Archie my dog, and his rubber shoe fetish play, explored. VIDEO
I imagine that most dogs have some pretty cool hobbies. As a puppy Archie was a great chewer, but as he has aged, he has given most of the toys away, except for our human things.
This article and video explores his rubber shoe playing fetish. He loves a good sock too, but The rubber garden shoes really seem to do it for him the best when looking for something to chew. However there are more reasons why this is so, than you might think.
As simple as that all sounds, there are many other good reasons for him chewing the shoe. Yes they have a great texture for chewing and they really smell great (lots of dogs love the smell or rubber toys), and the smell of the owner’s stinky feet, but that is not nearly anywhere near the full answer.
In fact there are two other very good reasons why Archie dog chooses this particular item rather than just scent.
ONE is the prey drive. He chews into it, flips it up in the air, and shakes his head side to side with the shoe in his mouth, mimicking breaking the neck of his small vermin prey. That is how many rabbits have met their ends at the end of dogs.
The second point is much more interesting. Archie usually goes into play mode with the chew after he has been denied doing something, or after he returns from swimming or being washed.
The whole washed thing makes sense as it really takes his general excitement level up a notch, and what more of a fun thing could you do when excited than shredding a rubber shoe?
The subpart of this is his shoe attack after he has been chastised. When he has been told he can’t go out the back or play with a visitor or a baby toy, rather than attack his owners, a wise move on his part, he can’t completely suppress his excitement, so he redirects energy all towards letting that shoe know what it has done wrong.
This is a remarkable thing that accompanies a domestic dogs adaption into the human world. Not only have we changed their looks and general behaviours (working dogs, sporting dogs, dogs for protection etc) but we have forced them to live in our houses under our strict rules.
A dog will get away with whatever you have allowed it to, because you are now essentially their mother teaching them acceptable behaviour. If we stopped Archie playing with the rubber shoe, it would most likely have him chew something more valuable or bottle his energy (and resentment) up so that it would psychologically affect him and he may do far worse behaviours when walking off lead.
I walk my dog twice a day minimum most days, and he has learned to be extremely social and adaptable. He reads dogs far better than I can, and I take a lot of respect in his judgements. This means that we need to trust each other and give each other some latitude. I don’t accept aggressive behaviour from him (although I am the only person I have really seen him challenge, you know, alpha dog thing). However letting him play with a shoe doesn’t escalate any other negative behaviour towards me, in fact it probably provides a closer bond, as I let him know he is being rewarded. I throw the shoe for him, and also at the end of the game will often remove the shoe, so he knows that I am actually in control.
He is not allowed to play with just any shoe, and definitely not the babies toys, even when the baby tries to hand them to Archie.
So in shooting and posting this video, I am showing you what I allow as an acceptable tension release from my dog. He already has a lot of rules that he lives under, so this play frenzy is what we allow him to do. This is why he perhaps enjoys a potentially ‘forbidden exercise’ so much.
Article by Bruce Dwyer. If you wish to use any of this information please refer to the article as a reference and provide a link to www.healthydogtreats.com.au
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