There are few things more unpleasant than having a dog with a tendency to dig up your costly furniture. So, why is it that canines, particularly couches, must dig and scratch at them? The question then becomes, “What can be done to change this negative behavior into something more constructive?”

No one wants to see their brand-new $3,000 sofa ruined by their cat. In order to help you and your dog, this essay will delve into the causes of this behavior. Read on for some insight into what’s triggering this behavior and what you can do about it.

Dogs dig for a variety of reasons, many of which may be understood as inherited instincts from their ancestors. Your dog may be digging into the sofa because, in the wild, dogs would create dens for sleeping and hiding from predators.

Your dog may also be acting in this way because, like many wild creatures, he or she would want to keep their sleeping quarters a secret. However, there are a variety of other factors at play here.

The other causes may not be as evident. Dogs will occasionally dig in order to uncover hidden items. Assume that your dog is digging at the sofa because he has detected the fragrance of food or another object there. One other possibility is that he is attempting to bury his favorite toy since it is natural for dogs to do so in order to save their treasures.

A little amount of training may go a long way toward fixing these issues. To be more specific, your dog’s digging tendency might be more related to his comfort and temperature levels if he prefers to lie on your sofa. Like people fluffing their pillows before night, wild dogs may dig into warming up their bedding or find a more comfortable resting posture.

Why do dogs dig in couch? 

Why Does My Dog Dig on the Couch: Guide with Reasons

Consider getting a new dog if your current one is too rough on the furnishings. One of the first things you should do is to teach your dog not to jump up on guests. The term “off” should have a specific meaning for your dog. If he does not invest in his training, he will fail. Maintain a positive attitude and be patient with yourself as you go through training.

That’s okay, your dog will pick it up eventually. Buying a dog bed is another option for curbing this tendency. Keep your dog confined to his bed at all times. Your dog should not have access to the furniture or the bed. This will prevent your pet from scratching up your furniture or bed.

If you think your dog is bored and digging, try these tips. You may get him some new toys or alter his normal walking and playing routines. Indulge your dog with plenty of love and attention, and he’ll stop digging so much.

It may be time to consider putting your dog in a cage if none of these other methods work. This will offer him a sense of security and prevent him from damaging your furnishings while you’re away. This behavior will be drastically reduced as a result of his reduced access to your beloved sofa.

1. Making bedtime preparations

Before curling up for a snooze in the wild, a dog will dig a hole. When this is done, it serves as a deterrent to any nearby animals. The dirt is loosened, and a more pleasant surface is produced as a bonus. Modern dogs are pampered with plush beds and a variety of amenities. The strength of such inclinations, however, remains unabated. You may see your dog pawing the floor ferociously before doing a few laps and settling down.

2. Looking for snacks

I know you’ve done it: sometimes you’ve been caught out in public with a snack in your hand. You may believe you are taking precautions to avoid making a mess, but inevitably some food particles will fall to the floor. An acute canine nose is one of their many special abilities. A dog’s insanity may be caused by crumbs the owner cannot see.

They may detect the remnants of your last meal somewhere in your carpet fibers. For this reason, they have begun digging in the area in an effort to reach it. Those efforts are unsuccessful, but that’s not going to stop your persistent pooch from trying! If your pet starts digging, try sweeping the floor to remove any loose crumbs or scraps of food.

3. Sensations that captivate the senses

Essentially the same as the first justification, this one. However, it could not have to do with eating at all. Let’s pretend you’ve just done a day of gardening. You may be bringing dirt or other debris indoors on your shoes when you return inside. Your beloved dog is probably bored with the scents in your house and would be thrilled to experience something new. So, it forces them to look deeper and find out more.

4. Methods for coping with isolation disorders associated with anxiety and stress

Dogs are significantly more complicated than most people realize. They can feel a spectrum of emotions, much like humans! Stress and worry are normal sentiments that dogs aren’t the greatest at coping with. Anxiety frequently leads to harmful action. Your dog might resort to chewing and burrowing the carpet or sofa to gain some comfort.

