How to Train Your Dog to Not Eat Clothes

Medium
2-4 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

You've heard the expression “eating you out of house and home”. What if your dog is eating you out of socks and underwear? Although having your dog chew on your clothes or leather shoes is not uncommon, what does it mean, and what do you do, when your dog is actually eating your clothes? 

Odd as it sounds, some dogs actually eat their owner's clothing items. Ingesting your clothing may be a natural progression from chewing on and playing with your clothing to accidentally or purposely swallowing these items to avoid having them taken away. Usually, this strange, and dangerous, habit starts because your dog has decided he likes the taste of your socks or underwear--they smell like you, or may have salt or other fluids on them that your dog likes the taste of (yuck!).  It is also possible, although rare, that your dog might be suffering from a nutritional deficiency, parasites, or a digestive disorder that has started his clothes eating habit. Sometimes dogs that are bored or anxious may develop a compulsive disorder known as pica, where they start eating non food items. If a medical condition, compulsion, or severe anxiety disorder is thought to play a factor you should take your dog to the veterinarian and explain the issue. Medical conditions should be ruled out and medications to curb compulsive disorder and anxiety may be appropriate in some cases.

Defining Tasks

Besides being expensive and greatly increasing your sock and underwear budget, ingested articles of clothing can cause blockages that can result in serious illness and even death in your dog if not addressed. If a serious digestive system blockage occurs, your dog may require emergency surgery to remove the blockage. Because of the imminent danger to your dog, you and your family members need to take precautions if you have a clothing-eating dog, to ensure that the dog does not have access to items of clothing he could ingest. Dirty clothes should be kept in a closed laundry hamper, or put in a laundry room with a closed door. However, you cannot always control the environment and remove access to these hazards from your dog all the time, so training your dog to stop eating your clothes will be necessary to stop this dangerous habit.

Getting Started

Prior to training, you will need treats for teaching your dog to 'leave it', and chew toys to replace clothes-eating behavior. You will need to supervise your dog and not allow access to clothes during the training period to make sure that commands are given when appropriate, and that your dog does not get to play with, chew, or ingest clothing items during training, which will only reinforce the clothes-eating behavior.  Several methods that can be used individually or in conjunction are available to curb clothes eating behavior.

The Leave It Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Hold treat in closed hand
Hold a treat in your closed hand and hold it out towards your dog. When your dog sniffs your hand, firmly and calmly say “leave it”.
Step
2
Command 'leave it'
Wait until the dog stops investigating and trying to reach the treat. Say “yes” and offer the treat. Occasionally hold the treat out in a closed fist, let your dog investigate and give her the treat without saying “leave it”, to establish it is only when you say “leave it” that your dog needs to retreat from the item.
Step
3
Leave treat on floor
Start putting treats on the floor and giving the 'eave it', command. Use relatively plain treats. When your dog obeys the 'leave it' command, reward her with a much better treat, like a piece of hot dog or chicken.
Step
4
Repeat and reinforce
Conduct the exercise in various places around the house or outside. Leave "bait" in strategic places and when your dog discovers them, give the 'leave it' command. When she leaves the discovered treat alone, reward with a better treat, then gradually replace treats with praise and attention.
Step
5
Apply to clothing items
Use the 'leave it' command when your dog approaches an item of clothing strategically left out for her. Having established the 'leave it' command, your dog should leave the clothing item. Be sure to reward her for complying. Repeat this with several clothing items over a period of several weeks until your dog learns to leave clothing items alone.
Recommend training method?

The Claim Your Clothes Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Watch and wait
Leave a piece of clothing out where your dog can find it. Supervise closely.
Step
2
Block
When your dog approaches the piece of clothing, block him by inserting your body between the clothing and your dog. Give a 'leave it' command or a firm “No”.
Step
3
Push away
Tap your dog on the side or push him away with your body to exert leadership and claim your clothing item.
Step
4
Provide alternative
When your dog backs away from the clothing, praise him and give him an alternate chew item or a treat. Encourage and praise him for leaving the clothes and chewing the appropriate item.
Step
5
Establish
Repeat this process multiple times over several weeks. Maintain separation of your dog and clothing when unsupervised.
Recommend training method?

