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Dog Chews Their Toys on You? Here's Why

By Aviram K.
Published in Training & Behavior
January 30, 2022
4 min read
Dog Chews Their Toys on You? Here's Why
✏️ This article has been reviewed in accordance with our editorial policy.
🏥 The information in this article is not a substitute for professional help.

Whoosh! Your pup runs past you with their favorite toy at lightning speed. They’re going so fast that all you see is a cream-colored ball of fur whiz by.

It’s playtime, alright…and they’re definitely on level ten!

Just when you wish they’d slow down a bit, they do. They saunter over to you, toy in mouth, and pounce onto your lap.

They’re keeping the same enthusiastic tempo up. Only now they’re tearing their toy up…on you!

You’re not sure how to feel about this. And as you try to gather your thoughts, they relocate to the strangest place of all to continue their tirade…on top of your shoes!

You love that your dog is having a good time but can’t help but wonder: why are they doing this?

Dogs chew their toys on their owners for many reasons that boil down to one truth: they’re comfortable with you. They feel safe with you, want to be close, and desire your attention. They may also chew their toys on your shoes as a way to feel even closer to you.

In this article, I will dig deeper into the truth behind the mystery of your dog chewing their toys on you. I will also get to the bottom of why your pup may be drawn to chewing their toys on your shoes.

Perhaps you’ve noticed for a while that your pup has a habit of participating in both of these interesting chewing patterns, and you’ve wondered what it all means.

Well, wonder no more.

Let’s gnaw into it!

Table of Contents
01
Why Dogs Chew Their Toys on You (or on Your Shoe)
02
Okay, but What’s up with Them When They Chew Their Toys on My Shoes?
03
Feels a Little Weird? Just Go with It.

Why Dogs Chew Their Toys on You (or on Your Shoe)

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So, it seems your pup has some very specific locations they like to chew their toys, namely on you and on your shoes. You may think it’s weird, but it’s very common!

In short, your dog loves you. You probably like to be as close as possible to those you love. You likely want to share your favorite activities with them.

This may be kind of how your pup feels when they’re getting busy chewing their toys as close to you as they possibly can.

Here’s a more detailed breakdown of the reasons your dog chews their toys on you:

They Feel Comfortable with You

You are your pup’s safe space.

When your dog chews their toys on you, they are basically showing off their uninhibited trust in you.

They feel comfortable to be themselves and enjoy playing with their toys with fearless abandon, right in your face.

They don’t feel the need to protect themselves or be shy or timid in your presence.

This is a massive compliment!

Your Pup Wants Your Attention

What better way to get someone’s attention than to throw yourself onto their lap!

Your dog chewing their toys on you can be a bid for attention.

This is essentially the dog version of walking in front of the TV while someone is playing video games. Both actions scream, “Hi there, now it’s impossible to ignore me!”

They May Want You to Play with Them

You are probably your pup’s favorite person to play with. But, unfortunately, work deadlines and other pesky commitments don’t register with your dog.

To them, playtime is all the time! They’re constantly game to cuddle, wrestle and throw their toys around, so they figure you should be too.

You’ve Encouraged Them to Do This

Maybe sometimes you like it when your pup chews their toys on your lap. But other times, you just find it annoying. So at times, you indulge them and play with them back, but you sometimes scold them and push them off of you.

If you’re not in the mood, you figure they should get it, and they should back off.

Not likely!

If you’ve given your pup positive or negative reinforcement of their behavior, they will remember this and see it as reason enough to keep trying.

It’s your attention they want. So, unless you ignore them and give them nada, they probably see chewing their toys on you as a worthwhile attention-getting pastime.

Okay, but What’s up with Them When They Chew Their Toys on My Shoes?

image2

Maybe now you understand why your pup likes to chew their toys on you, but you’re still wondering: what’s the deal with the shoe thing?

You may think: “my shoes are across the room…they’re not even on my feet. And they smell! I don’t get it!”

It actually makes more sense than you may think.

Let me explain.

Your shoes carry your scent. They may even be truly stinky, depending on what type of shoes they are, how long you’ve had them, and what activities you wear them for.

For better or for worse, your pup actually loves this about your shoes! They literally carry the essence of you, possibly in the most pungent form available.

You may even notice that your pup gravitates to the smelliest shoes you have.

Gross!

But is it?

Not to your pup.

Think of it this way: Your pup loves to chew their toys on you because they like to feel close to you. Imagine how much closer your dog feels to you when they get to score a whiff of the very essence of one of the top smelliest parts of your body.

In this case, it’s your feet. Your shoes have absorbed your scent; it’s virtually embedded into each of their walls and every stitch of their fabric.

Your shoes basically serve as ground zero for housing your smell in a powerful way.

In doggy-world, getting as close as possible to these gems is a huge win!

Feels a Little Weird? Just Go with It.

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The truth could be there are certain things about your dog that you may never fully get or be able to relate to.

Maybe now you totally understand why your pup likes to chew their toys on you. They want to be close; they trust you, want attention, and want to play.

Got it.

But perhaps the reasoning behind them chewing their toys on your shoes throws you off a bit. This is understandable! Dogs are truly different from us. Their senses, wiring, and motivations are not the same as ours.

At the end of the day, just know that your pup’s quirky behaviors are all coming from a place of love.

They just have their own special doggy way of showing it!


Tags
Dog Training
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