Have you ever wondered why your friendly dog only chews your lovely wife’s shoes and belongings? As a dog owner with deep knowledge of canine behavior, I have been asked about this matter many times. Therefore, I have decided to put together this helpful guide just for you.
There could be various reasons why your dog is exhibiting this behavior. Some possible causes include anxiety, boredom, stress, teething, material preference, or simply a love for your wife. The good news is that there are many suitable solutions that can help prevent this behavior, such as puzzle toys, raw bones, bitter spray, hot sauce, dog-proofing the house, providing soothing distractions, and ensuring your dog gets enough exercise to leave a satisfying scent behind.
Although this problem may seem a bit ridiculous, it’s important to understand the exact cause in order to prevent your dog from chewing your wife’s belongings. So, let’s figure out what that cause is.
What Are the Reasons Why Your Dog Only Chews Your Wife’s Shoes and Belongings?
As a long-time dog owner, I have come across several reasons that can cause this problem. I am excited to share my knowledge with you, as I know you are a bit worried right now.
If you are wondering why your dog is only chewing your wife’s shoes and belongings, here is a list of possible reasons:
- Your dog may love or seek comfort from your wife.
- Separation anxiety may be the reason.
- Your dog may be teething.
- Your dog may chew your wife’s belongings due to temptation, loneliness, and boredom.
- Chewing can be a method of releasing stress.
- Dogs can understand feelings.
- You may be leaving your wife’s belongings where the dog can get them.
- The dog may simply love the material.
- The breed of your dog may also play a role.
Your Dog May Chew Your Wife’s Shoes Because He/She Loves or Seeks Comfort from Your Wife
You may find it a bit weird, but the fact is that your dog might chew your wife’s shoes, clothes, and other belongings because he/she really loves your wife. It is possible that your dog is overly attached to your wife. Dogs have a sense of smell that is estimated to be more than 1000 times better than what we have. So, when your dog smells your wife’s shoes, he is really smelling your wife.
Shoe chewing can become an addictive behavior, and believe me, human’s shoes have a strong scent. So, as I mentioned above, it could be your wife’s scent that attracts the dog to her belongings, and because dogs are scent and orally motivated, they may chew on them.
If your dog has already chewed your wife’s belongings, punishing them is not a real option. Instead, you need to follow a specific process to make them realize that chewing is undesirable behavior that you will not tolerate.
Before we reach the end this article, you’ll have several tools in your toolbox to help manage unwanted chewing. If you are more of a visual person, feel free to take a look at this video instead.
Separation Anxiety in Dogs Can Lead to Destructive Chewing, Even of Your Wife’s Shoes
One common cause of destructive chewing in dogs is separation anxiety, a condition in which dogs become very anxious and distressed when left alone. While dogs do not intentionally choose to chew on specific items out of anxiety, a dog may be more likely to focus their chewing on items that smell like their owner or have a strong association with their owner.
For example, your wife’s shoes might have a particular scent that your dog finds calming or reassuring, leading them to chew on those shoes when feeling anxious or stressed.
If you suspect that your dog is suffering from separation anxiety, look for these behaviors:
- Destructive chewing, digging, and other destructive behaviors
- Howling, barking, or whining excessively
- Defecating or urinating in the house, even if previously house-trained
- Pacing or restlessness
- Attempts to escape or break out of the house or crate
If your dog is showing one or more of these behaviors, it may be a sign of separation anxiety. To confirm this, consider the following potential triggers:
- Have you recently moved to a new residence?
- Has anyone left the household, or has there been a change in the household routine?
- Have you recently changed your dog’s daily routine or feeding schedule?
- Has a new dog been introduced to the household?
If your dog is suffering from separation anxiety, there are many strategies and treatments that can help, including desensitization and counterconditioning, medication, and professional training. With patience, understanding, and the right approach, you can help your dog overcome their anxiety and live a happier, healthier life.
If your dog shows the above signs and symptoms, it is necessary to find the root cause of the separation anxiety and work on it. The following are some possible solutions:
- Leave your dog with an object that smells like you or your wife
- Teach your dog independence
- Provide your dog with a comfortable and familiar space
- Use puzzle toys to keep your dog occupied
Consult with a veterinarian or a dog behaviorist for additional help.
Recommended reading: 8 Reasons: why does my dog growl at my wife?