The Establish Alternative Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Provide appropriate toys
From as early an age as possible, develop a toy habit with your dog by providing lots of attractive toys and chew toys. Do not use household items or clothes, like shoes or old slippers, or anything resembling personal or household items.
Step
2
Make toys interactive
Fill hollow, rubber toys with food at mealtime or use puzzle feeders to encourage appropriate investigating activity.
Step
3
Reinforce appropriate toys
Provide rawhide bones and incorporate them into play. Pet and pay attention to your dog while he chews on his appropriate toy to encourage chew toy behavior.
Step
4
Encourage activity
Provide other toys, such as balls, to keep your dog active and entertained, so he will not become bored and be tempted to transfer his attention to clothing or other inappropriate household items to entertain himself. Play with and exercise your dog extensively and use appropriate chew items as part of play and exercise to reinforce what your dog is allowed to chew on.
Step
5
Prevent clothing access
If your dog is eating clothing. keep him away from clothing during the reorienting process. Keep clothing put away in locked rooms, drawers, closets, or hampers until a new chewing habit is established.
Recommend training method?
author-img

Written by Laurie Haggart

Published: 11/13/2017, edited: 01/08/2021

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Alamo
Golden Retriever
6 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Alamo
Golden Retriever
6 Months

Alamo is a sweet dog, but I'm having some issues training him. He constantly gets socks and underwear from the laundry basket or the closet and destroys them. He also doesn't seem to learn how to be leash trained.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
908 Dog owners recommended

Hello Bruna, Since Alamo is still a puppy and is in the height of the chewing stage, it's not surprising that he is stealing socks and underwear. I suggest teaching him a solid "Leave It" command and after he learns how to leave treats alone, practice with underwear and socks. It is important when you teach "Leave It" to never give him the treats that you have told him to leave alone, but instead to reward him with other treats, because you do not want him to expect to get whatever he was told to leave, you want him to give up on that item and forget about it. To teach "Leave It" check out the training article bellow: https://wagwalking.com/training/leave-it Also work on teaching him "Drop" so that he does not grab items just to get you to chase him. After he learns to drop something, then when he obeys your drop command, give him one of his own toys to chew on instead. Exchanging the sock for his own toy will help him to learn that grabbing socks is not a fun chase game, it is boring, that he does not have to be afraid of you taking items from him, and that chew toys are the acceptable item to chew. A Golden Retriever at six months of age HAS to chew. To teach him not to chew is almost impossible, so the goal is to teach him WHAT to chew, which is his own toys. When you want him to settle down in a crate or on his bed, then stuff a Kong chew toy or other hollow chew toy with his own dog food, and a bit of peanut butter if you wish. Have him go into his crate or onto his bed and then give him the toy. To make the stuffed Kong more challenging, you can also place his food into a bowl and cover it with water, let it sit out until the food absorbs the water and turns into mush, mix a little peanut butter or Kong spray treat into the mush, loosely stuff the Kong most of the way with the mush, and freeze the entire thing. The frozen Kong will act as a time released treat and will keep your pup entertained for longer. If you fill enough Kongs, then you can even feed your dog his entire meals this way and as training treats and put the dog food bowl away until he is older, if you wish. Lastly, this is an extremely important age for preventing bad habits from turning into life long habits and for supervising your dog. Most destructive chewing habits at this age will disappear as he gets older if you can limit his access to those items and encourage good chew toy chewing habits now. If you cannot supervise him, then he needs to be confined in a crate, dog proof room, or exercise pen if he will not escape from one, and he needs to be given a Kong or something that he enjoys to chew on. When he is free, then he either needs to be watched closely or at least all of your socks and underwear need to go in a location where he cannot get to them. Which means that you might have to get creative with locking the laundry room basket down or covering it better. You can also create a booby trap on the laundry hamper. You can purchase magnetic sensors that will make noise when the two points are not touching and set those up so that he will bump one out of place when he gets into the laundry. There are a number of other booby traps that you can come up with too, just make sure that whatever you use is not something that will harm him and that the area that you set it up in is not a location where he should ever be, because the booby trap might teach him to avoid that location or thing entirely. You might also want to experiment with spraying a few socks and underwear that you intentionally leave out with Bitter Apple or another deterrent spray, but if you do this make sure that all other socks and underwear that have not been sprayed are out of reach, or he will simply learn to seek out the unaffected ones if he discovers that not all of items taste bad. Also spy on him when you try this because some dogs actually like the taste of Bitter Apple and he might eat the sock still if it turns out that he likes it, and that is not good. Most dogs do not like it though. Leash training can take some time, and for it to be effective he cannot be rewarded with forward movement anytime that he pulls. Expect walks to involve a lot of walking back and forth and training at this age. Just remember when you work on it, that you are having weird walks now so that you can have peaceful walks for the next ten or more years of his life. He needs to learn that the only way to get anywhere is to walk beside you nicely. I find that turning directly in front of a dog at a ninety degree angle when he starts to move past your knee helps him to learn to stay back a bit. You have to do this very quickly and as soon as he begins to move past your knee, any later and it is hard to get in front of him. For more detailed instructions check out this Wag! article: https://wagwalking.com/training/leash-train-a-german-shepherd-puppy Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Alamo's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Melo
Great Pyrenees
8 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Melo
Great Pyrenees
8 Months

Im in the process of teaching melo not to pee or poo in the house ,he knows we want him to go out side and he does most of the time but thats only when we watch him.and let him out for most of the day .how do i get him to let me know when he has to go.So i can know when to let him out.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
908 Dog owners recommended

