Q & A: Where’s my slipper?

Q: Why does my puppy love playing with my slippers? She doesn’t chew the slippers, but carries them around all over the house.

A: Many dogs seem to simply love our socks and shoes! One possible reason is that these items smell strongly of their beloved human. The dirtier the better! Now, I’m not saying that you have smelly feet! Your dog does, however, have a very strong sense of smell. Did you know that humans have about five million scent glands, while dogs (depending on breed) have between 100 and 300 million?

Another thing you need to consider is the way you react when you see your puppy playing with your slippers. Any form of attention you give the pup while doing this is encouraging him to continue doing it. Dogs quickly realise that doing certain things gets them attention, and therefore they keep doing these things.

The simplest solution to this is to simply keep your slippers where pup can’t reach them. Always remember – dogs are animals we choose to bring into our homes. They don’t know the rules we expect them to live by. The least we can do is to accommodate them, and make it as easy as possible for them to get it right.

Noleen Fourie, behaviourist

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