Why Does My Dog Lick My Leather Couch?

Leather couches are a popular choice for many households due to their elegance and durability. However, if you own a dog, your leather couch may become the target of his or her affection in the form of licking! It’s important to understand why your pup might be drawn to the couch so that you can take steps to stop it before any damage is caused to your furniture.

Why Do Dogs Lick Furniture?

Why Do Dogs Lick Furniture

Your Dog Perceives Leather Items As a Beef Chew Toy

Often, dogs will lick furniture such as leather couches to satisfy their instinctive need to chew. Since leather furniture is so durable and difficult for a pup to destroy, it can provide them with hours of enjoyment as they attempt to break down the item. Additionally, some experts believe that certain chemicals used in the tanning process emit an aroma that’s attractive to canine noses.[2]

Dog Smells Your Scent, Spills and Food Crumbs On The Leather Item

Dogs have an incredible sense of smell and will often be drawn to items that bear the scent of their owner. If you’ve recently been snuggling up on your leather couch, it’s likely that Fido has picked up on your scent and wants to show his love in the form of licking. Additionally, if there are any food spills or crumbs left on the couch, your pup will be attracted to these as well.[2]

Gastrointestinal and disorders

Gastrointestinal and disorders

In some cases, licking can be a sign of a health problem such as an upset stomach or a skin disorder. If your pup is licking excessively, it may be wise to have him checked by your veterinarian to rule out any medical issues.[2]

Health Issue

Excessive licking could also be a sign of anxiety, boredom or simply a desire for attention. If your pup is showing signs of distress such as pacing around the house or barking excessively, it’s worth considering if his behavior is linked to an underlying emotional issue.[2]

Stress or Anxiety

If your pup is licking due to stress or anxiety, it’s important to find ways of reducing his nervousness. This could involve providing him with more daily exercise or introducing calming objects such as toys and soft blankets into the home. Additionally, speaking with a professional dog trainer may be beneficial for helping you understand the root cause of your pup’s behavior.[2]


If your pup is licking excessively due to boredom, it’s important to provide him with plenty of activities and toys that will keep him occupied. Consider setting aside time each day for a game or two of fetch in the garden, or investing in interactive toys such as Kongs which can be stuffed with treats to help stimulate his mind.[2]

Dropped Food

Finally, it’s important to ensure that you clean up any dropped food as quickly as possible and keep your pup away from the area. Doing this will help to reduce his temptation to lick furniture in search of crumbs.[2]

Likes The Taste or Texture

It’s also possible that your pup simply enjoys the taste and texture of the leather. Unfortunately, there is no way to stop this behavior entirely – however, you can take steps to protect your furniture such as covering it with furniture throws or using an anti-chew spray.[2]

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in Dogs

It’s not uncommon for dogs to lick leather furniture. In some cases, it may be due to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in dogs. OCD in dogs is an excessive and compulsive behavior where a dog engages in repetitive behaviors such as licking, chewing, or even spinning.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in Dogs

Although the exact cause of OCD isn’t known, it’s believed to be linked to genetics as well as environmental factors such as stress or boredom. It can also be a sign of anxiety in your pup. If your dog is displaying OCD-like behavior, it’s important to talk with your veterinarian and discuss how best to address the issue.

Common signs of OCD in dogs include excessive licking of surfaces, chewing on items, pacing or spinning in circles, and other repetitive behaviors. If your pup is engaging in these types of behaviors, it’s important to keep an eye out for any changes in behavior as well as signs of stress or anxiety.[1]

Canine Medical Conditions that Can Cause Excessive Licking

There are some medical conditions in dogs that can cause them to excessively lick surfaces, including leather couches. These canine medical conditions include:

  • Allergies – Dogs may experience skin allergies which can lead to excessive licking and nibbling of the affected area. This is particularly common if your dog has an allergy to a specific material such as leather.
  • Skin infections – If your dog has a skin infection, they may lick and chew the affected to try and ease the discomfort. This can lead to further damage to the leather couch if not treated promptly.
  • Behavioral problems – Some dogs may engage in excessive licking as an anxiety-relieving behavior or just out of boredom. This is particularly common in puppies and young dogs.[1]

Why Do Dogs Lick Leather Couches?