Hello Shanice, He may naturally find his own way of letting you know when he needs to go outside if you bring a few small treats with you when you take him outside, you tell him to "Go Potty" when you get out there, and then you give him three to five treats, one at a time, when he goes. You can help Melo even more by teaching him to ring a bell when he needs to go outside. To teach him that, check out this Wag! article that I have linked bellow. https://wagwalking.com/training/got-potty-with-a-bell Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Melo's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Rubisco
chihuahua mix
7 Years
-1 found helpful
Question
-1 found helpful
Rubisco
chihuahua mix
7 Years

I've given Rubisco toys and balls and treats while I'm away at work. And yet I still find that she has put holes in my clothes. She nibbles on blankets, clothes, socks, you name it. It most likely has a hole it now. I really don't know what to do to stop it. When I see her doing it the leave it command works great. Its when I'm at work that this happens. Thanks.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
908 Dog owners recommended

Hello Mikaela, First, Rubisco needs to break the cycle of chewing clothes by not having access to them when you are not able to be there to train. Either keep all Fabric items put away, crate her or use an exercise pen if that's not realistic, or put her in a room where you can control access to fabric. Continue giving interesting toys and practicing leave it also. Second, I suggest booby trapping the fabric items so that she will learn not to chew them when you are not around. One example of this would be putting her in a room without any fabric items and setting up a camera to spy on her. A second smart phone or iPad with Skype or FaceTime on mute, a video baby monitor, security camera, or GoPro with the live app are some options you might already own for a camera to spy. Purchase Snappy Trainers (which are fake mouse traps that jump and pop but do not shut on the dog). Set the Snappy Trainers up on the floor when she is not around and set an article of clothing on top, covering it. Be careful not to set it off when you do this. Light weight clothing will be easiest. You only want one fabric item in the room at a time and for it to be the booby trapped one. Watch her on the camera and when she sets off the trap by bothering the clothing go into the room after and remove the clothing article and traps so that she doesn't have a chance to investigate it and get used to it. Repeat this with different types of fabric that she chews, one item at a time until she leaves fabric alone. You can also use a remote vibration collar to correct her from the hand held remote while watching her on the video monitor. Do not use citronella though - it lingers too long and can be confusing. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Rubisco's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Oreo
Black Lab Border Collie
20 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Oreo
Black Lab Border Collie
20 Months

Oreo only chews on clothing when we are not present or are sleeping. When we are home and awake, he'll chew on bones, tree branches and other non-cloth things. It's only when he thinks he is alone that he goes for clothing. How do I stop this?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
908 Dog owners recommended

Hello Chris, He needs to be crated while you are gone and at night. You first need to stop the bad habit - without doing that the next steps won't work. Many dogs will destructively chew until 1-3 years of age, and longer if you don't confine them when you aren't able to supervise - because they are rewarded for it by having fun when no one is there to stop them. Surprise method for introducing the crate: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Crate manners protocol for calmness: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ I suggest crating when you aren't present - for a year. After a year and when pup hasn't chewed anything in the last six months, then you can test whether he is ready for freedom by leaving him alone for 10 minutes. When you return, inspect the house for anything chewed. If he chewed something he shouldn't during that time, he isn't ready for freedom yet, crate for another 4 months, then test again. If he doesn't chew anything, then leave him for 20 minutes then next time, then 45 if he did well with 20 minutes, then 2 hours, then 3 hours, then 4-6 hours. If he can do well with all of those times, then he is likely ready for freedom. If he chews during any of those times, then crate for another 4-6 months and try again in a few months. When you are home, work on the training from the article linked below. Especially practicing Leave It with household items (always give a treat and not the actual item as a reward for leaving things alone), and providing him with a hollow chew toy stuffed with his own dog food to teach him to prefer his own toys to chew on - this last part is super important. Many dogs simply need to chew, so you have to teach them to chew their toys and find them most interesting - stuffing them with food is a great way to do this, and you have to limit access to things they shouldn't chew on while they are learning chewing habits.. Chewing article: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-not-to-chew/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Oreo's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Snappy
Pomeranian
8 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Snappy
Pomeranian
8 Months

He is chewing clothes, it's really annoying
And he is eating the same, specialy when he is alone

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
908 Dog owners recommended

Hello Frincy, At this age he needs to be crated while you are gone for his own safety. Check out the article linked below for more information on how to deal with the chewing: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-not-to-chew/ Pay special attention to providing food stuffed chew toys, confinement when you are gone or cannot supervise, teaching Leave It, and using a deterrent spray. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Snappy's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Pluto
Goldendoodle
15 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Pluto
Goldendoodle
15 Weeks

