Why does my bunny chew my couch, discipline and training

Inside this article

naughty bunnies couch
It's best to make under your couch a no-go area to you bunny

Bunnies behavior around your couch can be complicated and hard to control however it is important to get the upper hand for a number of reasons.

You should not let your bunny play under your couch. Unfortunately these out of sight places can contain unfinished surfaces with nails or splinters, materials that could cause tummy problems if eaten. It can be especially problematic if they break inside your couch.

Your bunny may also develop unwanted behavior around your couch like peeing or chewing the soft materials all of which will require your intervention to stop.

The best way to control your bunnies behavior is to direct them with some gentle discipline and encourage them towards some acceptable alternatives and in this guide we show you the common ways bunny parents go about this.

Follow our guidelines on how best to say No! without causing stress which can make things worse.

We also have some great ideas on how to enrich you bunnies environment with lots of alternatives to play with as well as how to set these out around your home to get the most from them.

Bunnies like to have areas of shelter to feel safe

So if you are tired of fighting your bunny over the couch, learn how to guide your bunny by reinforcing good behavior so you can both relax at home together.

How to discipline your bunny for wrecking your couch

  • Only tell your bunny off when you catch them on your couch or they won't understand why you are being mean to them.
  • Even if you bunny is being naughty never hit or push your bunny off the couch, they have small bones that can be hurt easily.
  • Never shout at or scare your bunny to get them to stop chewing or digging on your couch, they have sensitive hearing and stress can make them timid or aggressive towards you.
  • Provide lots of toy hideaways and chew toys to keep your bunny occupied and out of trouble.

Using gentle discipline when your bunny damages your couch

It can be very frustrating if your bunny has made it a mission to explore under your couch. Judging the right amount of telling off to usher them out without causing them stress is a fine line. Bunnies are very different from other pets and do not respond well to any sort of punishment, you may find this will even make things worse. To help get this right, follow these simple rules and learn how to give your bunny a clear message that you don't want them to do this without leaving them scrabbling for cover or so scared they stop being your friend and even become aggressive with you.

Firstly, for any type of discipline to work you must catch them in the act or any telling off will be wasted as they won't really understand why they are being punished.

Next, it's important to understand that no matter how frustrating it is you should not overreact, never scare, shout or hit your bunny. As a prey species they have a very strong flight response that can be unpredictable. They can come crashing off a couch and hurt themselves.

When you catch your bunny being naughty the best way to let your bunny know it's not allowed to do something with their name followed by a firm NO! If they keep going back it is best to lead them away from the situation by giving them something else more fun to do.

A stronger deterrent if this turns into a persistent problem can be to keep a water mister to hand and when you catch your bunny being naughty, spray a mist of cold water over them and they will soon be put off.

Enrichment ideas that will keep your bunny from wrecking your couch

If you want to keep your bunny out from under your couch or you want to stop chewing and peeing damaging you will need to enrich your bunnies environment with lots of safe and acceptable alternatives to keep them out of trouble. If you offer your bunny a safe shelter to play under and satisfy their natural urges to climb and explore you can make it a lot easier to control their behavior around your couch.

Follow our guide to see what shelter we recommend and see how you can best set these out around your home to stop the fighting over your couch with your bunny that may be spoiling time you spend together.

The best tunnels and shelters for bunnies

  • Cardboard box
  • Cloth tunnel
  • Wooden shelter
  • Tent
  • Wicker tunnel

Tunnel and tent toys are a great way of giving a bit more cover in the middle of your room and help lead your bunny away from the shelter behind and under your couch. They are light weight and can be packed away when not in use which makes them very handy.

If you are going to block off the crawl spaces around your couch you can make you bunny happy again by adding some new bits of shelter where your bunny can feel safe. Wooden shelters are great as they offer an additional dimension to your bunnies space they can relax under and can jump on top of it when they are feeling lively.

Cardboard, wicker or willow tubes from a pet store are also great and your bunny will enjoy exploring them and chewing them which is good for their tummies.

A cardboard box is an easy way to give your bunny somewhere sheltered to play in that they can get their teeth into and they will enjoy spending hours customizing a box to their own ends.