Why Does My Dog Steal My Shoes But Not Chew Them

Updated in January, 2023 | By John Robert
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It’s not uncommon for dogs to exhibit a behavior known as “resource guarding,” which is when they try to protect or defend a particular object or resource that they perceive as valuable. In this case, it’s possible that your dog sees your shoes as a valuable resource and is trying to guard them. It’s also possible that your dog is simply playing with your shoes and doesn’t have any intention of damaging them.

why does my dog steal my shoes but not chew them

There are a few things you can try to discourage this behavior:

Make sure your dog has plenty of toys and other objects to play with, so they don’t feel the need to chew on your shoes.

If your dog seems to be guarding your shoes, you can try using a positive reinforcement training technique called “trading up.” This involves giving your dog a treat or a toy in exchange for the object they are guarding, and gradually increasing the value of the treat or toy over time.

If your dog is just playing with your shoes and not trying to destroy them, you can try redirecting their attention to a different activity or object.

It’s important to remember to always be patient and consistent when training your dog, and to never use physical punishment or yelling as a form of discipline.

Why Does My Dog Steal My Shoes? 5 Likely Reasons


Here are five possible reasons why your dog might be stealing your shoes:

Attention-seeking behavior: Some dogs may steal your shoes as a way of getting your attention. If you react by chasing after them or trying to retrieve the shoes, this can reinforce the behavior and encourage your dog to do it again.

Boredom: Dogs that are left alone for long periods of time may become bored and look for ways to entertain themselves. Stealing your shoes and playing with them can provide a source of stimulation for your dog.

Natural scavenging behavior: Dogs are descended from wolves, which are scavengers by nature. Stealing and chewing on objects may be a natural behavior for your dog.

Resource guarding: As mentioned earlier, resource guarding is when a dog tries to protect or defend a particular object or resource that they perceive as valuable. In this case, your dog may see your shoes as a valuable resource and be trying to guard them.

Separation anxiety: Some dogs may exhibit destructive behaviors, including stealing and chewing on objects, when their owners are away. If your dog only steals your shoes when you are not home, it could be a sign of separation anxiety.

It’s important to consider all of these potential factors when trying to determine why your dog is stealing your shoes. If the behavior is causing problems or is a source of stress, it may be helpful to consult a veterinarian or a professional dog trainer for guidance.

Why is my dog obsessed with my shoes?


There are a few potential reasons why your dog might be obsessed with your shoes:

Attention-seeking behavior: If your dog is seeking attention from you, they may try to get your attention by stealing your shoes.

Natural scavenging behavior: Dogs are descended from wolves, which are scavengers by nature. Stealing and chewing on objects may be a natural behavior for your dog.

Boredom: Dogs that are left alone for long periods of time may become bored and look for ways to entertain themselves. Stealing your shoes and playing with them can provide a source of stimulation for your dog.

Separation anxiety: Some dogs may exhibit destructive behaviors, including stealing and chewing on objects, when their owners are away. If your dog only steals your shoes when you are not home, it could be a sign of separation anxiety.

Resource guarding: As mentioned earlier, resource guarding is when a dog tries to protect or defend a particular object or resource that they perceive as valuable. In this case, your dog may see your shoes as a valuable resource and be trying to guard them.

If your dog’s obsession with your shoes is causing problems or is a source of stress, it may be helpful to consult a veterinarian or a professional dog trainer for guidance.

How do I stop my dog from stealing my shoes?


Here are a few strategies you can try to stop your dog from stealing your shoes:

Keep your shoes out of reach: If your dog only steals your shoes when they are easily accessible, consider keeping your shoes in a closet or on a high shelf where your dog can’t reach them.

Provide plenty of toys and other objects for your dog to play with: If your dog is stealing your shoes because they are bored, make sure they have plenty of toys and other objects to play with to keep them occupied.

Use positive reinforcement training techniques: If your dog is stealing your shoes as a way of seeking attention, try using positive reinforcement training techniques like “trading up” to teach your dog that they can get attention and rewards by performing a specific behavior on command, rather than stealing your shoes.

Redirect your dog’s attention: If your dog is stealing your shoes and playing with them, try redirecting their attention to a different activity or object.

Seek professional guidance: If your dog’s shoe-stealing behavior is causing problems or is a source of stress, it may be helpful to consult a veterinarian or a professional dog trainer for guidance.

Remember to always be patient and consistent when training your dog, and to never use physical punishment or yelling as a form of discipline.

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John Robert

John Robert is a Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT). Owner of the most gorgeous dog on the planet, developed an interest in dog nutrition after finding the best food for his pet's allergies. The most impactful motive of his life is educating dog owners about dog nutrition and improving the lives of pets.

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