Does your dog routinely dig at the floor near the door? Chances are, kids start feeling apprehensive once you go to work every day. If you’re not cautious, they might ultimately tear through the carpet or dirty up your hard flooring. If your dog digs while he or she is experiencing feelings you don’t approve of, it’s because of this. It’s an effort to obtain peace of mind.

5. An attempt to hide something

When dogs appreciate something, they will do everything they can to defend it! That’s why you could notice your dog dragging around his or her favorite toy all day. If they had the opportunity, they’d probably bury it in the backyard someplace for safe-keeping. Of course, that’s not feasible inside. Yet, dogs will still attempt.

They may attempt to find a place in the carpet or under a piece of furniture to bury their prized possession. Dogs’ attempts at self-defense may become rather ingenious at times. Make sure you look behind the cushions! Perhaps some forgotten playthings will reappear. It’s also possible to unearth secret things tangled up in the sheets or stashed away beneath the bed.

6. Absolute and utter boredom

Similar to how stress and worry may cause dogs to act out in unexpected ways, boredom can have the same effect. To maintain their mental and emotional health, dogs need ongoing play and exercise. When you’re at work all day, your dog needs something to keep him engaged. There is frequently a lot of damage as a result of this.

7. Calling your attention

Your dog will dig in the house to get your attention if you have given in to it in the past. Which means they’ll take advantage of it whenever they can! Dogs might exhibit this behavior when they are bored and looking for some playtime.

They’re taking a gamble, knowing you’ll say something, and digging in the carpet or sofa. In other situations, dogs may engage in digging activities to address more important needs. As an example, maybe they have to use the restroom in the open air. They will be digging close to the entrance as a warning.

Why do dog scratches the couch?

Why Does My Dog Dig on the Couch: Guide with Reasons

If your dog has shown an interest in digging a hole in your backyard, you can certainly see why. But it’s much more perplexing to see them try to do the same thing on their indoor bed. If your dog is clawing frantically at the furniture in your house, it may not be because it wants to get out.

The Dodo speculates that this peculiar behavior is a vestige of their primal need to solve puzzles in order to ensure their own existence. Wolves, like many other animals, often dig up a sleeping area before settling down there. This activity serves them well in the wild. Maintaining a steady body temperature is crucial in the outdoors. When it’s chilly outdoors, wolves can dig a hole to keep warm, and when it’s hot, they can dig up a bed of cool dirt to cool down in.

Wolves will still benefit from excavating a den even if the temperature in the area is just right for them. They can sleep undisturbed in a small hole because it provides them with hiding space. This action isn’t as beneficial when a dog’s bed is composed of cloth instead of soil.

However, this does not prevent domestic pets from acting on their animalistic tendencies as they get ready for bedtime. Comfort might be another reason your dog likes to dig up the mattress before bedtime. Dogs may claw at cushions in an effort to make themselves more comfortable, much to how you may fluff your pillows before getting into bed.

As long as the activity doesn’t appear compulsive, there’s no need to worry about your dog’s state of mind while they’re digging inside. The same can’t be said for the quality of their dog bed, so consider investing in one that stands up to late-night, pre-sleep assaults.

1. The typical actions of a puppy

Puppies love to scratch and dig. VCA describes it as a type of play and discovery. It’s common for this to occur often when a dog is a puppy. The puppies are out and about in the world, discovering new things. This is why many times you will return to your home only to discover that it has been transformed into a battleground. But as your dog develops and trains, this habit goes off.

2. Aromas to explore

Interesting odors attract dogs, who then scratch the couch. Your dog could scratch your sofa because they scent something within. Food crumbs can have found their home on your couch. Or your doggo smells little insects who have sought shelter there. There’s one, in particular, that does this. Brown marmorated stink bug. The EPA informs us that this is an invasive bug that resides throughout much of the US. They arrived in the 1990s in shipping containers from Asia. They have become a major issue for today’s farmers.

