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So- I've seen a few different products online advertised to keep dogs from chewing on furniture. Most are 'all natural no-chew sprays' that you spray directly on furniture that you don't want your dog to chew. They advertise that they're made of bitter apple or lemon or some other flavor dogs hate. My question is- do they work? We foster puppies for a local rescue for 2 to 5 nights during 'emergency placements' and often the pups want to chew EVERYTHING (except for their toys :eyeroll: ). I'd love to find a way to keep them from chewing on my book shelf and couch legs when they are in the livingroom- so I was very curious if anyone uses these sprays. If so- what brand? How well does it work? How long does it last once you've sprayed it? And does it harm the furniture at all?
 

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I just started using Good Dog Bitter Works Anti-Chew Training Aid. It's not really a "spray it and leave it" thing. When I catch my puppy chewing something he shouldn't, I walk over with the spray, wait for him to pause, and I spritz the item. He will stop and look for something else to chew (after doing this a few times he will often stop and look for something else if he just sees me walking over with the bottle in my hand). So it's working, but you still have to be constantly watching, and the spray evaporates away fairly quickly.
 

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Thank you for explaining how it works, Bexille! I really appreciate the response. Can you spray it on anything (fabric, wood, etc.)?
 

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My bottle says that it may stain fabrics so to test in an inconspicuous area first, but I've sprayed it on my carpet and my clothes a couple of times and haven't noticed any ill effects. I've also sprayed it on wood, plastic, and metal. :)
 

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Many years ago and I'm not sure if this is still the done thing, but my mum had a water pistol.
When the pup would start to chew the furniture on cue with a squirt of water, my mum would say NO !!!
Then give them their chew toy.
Problem solved very quickly.
Any views on this method. ?
 

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Many years ago and I'm not sure if this is still the done thing, but my mum had a water pistol.
When the pup would start to chew the furniture on cue with a squirt of water, my mum would say NO !!!
Then give them their chew toy.
Problem solved very quickly.
Any views on this method. ?

Some pups may think it's a fun game and not care that they are sprayed. I may work with some pups and they'll learn like the pups you've had in the past did. Some pups may simply ignore the spray and keep chewing the furniture. Some pups may think that their world has come to an end and become extremely frightened.

For me a water pistol has too much of a chance of not working or of causing unintentional fall out if the pup is a timid one to want to chance it.

I'd rather redirect onto appropriate chew things, and if they keep going back to the furniture put them up in their puppy proofed area with an appropriate chew. Usually I'll give a pup a couple chances to chew the right thing and if the 3rd time they go for something inappropriate then put them in the puppy proofed spot. It's also wise to never leave a puppy unattended in a non puppy proofed area unless you want your stuff chewed, the furry, little, wrecking balls can do a surprising amount of damage in a short amount of time.
 

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I have to say it worked, the ones doing all the chewing are never the timid ones. A squirt and firm command is not to intentional to force a pup, but merely encourage it.
Swapping with toys and given chances I agree, crate training works very quickly in my experience.
Just like the naughty step. Give them a few minutes time out. Hahaha
 

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I have to say it worked, the ones doing all the chewing are never the timid ones.
I disagree. Chewing is a self-soothing behavior, so puppies of all temperaments, including anxious or shy pups are perfectly capable of chewing on things that they aren't supposed to.
 

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Better to spend the time to teach a solid "leave it" cue.
My pup is great with "leave it" when I'm talking about the treat I'm holding or the one I've placed on the floor, but it hasn't transferred over to furniture or other items yet. When he's chewing, he wants to chew, and even redirecting him doesn't work--he ignores the toy or pushes it away. The spray is the only thing that's gotten him to leave the couch alone and go for his nylabone instead. It's not a permanent fix but it's what works at the moment.
 

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Spraying at the puppy is aversive and thus probably against the principles of this forum.

Spraying the furniture? I have heard that the most extreme trainers consider even this as aversive and thus unwise, but I would not take things that far.

Relying only on a bitter-tasting spray would not be the best idea. It is the lazy man's solution. It should be seen as support for the actual training and management while we try to prevent the dog to chew stuff we cannot remove from its environment.

Our BSDs used to chew things when left alone. My dad spread chili and other strong spices on wooden furniture but that did not stop the dogs from destroying them. I was a kid then and understood nothing about dog handling and training. Eventually the dogs forgot chewing and we will never know why. Maybe they grew out of it and found other things to spend their energy on. We kids had learned quite quickly to gather all our valuables (aka toys) into our rooms and close the door. They never chewed anything when we were present. I guess that a. when humans are around something is often happening and thus the dog is not bored and has no need to chew or b. when humans are around they address chewing in either a punitive or a constructive way and make something else than chewing the sofa look more attractive pastime.

Note: chewing when left alone can be symtom of separation anxiety which should be treated accordingly. Spray won't help that dog.
 

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We never used spray to keep the dog away form funiture.
either they were with us in the rooms, then we could stop them before they did anything stupid, or we'd close doors to the rooms that had valuable things it or things that are dangerous for them.

they both did their fair share of chewing (Sancho gnawed himself through wodden door and Teo thought it was great to leave bitemarks in my cello...it must be interesting if she plays with it everyday XD) but it was better after they were around a year...it was a mix out of us being more clever and putting things out of reach, giving them things that they're allowed to chew on and them becoming less interested in chewing on things in general.
 
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