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You walk into your bedroom to find your dog chewing up your favorite pair of shoes. What do you do, and how do you stop it from happening again? Here are 5 steps to reclaiming your shoes, your socks, your sofa, and any other household object your dog enjoys destroying. If your dog chews on everything, here are five helpful tips.

Remain calm. Unleashing your anger on your dog won’t accomplish anything. In fact, it can further unbalance your dog – and move him to seek another object to chew to calm down!

Correct your dog. Do not try to grab the object away or take the dog away from the object. Instead, you can use a light touch correction on the neck or hindquarters to get your dog’s attention away from the object.

Redirect the behavior. If the correction didn’t get your dog to drop the object, find something else that will, such as the scent of a treat or another toy.

Claim the object. Use your energy and body language to communicate to your dog that the object is yours. It can be helpful to imagine an invisible boundary around you and the object.

Find safe chew toys. Many dogs use chewing as a way to calm themselves. Puppies who are teething chew to relieve pain. Provide an object that they can safely chew, such as a chew toy or a bully stick.

If your dog chews up objects while you are away from home, this may be a symptom of separation anxiety. Learn more about this common issue.

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