Skip to Content

11 Odd Reasons Why Your Dog Is Obsessed With Shoes + 7 Tips

Why Is My Dog Obsessed With Shoes

Are your dog and your shoe inseparable?

You might say “shoe” but your dog hears “chew”.

Finding your shoe wet, in one piece, shredded with bite marks is your current dilemma. 

This crazy obsession for shoes that your dog has is getting out of hand.

So, take a break from looking for your shoe’s other pair and find out why this is happening.

After reading this article you’ll know about:

  • The answer to why your dog takes your shoe away. 
  • 11 odd reasons why your dog is obsessed with your shoes.
  • 7 practical tips on how to stop your dog from taking your shoes. 
  • A fantastic explanation why your dog is obsessed with your slippers.
  • And a lot more… 

Why is my dog obsessed with shoes?

Your dog is obsessed with shoes because of how they smell, how cold they feel, how soft they are, how close they are to your dog, how nice they taste. Your dog might be also bored, seeking your attention or they’re a hunter by nature.

11 reasons why your dog is obsessed with your shoes

#1: Your dog enjoys the way your shoe smells 

“Oof! what’s that smell?”

We usually make that comment when we notice the smell of our shoes after a long day of wearing them. 

You find it stinky… but your dog finds it perfumy. 

Dogs’ intense smelling ability might be the reason for their shoe obsession. They will cling to anything that is pleasant for their noses. 

In this case, it’s your shoes. Your dog will sniff it like it’s the most fragrant thing they’ve ever smelled. 

The smell of your shoe itself or the material it’s made out of can be the main reason for it. 

Now, let’s see, some shoe materials will appear to be aromatic to your dog’s nose. Mostly those who have a natural scent, such as shoes made out of rubber and leather.

#2: Your shoe’s a refreshing break from the heat

A sudden shoe obsession during summer can be due to the hot weather. 

Come to think of it, it’s the time of the year when it’s too hot to wear closed shoes. 

While you wear your flip-flops at the beach, those shoes will be having a vacation as well. In your cool shoe closet or shoe rack. 

Your dog may be hot, and while searching for a warm area to rest, they come across your shoe. 

If you keep your shoes in a cool environment, they will absorb the moisture in the air. As a result, your dog will adore and enjoy the coolness in your shoes. 

Especially for toy breeds, whose tiny heads comfortably fit into large shoes. 

Think of it like a fridge where people put their heads in to cool down. I’m not gonna lie, I did it as a kid.

Have you tried it too?

Anyway, let me give you a moment of optimism. If this is the reason for your Fido’s shoe issue. Then, this is not a matter to be worried about as long as they don’t destroy and chew your shoes. 

#3: Your Fido’s asking for attention

Your Dog's Asking For Attention

Have you been busy lately?

Your dog’s attachment to your shoes could be due to a lack of quality time with you.

If you’d observe your pooch clinging or biting your shoes while wearing them. Then it might be that they’re catching your attention. 

“What about me?” they ask with a pleading look.

They spoke to you in a way they wish you could understand. 

What would work is being a little sensitive and attentive. Particularly in what your Fido’s body language is trying to tell you. 

Don’t forget to make time for your pooch. After all, the last thing a dog parent wants is to be guilty of not giving their dog-child enough attention. 

#4: Your shoes make the perfect cuddle buddy

If your dog and your shoes are being inseparable then maybe Fido finds comfort in it.

It may seem like a shoe to you, but your dog sees it as a fluffy pillow.

Part of a dog’s nature is to sleep a lot. Your pooch might find any soft shoes as their perfect cuddle partner during nap time. 

This is the same thing that happened to my friend’s Japanese Spitz, Diego. He loves to take away shoes. 

He doesn’t care who owns the shoes, as long as it is huge and feels soft. The good thing about him is he never chews any shoes. 

What he would do is take the shoes to his sleeping corner and then drowse peacefully. While resting his head on the shoe.

Well, this gave me an idea that shoes and pillows might have more in common than what people think.

You might also like: 9 Amazing Reasons Why Your Dog Puts Your Shoes In Her Bed

#5: Your shoes serves as a stress reliever for your Fido

A possible reason for your dog’s shoe obsession is stress. 

A lot of things will cause a dog’s stress such as a new environment, people, noise, and separation. 

And your shoe might be the only thing that keeps them relieved from stress.  

Think of it as the same as a stress ball. 

Some people play with a stress ball to relieve their stress. It helps the body to relax by squeezing on repeat. 

As you can see, your pooch could feel the same when they cling to your shoes. That’s the odd way of how dogs manage their stress.  

Your shoes for some reason might give them a sense of relief. May it be the smell or texture. 

