Leather Couches and Dogs – What You Need to Know

Labradoodle on a leather sofa

Sharing our homes with a cherished family dog is one of life’s greatest privileges. These much-loved furry companions occupy every facet of our lives. A creature well renowned as man’s best friend, our canine companions tag along on all of life’s most beloved adventures, whether that includes a vigorous run through the park, cuddling on the couch, or cruising through the Dairy Queen drive thru hoping for an ice cream. Yet our dogs also provide great comfort to us in the hard times, helping us to feel better understood, and somehow, just a little less alone.

Some dog breeds, like the Jack Russell, take their role as protector of the home very seriously, alert barking to scare away any man, woman, child, or beast who dares to come within fifty feet of his family’s door. Then there is the cool as a cucumber Basset Hound whose main mission in life is to use his nose in as many places as he can get away with, preferably to find prey, but a little bum and genital sniffing will also do. Then there is the adoring Pomeranian whose main role in life is simply to sit in his owner’s lap and be adored. Each of these dogs has their own unique jobs, and they fulfil their assumed roles very well.

Then, there is that one “special” type of dog, a dog that defies breed classifications or even description. This dog has seemingly taken upon itself a highly specialized role, approaching it with such devotion that it would be nearly impossible to find another canine to undertake the position with the same level of detail and care.

The job?

Expert furniture destroyer. Yes, these are the dogs, the rare, the brave, the few; that joyfully rub their bums all down that perfect white linen sofa, leaving behind a distinctly…ahem…dirty stain indicative of their past presence. These same dogs make it their mission to leave unique designs in the fabric upholstery through caught nails that are violently wrenched free, leaving a puckery look in their wake. And of particular enjoyment for these dogs is the opportunity to leave presents between seat cushions, under sofas, or even behind elegant designer pillows. These gifts of love run the gamut from poopsicles in the wintertime to a well-slobbered on toy and even a half-decomposed dead bird carcass on a particularly fortuitous day. No matter how you look at it…if you share your home with an expert furniture destroyer, leather couches are the way to go.

Leather Couches and Dogs – Preventing Sofa Damage from Occurring

Though fabric couches can be incredibly beautiful, they aren’t particularly practical for families that share their homes with dogs. Since dogs often enjoy tasty treats such as raw meaty bones or pieces of leftovers from their family’s dinner that can leave behind greasy stains, fabric upholstery can easily become marked and damaged, leaving the sofa looking worn in no time at all.

Though there are many cleaners on the market today to assist with removing stains from dog paws, slobber, treats, and more, many families opt instead to purchase leather couches to avoid this common problem altogether. However, simply purchasing a leather couch is no guarantee that it too will not succumb to wear and tear from having Fido around. As with most things in life, the key to keeping leather couches looking pristine is preventing damage from occurring in the first place.

Here are our top tips for helping Fido and leather couches to cohabit peacefully together:

Proper nail care
Nails that are the correct length go a long way to keeping leather furniture from showing signs of damage or wear. Families can clip or make use of a Dremel to keep their dogs nails short, or they can visit their veterinarian or favorite groomer if Fido is less than cooperative for nail trims.

Another critical component of nail care is keeping the feet meticulously clean. Dirty nails and paws can also leave an unsightly mess on leather couches.

Some leathers have a natural distressed look, meaning they are more forgiving of scratches in their surface. While some marks on leather can be buffed out with a cloth, others can become a permanent part of the integrity of the upholstery, hence making preventing damage from nails very important.

Controlling shedding
Regardless of a dog’s coat type, all dogs will shed. While some dogs shed more than others, families with dogs will experience hair in their homes for the life of their dog.

Some dogs also shed more profusely during specific seasons of the year. Because of this, a plan to help keep shed hair in the home environment to a minimum is very important.

Hair in the home is not simply a matter of mess. Many people suffer with allergies related to shed hair and dander, making keeping dog hair on furniture to a minimum vitally important. The best way to keep hair off leather couches is frequent brushing of the dog. Brushing helps dead hair to be removed in one central location for easy disposal. Though this will not eliminate all shedding, it will greatly reduce it.

Any remaining hair that does find its way onto a sofa can be vacuumed up or wiped away with a pair of rubber gloves.

Teaching good manners
For dogs that have shown themselves to have great experience as expert furniture destroyers, it might be a good idea to spend some time teaching Fido better manners regarding the household furniture. While taking care of the leather of a sofa is important to preserve its quality, there aren’t many materials that can stand up well to a dog’s chewing.

To prevent disappointment at the discovery of a now thoroughly chewed sectional, investing some money into some obedience classes is key.

Establishing boundaries
Sometimes the best approach is to simply relegate Fido to a place all his own. If a dog is already quite used to spending his time hanging out on the sofa, it is an excellent idea to make use of some super yummy treats to begin teaching him that hanging out in his very own dog bed is even better than being up on the leather couch. To aid in this process, the purchase of an ultra luxurious dog bed such as the MØVIK Dog Bed can help Fido realize that taking up residence in his own comfy abode is a whole lot more fun than the leather couch.

Leather Couches and Dogs – Caring for Spills on Leather

Taking care of leather is far easier than couches upholstered in fabric, microsuede, or other materials. However, one thing that can easily damage leather is any type of liquid spills.

When it comes to dogs, liquid “accidents” can come in many different forms. From urine marking to wet paws and even spilled drinks, it is quite easy for water damage to occur. To treat leather that has become wet, blot the extra liquid with a soft, absorbent towel to remove as much moisture as possible. For urine, an enzymatic cleaner should be used to prevent the dog from attempting to mark in the same place again. Many commercial formulations can be purchased at pet or grocery stores; however, a homemade solution of one part vinegar to three parts water also does the trick.

Are There Certain Dog Breeds That Are Easier on Furniture Than Others?

For families looking to add a dog to their home in the near future, they may be wondering if there are certain dog breeds that are better suited to life with leather couches than others. After all, breeds known for exuberant energy may mean their leather sofa could take quite a beating in the run of a day.

All dogs carry with them the potential to cause damage to furniture. However, some dog breeds which are known to be less energetic are less likely to inflict major damage on leather sofas.

Here are a few breeds that could be the perfect fit for families looking for a dog less likely to inflict damage on their leather sofas:

Boston Terrier

The comical Boston Terrier is a charming fellow. Naturally in possession of good manners and commonly referred to as gentlemanly in conduct, this polite little chap is respectful of both people and their furniture.

Yorkshire Terrier

A little dog with a big personality, the Yorkshire Terrier, a breed also commonly referred to as a Yorkie, can be quite vocal but is not mouthy, meaning sofas are safe from this little pooch’s bite. A true lap dog, the Yorkshire Terrier will want to be the center of his owner’s attention whether on the couch or on their lap, but the breed is too small to inflict much damage on leather sofas.


The elegant Whippet is graceful in his movements both in and out of the home. A dog breed known for its soft, reserved nature, the Whippet is easy on furniture so long as his nails are kept in good condition. A breed that sheds very minimally, sharing a home with a Whippet means little grooming and shedding in the home environment, including on the leather sofas.

Ready to purchase some new living room furniture and thinking leather is the way to go? Dogs and leather couches can get along very well together. Follow our top tips to keep your new leather sofa in tip top shape for many years to come.



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