Your Dog May Chew Your Wife’s Shoes Due to Teething
Dogs, like human babies, can experience discomfort and pain when their teeth start coming in. They may turn to chewing as a way to alleviate the discomfort. If your dog is under one year old, there is a good chance that teething is the cause of the problem. The following are some possible solutions:
- Provide your dog with teething toys that are safe and appropriate for their age and size
- Freeze wet washcloths or soft toys for your dog to chew on, as the cold can help numb their gums and ease discomfort
- Redirect your dog’s chewing behavior to appropriate items, such as toys or bones
Your Dog May Chew Your Wife’s Shoes Due To Boredom, Stress, and Loneliness
Dogs are social animals and need mental and physical stimulation to be happy and healthy. When they are bored, stressed, or lonely, they may turn to destructive behaviors such as chewing. The following are some possible solutions:
- Provide your dog with plenty of exercise and playtime
- Train your dog with positive reinforcement to redirect their attention away from destructive behaviors
- Use puzzle toys and interactive games to provide mental stimulation and keep your dog occupied
- Consider doggy daycare or hiring a dog walker if you are unable to provide enough exercise and socialization for your dog
A Method of Releasing Stress
As a long-time dog owner with deep knowledge of dogs, I can tell you that many owners believe that chewing certain things can release dopamine, which can decrease stress and increase the sense of well-being in dogs. In fact, dopamine is mostly released when humans or dogs engage with something they enjoy or find entertaining.
However, sometimes destructive behavior, such as chewing on your wife’s shoes or other belongings, can occur as a self-soothing behavior due to anxiety or stress issues. If your dog exhibits any of the following behaviors, they may be stressed:
- Whining or barking
- Hiding or escaping behavior
- Shaking or pacing
- Excessive drooling
- Sudden aggression
- Restlessness or pacing
If you suspect your dog is stressed, it’s essential to take action. Loud noises, being left alone frequently, moving to a new home, being rehomed, or the first few days in a new environment can all be stressors for dogs.
They Can Understand Feelings
Although there is no scientific proof, it’s possible that dogs can understand our feelings. For example, if your wife is always blaming you, it may cause stress for the dog. While this is a bit controversial, I have heard stories like this many times over my years of experience with dogs.
Because You Leave Them Where the Dog Can Get Them
If your wife’s shoes are frequently chewed on, it may be because she leaves them where the dog can easily access them. Dogs don’t understand ownership in the same way we do, so they aren’t deliberately chewing on her shoes to get back at her. Instead, they may be doing it simply because they enjoy the texture and smell of the shoes, or because they associate the shoes with their favorite person (your wife).
Your Dog Might Chew Your Wife’s Shoes Because He Loves the Material
Many shoes are made of rawhide or leather, which dogs find delicious due to their natural scent. Additionally, if the shoes smell like your wife, who is likely the dog’s favorite person, the shoes become even more attractive to the dog. Dogs are notorious for finding scents they want to figure out, so the soft texture of shoes can also make them more appealing to chew on.
The Type of the Breed Plays a Role
This destructive behavior can also be more common in certain breeds and ages of dogs. For example, retrievers like Labrador and Golden Retrievers, as well as hunting breeds, may be more prone to this behavior due to their innate habits. Below is a list of breeds that are known for chewing the most:
- Jack Russell Terrier
- American Pit Bull Terrier
- Golden Retriever
- Labrador Retriever
- Border Collie
- Australian shepherd
- Basset Hound
How to Keep Your Dog from Chewing Your Wife’s Shoes and Belongings
As a long-time dog owner, I know how frustrating it can be to deal with destructive behavior. However, there are practical solutions to this problem that go beyond the traditional methods. In this article, I will provide you with several solutions that I am confident will help you put an end to your dog’s destructive chewing habits.
- Give Puzzle Toys
- Give RAW Bones
- Use Bitter Spray
- Use Hot Sauce
- Dog Proof Your House
- Create Soothing Distractions
- Give Adequate Exercise
- Train Your Dog
- Leave Your Scent Behind
Give Puzzle Toys, and Your Dog Will Not Chew Your Wife’s Shoes
If you are looking for a way to keep your dog from chewing your wife’s shoes, puzzle toys are an excellent solution. Puzzle toys are specifically designed to keep dogs busy and mentally stimulated. By putting food inside the toy, you will give your dog a task to focus on and keep them from getting bored and destructive. The food becomes the highest priority for your dog, making it much more exciting than chewing on your wife’s shoes.