The reason is that they like munching on expensive crops and decorative plants. They are also a nuisance inside people’s homes. During the colder months, they seek safety inside. Some may even take shelter within the cushions! They emit a putrid stench from smell glands in their bellies. And your pet may scent this. This explains why you sometimes see them clawing at the walls or cupboards.

3. The act of scenting the sofa

Dogs’ actions in this regard are fascinating to see. It’s a natural consequence of establishing territory. Scratching the ground after defecating or urinating is a good analogy. Which the AKC says is an indication that the dog is trying to define his territory with his smell.

The paws of a dog are equipped with sweat glands. In addition, they are pheromone producers. Further, they disperse their odor by scratching the ground. It’s possible that clawing at the sofa is just a natural progression of this habit. Your dog is merely settling in when they do it.

4. The urge to burrow

This is a holdover from the dogs’ wild ancestry, back in the day, when our predecessors had to construct their own caves for shelter. They create these underground shelters to protect themselves from predators. These days, it’s a rare occurrence for a canine. Nonetheless, we can tell because they scratch at their bedding. Similarly, when they rip up the carpet. Are there any modern dog breeds that burrow?

It’s a common way for huskies to cool themselves during the warmer months. In the summer, my friend’s Husky, Yuki, does this. Yuki has daily supervised outside time. However, after a while of play, she would start looking for a way to calm off. She would be squished into a space the size of a Yuki shade.

5. Nesting

The pregnant dog exhibits this behavior. This is because of their innate desire to raise their young. They will make their “birthing bed” ready when they are ready to have their puppies. Scratching at furniture is a common behavior. Or else your dog will be seen carrying toys. Throw it all on their bed. A mother dog builds a nest to provide a cozy, secure environment for her young. However, this is not the only possible context for this to take place.

6. Behavioral Displacement

When you’re at a loss for words, do you twist your hair? Or, when you’re anxious, do you bounce your knee? If so, you’re engaging in behaviors associated with being uprooted. The same holds true for your dog.

As described by Dr. Patricia McConnell, these behaviors occur in animals when there are competing needs. They are at a loss on what to do. It’s great that your dog gets along well with others. They are aware, however, that it is impolite to approach strangers and immediately jump on them. By engaging in these behaviors, they are repressing their urges.

7. Stress

Have you relocated? Or have there been recent changes in the dynamics of the family? Had your dog had any terrible experiences? If that’s the case, then their anxiety might be causing them to scratch their couches. It’s not hard to tell when a person is under stress since the symptoms are so obvious.

Dogs, however, are an exception to this rule. It turns out that stress signals look a lot like the way they normally operate. The main distinction is an increase in frequency. When under stress, dogs often want to flee or hide. Also, they might have bowel motions that they don’t want. Caution: if they feel threatened, they may attempt to protect themselves. Take them somewhere calm and out of the stressful situation.

7 important things to consider when your dog is digging in the couch

Why Does My Dog Dig on the Couch: Guide with Reasons

Dogs have a natural instinct to dig. However, if your dog has a habit of tearing up your flower beds or bringing mud and grime into the home, this reality may be very irritating. Dogs dig for a number of reasons, but fortunately, there are several ways to prevent the resulting devastation.

It’s in the dog’s nature to dig holes. Like barking and sniffing, your dog may have an innate need to dig. The majority of your dog’s motivations for digging holes in your garden are based purely on instinct.

1. Instincts for predation

Even the most sedentary of dogs, the “couch potato,” retains a healthy dose of predatory drive. It explains why Fido rips up his squeaky toys and howls after squirrels when you take him on a stroll. Your dog’s sense of smell and hearing may lead them to subterranean creatures as they sniff about your yard. Terrier breeds and other dogs with a strong hunting drive may resort to digging up the yard in pursuit of the vermin they detect by scent and sound.

2. Entertainment

When dogs discover that the dirt and its roots are “playback,” they can start digging for fun. There’s a good chance that your dog is digging for fun. They are abandoned for lengthy stretches of time in the yard by their human family. There aren’t many people around and nothing for them to do.