Dogs lick almost anything, from their fur and paws to our faces. But why do dogs lick leather couches? It’s important to understand the reasons behind a dog’s behavior so that you can take appropriate steps to stop them from licking your furniture.
There are several possible explanations for why your pet might be licking your leather couch:

  1. Taste: Dogs’ tongues are highly sensitive, so leather may taste good to them. The texture and smell of the leather may also be appealing.
  2. Comfort: Your pet might lick the couch for comfort or as a way to self-soothe if they’re feeling scared or anxious.
  3. Curiosity: It could be a way for them to explore and investigate their environment.
  4. Attention: Your pet could be trying to get your attention by licking the leather couch.[1]

How to Stop Your Dog from Licking Your Furniture

How to Stop Your Dog from Licking Your Furniture

Removing Stress from Your Dog’s Life

The primary reason why a dog may lick furniture is stress or anxiety. It is important to identify the underlying cause of this behavior and remove it from your pet’s life in order to prevent the problem from continuing.

There are various ways you can reduce stress and help your pup feel comfortable in their environment. Make sure they have a safe, secure place to retreat to when they feel overwhelmed.

This could be a crate, pet bed or even just an area of your home that they’re allowed access to at any time. Spend some quality time with your pup every day and provide plenty of healthy activities for them to engage in such as playing fetch or going on long walks.[3]

Increasing Positive Inputs for the Dog

Another way to help your pup kick their licking habit is to increase the positive inputs they receive from you. This can include providing a reward for good behavior, such as giving them a treat when they stop licking furniture. You can also ensure that your pup gets plenty of praise for not engaging in this type of behavior – make sure to give them lots of attention whenever they seem to be doing something good.

Additionally, it is important to redirect your pup’s attention away from the furniture they are licking – for example, if they start licking the couch, offer them a toy or treat and lead them away. You may also want to provide puzzle toys that can help distract them and keep their mind occupied.[3]

Apply Dog Repellent To Your Leather Item

If your dog continues to lick the furniture despite all of your efforts, you may want to consider applying a special dog repellent solution to the leather item. This type of product is designed to create an uncomfortable sensation when they attempt to lick it, discouraging them from engaging in this behavior. Make sure that you read the directions carefully before using any kind of repellent and always use it in a well-ventilated area.

If you have done everything to try and prevent your pup from licking the furniture, but the problem persists, then it may be time to consult with a professional. A behaviorist or vet can help diagnose underlying issues that contribute to the problem and create a personalized plan that is tailored to your furry friend.[3]

Socialize The Dog To Avoid Obsessive Licking of Leather

Finally, it is important to socialize your pup and ensure they are comfortable in different environments. This can help reduce stress levels and prevent them from engaging in obsessive behaviors like licking leather. Take the time to introduce your pup to other animals, as well as people – this will help them feel more relaxed in new situations and may even encourage them to take their mind off the furniture.[3]

Revert Sudden Changes In The Environment

While socializing your pup is important, it is also necessary to be mindful of their environment. If there are sudden changes in the home, such as moving furniture or adding new items, then make sure that you provide your pup with plenty of reassurance and comfort – this will help them adjust to these changes without feeling too overwhelmed.

