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Hi mamas I need your advice. I have an Australian Red Heeler who is 1 1/2 yrs old. I have had him since about 3 months old. We have a small house and we have a futon for a couch. My male kitten started rebelling b/c we kept him indoors and started peeing on the couch. I used natures miracle vinegar etc. Buddy my heeler chewed open the mattress at night or when he was home alone, we brought back his crate for when we are not home, and replaced the matress and let the cat become an indoor outdoor kitty. Dogs happier, cats happier. Well we got a new matress and I think it was at night, he ate a hole in it. The cat never peed on this one. but it is on the same frame. My mom sewed up the hole and we put a comforter over it. He chewed the comforter. Most of the night the dog sleeps in the family bed but sometimes he ventures out there. So I now have a few unsewn holes in the futon...good sized ones. I threw out the torn to shreds comforter and put another old comforter over the mattress. He started to chew that in one day. I can't afford a new couch or mattress and I am running out of blankets...I LOVE MY BUDDY DOG, but DH is getting fed up. What do I do???
 

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You said the dog sleeps in the family bed but sometimes sneaks out? Can you shut the door to keep him in your room? That's what I do with my dogs, just lock them in the room with us. LOL Zeke is fine if he gets out and will just go to the couch but Zoe will get on the counter and get a bag of bread or whatever she can find and makes a huge mess (or the trash or whatever.)

Do you have chew toys available? Maybe if you left chew toys near the couch instead? Or spray something he doesnt like on the couch? My dogs hate citrus smell. If I chase them around with an orange they bark like crazy. HAHA
 

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I'd keep him away from the futon unless you were right there to supervise him. (Can you gate the area off? Close a door? Crate him?)

The way we got our puppy to stop chewing on things was to just watch him very closely--whenever he'd start chewing, we'd tell him "LEAVE IT!" and then we'd offer him his bone. When he was chewing on the bone, we'd make a big deal of "GOOD BOY," with lots of petting and attention. He soon realized there were tons of "positives" to chewing on his bone, and lots of disapproval if he started chewing on something else. He's a year old now, and doesn't chew ANYTHING that's not his--not furniture, not leather shoes, nothing. Even when he's home alone.

It did take a lot of time/attention at first, but it was worth it.
Good luck!
 

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The citrus is a very good idea, most dogs and cats as well dislike the smell of citrus. That said, part of the problem here is that Buddy probably thoroughly enjoyed pulling the stuffing out of the mattress, and has now decided that is an awesome game. As mentioned above, lock him the bedroom with you when you are asleep. When you go out for the day, crate him (preferably close to the futon--but not close enough for him to be able to pull a piece of the mattress in). It takes 30 days for a dog to break a habit which unfortunately this has likely become. So, for the next month, you need to absolutely ensure that he has no access unsupervised to that futon, crate during the day, bedroom door closed at night. If you can't close the bedroom door for some reason (I'm clausterphobic and can't sleep with the door closed) then crate Buddy in your room or use a baby gate so he can't get out. Anytime you slip up and he does get to the futon, you restart your 30 days.
Hope that makes sense, good luck!!
 
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