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How to Teach My Puppy Not To Chew My Shoes?

Just like a child, a puppy learns new habits through exploration. When you allow unpleasant habits from the onset, it may be much harder to correct them once he gets older.

This may explain the old cliché that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks. However, you cannot be condemned to shredded shoes for eternity just because you made a mistake by condoning unpleasant behavior in the past.

The good news is that regardless of his age, you can still train your older puppy to stop chewing on your shoes. This article gives tips to follow.

Provide Appropriate Chewing Toys

Puppies chew on shoes as a way of beating their boredom. They mistake shoes for puppy toys, hence the incessant habit. Providing the puppy with their appropriate toys tops the list of the most effective ways of arresting this annoying habit. Be sure not to purchase toys that resemble shoes since this will confuse them further. 

Does your puppy chew your shoes?

Apply Positive Reinforcement

Expert opinion suggests that positive reinforcement works faster and more effectively than disciplining. Just like kids, puppies are more inclined to repeat something they were rewarded for, to please you. In that understanding, practice more petting, rewarding and praising when they chew on their toys instead of your shoes. When they chew on shoes, refrain from scolding them. Scolding is a negative attention that puppies cannot differentiate from positive attention. As a result, it will only motivate them to chew the shoes even more. The best thing to do when you find your puppy chewing shoes is to withhold and redirect attention. 

Use Deterrents

An array of deterrent products can help discourage your furry friend from chewing your shoes. Most of these products contain bitter tastes that are very unpleasant to the puppy. They are friendly to the health of your puppy and shoe fabric so you do not have to stress over destruction. 

Be Consistent and Clear

Another hack that remains effective in puppy training is being adamant about your house rules. If you are not okay with chewing of shoes, no one in the family should ever condone the behavior. Allowing the habit by certain members would only confuse the puppy further and the habit will never go away. It is best to accommodate everyone’s contribution when making house rules so that they stick to them. 

Engage Them in Physical Activities 

Sometimes chewing of shoes by puppies is because of trying to dispense the excess energy in their bodies. Engaging them in physical activities like outdoor playtime and nature walks is a great of way of making good use of that energy. They will be so tired and drained after such activities that they will have no time to chew shoes. All they will be looking forward to is a good rest and night’s sleep instead of engaging in curiosity like shoe chewing. 

Minimize Access to Shoes

The simplest hack to stopping this annoying habit is by making the shoes unavailable to the puppy. The unavailability of the shoes will make the puppy forget about it and eventually, they will quit the behavior completely. Besides, out of sight, out of mind. In this understanding, always put and let everyone, including visitors put their shoes in high closed closets and bins. Doing that not only eliminates shoe chewing by your puppy, it also creates a sense of responsibility for a more organized home. 

Contain the Puppy

Alternatively, you can try supervising the puppy when around the house. Be sure to involve the input of all family members, as this will speed up the learning process. Since this can sometimes be hard, if not impossible. Consider containment measures like dog barriers and crates in areas where shoes are kept. This works well since you will also deter them from areas earmarked as no-go zones for the puppy. 

Sometimes you may find that even with all these efforts and patience, your furry friend is not adjusting. This does not mean that he is a bad dog; he is just different and adapting at his own pace. In this instance, it is recommended to seek the services of a dog professional for proper training. Trainers have a deeper understanding of dog behavior and they will customize the training according to the puppy. In addition to helping eradicate the shoe chewing behavior, they will closely monitor the well-being and growth of the puppy. If any health concern arises, the professional will address the issue before it gets out of hand and save you money with treatment and medication.