Dogs provide added security in your home and lovable companionship. They give unconditional love and pose little problems generally when living indoors. If you enjoy kicking off your shoes after a hard day at work, the shoes may resemble a toy to your canine friend, resulting in teeth marks and other damage. If your dog enjoys chewing on any available footwear, this bad habit is frustrating and often costly. Breaking an older dog of this annoying habit takes persistence, patience and proper training.
Punishment for Chewing Shoes
Reprimand your older dog by using a firm tone of voice and a stern look on your face when you catch the animal chewing on a shoe. Do not shout or hit your dog ever. Older dogs are less difficult to train than puppies because they are less distracted by new objects and more interested in a pleasant rapport with their owners. Direct the older dog's attention to an appealing and appropriate dog chew toy or spend time playing with the pet after reprimanding the animal.
Training Your Dog
When your dog grabs a shoe and begins chewing, point to it and say "No" sternly. This helps get the point across to the dog that your shoes are off limits. Remove your shoes each day and put them in their usual location. Watch the dog closely to see if it starts to go toward the shoes. If the dog heads toward the shoes, say its name and "No" sternly. The animal will likely try to grab the shoes when you are not looking. If so, reprimand it sternly again and direct its attention to a chew toy.
Rewarding Appropriate Behavior
Observe the dog on a regular basis for several days to see if it starts to go toward the shoes. If the dog repeats the behavior, repeat the reprimand. If the older dog looks at the shoes and then trots off, reward the animal with a treat, a pat on the head or by praising the animal profusely. Doing this teaches the old dog that the benefits of not bothering the shoes outweighs the punishment and stern admonishments that result from touching the footwear.
Reinforce the rule that the dog should only chew appropriate chew toys. This is behavior that requires consistency, possibly for a few days up to three or four weeks, depending on the individual dog. Don't send mixed messages to your dog by ignoring chewing on shoes or other inappropriate items one day and then deciding the next day that you are going to start the training again. Proper training pays off in acceptable behavior eventually, but you must be consistent in your efforts in order to reap the rewards of a well-trained older dog. Keep the training simple with the same stern reprimands and lots of love and praise when the dog behaves appropriately in order to obtain success.
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