Dogs tend to chew things when they get bored. If you don’t provide them with something to keep them busy, they will find a way to stay entertained, and that may involve chewing on your wife’s shoes. By offering puzzle toys, you provide them with the mental stimulation they crave, and they will be less likely to engage in destructive behavior. Regular toys may not be enough to keep your dog entertained unless there is someone to interact with them.
To make a puzzle toy even more engaging, you can use food that your dog loves. For example, you can fill the toy with kibble and freeze it overnight. This will make it much harder for your dog to get the food out, making the toy last longer and providing them with more mental stimulation.
Ultimately, giving your dog a puzzle toy is an excellent way to keep them busy, mentally stimulated, and less likely to engage in destructive chewing behavior. Give it a try, and you may be pleasantly surprised at the results!
Give Raw Bones
You can use bones to keep your dog busy, and they will never chew your wife’s shoes and other belongings. But make sure to always give them raw bones. Cooked bones can splinter and cause harm. Also, make sure to give your dog a bigger size bone.
Use Bitter Spray to Prevent Chewing
If your dog is not stopping chewing your wife’s stuff, you can try a deterrent spray, also known as bitter spray.
Bitter spray is usually a water-based spray that you can use on the objects that your dog likes to chew. When your dog chews on the object, the bitter taste will be unpleasant and will deter them from chewing on it again.
Use Hot Sauce
Sometimes hot sauces are more effective, and you can keep your dog from chewing your wife’s shoes and other belongings. Because dogs hate the smell of sauce.
Dogs have very sensitive noses, so just the smell of hot sauce can be enough to deter them. Apply a small amount of hot sauce to the object your dog likes to chew, and the smell should keep them away.
Dog-Proof Your House
There are several things you can do to dog-proof your house:
- Use a dog crate
- Use a dog play pen
Use a Dog Crate
If the above solutions are not working, you can crate your dog when you are away. However, make sure to provide all your dog’s needs and wants before you leave. Personally, I prefer not to crate my dog, but if I have no other option, I will crate them.
Note: Crating your dog for long periods can cause a lot of problems. If your dog drools inside the crate, something is wrong.
Use a Dog Play Pen
You can dedicate a room or specific area for your dog and enclose it with a gate. This can be a better option than crating your dog, especially if you live in a small apartment and don’t have much space.
Create Soothing Distractions
If your dog has a habit of chewing your wife’s shoes or other belongings, it might be a sign of separation anxiety or other related psychological problems. To keep your dog calm and relaxed when away from home, try creating some soothing distractions. For example, turning on the TV or radio with some calming music can help. You can find some good options on Youtube.
Give Adequate Exercise
Dogs can become very distracted if they are not receiving enough attention or exercise. To keep your dog both physically and mentally healthy, make sure to provide them with adequate exercise on a daily basis. The amount of exercise a dog needs depends on their breed, so it’s important to do some research to determine what works best for your furry friend.
Train Your Dog to Stop Chewing Your Wife’s Shoes
If your dog has a habit of chewing your wife’s shoes and other things, it’s time to train them to avoid that behavior. You can easily do this by watching training videos online. Check out some options on YouTube.
Leave Your Wife’s Scent Behind
As a long time dog owner, I can tell you that dogs love to chew things that belong to their favorite person. If your dog tends to chew your wife’s shoes and other belongings, there are a few things you can do to address this behavior.
One effective solution is to get your dog’s favorite toy and keep it with your wife for a few minutes, holding it between her hands. This will transfer your scent to the toy and help soothe your dog.
Things to Be Aware of
While you now have a good understanding of why your dog chews your wife’s belongings and how to address it, there are a few important things you need to keep in mind.
Don’t leave your dog in the crate for too long. While using a crate can be an effective way to prevent destructive behavior, leaving your dog alone in the crate for extended periods of time can cause psychological problems.
Avoid punishing your dog if you catch them chewing on something they shouldn’t be. Dogs don’t understand why they are being punished, and it can actually be counterproductive. Instead, use positive reinforcement and obedience training to teach your dog what is and isn’t acceptable behavior.
In conclusion, this comprehensive guide provides insight into why dogs may chew their owner’s belongings and offers effective solutions. Remember to avoid punishing your dog and keep them out of the crate for too long. With patience and training, you can teach your dog what is and isn’t acceptable behavior. Thank you for reading and have a great day!