My dog loves to eat shoes! How do I get her to stop?
Your shoes are a strange combination of everything your dog loves: they’re chewy and they smell like you. One dog told me that her owner should think of her shoe chewing as a compliment!
Most dogs feel guilty after they’ve destroyed a shoe. They didn’t mean to eat it. They just meant to experience it a little.
To make it stop, you need to remove the three causes of shoe chewing: the temptation, the loneliness and the boredom.
Remove the Temptation
Shoe chewing is an addictive behavior. You need to put your shoes away. Your dog may try to apply her chewing to other things that smell like you. Make sure you keep your clothes put away too.
Remove the Loneliness
If she’s chewing your shoes because she’s missing you, find something fun that the two of you can do together. If she’s alone all day by herself, consider getting her a companion or taking her to doggie daycare.
Remove the Boredom
Every dog needs a job. If your dog has something to focus on, besides your shoes, voila, problem is solved. Ask your dog to do something for you. My resident recovered-shoe-chewer’s job is to keep our house safe. She looks out the window and occasionally lets the neighborhood know that this house is protected by a tough whippet mix.
I hope your dog’s shoe-chewing days are behind her.