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Categories: Puppy Biting/Chewing

Q. My 18 week puppy loves to chew shoes and especially boots. I have some ideas, but I don't know if I would be setting him up for failure? I would love to know your thoughts.
My 18 week (Chinook) puppy loves to chew shoes and especially boots. We have a boot matt near the front door and he will often try to grab one and run off to play with it. He never has a hold on one for more than a few seconds as I always make him drop it and distract him with something else but I am wondering if I were to give him an old pair of boots as his toy would I be able to teach him to distinguish that these are his and the rest are mine and off limits or should I keep it black and white and make all shoes off limits no matter what? He destroys soft toys and I am constantly buying him more I was thinking a pair of leather boots would be something that could actually hold up for more than a week but I don't know if I would be setting him up for failure? I would love to know your thoughts.


A. You would be setting him up for failure.

This puppy needs structure and leadership. Why is he in a position to be able to make the choice to take a shoe? I don't allow untrained puppies to have the freedom to practice behaviors like this. it will only become harder to break if it becomes a habit.

I'd read the article Ed wrote on The Groundwork to Becoming your Puppy's Pack Leader.
Your Puppy 8 weeks to 8 Months
Pack Structure for the Family Pet

We use a leash and an exercise pen to control our puppies movements in the home. We provide safe and appropriate toys and limit access to the things the pup shouldn't have.

We have a section of toys on our website that may be helpful.

For future questions, you might benefit from learning to use our SEARCH function, which is located in the top left corner of every page of the website. If you type in your key words or question it will find you articles, Q&As, free streaming video and links to threads on our discussion forum. Our website has over 16,000 pages and it's very likely you'll find the information you are looking for. I hope this helps.

Cindy Rhodes
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