The Surprising Reason Your Dog Keeps Chewing on Your Shoes

Pets
The Surprising Reason Your Dog Keeps Chewing on Your Shoes

Many dog owners have returned home to find their favorite pair of shoes chewed to shreds by their beloved canine friend. It can be frustrating and perplexing considering the multitude of toys your dog has to choose from yet they opt for your expensive footwear. In this article, we will delve into the surprising reasons your dog keeps chewing on your shoes and provide some tips on how to decelerate this behavior.

 

Why Do Dogs Chew on Shoes?

Before we get into the surprising aspects, let’s relate to some common reasons that could be motivating your dog to chew on your shoes.

1. Teething: Younger dogs and puppies often chew on things when they are teething. This is because the process of growing new teeth can cause discomfort, and the act of chewing provides some relief for the dog.

2. Boredom: To a dog, a day with nothing to do is a recipe for mischief. It’s not uncommon for an under-stimulated dog to chew on your shoes to pass the time.

3. Anxiety: Just like humans, dogs can suffer from anxiety and stress. Odd as it may seem, chewing on your shoes can be a comfort mechanism for them during these stressful times.

The Surprising Reason: Scent Association

After comprehending the common reasons, you might be wondering, why shoes? Why not a chair leg, a cushion, or any other object? The surprising reason traces back to one of the dog’s dominant senses – the sense of smell.

1. Shoes Carry Your Scent: Among all your possessions, your shoes likely carry the strongest scent. This is because they are in direct contact with your sweat, skin cells, and the various places you walk. To your dog, your scent is comforting and familiar. Chewing on something that smells like you could make them feel closer to you, especially when you’re not around.

2. Pheromones: Your shoes also absorb and retain pheromones, chemical signals that convey social information to other members of the same species. Dogs can detect these pheromones and the smell could entice them to chew on your shoes.

3. Marking Territory: Additionally, your dog might be chewing on your shoes to leave their scent on something that already smells strongly like you. This could be their unique way of marking territory, especially if you have multiple pets.

How Can I Stop my Dog from Chewing on my Shoes?

Understanding the reason behind your dog’s shoe-chewing habit is the first step. Next comes the task of training them to change this behavior.

1. Keep Shoes Out of Reach: The simplest solution is often the most effective. If your dog can’t get to your shoes, they can’t chew on them.

2. Provide Suitable Chewing Alternatives: Establish a regular habit of giving your dog chew toys. Scented and flavored toys can be particularly effective.

3. Spend Quality Time Together: Physical and mental stimulation is crucial in curbing unwanted behaviors.

4. Training: Train your dog to differentiate between their toys and your shoes. Be consistent and patient in teaching them the difference.

5. Seek Professional Help: If your dog’s unwanted behavior persists despite your best efforts, don’t hesitate to consult a professional dog trainer or a behaviorist.

Conclusion

It’s easy to be frustrated when your dog keeps chewing your shoes. However, understanding that there’s a biological and emotional reasoning behind this habit can surely make you more empathetic towards your canine friend. Shoe chewing is a behavior that requires time, patience, and consistent training to rectify and in a majority of cases, it’s perfectly achievable. Remember, your shoes might be replaceable but the bond with your furry friend is priceless.

Activities such as physical exercises, mental stimulation, and consistent training can significantly decrease instances of chewing. Understanding their needs and tendencies will not only justify their behavior but will equip you to handle and deflect it efficiently. Besides, knowing your dog is making an affectionate gesture even while chewing your shoe does take away a bit of the sting. After all, as dog lovers, we could all do with a little extra love, however peculiarly it might be expressed.

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