Dogs are typically playful animals, and by default, they are attracted to items within and out of their reach. It is pretty normal to have your dog running around the house with your slipper between his teeth, and the moment you decide to pursue, the dog enters game mode.
Also, slippers offer dogs soft material they can chew on, especially those just starting to cut teeth, and they can sometimes take your slippers to have your smell with them.
In this article, we will be discussing all you need to know about why your dog takes your slippers, why he destroys your slippers and how you can stop this act.
Why Does My Dog Take My Slippers?
Most puppies display certain behaviors while developing, and when they grow, these traits become part of them. Several factors may cause your dog to take your slippers, and many of these depend on your dog’s breed. For retrievers and hunting dogs, slippers, socks, and toys are potential targets that they love to find.
It is important to give much thought to the breed you own and determine how the species are bred. While you are up and about with your dog home alone, your slippers will automatically become a play item, and he will probably chew on them until something else catches his fancy. The intent is not to destroy but often a need for stimulation. The reason why your dog loves to play with your footwear could be because he craves security while you are out, or he needs comforting.
If dogs are lonely and without chewy dog toys, they may fill in the gap of loneliness with your slippers, considering that you’ve not made anything chewy available to them. Not only are slippers soft and chewy, but they are also loaded with your scent and can offer comfort to your dog. They are easy for dogs to pick up, and in a house with several people, there will be numerous slippers they can choose for play.
It must have crossed your mind to store up all your footwear so that they can be out of reach for your dog, but that is a form of hoarding and guarding of possessions that can translate to you being overly protective. It is necessary to break that habit before it worsens because dogs have repressed instinctive scavenging and storing traits.
Storing your slippers can send the wrong signal to your dog, and he may develop the habit of going around the house collecting household items and storing them.
Why Does My Dog Destroy My Slippers?
Your dog playing with your slippers is in itself not a harmful behavior; however, it could be an indication of boredom, and a bored dog can turn destructive. It is vital to identify ways to provide companionship for your dog through activities and exercise. Most dog breeds are usually active and on the move, and when they are idle, boredom sets in, which causes them to search for objects they can chew on and tear apart.
If you happen to be their favorite human, it means you are at risk of losing all your favorite slippers to your dog’s grip. The reaction they get from you will be just what they are after; it is advised not to chase your dog around to get your slippers back because that will satisfy your dog’s attention needs. This is the perfect time to practice simple commands that will help you get your slippers back without a chase.
How Do I Stop My Dog From Stealing Slippers?
According to animal behavior experts, there is a high probability that the destruction of slippers results from a complex instinctive behavioral problem that may be difficult to solve. Use these tips to keep your fur friend away from your slippers and help them focus on other things.
Purchase the Right Toys
One way to get your dog to stop taking your slippers is to provide more toys that he can play with. With sufficient toys around the house, your dog will be occupied and will most likely forget about your slippers. You can visit a physical pet store or browse the internet for online pet retailers, and you are bound to find a wide variety of dog toys to select from. You can select toys suited for your dog breed, especially retriever dogs. You can consider discs, fetch toys, floating toys, chewy toys, squeaker toys, and dummy toys.
When you choose toys for your dog, ensure to consider the size of your dog and his chewing habits. Some of the toys may not last beyond a few hours in the jaws of a giant dog, so study your dog breed and shop for toys accordingly.
Help Your Dog Get Enough Exercise
Another helpful tip to stop your dog from stealing and destroying your slippers is to help him get adequate exercise. As we stated earlier, retrievers and hunter dogs have natural tendencies to run, and even though they are bred in big cities, their ancestral instincts and energy are still alive. It is therefore crucial that they exercise as often as possible.
Even if you cannot spare so much time for a long walk with your dog, you can make out space in your yard or a fenced area so he can run around. Just ensure that your dog is not going out in cold weather or all alone. If you don’t have a space in your home, you can explore dog parks in your city and allow your dog to run for as long as he wants without you trailing him for miles.
Keep your Dog Company
Dogs love companionship, and one reason they take your slippers is that they miss you. When you take custody of a dog, the dog becomes a part of the family and sees you as a parent in his mind. If you are always out of the house due to your job, your dog will most likely comfort himself with your slippers because it probably smells like you and reminds him of you.
It may be impossible to always hang out with your dog or stay at home all day with your dog, but it is essential to spend quality time with your dog to alleviate loneliness.
You can develop methods and strategies that will help make your time apart more bearable for the dog. Not only will this improve the bond you both share, but it will also help save your slippers!
Make your Zone Dog-friendly
One way to keep your dog comforted and occupied in your absence is to create a ‘safe place’ for him. Your fur kid will enjoy a cozy space made especially for him, and the thought of chewing your slippers will not even cross his mind. Here are some suggestions to note when setting up your dog space:
– A gate: You can make a gate out of any item, maybe a crate or a repurposed baby gate. This will help mark the territory as your dog,’ and it can be comforting for your dog to know that he has his own space in your heart and house.
– Comfort items: You can prop up the space with some of your old shirts and even a slipper – maybe one you no longer wear. You can also add a couple of blankets to make your dog comfier.
– A mattress or dog bed: If your dog spends a good time sleeping in your absence, not only will your dog wake up relaxed, it means your slippers are safe. It will help make its sleeping place as safe and comfortable as possible, and you can achieve that with a comfy mattress or dog bed.
– Chewy bones/foods: You can make chewy dog snacks and bones available for your dog to snack on. However, you must observe your dog and ensure that your dog doesn’t have these foods unsupervised to avoid choking, especially on smaller snacks.
– A puzzle toy: A puzzle toy can also help keep your dog occupied while you are away. Thankfully, it is a safe toy that will allow your dog to have fun while it waits for your return.
Get a Pet-sitter
If you are gone for most of the day due to school or work, you can consider hiring a trained pet-sitter for the period you are away. It may cost you an additional expense, but it is worth it if it makes your dog happy. Getting someone to watch your pet will keep you rest assured that your dog is safe, and you can also be sure that slippers are safe.
If you have tried all of these and your dog is still destroying your slippers, then it is time to get professional help. You can have a chat with your local vet, or you can sign up for online pet-breeding classes to help you understand your dog’s condition better.
Dogs are intelligent creatures, and they crave mental stimulation, just like humans. Inability to satisfy their desire for mental stimulation will lead to boredom which can cause them to develop destructive habits.
Unlike kids, you cannot challenge dogs with video games, board games, or educational toys, so you have to discover ways to distract your dog from destroying items in the home. In conclusion, the best thing you can give your dog is maximum attention, and this goes beyond just petting them. Enjoy walks together, enjoy playtime together with their toys, talk to them and make your dog understand how special they are to you.