How to Protect My Leather Couch From Dogs?

Photo of a dog destroying a leather couch.
How to Protect My Leather Couch From Dogs?

You love your dog, but you don’t love how destructive your dog can be with your furniture. If you just got a brand-new leather couch and want to know how to protect it from your dog, here’s your guide.

Learning how to protect your leather couch from dogs of all types will likely be a combination of methods.

Protection methods for dogs include:

  • Trimming their nails;
  • Covering your leather couch to protect against clawing and chewing;
  • Focusing on obedience training.

Below is everything you’ll need to know.

Will dogs ruin a leather couch?

Unfortunately, dogs can certainly ruin a leather couch. Whether it’s from their claws, from nervous chewing, or from peeing or vomiting, dogs can be hard on leather couches. Most dogs love leather couches, so keeping them off the couch can be challenging (though possible — read on below for more), so you’ll have to focus most of your energy on protecting your couch itself from your dog.

Does leather absorb dog pee?

According to Cuteness, leather can absorb dog pee, and it’ll ruin the leather and the foam inside it. Cleaning it up quickly is essential. You’ll also want to learn how to protect your leather preventatively with liners or blankets.

Will dog pee stain a leather couch?

Dog pee can often stain a leather couch. It depends on the finish of your leather, how well you’ve cared for it, and how quickly and effectively you treated the stain. 


Read your couch’s care instructions to find out how to treat spills and messes. Not every couch can tolerate the same cleaning products!

Do leather couches hold dog smell?

Leather is naturally absorbent, and smells are one of the easiest things to linger on your leather couch. You can keep odors out of your couch by cleansing and conditioning it as directed in your care instructions. This will help keep your leather strong and protected against those dander odors.

Can dogs chew through leather?

Dogs can chew through leather, and that includes your leather couch. They love the texture of leather, which is why they often really enjoy leather chew toys. If your dog is a chewer, you’ll notice them nibbling at your couch when your back is turned. Essentially, your dog just sees the couch as a giant chew toy!

If you have an anxious dog, chewing and destruction are also likely to happen to your lovely leather couch. Dogs can be hard on leather couches, so seriously, this is something to think about. We’ll talk more about that next!

Reasons for your dog to be eating your leather couch

Have you noticed that your dog is eating your leather couch? What’s going on to cause that? Many would assume it’s because it’s like a leather chew toy, but this isn’t necessarily the case. Dogs can chew furniture for any number of reasons, according to Gemini Dogs, including:

  • Boredom and lack of entertainment
  • Feeling anxious or tense about being alone (aka self-soothing)
  • Malnutrition and food aversion
  • Lack of exercise
  • Teething

As you can see, none of these reasons have anything to do with your dog and leather in particular. They’re just acting out in the only way that they know how!

Do dog claws scratch leather seats?

Dog claws are definitely strong enough to scratch leather seats and armrests on your couch. While leather is very strong, your dog’s claws can pierce it accidentally. If your dog likes to “dig,” this damage is even more likely. 

How do you stop your dog from scratching your leather couch?

To properly protect your investment, here are some tips to help stop your dog from scratching your couch accidentally or on purpose. These include:

  • Grooming your dog regularly
  • Using a spray deterrent
  • Teaching your dog commands

Grooming your dog regularly

Normally grooming refers to brushing and keeping the fur clean. In this case, I’m talking more about clipping their nails. It can be challenging, but you’ll want to keep your dog’s nails short and dull so they’re less likely to scratch or even rip your leather couch.


If you really hate clipping your dog’s nails, consider dog booties for when they get on the couch!

Using a spray deterrent

There are quite a few commercial and DIY deterrent sprays that you can consider to keep your dog off of your leather couch. Using these tends to be a little tricky, though. Some are dangerous for dogs if sprayed directly near them, so you’ll need to read the manufacturer’s instructions on using your spray for your dog’s ultimate safety.

Teaching your dog commands

If there’s one thing that you can take full charge of when it comes to protecting your couch, it’s focusing on obedience training. Your dog lives to follow your commands (despite how it may seem sometimes), which means that you can use commands to keep them from getting on the couch or at least how they act. 

For example, you can choose to teach your dog not to get on the couch or focus more on how to behave on the couch (ex: no clawing or chewing or licking the leather). Choose whatever approach you want to take. Make sure that the rules are consistent from one family member to the next.

How to dog-proof a leather couch

You can also take a more focused approach to your dog and their relationship with your leather couch, and that’s going to be dog-proofing your leather couch. After all, stopping your dog from misbehaving with your leather couch will only go so far. You also much protect the couch in case of the inevitable. Here are some tips!

  • Keep control of your dog 
  • Get a good-quality couch cover
  • Have a good pet bed nearby

Keep control of your dog 

I get it. You want your dog to like you, so you tend to be a little lax on the rules. But you must do whatever you can to help your dog understand the rules and what’s happening. If you sometimes let your dog on the couch with you and sometimes not, it can be very confusing. Give your dog the confidence they need to understand the rules and keep them consistent.

Get a good-quality couch cover

While you don’t necessarily want to cover up that beautiful glossy leather, you will want to do your part to protect your couch. Consider a cover on areas your dog loves the most, and even consider a waterproof liner if you’re worried about dog vomit or dog pee. If he knows to lie on his part of the couch, this can help you still enjoy the leather elsewhere.

Have a good pet bed nearby

This is a sneaky but effective way to protect your leather couch from your dog. According to AKC, dogs can actually be happier in their own bed than on the couch since it offers them a better quality of sleep. Getting your dog a good quality dog bed and placing it right next to you by the couch will ensure he is content to sleep in their own bed (especially if it’s leather) while still getting to spend some quality time with you. That’s what your dog wants, after all.

In order to protect your leather couch from your dog, you have to consider details like finding the proper protection methods for your couch, knowing how to care for your dog’s health so that they don’t have accidents or get destructive, and how to control your dog’s behavior.

Dogs and leather couches can definitely get along; you just need to have the right approach!

Know someone that’s working on training their dog and leather couch to get along? Share this with them to help them get the lay of the land a little easier!

Andre from

Andre is a passionate leatherworker who spends his spare time working with leather. He loves the smell and feel of leather, and he takes great care in selecting the right pieces of leather for his projects. Read more here.