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How to stop dogs from stealing & chewing dirty laundry

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How to stop dogs from stealing & chewing dirty laundry: Our four-legged companions often have endearing yet mischievous tendencies, with one common habit being their penchant for snatching and gnawing on our dirty laundry. While their playful nature is cherished, this behavior can cause frustration and concern for pet owners.

How to stop dogs from stealing & chewing dirty laundry

Fear not, as there are several effective strategies and approaches that can gently steer your furry friend away from this habit while ensuring their well-being and happiness.

Understanding the Behaviour: Dogs are inherently curious creatures and use their senses, particularly their sense of smell, to explore their environment. Dirty laundry, infused with our scent, might appeal to them as a comforting or intriguing item. Additionally, the texture of fabric can entice their desire to chew, providing both mental stimulation and relief for teething pups.

Creating a Dog-Friendly Environment:

  1. Designated Play Areas: Allocate a specific space with appropriate toys and activities to redirect your dog’s attention away from laundry. Engage them in interactive play to discourage boredom and divert their focus.
  1. Proper Exercise and Stimulation: Ensure your dog receives adequate physical exercise and mental stimulation. Regular walks, interactive games, and puzzle toys can channel their energy positively, reducing the likelihood of them seeking out laundry items.
  2. Laundry Management: Store dirty laundry in sealed hampers or baskets, preferably out of your dog’s reach. This restricts their access to tempting items and minimizes the chances of them developing a habit.
  3. Positive Reinforcement: Encourage desirable behaviors by rewarding your dog with treats or praise when they ignore or show disinterest in laundry items. Consistency is key in reinforcing these positive actions.

Training Techniques:

  1. “Leave It” Command: Teach your dog the “leave it” command using positive reinforcement techniques. Start with less enticing items and gradually progress to laundry, rewarding them when they obey the command.
  2. Substitution Technique: Offer a chew toy or treat as a substitute when your dog shows interest in laundry. Redirect their attention to the approved item, reinforcing the idea that chewing on laundry is not acceptable.

Also See:

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Understanding Canine Psychology: Dogs thrive on routine and positive associations. It’s crucial to maintain patience and consistency while employing these techniques. Punishment or scolding may lead to confusion or anxiety in your pet, hindering the training process.

Consulting a Professional: If the behaviour persists despite consistent training efforts, seeking guidance from a professional dog trainer or behaviourist is recommended. They can provide tailored strategies based on your dog’s temperament and specific behavioral patterns.


Curbing a dog’s habit of stealing and chewing dirty laundry involves a blend of patience, understanding, and consistent training techniques. By creating a dog-friendly environment, employing positive reinforcement, and understanding their behavior.

Pet owners can effectively guide their furry companions away from this habit while fostering a healthy and harmonious relationship. Remember, each dog is unique, so adapt these methods to suit your pet’s individual needs, always ensuring their well-being and happiness remain the top priority.

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