What’s important here is it works no matter how weird it sounds. 

#6: Your shoes are within your dog’s reach 

The way you store your shoes might be the reason for the shoe issue. 

Usually, this happens to dog parents who store their shoes in low places. Or shoe closets that dogs can easily open. 

If your shoes are within your dog’s reach, or if their toy’s storage is nearby. They’ll think it’s something they should play with.

People know better than dogs. If you keep on letting your dog access your shoes then they’ll think you’re allowing them to play with it. 

#7: Your pooch’s bored 

Another possible reason for the shoe issue is your dog’s boredom.

Dogs would feel bored most of the time especially if they are the only dog in the house. 

Try to put yourself in your dog’s shoes. 

Let’s say you’re an only child and the only playmate you have is your parents. The only thing that entertains you when they’re gone is your toys. 

Time will come that you’ll get bored with those and you’ll look for something new to do. Something more entertaining than that. 

In your dog’s case, shoes interest and entertain them the most when boredom strikes. 

True enough, they will play with anything that helps them pass the time. It doesn’t matter if it’s a newly bought pair or dirty old shoes. 

#8: Your dog suffers from separation anxiety 

Your Dog Suffers From Separation Anxiety

This is most likely to be the reason if your dog’s obsession with shoes happens when you’re gone. 

Dogs who are clingy to their dog parents will experience this the most. 

I’ve seen some videos where dogs try to stop their dog parents from leaving home. At that point, it may appear that they’re just being clingy. 

The truth is their separation anxiety starts to kick in. 

The next thing they would do when they’re alone is looking for something in the house that could remind them of you. Your things for example. 

In this case, their shoe obsession is because the shoes carry your scent. Your dog might bite or cling onto it as a coping mechanism. 

When your dog automatically leaves the shoe right at the moment they see you. That’s a sign as well that separation anxiety is to blame for the shoe problem.

Check out also: 7 must-read reasons that explain why your dog sleeps on your clothes

#9: Your shoes taste delicious 

Another possible reason why your dog loves your shoe is its taste. 

Weird as it may sound, there are shoes that taste delicious for dogs.

It’s awful to think what dirty, stinking, and old shoes would taste like. A new one would not even taste that nice. 

However, dogs think differently than us. Dogs are more like a child who sticks anything in their mouth. Without giving care about what it is and where it came from.

Try to observe if your dog is biting on one specific shoe. Find out what material it’s made from. The taste of its material might be the reason why your pooch likes it. 

#10: Your dog’s in a teething phase

A possible reason for the shoe obsession is your dog is in the phase of teething.

Puppies who are teething can feel pain during this period. Biting on to something helps them relieve the pain that they’re feeling. 

But on a good note, this chewing stage will pass together with the teething phase. It will stop when their teeth are fully grown, which usually takes up to 6 months.

Fun fact: Findings of a study showed that during the teething stage the dog’s teeth increase their strength as they grow. They also shift every 10 days for the whole 3 months. 

#11: Your dog’s a hunter

Another possible reason for this is that your dog is a hunter dog. 

Bird dogs also known as bird hunter dogs are known to be extra active. They like to exercise their hunting skills most of the time in any way they can.

So, the shoe obsession might be one of them. They may use it in finding you or to exercise their intense smelling ability.

See if your dog’s a hunter dog. The breeds that are known to be bird dogs are: 

  • Vizsla.
  • Spaniel.
  • Brittany.
  • English Setter.
  • Golden Retriever.
  • Labrador Retriever.
  • German Shorthaired Pointer.

7 tips on how to stop your dog from taking your shoes

#1: Keep the shoes out of your dog’s reach 

If your dog is already attached to the shoes and you try to keep these away from them. You must keep them in places where your dog can’t reach in any way. 

What I can advise is to put it in high places or closed shoe closets where it’ll be hard for them to open.

Some dogs will use their superior sense of smell to search for it. Even if you use other objects to hide it, your dog will eventually discover it.

A study in which dogs were involved as one of the subjects revealed that dogs can successfully evaluate objects. Even with the use of their smelling skills only. 

#2: Don’t tolerate your dog’s behavior 

To stop your dog from taking your shoe away is to avoid tolerating the behavior. 

Some dogs only do this to get their dog parents’ attention. So, if they start to take your shoes away you can say 2 things. 

It’s either you say “No.” or you say “Stop.”, any of these two will work. Give them a yummy treat as a reward if they follow you.

Anyhow, dogs are intelligent and empathetic beings. They will know and feel if what they’re doing is wrong once they’ve been corrected. 

