Stop Your Dog from Chewing Your Slippers
Any pet owner will agree that puppies are simply the most adorable things in the world! They smell divine, they’re always cuddly and just the cutest bundles of fur you can ask for.
Unfortunately, puppies come with a downside – chewing. Chewing is a part of the natural behavior of a puppy. Looking, listening, interacting and chewing are all part of a puppy’s development. Additionally, a pup may chew when teething because of itchy gums.
Most pet owners manage to get through the chewing stage with as little damage as possible, and the pup will grow out of it in most cases. However, there is one reason for chewing that can become a more serious issue if left unchecked.
Chewing things to get attention can and will become a problem if you let it. In your pup’s mind, any attention is better than no attention, so even if you get mad at your dog, he is still getting a reaction, which is what he wants. It means that you, his most favorite person in the whole world, is focusing all your attention on him. That’s a happy dog!
Some dogs will chew slippers when you go out and leave them alone; others will chew when you have visitors, or even when you are spending time with a partner. If you think of things from your dog’s point of view, he cannot understand why all your attention is not focused on him all the time, and why he needs to share you with other people. Doing anything that gets you focusing back on him is his plan, and unfortunately, we as pet parents fall for this trick every time!
A dog who starts to chew things because he is looking for attention needs to be discouraged from doing so as soon as you can. Otherwise, you will find that your temper is sorely tried, and your chewed slippers are beyond recognition. Slippers are a favorite item to chew because they smell like you!
The more you react, and the more loudly you object when he runs off with your slipper, the more valued the prize becomes. Your dog will learn very quickly that if he runs off with your slipper, he gets a whole lot of attention!
So, how to handle this?
It may sound obvious, but it is important that you keep calm. Getting angry with your pooch will not accomplish anything; in fact, it will have the opposite effect. Remember that you want your dog to trust you in every aspect of his life. When you catch up with him and your slipper, simply remove it and give him something else to chew on.
Never grab your slipper away as this can hurt those teeth if they are embedded in the fabric. You will find that if you touch him somewhere else, his attention will be taken off the slipper for that instant, giving you time to remove and replace it.
Redirection and claim
Once your dog has released the slipper in favor of his own chew toy you claim it as your own. Think of it as you, your dog, and an imaginary line between you. What’s on your side of the line belongs to you. What’s over the line is his.
Draw your slipper to you so that it is on your side. If your dog jumps up to try to snatch it back, simply turn your back on him and walk away. He will learn that some things he does will get no attention at all.
Remove your slipper to a safe place. When your dog picks up his own toy, praise him. Encourage him to pick it up and take it with him.
What toys are best?
To stop your dog from chewing your slipper, he needs to have his own selection of chew toys. These are things that must be safe for him to chew and possibly rip apart. A puppy who is teething will be extremely vigorous in his chewing as his gums will be itchy. Even larger dogs will need toys that are safe so make sure there are no button noses or squeakers which can be pulled out and swallowed.
Buy toys which will stand up to being mauled. There are many rubber toys on the market which are perfect for chewers and which will not fall apart. There are also cuddly toys which are made especially for dogs. These will last longer and be safe when they are chewed.
Remember that you should never reward bad behavior, so never give a treat just because he has released your slipper, Instead, replace your slipper with something you are happy for him to chew.
Every time your dog fetches his own toy, praise him loudly, and before long you will find that he looks for his own toys because that – and only that – gets a reaction from you.
“How to Stop Your Dog from Chewing Your Slippers”
Guest Writer: Valerie Holyoak is the proud owner of Bentley, a three-year-old clumberdoodle! Valerie writes about him on OfficiallyPets.com in her spare time.
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