My dog has started jumping on me . When he jumps he tries to dig in his teeth on the clothes , tearing them in the process. I have tried ignoring his jumps, trying to distract him with treats, trying to turn away in other direction etc but that just seems to rile him up. I need to drag myself away from him and in the process normally the clothes get teared up as he doesnt let go even then.
Its not like he is doing this because he is bored, sometimes he does that even after playing for 20-30 mins , after which he is almost too tired to run.
He is fine with my wife, so am not sure why this is happening and what to do about it. Please advise.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
908 Dog owners recommended

Hello Varkashy, Check out the article linked below and follow the Step Toward method. Most dogs jump to get attention - in his case he is probably very rudely demanding that you play with him and pay attention to him by him being rough. He hasn't learned to respect your personal space yet which is why I suggest the Step Toward method. Stepping toward him not only makes the jumping less rewarding for him but it also moves you into HIS space, which communicates that he needs to respect the area around you. Rewarding him for sitting right after shows him that he can ask for your attention in a better way. When you step toward him be very calm and firm. Keep taking calm steps toward him until he not only stops jumping but also gives you at least a foot of space. He will probably get more excited at first, but as you remain calm and consistent his enthusiasm should wear off and him get calmer too. Imagine yourself as a drill sergeant or brick wall when you do this. Your attitude should be calm and firm. Don't worry about bumping into him a bit when he jumps. If he doesn't move, you will bump into him, just be careful not to step on paws. The goal isn't to knee him when he jumps but to move toward him, causing him to back up. Step Toward method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-australian-shepherds-to-not-jump Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Pluto's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Rhys
Min Pin
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Rhys
Min Pin
1 Year

Rhys eats everything; he doesn't chew, his goal is to swallow it. He has swallowed socks, towels, sheets, plush toys, sticks, underwear, etc. He normally vomits the item, poops it out, or I give him hydrogen peroxide when I see it happen. Unfortunately, I did not catch it this last time, and I ended up with a $5,000 emergency surgery vet bill for intestinal blockage surgery.
I keep him in his crate for the majority of the day with only hard toys (that he has no interest in). When he is out in the house or yard, he is never off the leash. What kind of life is this? He has no freedom or independence. How can I fix this behavior? The vet and his dog trainer both say that this is a type of resource guarding ("I don't want you to have it so I put it in my stomach"), so he will not grow out of it and it will be hard to train it out him... He's already in hard-core training for aggressive resource guarding with toys (he has bitten me multiple times to draw blood). I'm basically at a loss... thinking maybe he would be better off in another family. Any advice?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
908 Dog owners recommended

Hello Liz, Check out Jeff Gellman from SolidK9Training. He has hundred of videos on Youtube. He specializes in aggression and problem behaviors and offers board and training. You really need an excellent trainer who uses e-collar training, and does tons of structure with a dog, exercising their mind and body, actively working on impulse control and building trust. Check out the video linked below on resource guarding. This video is only a fraction of the training and structure needed, but is one example of a protocol to work on with pup, in combination with other training- this is a dangerous behavior to mess with so only do this type of training working with a qualified professional. https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-out-command/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Rhys's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Rambo
German Shepherd
4 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Rambo
German Shepherd
4 Months

He has the habit of eating clothing, rags and even cleaning tools like dust pans especially when we're not there, so how can I stop this act even after it has happened?

