The leather your couch has will determine whether a dog can scratch it or not! Whether it's a puppy or just a dog with long claws that won’t stay off the sofa, many of us worry about the damage they can do to our new or beloved sofas.
You might find that your dog does try and claw or scratch your sofa, but it doesn’t mean that they will always leave a mark!
If your dog climbs up and lays on the sofa, you are unlikely to see any scratches, but if a paw swipes the leather too quickly, or they scratch themselves and miss, your sofa could end up with some marks!
The good news is that leather, especially good quality leather, is resistant to these scratches. It will take a lot of scratching for marks to show on leather couches, meaning you can breathe easy if your dog jumps up for a cuddle with you.
To ensure that your sofa is resistant to these scratches and other wear and tear, look for thick and durable leather. The thicker, the better, as it will be harder for your dog's claws to penetrate the leather and leave scratch marks on it!
Authentic leather is extremely thick, so your dog will be unlikely to leave a mark, although that won’t necessarily stop your dog from trying to scratch the sofa!
You can also look for leather that features a protective coating designed to protect the leather from scratches or other wear and tear like zippers or buckles that could scratch your sofa.
Opt for heavily protected or protected leather, rather than lightly protected leather which will scratch. There are also protective creams or lotions you can apply yourself to protect the sofa; just make sure it's suitable for the leather before you apply one!
Alternatively, you can embrace the scratched and aged look of the leather if your dog has already managed to scratch your couch!
Do Dogs Chew On Leather Couches?
Yes, dogs are known to chew on leather couches! We commonly see puppies or younger dogs chewing while they are teething or settling into their new home, but that doesn’t mean older dogs don’t enjoy chewing on your couch too!
Often, you will see the dog chewing on the corner of your leather couch, probably near the bottom. Although that doesn’t mean some parts of your couch are safe, a dog is capable of chewing anywhere!
Some light slobbering and nibbling at your leather couch is unlikely to damage it, especially if you have purchased a thick, good-quality leather couch. However, a puppy’s teeth can be incredibly sharp and pointed, making it a little easier for them to puncture through the leather.
Thankfully, most dogs will grow out of their chewing phase and learn to leave your leather couch alone. Often, once they have finished teething, your dog won’t chew on your furniture as often.
If they do, it could be a sign of anxiety or a behavioral problem. If you suspect this is the issue, we recommend speaking to a vet or a behavioral therapist for some advice.
While your dog is teething or chewing your leather couch, there are some ways you can prevent it! Purchase chew toys designed to soothe sore gums when teething and encourage them to use these instead.
Using positive reinforcement to encourage them to use these toys should help prevent your dog from biting or chewing on your furniture in the future.
You can also spray your furniture with a deterrent. It will taste unpleasant when your dog licks or bites the furniture, preventing them from biting your couch again. Check that the spray is safe for your leather furniture before you apply it, though!
You can also purchase leather toys and spray them with a flavor spray that should encourage your dog to seek out these toys rather than try and go for your couch again.
Often, dog owners will opt for a mixture of this method and positive reinforcement to train their dogs not to bite or chew their leather couches.
How Do I Keep My Dog From Scratching My Leather Couch?
There are a few things you can do to stop your dog from scratching your leather couch. You can set boundaries and train your dog not to jump onto the sofa or scratch the sides or back.
Often this training can take time and require lots of positive reinforcement to stop your dog from jumping on the furniture. It’s usually best to start this training when they are puppies. It's usually easier to do then, as your dog won’t be used to being on the sofa.
But this doesn’t work for everyone! If your dog is used to the sofa, or you can’t bring yourself to kick them off, there are other methods you can opt for. Designate one part of the couch for your dog and place a blanket or leather cover on this section.
That way, your pet can enjoy the sofa and relax with you, and if they decide to scratch, they will scratch the blanket or the cover, not your sofa! Again, you might need to use positive reinforcement and some training to keep your dog on that one part of the couch!
You can also purchase a leather bed for your dog so that they have all the comfort of the leather without being on your couch! Then, they can scratch away, and you get some peace of mind that your sofa will be safe from their claws!
Check that your dog’s claws aren’t too long either. Regularly clipping them (or having a vet/groomer do them) can reduce any damage from scratching and keeps your couch free from marks!
If you aren’t sure about the correct length for your dog’s claws, consult a groomer or vet for more advice. It can be painful and dangerous for your dog's claws to be cut too short!
Distracting your dog when they start scratching is another fantastic way to protect your couch. Have plenty of toys ready to encourage them to move away from the couch and burn off their energy in a way that protects your leather couch!