Adult Dogs

How to Prevent Your Puppy from Chewing Rugs


For whatever reason, dogs love rugs.

They love them.

And there seems to be a magical link between the value of the rug and the puppy’s affection for that rug.  The same can actually be said of shoes, purses, and anything else that dogs normally chew on.  If it’s expensive, they seem to somehow know this intuitively.

This article explains how to train this annoying behavior out of your dog.

But first, it’s important to understand why puppies chew on rugs in the first place.  There are actually any number of reasons.  The 2 most common culprits include:

  • Teething.  Biting, mouthing, and chewing are natural activities for young dogs.  And they’ll sink their teeth into anything they can.  It’s simply part of the canine development process.
  • Boredom.  A bored dog is a dangerous dog (at least dangerous for rugs, expensive shoes, and electrical cords).  With nothing else to occupy their time, many bored dogs will destroy whatever’s lying around.

It’s also important to remember that dogs don’t follow the same expectations and moral codes that humans do.

Without intervention, there is no way for a dog to know that rug chewing is off-limits.  This is why training is so essential.  You must guide your dog and teach it how to distinguish between what YOU feel is inappropriate and appropriate behavior.

6 Easy Ways to Get Your Puppy to Stop Chewing Rugs

Let’s explore some of the most common ways to get your dog to stop chewing rugs, carpets, and other floor coverings.

You can use any one of these recommendations in isolation, or you can combine them all together to create a more comprehensive training routine.

1.  Remove all rugs

This is the simplest (but least practical) way to get your dog to stop chewing on rugs.  By removing carpets, you remove the problem.  But most pet parents don’t want to use this approach (for obvious reasons).

2.  Increased supervision

You can increase the level of supervision using any number of different tactics.  Let’s start with the least practical and move through the most practical:

  • You can constantly watch your dog 24/7.  Simply intervene whenever you catch your dog chewing on the rug.  Problem solved (at least for the moment).
  • You can puppy-proof your home.  Set up gates and barriers to prevent your dog from going into unattended areas when you’re not around.
  • Crate training.  Lock your dog up when you’re away.  This method is 100% effective, but we personally don’t like to limit canine movement to that degree.

3.  Taste deterrents

You can use any number of homemade or commercial taste deterrents to discourage your dog from chewing on the rug.

Be careful though.  Some taste deterrents can actually harm fabric.  We recommend some of the products listed here.  If you don’t want to spend any extra money, cayenne pepper usually does the trick.

4.  Substitutions and rewards

Leave out chew toys – lots and lots of chew toys.

Remember that boredom and teething are 2 of the biggest culprits when it comes to rug chewing.  By providing your dog with substitutes, you’re helping to create constructive outlets for both of these common urges.

But it’s not enough to simply leave these toys out.  You also want to praise your dog whenever she directs her attention towards these objects.  This helps to reinforce the link between things that belong to her (i.e. chew toys that are lying around) and things that belong to you (i.e. rugs, shoes, cords, etc.).

5.  Exercise and play time

As Caesar Milan often says, “a tired dog is a good dog.”  And we couldn’t agree more.  By providing your puppy with lots of playtime and exercise, you can exhaust her energy reserves and make her more manageable.  This isn’t just great for rug chewing prevention – it’s also great for dog training in general.

This is especially important if you have an active breed (i.e. any dogs that were selectively bred for hunting, herding, or retrieving – which is a pretty large subset of canines).

6.  Medical checkups

We typically recommend veterinary checkups as the 1st step in canine training.  When dealing with aggression or other behavioral problems, it’s always a good idea to rule out health-related issues first.

But training your dog to stop chewing on carpets is relatively easy to fix.  By contrast, visits to the vet can be expensive.  So we included this solution last in our list.  However, if none of the above strategies works (either in isolation or collectively), you’ll definitely want to schedule a visit ASAP.

We hope you’ve enjoyed these suggestions.  And best of luck – to you and your carpets.


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