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
233 Dog owners recommended

Hi there. It sounds as though he has some separation anxiety going on. Separation anxiety is a multi-fold issue, so the information I am sending you is A LOT! But it's packed with good information to not only give you some insight as to what is going on in his brain, but how to help him also. The first step in treating separation anxiety is to break the cycle of anxiety. Every time a dog with separation anxiety becomes anxious when their owner leaves, the distress they feel is reinforced until they become absolutely frantic any time they are left alone. Owners should give the dog an acceptable item to chew, such as a long lasting food treat when they go out. The goal is to have the dog associate this special treat with the owner’s departure. Treats might include hollow bones stuffed with peanut butter or soft cheese, drilled out nylon bones, or hollow rubber chew toys such as Kong toys with similar enhancements (place these in the freezer before giving them to your dog to make them last longer). Give the bone to your dog about 15 minutes before preparing to depart. The chew toy should be used only as a reward to offset the anxiety triggered by your departure. Hiding a variety of these delectable food treats throughout the house may occupy the dog so that the owner’s departure is less stressful. In an effort to prevent destructive behavior, many owners confine their dog in a crate or behind a gate. For dogs that display “barrier frustration,” the use of a crate in this way is counterproductive. Many dogs will physically injure themselves while attempting to escape such confinement. Careful efforts to desensitize and counter condition the dog to crate confinement before leaving them alone may be helpful in some cases. However, some dogs rebel against any form of restraint, including restricting barriers and, for them, crate training may never be a positive experience. Crate training and utilizing the crate while people are home can be a positive way to make the crate a safe place. If you utilize it when people are around, your dog won’t necessarily associate the crate with departure and being left alone. Creating nap time in the crate throughout the day can also be helpful. Building Independence Independence training can help fight separation anxiety and loneliness. Independence training can help build confidence and instill obedience. “Doggie Daycare” or hiring a pet sitter may be a better alternative for dogs that are initially resistant to treatment. It can be expensive, but prices vary. Independence training is one of the more important aspects of the program. It involves teaching your dog to “stand on their own four feet” when you are present, with the express intention that their newfound confidence will spill over into times when you are away. You need to make your dog more independent by reducing the bond between both of you to a more healthy level of involvement. Decreasing the bond is the hardest thing for owners to accept. Most people acquire dogs because they want a strong relationship with them. However, you have to accept that the anxiety your dog experiences in your absence is destructive. Essential components of the independence training program are as follows: Your dog can be with you, but the amount of interaction time should be reduced, especially where attention-seeking behaviors are concerned. You should initiate all interactions with your dog, and they shouldn’t be permitted to demand attention. If you give your dog attention every time they whine, it helps to foster the dog’s dependence on you and increases its anxiety in your absence. You should ignore your dog completely when they engage in attention-seeking behavior, and avoid catering to them when they appear to feel anxious. This means no eye contact, no pushing away, and no soothing talk or body language, all of which will reward their attention-seeking mission. Attention is encouraged only when your dog is sitting or lying calmly. The goal is not to ignore your dog, but to stop reinforcing attention-seeking behaviors so that your dog develops a sense of independence. Minimize the extent to which your dog follows you by teaching them to remain relaxed in one spot, such as their bed. To accomplish this, it is helpful if you train them to perform a sit-stay or down-stay while gradually increasing the time that they hold the command and remain at a distance from you. Providing a treat or toy and encouraging individual play time can be helpful. Once your dog has learned basic obedience commands, you can train them to hold long down-stays while you move progressively farther away. First, your dog should be trained to perform a “down-stay” on a mat or dog bed using a specific command, such as “lie down.” Your dog may have to be gently escorted to the designated spot the first few times. Initially, they should be rewarded every 10 seconds for remaining there, then every 20 seconds, 30 seconds, and so on. Once they have figured out what is wanted, you should switch to an intermittent schedule of reinforcement [reward], as this will strengthen the learned response. Each time your dog breaks their “stay,” issue a verbal correction, indicating that there will be no reward, and then escort them back to their bed. First, your dog can be made to “down-stay” while you are in the room. Next, they can be asked to stay when you are outside of the room, but nearby. The distance and time you are away from your dog can be increased progressively until your dog can remain in a down-stay for 20 to 30 minutes in your absence. Your dog should be warmly praised for compliance. Of course, they need to accept the praise without breaking the stay. Your dog should become accustomed to being separated from you when you are home for varying lengths of time and at different times of day. You can set up child gates to deny your dog access into the room you’re occupying (i.e. reading, watching television, or cooking). Instruct your dog to lie down and stay on a dog bed outside the room. As previously mentioned, you can provide an extended-release food treat or toy to keep your dog calm and distracted. Once they are able to tolerate being separated from you by a child gate, you can graduate to shutting the door to the room so your dog cannot see you. Allowing a dog to sleep in bed with the family can increase dependence. If you decide to prevent your dog from sleeping in your bed, there are some steps to take to establish this routine. First, you need to train your dog to sleep in their own bed on the floor in your bedroom. They may have to be taken to their bed several times before they get the message that you really want them to sleep in their own bed. Alternatively, you can train your dog to enjoy sleeping in a crate to prevent unwanted excursions. Do not use a crate if it causes more anxiety and distress for your dog. Once they tolerate sleeping in their own bed in your bedroom, you can move their bed outside of the bedroom and use a child gate or barrier to keep them out. Always remember to reward your dog with praise or a food treat for remaining in their bed. Develop Departure Techniques Many owners erroneously feel that if separation is so stressful, then they should spend more time with their dog before leaving. Unfortunately, this only exacerbates the condition. Everyone in the family should ignore your dog for 15 to 20 minutes before leaving the house and for at least 10 to 20 minutes after returning home. Alternatively, your leaving can be made a highlight of your dog’s day by making it a “happy time” and the time at which they are fed. Departures should be quick and quiet. When departures (and returns) generate less anxiety (and excitement), your dog will begin to feel less tension in your absence. Remember to reward calm behavior. Teach your dog that your departure and return are just normal parts of the day and are not times to be stressed. You should attempt to randomize the cues indicating that you are preparing to leave. Changing the cues may take some trial and error. Some cues mean nothing to a dog, while others trigger anxiety. Make a list of the things you normally do before leaving for the day (and anxiety occurs) and the things done before a short time out (and no anxiety occurs).Then mix up the cues. For example, if your dog is fine when you go downstairs to do the laundry, you can try taking the laundry basket with you when you leave for work. If your dog becomes anxious when you pick up your keys or put on a coat, you should practice these things when you are not really leaving. You can, for example, stand up, put on a coat or pick up your car keys during television commercials, and then sit down again. You can also open and shut doors while you are home when you do not intend to leave. Entering and exiting through various doors when leaving and returning can also mix up cues for your dog. When you are actually leaving, you should try not to give any cues to this effect. Leave your coat in the car and put your keys in the ignition well before leaving. It is important to randomize all the cues indicating departure (clothing, physical and vocal signals, interactions with family members, other pets, and so on). The planned departure technique can be very effective for some dogs. This program is recommended only under special circumstances because it requires that you never leave your dog alone during the entire retraining period, which can be weeks or months. Timing is everything when implementing this program. If your dog shows signs of anxiety (pacing, panting, barking excessively) the instant you walk out of the door, you should stand outside the door and wait until your dog is quiet for three seconds. Then go back inside quickly and reward your dog for being calm. If you return WHEN your dog is anxious, this reinforces your dog’s tendency to display the behavior, because it has the desired effect of reuniting the “pack” members. The goal is for your dog to connect being calm and relaxed with your return. Gradually work up to slightly longer departures 5 to 10 minutes as long as your dog remains quiet, and continue in this fashion. Eventually, you should be able to leave for the day without your dog becoming anxious when you depart. When performed correctly, this program can be very helpful in resolving separation anxiety. Other Treatment Options Obedience Training Obedience training helps to instill confidence and independence in your dog. You should spend 5 to 10 minutes daily training your dog to obey one-word commands. It may be helpful to have training sessions occur in the room where your dog will be left when you are gone. All positive experiences (food, toys, sleep, training, and attention) should be associated with this area of the home. Exercise Your dog should receive 15 to 20 minutes of sustained aerobic exercise once, preferably twice, per day. It is often helpful to exercise your dog before you leave for the day. Exercise helps to dissipate anxiety and provides constructive interaction between you and your dog. It is best to allow your dog 15 to 20 minutes to calm down before you depart. Fetching a ball is good exercise, as is going for a brisk walk or run with your dog on a leash. Even if your dog has a large yard to run in all day, the aerobic exercise will be beneficial since most dogs will not tire themselves if left to their own devices. This is incredibly helpful in dogs that are working breeds that need a job to expend energy and work their brains. Supplements Recently, supplements have been released to the public that can help dogs with anxiety. Purina created a probiotic that has been shown to reduce anxiety and provide a calming effect on some dogs. Your veterinarian may recommend this product for treating anxiety, or other products that contain L-Theanine or L-tryptophan.