Ultimately, understanding why your pup is licking the furniture and taking steps to reduce their stress levels is the best way to stop this behavior. By providing plenty of positive inputs, redirecting their attention away from the furniture and applying special dog repellents, you can help them kick their habit for good.[3]

Training Tips to Reduce Furniture Licking

Training Tips to Reduce Furniture Licking

The most effective way to break your dog’s furniture licking habit is by providing positive reinforcement and training. Here are some tips you can use:

  • Start by preventing access to the leather couches. Whenever you cannot supervise your pup, keep him in a safe area such as his crate or a room with closed doors. If possible, invest in a pet gate that will limit your pup’s access to the furniture.
  • Additionally, try training him to stay off furniture using rewards. Whenever he is caught on the couch, show him a toy and guide him away while firmly saying ‘off’. When he obeys your command, give him a reward or praise him for his good behavior.
  • Add extra stimulation to his routine by providing interactive play with toys or games. This will keep him occupied and less likely to lick furniture when you’re not around.
  • Finally, make sure that your pup gets plenty of mental and physical exercise every day to help him expel excess energy that makes it easier for him to indulge in undesirable behaviors.[1]

Should I be Worried About My Dog Licking My Furniture?

The answer to this is yes and no. On the one hand, it’s not a major cause for concern if your pup licks your leather furniture every once in a while. Dogs instinctively lick things as part of their grooming process and to show affection. Additionally, licking can help relieve stress or anxiety for some dogs.

However, excessive licking can be an indication of other underlying issues. If your dog’s licking is frequent and persistent, it could be a sign of boredom, anxiety or a nutritional deficiency.

It’s important to keep an eye on your pup’s behavior and check in with your vet if you have any concerns about their licking habits. A professional opinion might help you identify possible solutions.[1]


Do dogs eat leather furniture?

No, dogs typically do not eat leather furniture. However, they can lick it, which is why it’s important to understand the reasons behind this behavior.

Do dogs chew on leather couches?

No, dogs do not typically chew on leather couches. They may lick it as a form of exploration or even use it as a source of comfort, but they won’t actually attempt to eat the material.

Are dogs attracted to leather?

No, dogs are not attracted to leather. They may find the texture or smell of the material interesting enough to investigate, but they won’t develop a strong attachment to it.

Is it better to have a leather couch with dogs?

Leather couches can be a great choice for homes with dogs because leather is usually easy to clean and is very durable. The slick surface also makes it difficult for your pup to grip onto, reducing the chances of them damaging it.

What is the most pet friendly couch material?

The most pet friendly couch material is probably microfiber. Microfiber tends to be more stain-resistant than other fabrics, and it’s also easy to clean if your pup does make a mess. Additionally, the smooth texture makes it less likely for them to develop an attachment or fascination with it.

How do I keep my leather couch safe from my dog?

The best way to keep your leather couch safe from your dog is by providing an alternative source of comfort or entertainment. Make sure they have plenty of comfortable beds and chew toys to occupy them, and keep their nails trimmed so they won’t scratch the leather. Additionally, if you see them licking the couch, discourage this behavior with a stern “no” or by distracting.

Will leather couch last?

Yes, leather couches can last quite a while. As long as you take proper care of it and keep your pup away from it when they are particularly active or curious, then the material should stay intact for many years to come.

Should you sleep on a leather couch?

It is not recommended to sleep on a leather couch, as it can be uncomfortable and difficult to maintain. If you want a comfortable sofa that is also pet-friendly, then consider something like microfiber instead. This material is much more comfortable for sleeping and also easier to clean if your pup does make a mess.

Is it OK to sleep on a leather couch?

No, it is not recommended to sleep on a leather couch. Leather may look nice and be durable enough for everyday use, but it is not the most comfortable material for sleeping on. Consider switching to something like microfiber if you’re looking for a comfy and pet-friendly sofa.

Useful Video: Why does your Dog Lick the Couch?


We hope that this article has helped answer your questions about why does my dog lick my leather couch. As we have seen, there can be several reasons for this behavior and understanding them is key to helping your pup overcome it. If you are looking for ways to stop or redirect the licking, then make sure to try out some of the tips mentioned above. With patience and consistency, you can make sure that your leather couch is safe from the licks of your furry friend. Thanks for reading!


  1. https://thefactualdoggo.com/why-does-my-dog-lick-the-furniture/
  2. https://favoredleather.com/why-do-dogs-lick-leather/
  3. https://www.thedogclinic.com/licking-couch