Does your canine companion chew your shoes and other stuff? Are leather items the most preferred? Though, if you’ve ever bought a cow hoof, you may be tempted to let your dog chew your shoes again! Give it a try – after about 15 minutes of having this treat in your pet’s jaws, you would think that you were living in a home on the range. Well, if dogs would chew on something that smells like livestock poop, why wouldn’t they want leather?
So how do you correct this unwanted behavior? Start by disciplining when you’re home. Set up the trigger, wait, and when your pooch makes a beeline for the shoes, act! The first step is to blow up two small balloons for every pair of shoes that your dog may be able to access. Then, place a balloon-filled shoe beside you on the sofa or chair.
When your dog comes in to investigate, firmly say, “Leave it!” and pop the balloon with a pin. Reward your dog with love and praise if he backs off. Repeat this exercise as often as you can until he learns the lesson and is no longer obsessed with your shoes.
To test the success, leave a couple of pairs of inexpensive shoes around the house with balloons in them. These should be shoes that your dog used to chew on. You’ll most likely find that they’ve been left untouched when you come home.
Keep in mind that the goal here is not to scare your pet. You just want to create a negative association with the behavior of chewing shoes or other items such as pillows, socks, remote controls, and the like. You can easily affix inflated balloons to any object with tape or a safety pin at the tied rubber tip.
It’s also important that you provide lots of dog appropriate chew toys to keep the shoe addiction at bay. However, if you’re too busy to train your pet, another option would be to confine him to an area of the house where he has completely no access to shoes or small items.