anxiety by chewing things up. In this case, the bed is right there so they take that opportunity and take out their stress on that hence, destroying it.
Dogs are incredibly defensive with their things! Some dogs develop a connection with their beds and get a sense of ownership with their beds. That’s why, sometimes they feel that their territory is under threat so they take dramatic measures to ensure that no one else gets any use out of it.
How to Keep Dogs From Destroying their Beds
There are many things you can do to prevent your dog bed from being destroyed, from investing in a more durable bed to actually training your dog to not destroy it, There are many different ways. We will discuss all of them below so without further ado, let’s begin!
Now that we know why dogs destroy their beds, we will talk about what you can do to prevent all of this:
Choose a Durable Bed
The first thing you can do to prevent your dog from destroying his bed without actually training him not to do it is to invest in a more durable bed. There are plenty of chew-resistant beds that are made for wild dogs who like to destroy them.
These chew-resistant beds are made up of incredibly durable materials like ballistic nylon, canvas, and tough polyester. You also need to make sure that it is the right size for your dog or else he will be wild due to discomfort too.
Provide Chew Toys
Another way of diverting your dog’s mind from chewing and destroying his bed is by providing him with other stuff to chew. There are a number of chew toys that divert their urge to chew and destroy their beds.
Before providing these toys to your dogs, you need to make sure that the toys are safe for your dogs to chew and don’t contain anything toxic.
Supervision and Training
If you train your dog early on not to chew things, they will avoid it. That’s why supervision and training are important, especially during the early years which can correct chewing habits during its early stages.
Using a crate has also been proven to stop dogs from chewing or destroying their beds. It’s simply a safe space for your dogs and they are less likely to chew it if they know their house is safe. It is an illusion that a confined space makes to them so they are less likely to destroy it.
Learn to be more positive. If you notice your dogs destroying their beds then do some initial training and reward them if they behave well. Reward them with treats and cuddles because dogs love positive energy.
If they notice that you show them extra affection when they are not destroying their beds, they will most likely stop it to earn some extra affection and love from you.
Another way of preventing dogs from chewing their own beds is to apply a spray or something that will deter them from chewing their beds. You can apply a pet-safe bitter apple spray and even some other deterrents that are considered safe for pets.
The smell that these deterrents produce will make them avoid chewing their own beds hence, preventing them from destroying it.
If your dog is bored and is feeling extra energetic then you are definitely inviting disasters. A quote goes by “A tired dog is a well-behaved dog”. That’s definitely true when you consider that your dog will simply be quiet and non-wild when he doesn’t have extra energy to waste.
To make sure that he isn’t “extra energetic”, make sure that he gets enough exercise every day to spend that extra energy that he would have used to destroy his bed or be extra wild.
If anxiety is causing all of this, you need to consult your vet immediately. They will suggest some medications for your dog and even give you some steps to treat it.
The most common techniques of treating anxiety in dogs are desensitization and counter-conditioning which basically includes changing how your dog reacts to anxiety. Like training your dog to sit and focus on the owner more during his anxious stages instead of being wild. This is kind of like therapy but for your dog.
Proper supervision is incredibly important especially if you are introducing a new thing to your dog like a bed or a toy. If you notice that your dog is acting up around it, address it as soon as possible and correct any destructive behaviors.
Use a Blanket or Cover
The easiest way of protecting the actual bed is by using a durable blanket or a cover. In this way, if they actually chew on the bed, the actual bed would not get destroyed. Another advantage is that a blanket or a cover is far easier to replace than the entire bed.
Teach “Leave it” Command
A simple leave it command does the trick. If your dog is still acting up after all these methods, a simple leave it command will do the trick. Teach your dog a simple signal that will make him leave chewing on the spot.
In this way, whenever your dog starts chewing its bed, you can simply do the “leave it” command and it should notify your dog that you need him to stop it. Hence, it can be extremely effective in making the dog actually stop chewing his bed.
What Can I Use Instead of a Dog Bed?
If your dog still can’t take a break from destroying his own bed then you can try the following things instead of a dog bed to prevent your dog from making further destruction.
These things include:
- Durable Mats or Carpets.
- Foldable Cots.
- Cooling Beds.
- An Old Suitcase.
Why Do Dogs Destroy Their Bed in Their Crate?
There are many causes as to why dogs destroy their bed in their crates. This includes anxiety, stress, depression, or some other sort of frustration.
Dogs experience stress and anxiety like humans too and we humans relieve our anxiety by indulging ourselves in different activities such as playing with a fidget toy or eating our nails or some other stuff. Dogs, on the other hand, have a wild instinct and in case of them feeling anxious, they will do vicious behavior such as chewing or scratching.