Add a comment to Rambo's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Ash
Lab- Chesapeake mix
12 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Ash
Lab- Chesapeake mix
12 Months

Chewing underwear but has expanded to little things in bathroom. Now shoes. She has to be by herself for 8 hours during the day but can go inside or be outside in ok sized area.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
908 Dog owners recommended

Hello Joe, Check out the article linked below. I would combine a few things from that article in your case. 1. pup needs to be confined to a dog proofed area of your home or crate while at away at this age - you can gradually try giving pup more freedom in six months, if they have gone three months without chewing human objects by leaving for short intervals and testing how pup does - if they don't do well, then confine while away for another three months, then test how they do again. If left unattended and allowed to chew when no one is there to stop them this can become a long term bad habit, opposed to one that pup will grow out of when a bit older. 2. Booby trap some underwear that's intentionally left out with something bad tasting like white vinegar or bitter apple spray soaked and dried (don't use underwear you like just in case it messes the color up), and keep all other underwear put away so that pup starts to think underwear is always gross tasting and avoids it. 3. Work on commands like Leave It while you are home to help pup understand that they are supposed to leave your things alone, and to want to obey you. 4. Make sure pup has something to preoccupy themselves with that's acceptable and interesting, like a treat filled puzzle toy, kong wobble, or dog food stuffed kong. Chewing article: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-not-to-chew/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Ash's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Sammy
Dachshund cross
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Sammy
Dachshund cross
1 Year

Sammy is a rescue and has been with us about 4 months. She was estimated to be around 1 when we got her. She is constantly eating clothes - not just chewing but eating. We replaced the laundry bins so she couldn't get into them, and make sure clothes are put away, or doors are closed so she cannot access bedrooms, but she will sneak in, grab something, and take it to her bed, which is under a chair (she likes small spaces). She is very small and fast, and we often don't notice until it's too late. She has ruined tons of clothes already, and we really need this to stop. She has lots of chew toys, but is only interested in them if there is food involved. She likes bones and chew sticks, but will still grab clothes when possible.

