If your dog's favorite chew toys are your socks, the solution isn't to invest in sandals—it's to tackle the problem head-on. You have to remove the temptation and replace it with something more productive, so get proactive and save your wardrobe from your pup's wrath.
Why He Chews
There are a handful of possible reasons that your dog loves chewing on your gloves and socks so much, and he could be doing it for one or all of them. For example, he may just love the soft, chewy texture of the fabric. He could be attracted to your scent, which still lingers on your belongings—especially the old socks. And of course, he could be chewing on your accessories because he doesn't have a good alternative. He wants to chew on something, and if he doesn't have any good toys, he's going to go after whatever he can get his choppers on.
The first step to addressing this issue is to keep your belongings out of his reach. Even with training, a motivated dog isn't necessarily going to stop himself from gnawing on a dirty sock or an errant glove that you've left on the floor. Keep your dirty or otherwise worn clothing in a hamper or a basket where your dog can't access it. It's a win-win—your dog doesn't chew on your clothing, and you have extra motivation to keep the house clean.
Proper Chew Toys
All dogs are motivated to chew. Not only does it work out and strengthen their jaw muscles, but chewing harder toys and bones can clean their teeth and promote good oral hygiene. It feels good to chew, and it assuages boredom. That's why it's so important to give your dog something he can wrap his teeth around—if you neglect to do so, he's going to find something that you don't want him nibbling on. Give him a mix of hard and soft toys. Hard ones clean the teeth, while soft ones mimic the texture of the gloves and socks he loves so much.
A dog's sense of smell is highly sensitive and a powerful motivator, especially when it comes to you, his master. Dogs are compelled by familiar, comforting scents, and one of the reasons he chews on your socks could be that they smell so strongly of you. If you have a hard time getting your dog interested in the soft toys you've introduced, try tossing them in a dirty laundry hamper for a few days, or washing them with your other clothes. This helps them absorb the familiar odors that your pooch finds so irresistible.
Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.