Dogs chew on things for a variety of reasons. For puppies, this could be because they’re teething.
Adult dogs also exhibit chewing on things, and the reasons for this aren’t far-fetched. Most dogs are very energetic and will chew on stuff when deprived of physical exercise. Some dogs will chew on things due to boredom.
However, some dogs can get quite destructive with possessions at home, and it becomes quite a mystery that they only chew on specific belongings owned by you, which has led many dog owners to ask, “why does my dog chew only my stuff?”
While this may come off a little weird, there’s a reason why dogs do this, and this article will explain why your dog chews on your stuff only and how to put a stop to this behavior.
Why does my dog only chew my stuff?
Your dog only chews on your stuff because he is attached to you and can’t just get enough of you, while other dogs may do this because they’re suffering from separation anxiety. It could also be that your stuff are just exciting to your dog.
But wait – there’s more:
Your dog could chew on your stuff for various reasons (each completely strange to humans). However, we’ve been able to study these behaviors and have found possible reasons why dogs may chew on your stuff (just your possessions).
Your puppy is teething
Unlike humans, puppies get their first set of teeth two weeks after they’re given birth to. And around 3-4 months old, their baby teeth will begin to fall out, making way for the adult teeth.
This change phase can be difficult for pups, making them chew stuff to make this process easier.
So, if your pup chews on your stuff, he could be teething and will readily chew on anything he finds(your possessions getting the headstart cause they have your scent on them).
They’re more comfortable around you
When dogs show specific behavior around you, it’s mostly because they’re really comfortable around you.
Dogs seemingly pay attention to their surroundings and the people they associate with and can quickly tell the difference between someone who’s overly friendly to them and one who isn’t.
And just like humans, they will quickly adjust their behavior to soothe every person around them.
Say, for instance, your son is more tolerant of most of your dogs’ antics, like chewing on their stuff. So naturally, they’ll be more likely to chew on that whenever they get the opportunity.
On the other hand, if you yell, shout or smack your dog when they get messy with your stuff, they’re more likely to avoid your possessions.
You may ask how they differentiate your stuff from your son’s. It’s simply because your dog knows the scent of every member in your house and will quickly tell apart your possessions from your son’s.
They like your smell better
Dogs aren’t so different from humans and will get attached to the things they love, including specific scents. If your dog is bonded to you, then that could be a reason why they only chew on your stuff.
You may notice your pooch only chewing on your stuff when you’re away or maybe not in the same room space as them. They’ll do this because it reassures them of your presence (your scent).
Dogs will chew on stuff when they get stressed as well, and what better thing to chew than the belongings of the ones they cherish the most? It calms them down while you’re away.
Your stuff are just exciting
Your dog prioritizing your stuff to get a bite every now and then could be because they find your stuff to be more exciting.
For example, if your dog is more into shoes, he will go for the ones that are easy to grip, have fun shapes, and are overall attractive. This could be another reason why your dog chews on your stuff alone.
Dogs are fascinating creatures, and not just that, they cling to things that fascinate them. So if your dog is drawn to fancy stuff like a female’s slippers, beaded flip flops, and panties with colorful bows, you should know why they chew on them and not just some boring shoe they don’t touch.
It’s just a display of doggy love
What sort of love is destructive?
Well, that’s up to your canine friend to answer. Dogs can display love for their caregivers in various and often weird ways, including chewing on your stuff.
We’ve tried to pinpoint why they do this, and we figured it’s probably how they’re wired. They usually get so attached to you that they chew on your stuff because it has your scent on it.
They love you and want to be around you at all times (even if it’s just a scent) or chewing down on your favorite pair of shoes; they just can’t help it most times.
Suggested reading: Why Does My Dog Lick Me While I’m Sleeping
Your dog may have separation anxiety
Dogs with separation anxiety are prone to being destructive, like chewing on things (often the ones that belong to you!).
Does your dog whine or cry when you’re away or when you leave them? This is a sign that they’ve gotten too attached to you and may have separation anxiety.
This could be a reason why they get destructive with your stuff. When a dog suffers from separation anxiety, it’s often an attachment to a particular family member, mostly the dog’s caregiver.
Hence, being away from them could leave them distressed, which is why they’ll chew on your possession only because it’s the only thing that smells like you. Also, it makes them feel a lot better and relaxed.
How to prevent your dog from chewing only your stuff?
Now that you’ve got your hands on why your dog chews only your stuff, it’s time to break away from this bad behavior.
Just like human babies, dogs need help distinguishing between bad and good behaviors, and you can establish this without yelling or smacking your dog.
For example, stopping your dogs from chewing on only your stuff is very crucial, especially if you’re tired of coming home to see your shirts ripped apart or shoes torn to shreds.
We’ve put together some essential tips on how to prevent your dog from chewing only your stuff. And why the
Put away your stuff
If you find your dog constantly chewing on your stuff, chances are they’re easily accessible, and for this reason, your dog will make it a priority to chew on them.
One thing you can do to stop this behavior is by putting away your stuff while you’re away or not available with them.
While at this, replace with plenty of chew toys. You can make this more fun by placing chew toys in strategic locations.
Establish a premise
Establishing a premise when you have a dog running around is essential.
Letting them know what can and shouldn’t be chewed on is very crucial for this to work.
Probably your dog chews on your stuff while you’re away, but while you’re home, you can set up a boundary for things they can chew on and what stuff they can’t.
For instance, each time they pick up your stuff or any possession that isn’t a chew toy, you can say, “bad dog,” followed by relieving your dog of the item.
Most dogs will drop the item immediately if they’re already trained. However, in cases where they don’t, you should relieve them of the item after the cue word.
If they drop the item without your intervention, give them a treat and praise them.
Provide lots of chew toys
If your dog chews on your stuff only, chances are that there are no other alternatives. Dogs need to chew on stuff, which is good for their teeth and mental health.
They can’t help it, which is why you must provide them with as many chew toys as possible. This way, they will focus their attention on various toys rather than your stuff.
Dogs chew on stuff for various reasons. And while the majority may be linked to typical doggy behavior, dogs can get quite specific with the items they chew, leaving their caregiver dumbfounded.
While this persists, teaching your dog what item is chewable and which isn’t is crucial to stopping this behavior.