If you know a puppy or teenager that doesn’t have any physical activities to engage in, please consider adopting them. These dogs are terriers or some other breed specifically developed for digging. They are a working breed, and their happiness depends on it. They have lately seen you tending to your garden or tending to your yard.

3. The act of storing food and other items

Caching is a natural behavior for certain dogs, who may hide away treats, bones, or even toys that they find particularly appealing. They act in this manner because of a fundamental need to cover their tracks.

Your dog may not understand that you no longer desire their beloved and thoroughly destroyed Nylabone. The Nylabone is obviously very special to your dog, and he or she doesn’t want anybody else to have it. A dog may begin digging holes in an effort to conceal a bone or favorite toy.

4. Shade

When the weather becomes hot, your dog may enjoy lounging in the shade while watching you work in the yard. Rather than having to actively seek out cool soil, your dog may benefit from a shaded place where it may escape the sun’s rays.

There’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to satisfy your dog’s innate need to dig. There’s no need to put up with your dog tearing holes in the grass every day. You can protect your dog from destroying your yard by giving it appropriate outlets and exercising some control over its surroundings.

5. Controlling the temperature

Anyone who has ever been into a cave knows that the air temperature drops significantly even a few feet below the surface. If it’s a really hot day, your dog may want to dig into the yard’s cooler dirt. To cool down, Nordic dog breeds like Malamutes, Huskies, and Elkhounds love to burrow in the ground.

6. Controlling rodents

If your dog has a habit of digging up your yard, you may want to consider installing some kind of rodent control, regardless of whether you want to turn your yard into a Certified Backyard Habitat or just observe wildlife from a distance. Many measures may be taken to discourage rodents from making your yard their home.

Planting aromatic herbs like mint, basil, and thyme may help immensely with this. In order to prevent rats from burrowing and nesting in your flower beds, you should not use earth mulch. Sounds and vibrations from solar-powered repellents may prevent rodents, but they may be too loud or too frequent to be comfortable for your dog.

7. Nervousness and stress

When dogs are feeling worried or agitated, they may display various basic displacement behaviors. When a dog’s stress levels rise over a particular point, it may dig furiously in an effort to get away from whatever it is afraid of. This is possible even if there is no genuine danger to worry about.

How to stop your dog from digging and scratching the couch?

Digging is a trait shared by several canine breeds that were originally developed for working underground. Dog breeds like the terrier and the dachshund were originally intended to hunt down and destroy burrowing pests. For them, digging is a normal and necessary habit.

Dogs from the north, like the Siberian Husky, have a natural inclination to dig and make cozy dens for the winter. These animals dig nests in the snow or make soft beds in the dirt when it’s hot outside. The motivation for canine digging is not limited to a dog’s breed. Your dog, like a person, may want to rummage for dropped popcorn kernels or loose coins under the couch cushions.

Some canines utilize the sofa as a safe deposit box, storing valuables and protecting their prized possessions from prying paws. Like humans fluffing pillows before a nap, some dogs may alter and fluff their sleeping quarters. You probably won’t enjoy this, but if your furniture is a breeding ground for fleas or other insects, they might potentially infest your dog without you even realizing it.

When dogs scratch at the furniture, they’re trying to get rid of or locate the insects and other pests that could be causing the noises. Some bored canines, having exhausted all other options for entertainment, have resorted to digging up couch cushions. Yet, often, we unwittingly reinforce the habit.

It’s easy to get into the habit of laughing at the puppy’s antics or turning the digging behavior into a “stop-that” chase game. A dog that craves attention will like playing “stop-it” chase more than being left alone.

1. Search dogs that dig

Having a holy terrier-type dog as a snuggle buddy will NOT prevent the dog from digging in the couch cushions. If you don’t want your dog’s irritation taken out on the furniture, provide him with a safe digging place outside.