Their bed in the crate happens to be a perfect victim as they try to escape their crate but aren’t able to. This further stresses them out and they destroy their beds in their crate by scratching or chewing it.
Should You Punish Your Puppy For Chewing His Bed?
Now that we have discussed the important question of why dogs destroy their beds, it’s time for us to learn whether you should punish your dog if they start chewing it again.
Punishment can give birth to a fear but it is not always the solution. In many cases, punishing dogs when they are chewing due to anxiety can make it even worse. That’s why you should try these alternatives instead:
Redirecting them towards other things is the simplest solution to the chewing problem. Provide them with a chew toy or some other thing that they can chew instead of their bed. Another thing you can do is to treat/reward him when he interacts with those toys.
This can produce a sense that he can earn more love by not being wild.
Provide Appropriate Toys
As we discussed above, making sure that your dog has enough toys to chew instead of his bed can help a lot with his anxiety and stop him from chewing his bed.
Use Bitter Apple Spray
A bitter apple spray has a scent that deters dogs away. If you spray this bitter apple spray onto his bed then he will get off of his bed and will lose interest in chewing it.
A point to be noted is that make sure that the spray is non-toxic and is considered safe for pets.
Supervision and Proper Training especially in the early stages can drastically help in your dog’s development. If he learns that he shouldn’t chew things early on, he will stop on his own.
Gradual Crate Training can make sure that your dog knows that the crate is a safe space for him. It will make your dog feel like the crate is just its second home which will make him a bit less destructive.
If your dog is showing gradual improvements over time then make sure to show him extra affection and love. In this way, they will feel more excited to be improved to earn more love from their owner.
Dogs also chew to relax their gums. If your dog is teething then make sure to offer him a cold or frozen chew toy. In this way, when your dog is about to chew it, the frozen chew toy will soothe its sore gums.
The most common mistake the dog owners make is that they treat the dog’s crater more like a jail cell than an actual home for them. Make sure to add some cute decor and some toys to make it a bit more personal and to keep your dog’s mind stimulated and active.
Exercise is the most important step when it comes to a dog’s well-being. Sometimes dogs act extra vicious due to extra energy. If your dog gets regular exercise then that extra energy gets used and your dog will behave more relaxed. That’s why make sure that your dog gets enough stimulation and exercise even outside the crater.
Training and Socialization
Training and socialization is the most important step to make sure that you actually reduce your dog’s anxiety as opposed to increasing it. Socialization can build up their confidence hence, make them battle their anxiety.
If even through all of this hassle, your dog still acts vicious then it is probably time for you to hire a professional. Consult a professional dog trainer for advice or even some training sessions. This will ensure that your dog is relaxed at all times and isn’t chewing his bed due to incomplete development.
Do dogs need a bed?
Dogs also need a night’s rest to stay healthy and active. This is especially true for more older dogs as they need more sleep than the younger ones. A bed helps their body relax more and encourages them to go to sleep a bit faster. That’s why, if you want to keep your dog healthy and active, a bed is definitely necessary.
Do dogs get bored sleeping all day?
Though dogs like to sleep a lot and take naps here and there all day long, sleeping 24/7 isn’t healthy for them. If they are sleeping more than they actually should then it can cause health issues and means that they are bored. In this case, you need to contact the vet immediately and consult about this issue.
Do dogs prefer beds or floors?
Dogs that like to stretch out during their sleep generally prefer the floor and the dogs that curl up during their sleep prefer a more donut-shaped bed. Either that or the dogs will generally prefer the floor more if the bed isn’t a right fit for them.
Do dogs get possessive over their bed?
Yes, dogs get possessive over the things that they interact with a lot. This can be with a lot of things like toys, beds, etc. This habit can be unhealthy for them as it causes an excessive attachment therefore, it should be addressed as soon as possible.
Why does my dog do things he knows are wrong?
Dogs engage in these kinds of activities due to instincts, boredom, or even the lack of proper training. They continue with their habits because they simply can’t think of them as wrong or right.
And that’s it! In this article, We talked about why dogs destroy their beds. I gave you my clear look at it as a trainer and explained some reasons that I observed as to why dogs actually do this.
We discussed that it can be due to many reasons such as anxiety, depression, and even some teething problems. Boredom and Instincts were also a part of this list.
Then, we discussed how we can actually prevent all of this. From choosing a durable bed to properly train your dog accordingly I gave you many solutions that you can resort to.
Many possible solutions and even alternatives to even punishing your dogs were also discussed and I hope they helped you. And that was it! I hope you liked this article about why dogs destroy their beds and hope you found it informative. Be sure to check out some of my other content as well. Thanks for staying with me!