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How To Stop Your Dog From Chewing Your Shoes

 by jaime on 30 Oct 2014 |
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One of the most common stereotypes dog owners are accustomed to is the puppy that chews on shoes. When a dog is portrayed in movies and TV shows, almost every troublesome little puppy is found chewing on an owner's shoe at some point. This behavior, although often stereotyped in popular culture, is a very real occurrence that owners have to deal with on a regular basis.
All puppies have a natural instinct to chew on things, and shoes serves as a great target for that desire to chew and bite because of their location. Unlike remotes, clothes, and other items around the house that might be stored out of reach, your shoes are often left out on the rug. This puts your shoes on your puppy's level, turning them into an easy target.

So, how can you stop this behavior in your pup?
Stay calm
First and foremost, the worst thing you can do is fly off the handle and get angry with your dog. In the case of puppies, chewing on anything (including shoes) is a result of teething. Your puppy goes through teething at around 11 months, and anything that allows it to relieve the pain in its gums is likely to get chewed on. When you catch your pup chewing on a shoe, take a deep breath and correct the behavior calmly.
Correct your pup with a stern "no," but don't yell at the dog. Remove the shoe from its vision and present it with an acceptable chew toy. Reinforce the idea that the toy is good, and the shoe is bad, by praising it for chewing on the toy.
Correcting the behavior
When you go to remove the shoe from your dog, don't simply snatch the shoe from its mouth. If you quickly move to grab the shoe, your puppy might think the shoe is a new toy and that you are looking to play. Instead, use a gentle, yet stern touch on your dog's hindquarters or neck to redirect its focus. With its focus redirected, remove the shoe and introduce the chew toy instead.
Claim your shoes

Dogs claim toys and objects around the house. You need to do the same with items that are yours to help teach your dog which items are yours and should not be touched. By remaining calm and using positive energy and body language, you can send a message to your dog that your shoes are strictly yours. Think of it as creating an invisible barrier around objects such as your shoes that tells your puppy "this is mine."
Prevent the problem
The best thing you can do to help your dog is to set it up for success, not failure. It can be difficult to establish dominance and ownership of items in the house. These endeavors take time to complete and instill positive behaviors in your dog. While you work on those, take some time to follow extra steps that will help set your dog up for success. Close the door to your bedroom and keep shoes in common areas inside of closets where you dog cannot access them. Make sure to leave plenty of acceptable chew toys out for your dog. This will prevent it from chewing shoes, and reinforce the positive behavior of using chew toys.

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