It soo very frustrating to come home and discover that your dog has destroyed your beautiful shoes. Soo why does she do this? It might not make sense to people but dogs have very good and sound reasons to why they chew up shoes.
Your shoes are a weird combination of everything your dog loves: They are great to chew and they carry your smell. Therefore your shoes are just too tempting for your dog.
Of course they never do this to upset you, they simply can’t resist the temptation. So the easiest and quickest way to stop a dog from chewing your shoes is simply to put your shoes away from your dog’s reach. However this might not always be practical so let’s take a look at the question: Why does my dog chew my shoes and what can I do about it?
Puppies chew on almost anything they can get their teeth into. They do this to releive the pain and itchiness that comes from the growing adult teeth. Furthermore puppies has to learn what they may chew and what they may not. The best way to avoid problems later on is to start training your dog not chew shoes and other valuable items already when he/she is a puppy. A simple and effective way to do this is to redirect chewing. This is done simply by taking the “non chewable” item from the puppy, firmly say NO and then show the puppy what he is allowed to chew. Praise the puppy and reward him when he is chewing the “right thing” You can see a video on how to do this on this page:
Anxious and bored dogs
often chew excessively as chewing burns off nervous energy and gives a bored dog something to do. If your dog is home alone for many hours every day he might be chewing simply because he is bored.If your dog is bored you can try to provide him with some good chewable items such dog toys or even old rags or a piece of wood. Crating your dog is good for two reasons: 1. it will keep non chewable items out of his reach and 2. the dog will feel safe inside the crate and anxiety will decrease. If you can hire a dog walker this would also be a great help in reducing stress and boredom for your dog.
Your dog might also be suffering from separation anxiety and this can create a number of unwanted, destructive behaviors in a dog. If your dog is howling, barking and ripping just about everything apart then this is likely to be caused by separation anxiety. If this the case with your dog I propose you take a look at this post: Help dog separation anxiety- simple tricks to cure it! Separation anxiety is a serious problem which needs to be tackled differently than unwanted chewing.
Dogs “see” the world primarily through their noses. Dogs sense of smell are extremely powerful (their smell is a thousand to ten thousand times as sensitive as a human being) Dogs discover the world and find their marks by using their smell. Your shoes smell of you and therefore it becomes very appealing to your dog, The smell of leather may smell like food to a dog and when you are out walking your shoes will pick up a number of scents along the way. so to your dog, your shoes is probably telling an interesting story of where you have been and what you done. No wonder that shoes are soo popular with dogs.
Chewing might be a great way to get attention
Dogs love to get attention and hates to get ignored. If you tell your dog off everytime he chews your shoes then he will learn that chewing shoes is a great way to to attention. Dogs learn quickly and if he figures out that chewing shoes gets him more attention than chewing a paper roll then he is likely to run off with one of your shoes.
The thing to do here is to simply take the shoe from him and walk away without speaking to him or looking at him. You must avoid giving him attention when he does something he may not do. When he does the right thing (such chewing a dog toy) give him plenty of attention and affection. This will teach him that doing the right thing will give him attention, and doing the “wrong thing” will make him ignored.
Learn more about how to stop unwanted chewing
If you would like to learn more I suggest you visit my page: How to stop Unwanted Chewing This page is about how to stop unwanted chewing in general and it has an excellent video where professional dog trainer doggy dan shows exactly what to do in order to stop unwanted chewing.
If you have any other tips and tricks you would like to share, please leave them below.