Does your dog tear up and destroy its bed regularly?
Have you come downstairs in the morning or home from work, only to find the nice new dog bed you bought for them torn into tiny little pieces and spread all over your home?
Sadly, this is quite a typical behavior pattern in pet dogs, so dog owners often ask why dogs tear up their beds?
We will answer this question and then look at some simple but effective methods to reduce or eliminate this destructive trait.
Why Do Dogs Destroy Their Beds?
The two most likely reasons dogs tear up their beds are either the dog loves to chew or the dog is stressed and unhappy and uses chewing to relieve that stress.
However, chewing is natural and normal canine behavior, so they might just need something else to chew.
Your job as a loving dog owner who wants to care for their beloved pooch, who also doesn’t want to buy another new dog bed, is to figure out the root cause of this destructive chewing and then decide how to fix it.
Now let’s talk about causes and solutions.
A Quick Note About Your Dog’s Behavior
Whenever we look at a dog’s behavior, we have to take three thing essential factors into account:
- Their evolutionary ancestors.
- Their breeding.
- Their emotional well-being.
1. Your Dog’s Evolutionary Ancestors
Domestic dogs evolved not from the species of wolves around today but another now-extinct species (probably the Late Pleistocene wolf).
When thinking about canine behavior, we must remember that your dog has ancient wolf DNA in its makeup (yes, even your teacup Yorkshire terrier has some wolf in their DNA!)
This means that if we want to understand your dog’s behavior, we can think about how that behavior might have been helpful for its ancestors.
(If you think about it, humans still enjoy throwing things even though we don’t need to throw spears to catch food or kill our enemies, and this is a trait that would have been very useful for our ancestors).
Note – You might also find this post looking at why dogs chew the crotch of underwear interesting to read.
2. Your Dog’s Breeding
Humans have been selectively breeding dogs over thousands or even tens of thousands of years to create specific characteristics in them.
Some of these characteristics are physical such as Greyhounds being so fast at running. Others are behavioral, such as Rottweilers being excellent guard dogs.
These behavioral traits certain breeds have are important to consider when thinking about well-being issues for your dog.
For example, a Border Collie has a strong need to work. If the dog does not get enough stimulation or exercise, it might destroy its bed out of frustration.
NOTE – You might also like to read this post, answering the question: why does my dog stare at me while they are lying down?
3. The Dog’s Emotional Well-Being
Another important lens through which to view your dog’s behaviors is their emotional state.
Often destructive or harmful behavior traits can be understood when looking at the dog’s emotional well-being.
NOTE – You might also like to read this post asking why dogs curl up in a ball when they are asleep.
Some Dogs REALLY Love to Chew and Destroy Things
Remember your dog’s wolf ancestors? They had to hunt to find their food. They had to chase, catch, kill and eat wild game to survive.
In order to be able to do this, they need powerful jaws and teeth, so they evolved with a habit of learning to chew as puppies.
This may be why your dog loves to chew, and the beds they destroy just happen to be an excellent target for their chewing.
If you think about it, chewing up a bed isn’t that dissimilar to a wolf chewing up the coat, skin, and carcass of a dead deer it has just killed.
NOTE – You might also like to read this post looking at why dogs like bones so much.
Some Dogs Chew Their Beds to Cope with Stress
Have you ever felt stressed or anxious and found yourself doodling, tearing up pieces of paper, or picking at your nails?
Distraction is a coping strategy that both humans and dogs use to alleviate uncomfortable feelings.
It could be that the root cause of your pup’s destructive behavior is stress-related.
How to Stop Your Dog from Tearing Up Their Bed When Left Alone
If your dog is showing no signs of stress, then it may be well that they just love chewing things, in which case there are a couple of straightforward things you can do to stop them from tearing up their dog beds.
Firstly, make sure you give them lots of things to chew on. Go to your local pet store and buy some different chew toys and edible chews.
Secondly, invest in a metal-framed canvas dog bed.
They are about as chew-proof as they get, and while a determined dog can still destroy them, it won’t be much fun, and chew toys will be much more attractive.
If you think your dog might be tearing up its bedding due to stress, then you need to figure out what is causing the stress:
- Is the dog being left alone for long periods?
- Does the dog get plenty of exercise?
- Does the dog get playtime with humans or other dogs?
- Is the home environment stable and calm?
- Do they have a safe space, such as a crate or little den, where they can be alone?
- Do you have young children that might be stressing the dog out?
Try to figure out what might be causing the stress and, as much as possible, do what you can to make them feel less stressed.
Even making a den in a quiet corner for them to escape the hustle and bustle of family life can make a big difference.
Also, if you are worried about your dog’s emotional well-being, a trip to the vet or a consultation with a good dog behaviorist could be well worth it.
If you are in financial difficulty and are worried about vet bills, this website has helpful resources for charities to help you pay your bills. (If you don’t live in the US, you can use Google to find similar help in your country).
Note – You might also find some helpful information to help with your training in this short but interesting video.
Just click on the video, and it will start to play:
Final Thoughts On Why Dogs Tear Up Their Beds
The most likely reasons your dog tears up its bed are either that they love to chew or they are feeling stressed due to a problem they are struggling to cope with.
Giving them other things to chew, investing in a chew-proof dog bed, and reducing stress levels are all effective methods of stopping them from destroying their beds.
So, we hope this post answers the question – why do dogs tear up their beds and rip them up?
Please comment below if you have any questions about your dog destroying their bed.
One of our team will approve the comment and reply within 48 hours.
Tim is a proud, vetted, and experienced dog foster carer for a charity helping dog owners escape domestic abuse.
He has years of experience training and caring for dogs, both his own and other people’s.
He is an expert in canine behavior and is highly skilled in dealing with all dogs but specializes in the difficult ones that other people may struggle with.
When he isn’t fostering dogs, he is making friends with other people’s pups!