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Why Does My Dog Dig on the Couch: 9 Reasons Why!

Expensive and cozy couches being damaged by our furry friends is probably the last thing you want.

Believe it or not, this is a widespread tendency among dogs.

Hence, dog owners around the world know that this can be problematic.

Why does my dog dig on the couch?

This can primarily be attributed to instinctual behaviors. Dogs also dig on couches to hide belongings, mark their territory, or dig a den. Sometimes exceptional hormonal responses to pregnancy or psychological disorders can also cause this behavior. In that case, you better take him to a vet.

But this barely summarizes the entire idea. We have covered all the reasons behind your dog’s behavior. 

Let’s delve right into it without wasting any time!

Dogs Dig on Couches: 9 Reasons That You Should Know About!

Surprisingly there are various reasons behind this tendency. But let me break the good news first! In most cases, this isn’t usually an indication of any disease. So your dog is safe. 

As for the bad news, if this habit persists, it can burden your wallet.

So, before nipping the issue in the bud, we must understand the underlying reasons. Let’s look at some of the common causes.

Reason 1: Instinctual Behavior

Like human beings, dogs also inherit several behavioral traits from their ancestors. These are called instinctual behaviors. 

Instinctual behaviors are typically innate and hard to change.

For example, Terriers, Malamutes, Beagles, and Collies are dog breeds that love to dig. Dogs from these heritages are likely to explore owing to their ancestral behavior patterns. 

Reason 2: Spilt Food And Drinks

Your house can get wild during parties. Chances are you’ve spilled your drink or have dropped your food on your couch. 

In that case, your dog might dig couches if they smell food or drinks. 

Dogs have around 300 million olfactory receptors. They usually dig to try to uncover what they smell. Garlic leftovers can be intense. But whether dogs can eat garlic is a concern. 

Reason 3: To Hide Precious Belongings

Another explanation for the couch digging is that he’s trying to hide something. 

The tendency to hide precious treasures is not restricted to just human beings. Dogs often try to hide their favorite toys and bones. 

And they often choose couches as their holy grail for hiding belongings. But why couch? Well, that will forever be beyond our comprehension. 

So, if you see your dogs digging on your couch, check for bones and toys the next day!

Reason 4: Out of Boredom

Hmm, are you spending less time with your puppy? Perhaps you’re overburdened at work. But have you bought your furry friend toys to pass the time in your absence? 

You’ll be surprised to know that these are things you should consider. 

Because often, the root of your dog’s digging issue can be boredom. This is often diagnosed as a coping mechanism by veterinarians. 

Buying the best toys for your doggo or daily exercise can fulfil your dog’s adrenaline requirements. 

Check out our recommendations for fantastic dog toys:

Product 1
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These toys will keep your dogs entertained for hours daily! So, you will have happier dogs and a non-torn couch. 

Reason 5: Anxiety

Interestingly enough, dogs can dig on couches to indicate anxiousness. A dog’s anxiety can be attributed to a plethora of reasons. 

Perhaps you’re leaving your home; maybe you’re having guests over. You could even bring home new pets. All these scenarios can make your dogs anxious. But over time, if your dog gets familiarized with these, its tendency will also stop. 

Feeding dogs sweet potatoes, eggs, and goat milk can help calm their anxiety. 

Reason 6: Pursuit of a Good Night’s Rest

Does your dog love to sleep on your couch? If so, your dog may be digging it to make it more warm and cozy. 

Dogs are ancestrally den animals. This is an instinctual habit that has been passed on from ancestors. Dogs usually dig couches to try and create their den. 

They may dig and move in circles to make their sleeping spaces more comfortable. This tendency is observed in the wild as well! 

This is comparable to our tendency to puff up pillows before sleeping. 

Reason 7: To Mark Their Territory

This is more common in the wild. But domesticated animals also do this, owing to their primal instincts. 

Did you know a dog’s paws have glands that bear its unique smell? So when you see a torn, threadbare couch, your dog is marking its new territory. 

Reason 8: Maternal Behavior

It’s common for a dog to scratch or digs your couch during pregnancy. This is a hormonal response to create a sort of nest for the coming puppies.

It’s best not to interrupt her at this. Instead, rejoice at the thought of a new puppy blessing your home!

So, here’s a small tip for you. After the 5th week of pregnancy, your mommy-dog will require 10% more energy. During this time, consider healthy treats like carrots for your dogs.

Reason 9: Tendency to Imitate

Have you brought home a new pet that scratches your couch? It’s prevalent for other pets to do the same. 

This is because the imitation tendency is pervasive in dogs. It’s typical for dogs to imitate their siblings or buddies. 

Thankfully, this is harmless for the dogs, but not for your couch. 

Oof, there you go; we’ve covered almost every common reason behind dogs digging on your couch. But there are some exceptional cases bearing health implications.

Exceptions That May Require Medical Attention!

Previously, we’ve mentioned that most reasons are harmless for your dogs. But there are a few exceptions. 

If your dog has the following problems, it’s best to give it professional attention. 

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

This disorder refers to your dog’s obsessive need to scratch the couch. This can be identified by their constant digging. 

This goes on even after moving them. It goes to the point where they can’t resist themselves. 

If such behavior is observed, contact the vets.

Mental Disorder

Anxiety issues are usually cured by themselves over time. But, if you notice a prolonged behavior deterioration in your dog, it’s most likely a mental disorder. 

This can be attributed to prolonged depression, sickness, dizziness, or seizures. In such cases, contact the veterinarians immediately. 


Are crating dogs considered cruel?

Not really; it’s beneficial training. Crating utilizes your dog’s tendency to live in a den. Many dogs enjoy staying in crates. This gives them a sense of safety, and they stop making dens elsewhere. 

What are some smells dogs don’t like? 

Dogs do not enjoy the smell of bitter apples, citrus, or hot pepper. Spray the essence of these flavors on your furniture to keep dogs from scratching them.

Do chihuahuas scratch furniture often? 

Yes, chihuahuas are known to be dangerous breeds. So they are very likely to scratch your couches. Sometimes, experienced trainers are needed to stop chihuahuas from damaging your beloved sofa.