#3: Keep your dog active 

Keep Your Dog Active

Another thing to keep your dog’s attention from your shoes is by keeping them active.

Dogs who feel bored and hyperactive in particular. Play with your dog or exercise with them. 

Even a simple everyday walk would make a difference. Do a routine that would make your pooch forget about the shoe obsession.

In this way, they’ll have something more interesting to do than playing with a shoe. 

#4: Take your dog to the vet 

This applies to dogs who are consistently stressed. Which makes the shoe obsession getting severe. 

As an example, every time they see a shoe they do whatever they can to bite it. In rare cases, dogs will bite a stranger’s shoe, even if they are simply passing by.

What you should do is bring your pooch to the vet and see if this has medical causes. 

If so, the vet will surely help you by suggesting some stress-relief medications. Feel free to try and see what works best for your dog. 

#5: Let your dog bite on dog-appropriate items for chewing 

If your pup’s shoe issue is because of teething then this one’s for you. 

You can ask your veterinarian or go to a pet store to choose a suitable chew toy for your dog. As a result, they will have a proper chewing toy and will quit chewing your shoes.

Another thing I can recommend is what I learned from a friend whose pup is in the teething phase. What she would do is give her pup a baby carrot or a rice bone. 

It works because I’ve seen her dog leaving the shoes and choosing the baby carrots instead. 

After all, the baby carrot and rice bone have their crunch and for sure tastes better than a shoe. 

#6: Make your shoe taste bad 

An easy tip to make your pooch stop chewing your shoe is by making it taste bad. 

A bothersome thought is the possibility of pooches swallowing tiny bits of the shoes. 

Worry no more because this is an easy and instant way to stop the shoe issue. Using a deterrent dog spray will make the shoe taste bad. 

Your dog will keep away from those shoes after you sprayed them. This tip is perfect for dogs who only chew a specific shoe. But may not work for dogs who chew on any shoes they have access to.  

Note: This doesn’t correct the behavior but it keeps them from biting the specific shoe that you sprayed on. Once the effect of deterrent spray wears off there’s a possibility that your dog will chew it again.

#7: Teach your dog the drop it trick

What I think is the best tip to stop your dog’s shoe obsession is by teaching the drop-it trick. 

Why is it the best? It corrects the behavior and will make your dog voluntarily drop anything unnecessary. 

If you opt to try this tip, here’s the step by step on how to teach your pooch the drop-it trick:

  1. Use a chew toy and offer it to your dog.
  2. Let your dog bite on it while holding the toy on one end. 
  3. Voice out a clear “Drop-it”.
  4. Move the chew toy from your dog’s mouth to the floor.
  5. Reward your deserving pooch a yummy treat and then repeat the process.

Remember that as you repeat the process you slowly let go of holding the toy on one end. Until your dog drops it on their own.

I’m confident this measure will work so, go and try it. Be successful and be free from the shoe obsession. 🙂

People also ask:

Why is my dog obsessed with my slippers?

Your dog is obsessed with your slippers because this is their coping mechanism when you’re away. Or they feel bored and your slippers entertain them. Lastly, they may be in their teething phase.

If your dog’s slipper obsession happens when you’re gone, then it may be due to separation anxiety. 

While when dogs are bored they will play on anything that they can access. So, this will likely happen if you leave your slippers on the floor.

And for the teething phase, this happens if you have a puppy and it’s normal. Their teeth are growing and they chew things to keep the pain away.

Why does my dog always take my shoes?

Your dog always takes your shoes because it’s their way of communicating with you and they want to get your attention.

They might give you a message that they want to play with you or to remind you that it’s time to go out for a walk. 

Dogs communicate using their body language. So as their dog parent it’s your duty to understand what they mean. 

That approach might work if you attend to their needs and your dog will stop taking your shoes away.

Why does my dog rub himself on my shoes?

Your dog rubs their body on your shoes because it may have your scent or they want your attention. Dogs use it as body language to communicate with people.

Dogs may feel that you have little time for them. That’s why rubbing themselves on your shoe might be the only thing that makes them feel you when you’re not around. 

And when you come home they will rub on your shoe again because they want to get your attention. Dogs who have a strong attachment to their dog parents experience this the most. 

Why are dogs attracted to (their owner’s) shoes?

Dogs are attracted to their owner’s shoes because they smell their owner’s scent on them. They like the smell of the shoes’ material and lastly, they like how the shoes taste. 

When dogs experience separation anxiety they look for things that can help them cope up. In this case, it’s the shoes or anything that carries their dog parent’s scent. 

Weird as it may sound to you but there are shoe materials that are pleasant for your dog’s nose and taste buds. These could be shoes made out of leather and rubber.