She is also very skittish (although much improved from when we first got her, when we couldn't get a leash on her) and will dart away when anyone tries to make contact, although she will come for pets when we are on the couch. She is crate trained and is in her crate whenever we are out.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
233 Dog owners recommended

Hello! A good place to start with this is to teach her leave it. Leave it is an excellent command for anything you want your dog to leave alone/stop getting into. You will teach this and practice with generic items, then once she has it learned, you can practice with the clothes so she applies the knowledge to the clothes. And any time you see her going for them, you will say "leave it". Teaching “leave it” is not difficult. Begin the lessons inside your home or in an area with very few distractions. Here are the steps for teaching “leave it”: Make sure you have two different types of treats. One type can be fairly boring to the dog, but the other type should be a high-value treat that he finds pretty delicious. You will also want to make sure that the treats are broken up into pea-sized pieces so it won’t take him too long to eat them. Put one type of treat in each hand. If you like to train with a clicker as your marker, you can also hold a clicker in the same hand that holds the high-value treat. Then, place both of your hands behind your back. Make a fist with the hand that is holding the treat of lower value and present your fist to your dog, letting him sniff. Say “leave it” and wait until he finishes sniffing your fist. As soon as your dog is done sniffing, you can either click with the clicker or say “yes.” Then offer him the higher-value treat in your other hand. Repeat until your dog immediately stops sniffing your hand when you say “leave it.” When you say “leave it” and he stops sniffing right away, leash your dog and then toss a low-value treat outside of his reach. Wait until he stops sniffing and pulling toward the treat. As soon as he does, either say “yes” or click and then give him a high-value treat from your hand. Practice this exercise a number of times. Over time, by practicing “leave it,” your dog should stop pulling as soon as you give the cue. When rewarding him with a treat, make sure that it is something good, not plain old kibble. By doing so, you are teaching him that asking him to leave some food doesn’t mean he won’t get anything, but that in fact he might get something even more delicious. When your dog is reliably responding to the cue, you can teach him that “leave it” can apply to other things as well, not just food on the floor. Repeat the exercise with five different items that are fairly boring to your dog. After using five different “boring” items, start using slightly more exciting items. You know your dog, so you alone know what items he would consider more interesting, but don’t jump to high-value items right away. To increase his chances of success at learning the cue, you want to work up to high-value items gradually. If Kleenex or a piece of plastic, for instance, would attract your dog on a walk, don’t start with those. Choose the items based on your ultimate goal: Anytime you say “leave it,” you want to be confident that your dog will indeed leave whatever you are asking him to leave. . The reward he receives when he leaves an item can change as well. If your dog has a favorite toy, squeak it and play for a moment when he comes running to you after leaving the other item of interest. Most dogs love interacting with us, so a moment of praise or play with a toy can be just as effective as a treat. Keep it fun Even though you’re practicing “leave it” as a way to keep your dog safe, you want him to see it as a fun game you play. When your dog is proficient at the game in your home, start practicing in a variety of locations with more distractions.

Add a comment to Sammy's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Daisey
Border Collie
7 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Daisey
Border Collie
7 Months

Eats clothes underwear socks and shes extremly active and breaks everythig

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
908 Dog owners recommended

Hello Bayan, Check out the article I have linked below. I recommend implementing several things from that article at once. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-not-to-chew/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Daisey's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Shimano
Sheepadoodle
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Shimano
Sheepadoodle
2 Years

my dog is eating my wife's clothes. She wants to get rid of him. Please help!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
908 Dog owners recommended

Hello Donnie, I would start by implementing the commands, confinement, and training from this article below. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-not-to-chew/ I would also work on teaching pup an avoidance of clothes to discourage the behavior when you are not around, since keeping pup is at stake. To teach an avoidance, teach pup the Leave It command from the article above first. Once pup knows that, if they are still going to the clothes when you are not watching, use a remote training type device to pair with pup putting their mouth on the clothes. This might look like using a vibration or low level stimulation collar, or purchasing a pet barrier device if the clothes are all located in one area. Leaving the barrier device near the clothes and setting the range so that pup stays out of that small area entirely, this will teach pup to avoid a certain location more specifically than the clothes items, so items would need to be left off the floor in other locations at this stage too, but it would require less spying on pup from you to use a barrier device. To use a remote training collar, leave a piece of clothing on the floor to tempt pup, tell pup leave it, then leave the room, spy on pup with a camera on mute - such as skype on a second phone or tablet, a security camera, gopro, video baby monitor - often people already have something they could use if you get a bit creative. As soon as pup touches the clothes with their mouth, correct with the remote training collar, then re-enter the room and tell pup "Ah Ah" calmly, and remove the item. Practice booby trapping pup like this in different rooms with different clothing articles regularly, until they consistently leave a clothing item alone when left with it. While doing all of the above, work on teaching pup to chew their own chew toys. Stuff toys like Kongs with dog food, or mushy dog food mixed with a bit of peanut butter and frozen overnight - insert a straw when you freeze then remove before giving pup, to prevent suction. Filling the hollow durable chew toys with dog food helps to teach pup to seek out their own toys - without the dog food many dogs don't find the rubber toys appealing - so you are in fact teaching pup to prefer their own toys. Be sure pup is also getting enough physical and mental stimulation. Mental stimulation tends to be as important for intelligent breeds especially, as physical stimulation, so puzzle toys, training sessions, incorporating training into walks and games of fetch, and having pup simply work for what they get by doing a command first - such as Sit before being pet, wait before feeding, ect...can all help with mental stimulation. Always use the lowest level of correction pup indicates they feel. Repetition and consistency each time pup does the action, as well as clear communication through prior training like working on Leave It first is what helps most, not a super high level one time. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Shimano's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Ganon
American Bulldog
10 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Ganon
American Bulldog
10 Months

