When I hear my dog(s) chewing something in another room, I sometimes go to take a look at what it is they are working on. In case it is a shoe, what immediate action should I take to stop the chewing in such a way as to not reward the dog with attention?

The answers to remedy this sock-stealing dog explain how the dog may perceive a response as a reward/attention, especially if you start chasing after the sock. I can imagine how that dog might never stop stealing socks or chewing shoes because of this "reward". In the case of a good shoe being chewed, I simply cannot ignore the chewing.

So, what is the proper way to react to stop a dog caught in the act of chewing a shoe?


4 Answers 4


Maybe your dog needs something to chew on. An artificial bone might cater his needs. I used the bones that are available for dogs at the pet store and his chewing on other things has reduced considerably.


I used Grannick's Bitter Apple spray when I first got my puppy. I'd spray a bit on the shoe while he was chewing it/about to grab it, then when he was making that "I don't like this taste face" I would quietly take the shoe away and put a toy in front of him right where it was. Only took a few days for him to get the idea.


The method I would use is to simply make the shoes taste bad to discourage your dog from putting them into their mouths in the first place. It might not help you the instant that your dog first tries chewing on your shoes, but it would ensure that he wouldn't consider them something he can chew again. Think about it this way, It will make him think twice about trying to chew your shoes for attention if he tries it and they taste horrible.

There are several varieties of taste deterrents you can buy, or something like lemon or lime juice should work without harming your shoes.

A little trick too is to try and time it so that you can take your dog's food and water away right before they go to chew on your shoes, that way they don't figure out that they can get rid of the bad taste by going and getting a drink or a bite to eat. Once you think that it's sunk in how bad your shoes taste, you can give it back to them.

As always, with chewing, it's important to provide alternatives. If you can figure out what about the shoes it is they like, you can try to pick a toy that's similar to encourage them to pick that instead. If it's texture, maybe a rawhide or jerky strip. Otherwise, just the difference between bad tasting shoes and a tasty toy/bone should be an easy choice.

  • 2
    This is a nice answer and I believe it would work. But, it requires preparation beforehand. I'm looking for a trick or something to do with the first ever shoe. Actually the comment by @EEP comes closer to the point. Assuming of course that I have such a spray ready to use. Feb 19, 2014 at 20:32
  • You can always have a spray bottle of water at the ready if you don't own suede shoes and can't get Bitter Apple spray. @EEP - you should re-post that as a full answer.
    – JoshDM
    Feb 22, 2014 at 5:29

Two steps to follow:

  1. Generally, make sure your dog has something to chew on: both edible things and just dog-appropriate chew toys.

  2. When you catch him chewing shoes, do the following: Take a newspaper, roll it, hit it 3 times to your own forehead, and say, "I forgot to lock the shoes away, again." Then, silently take the shoe away from your dog and lock the shoe away where he can't reach it.


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