Construct an outside sandbox for him, and he may watch as you bury his favorite toy before he gets to play in the sand himself. For some indoor digging fun, fill a big cardboard box with shredded newspaper or soiled towels. Your sofa will thank you, and so will your dog.

2. Sausages and peppers

If your dog is a northern breed and you live in a warm climate, don’t waste his time with a warm dog bed. Combine this with the sandbox I described before for further fun. Indoors, you can use some creative thinking and some clean, old bedding.

You may chill the sheets in the freezer overnight and then use them to cover your pet’s regular bed. Dogs may sleep on special mattresses like the K&H cool bed III, which is designed to assist dissipate body heat.

3. Clue-in on food: private investigators who solve mystery restaurant menus

Check the couch cushions for any crumbs that may have been forgotten and give them a good vacuuming if you have a dog that likes to nose around for food. Kibble form the puzzle toys I use to feed my cat, Karma, ends up in the upholstery on occasion. When I make a mistake, Bravo corrects me right away.

4. Trappers of pests

To avoid having to treat your furniture for an infestation of annoying and perhaps harmful parasites, it’s important to keep your dog safe from harm. When treating your house and furnishings, be sure to use items that are pet-friendly.

5. Hiders behind the couch

To prevent your dog from using the sofa as a secret hiding spot, provide him with other acceptable alternatives. Put his favorite chew toy in there with some peanut butter or anything else he’ll love to eat. Don’t let your dog make the sofa his secret trove of toys and treats; instead, associate the item with a different area.

6. Sad puppies

When puppies are left alone for long periods of time, they quickly get bored. Give him a mission, like finding a stash of food or toys. Toys that challenge and stimulate a dog’s mental and physical faculties are also helpful. The gifts are great, but please don’t leave them lying around on your sofa.

7. Pay attention seekers

Instead of rewarding your dog for digging at the sofa to catch your attention, try training him to do something more appropriate. It’s not easy, but try to focus on him just when he makes one of his favored requests. Educate him to sit when he wants something, like your attention or a special toy. That may serve as his puppy’s means of payment for everything he purchases from you.

Watch 9 weird dog behaviors explained | Video

Top 5 FAQs and answers related to why does my dog dig on the couch?

How come my dog always stretches out on the couch after scratching it?

Establishing a boundary – Dogs, like cats and many other four-legged species, release a unique pheromone via smell glands on the soles of their feet. Your dog may scratch at furniture or other items to claim them as his or her own.

It’s puzzling why canines tear at blankets?

You guessed it: your pet family member is clawing the new bed to claim it as his domain. Dogs, like many other animals, use the pheromone they emit from smell glands on the pads of their feet to mark their territory and discourage intruders.

Is there a reason why canine feces causes them to kick after they’ve done business?

Dogs who scrape madly at the ground or kick garbage behind them are often establishing their territory, and a habit referred to as “scrape behavior.” It’s possible you won’t always see your dog communicating, but be assured that every time he or she does, his or her body is engaged in a crucial chemical process.

If a dog has to defecate, why do they spin in circles first?

When a dog poops, he does a number of actions, one of which is circling in place. With these actions, he is protecting himself, tidying up his temporary home, and leaving a calling card. Dog feces provide a wealth of information that may be interpreted by the owner.

Should dogs spend the night in crates?

Is It Unkind to Keep a Dog in a Crate Overnight? Neither is it unkind, and neither does it make them hostile. Your dog will feel more secure in his or her cage. You may rest easy knowing that your dog is safe and sound in their box.


You may be asking why your dog is scratching the furniture and what you can do about it. In this piece, we’ll go through some of the potential reasons behind this, as well as several solutions. Exactly why is it that my dog enjoys scratching the furniture?

Dogs may scratch the sofa for a variety of reasons, including boredom, anxiety, the pursuit of a toy or object that is attached to the fabric, or the discovery that this activity is rewarded. Your dog’s behavior might have been caused by a mix of factors or one or more of the many factors already mentioned.

However, there are a lot of factors to take into account when determining the primary reason, as well as a number of solutions to try.

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