He eats everything he is not supposed to. We just had to have surgery because he had two pacifiers stuck in him. He eats holes into pants and underwear also in the center of the butt.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
908 Dog owners recommended

Hello Christian, I recommend implementing all of what the article I have linked below mentions - which is similar to all three methods from the article you commented on - but combined. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-not-to-chew/ Since the behavior is specific to clothing too, I also recommend soaking some clothes you don't care about in white vinegar or lemon juice and letting that dry - to flavor it like those things. Leave those clothes around as booby traps tied to something with a leash (no strings small enough pup can eat) so pup can't run off with them while you are in another room, supervising pup from a hidden camera (a tablet, phone with skype on mute, gopro, video baby monitor, or security camera are cameras you may already have). The bitterness should deter pup, plus when you catch pup in the act from the camera, use your Leave It command to enforce the command further. Don't practice this with anything pup can immediately swallow though - like the pacifiers. Definitely crate pup when you can't supervise. I would also teach a 1 hour Place command and give pup a dog food stuffed chew toy on Place often at this age. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Ganon's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Tango
Siberian Husky
3 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Tango
Siberian Husky
3 Months

My husky bites off everything he tore my bedsheet and many cloths what to do

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, Tango is a breed that needs a lot of exercise and mental stimulation. Make sure that you are walking him often and playing fetch in the yard. Buy Tango textured teething toys that are strong for chewing on and that soothe the gums and teeth. Buying him mentally stimulating puzzle feeders will encourage him to seek them out as opposed to the clothes. Is he doing this when you are not at home? You can keep him safely in a crate when you are out or set up an exercise pen area that will keep him safe and out of trouble: https://www.preventivevet.com/dogs/how-to-set-up-puppy-long-term-confinement-area. Eating cloth can turn out to be a serious situation requiring surgery if a blockage occurs. To help Tango learn to like a crate: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate. As well, teach Tango the Leave It command as described in the guide where you posed this question: https://wagwalking.com/training/not-eat-clothes. The Leave It command comes in handy in many situations, such as when you are walking and Tango wants to eat rocks or garbage. The command is also well described here: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite. Good luck and all the best to Tango!

Add a comment to Tango's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Chloe
Chiweenie
6 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Chloe
Chiweenie
6 Years

shes been eating clothes for 4 yrs now , she was a rescue , we got her at 2 yr old, and shes been eating them ever since, as of today, 7-17/2021, in 3 months shes eatne almost 7 pr of my pants and countless other items, we dont leave clothes out, shes huntin them out of baskets and drawers, we have no idea what to do now

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
908 Dog owners recommended

Hello Mali, At this point is sounds like its become a long term habit, and possibly even an obsession. I would start by proactively practicing Leave It with articles of clothing. Check out the Leave It method from the article I have linked below. This is simply to make sure pup understands the rules and builds their self-control, so you can move onto the next part below. This is part one of the training. Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Next, I would hire a professional trainer to do some remote collar training that involves strategically placing pieces of clothing out, setting up a camera to spy on pup, and correction pup with the remote training collar while outside while viewing from the camera, - so the correction is associated with pup touching the clothes and not just you being there. Since you have previously practiced Leave It pup should have gained the self-control needed to choose to leave the clothes alone, and an understanding that they aren't supposed to chew them, so that the correction doesn't just seem random to pup, but is associated with them putting their mouth on the clothes. The corrections should be done on low level stimulation, also called "working level". Each dog has their own working level so you will need to discover what level is appropriate for pup before correcting with it. Only use a high quality e-collars like e-collar technologies, Garmin, or Sportdog. Most quality collars also have a vibration setting. You can try that first if you wish. Some dogs won't respond to vibration, others will find it harsher than a low level stimulation, for others it's a perfect interrupter. It will depend on your dog. More information on chewing: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-not-to-chew/ Once the habit is interrupted, I would be sure to implement things like giving pup a dog food stuffed chew toy, to help pup replace that unwanted habit with a better one, to ensure the habit stays broken. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Chloe's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Book me a walkiee?
Pweeeze!
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd