If your dog has been hiding your shoes a lot, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of possible reasons why your dog has been doing it and what you can do to get your dog to stop doing it.
Possible causes are that it likes the scent on your shoes, something has been causing it to be anxious, it is bored or that you have inadvertently encouraged the behavior.
Since there are a number of possible causes, it would help to consider what would make each of them more likely. Once you have a good idea of the main cause, it should become a lot easier to get your dog to stop doing it.
Why your dog hides your shoes
Below are a number of possible reasons why your dog has been hiding your shoes and what would make them more likely.
Encouraging the behavior
It could be the case that you have encouraged the behavior by giving your dog things it wants when it does it. If you tend to give your dog rewards such as toys, treats or extra attention, when it takes your shoes, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.
Instead, it would help to reward it when it behaves the way you want, to avoid rewarding it when it takes your shoes and to try to reduce its access to them.
The reason why your dog has been doing it could be that it is bored and looking for a way to stimulate itself. This would be more likely if your dog tends to do it more when you are around and it has not been able to get exercise. It would help to ensure that your dog is able to get the daily amount of recommended of exercise for its age and breed.
It likes the scent
It is likely that your shoes will have a strong scent on them. It could be the case that your dog has been taking your shoes because it likes the scent on your shoes. This would be more likely if it does not seem to be doing it due to being anxious, it does it at random times, it also takes other things with a strong scent and it does not seem to be doing it for attention.
The cause could be that it has some anxiety and the scent on your shoes makes it feel safer. This would be more likely if it tends to do it more in situations where it might feel anxious such as when you are not home.
It wants attention from you
The reason could also be that your dog is trying to get extra attention from you. This would be more likely if it tends to do it more when you have not been giving it much attention and if you tend to give it more attention when it does it.
It would help to give your dog attention throughout the day by training it, exercising it and playing with it. But, it would help to avoid rewarding your dog with extra attention when it hides your shoes. Instead, it would help to wait for it to calm down, to take your shoes back and to reward it, later, when it is being well behaved.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.
What else happened when it first started doing it
If your dog did not always hide your shoes, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it. If your dog started doing it suddenly, it might be the case that there was an event that caused it to start being anxious such as you working longer hours or it might have learned that it gets rewards for doing it.
What is different when it does it
It would also help to consider What is different in the timing that it tends to take your shoes. For example, if it tends to do it when you are not home, it could be the case that it has some separation anxiety.
What to do about it
Below are some options you have when getting your dog to take your shoes less.
Avoid encouraging it
Since it might be the case that it has learned that it gets rewarded for taking your shoes, it would help to avoid rewarding your dog with attention when it does it. Instead, it would help to reward it when it is being well behaved, to try to redirect its focus when it is about to take your shoes and to avoid getting emotional with it when it takes them.
Limit reasons why it might be anxious
As mentioned above, it could be the case that something has been causing it to be anxious. It would help to take measures to limit reasons why it might be becoming anxious. Some things you could do would include ensuring that it can get exercise, food and a chance to pee before leaving it and to ensure that it is getting the right diet.
Make it harder for it to get to your shoes
Another option would be to put your shoes in a location that your dog cannot get to such as somewhere high-up, a room that it does not have access to or a cupboard.
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