How to Get Your Dog to Stop Chewing Shoes

How to Get Your Dog to Stop Chewing Shoes

Dogs are known for their curious nature and tendency to chew on objects, including shoes. While it may seem harmless at first, chewing shoes can be a costly and frustrating habit to break. Here are some effective strategies to help you get your dog to stop chewing shoes.

1. Provide appropriate chew toys: Dogs chew to alleviate boredom and exercise their jaws. Make sure to provide your dog with a variety of chew toys to redirect their chewing behavior. Opt for toys made from durable materials, such as rubber or nylon, that are specifically designed for chewing.

2. Use deterrents: Apply a taste deterrent, such as bitter apple spray, to your shoes. Dogs dislike the taste, which will discourage them from chewing. Alternatively, you can try a nontoxic household substance like white vinegar, which has a strong scent that dogs find unpleasant.

3. Proper exercise: A tired dog is less likely to engage in destructive behaviors. Make sure your dog gets enough physical exercise and mental stimulation through walks, playtime, and training sessions. This will help reduce their need to chew on shoes out of boredom.

4. Supervise and manage: When you’re unable to keep a close eye on your dog, confine them to a safe area or crate them. This limits their access to shoes and prevents them from developing the habit further.

5. Train “leave it” command: Teach your dog the “leave it” command to prevent them from chewing shoes. Start by holding a treat in your closed hand and saying “leave it.” When they stop trying to get the treat, reward them with a different treat or praise. Practice this command consistently with various objects, including shoes.

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6. Correct behavior calmly: If you catch your dog in the act of chewing a shoe, calmly say “no” and redirect their attention to an appropriate chew toy. Avoid yelling or physical punishment, as it can be counterproductive and damage the trust between you and your furry friend.

7. Seek professional help: If your dog’s shoe-chewing behavior persists despite your efforts, consider seeking help from a professional dog trainer or behaviorist. They can provide personalized guidance and training techniques to address the underlying causes.


1. Why do dogs chew shoes?
Dogs chew shoes due to boredom, teething, anxiety, or a lack of appropriate chew toys.

2. How long does it take to stop the habit?
The time it takes to break the habit varies for each dog. Consistency and patience are key.

3. Are certain dog breeds more prone to shoe-chewing?
Some breeds, like retrievers and terriers, have a higher inclination to chew due to their natural instincts.

4. Can I give my dog old shoes to chew on?
It’s best to avoid giving your dog old shoes, as they might not differentiate between old and new shoes.

5. Should I punish my dog for chewing shoes?
No, punishment can have negative effects and may not effectively address the underlying cause.

6. Are there any alternatives to taste deterrents?
Some dogs respond well to citrus-scented sprays, which can deter chewing.

7. Can chewing shoes be a sign of a medical issue?
In some cases, excessive chewing can be a symptom of anxiety or dental problems. Consulting a veterinarian is recommended.

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