article by aishwarya srivastava

Why Does My Dog Have a Fascination with Stealing My Socks?

The question, "Why does my dog steal my socks?" has been considered by many puppy owners. Maybe at first, it seemed cute. As you were beginning to fold a new load of clothes, your darling pet jumped onto the bed and started stealing one sock. 

But now, every time you have to leave the house, it feels like the worst treasure hunt ever! Additionally, you might be sick of having awkward conversations with your neighborhood puppy sitters to caution them to check their own pants and socks. 

So why does your small dog act in this manner? What's more, how can this be stopped from happening? It turns out that stealing socks is a frequent puppy activity with a few rather easy fixes. All you have to do is watch this space! 

4 Reasons To Understand Why Your Dog Likes To Steal Your Socks

We'll explore dogs' curiosity about stealing socks in this section. Many pet owners have been perplexed by this tendency, which has resulted in innumerable cases of misplaced socks and confused looks. 

Let's examine 4 main causes of dogs' propensity for stealing socks. Get ready to learn more about your animal friend who steals your socks!

1. For seeking attention

Most dogs adore receiving attention, especially from their human owners, whom they make every effort to please. As a result of the attention you pay them after you catch the sock thief in the act, they might be stealing your laundry. 

They might even start racing far away from you while you try to get your laundry, turning it into a game of "keep away."

Pay attention to your dog if he takes your socks in order to get your attention. Set out some time each day to play with your dog and bond with one another. More walks and time spent engaging in your pet's favorite pastimes should be provided.

2. To put an end to their craving

Your dog may exhibit "pica," a compulsive feeding habit if they are taking socks from you and you can see that your supply is steadily diminishing. 

When someone has pica, they develop a craving for inanimate objects and non-consumables. Despite the fact that dogs with pica can consume just about anything, they frequently select foods that bear their owner's scent.

Take your dog to the vet for a checkup if you have any reason to believe that he is suffering from pica. To determine whether he is experiencing issues absorbing nutrients or may have parasites, your veterinarian may order some lab tests.

3. To sustain their lack of interest 

Also, a naughty dog may steal things out of boredom.  Dogs require mental as well as physical variety, particularly when they are working breeds like huskies, shepherds, or livestock dogs.  

Additionally, bear in mind that a restless dog can cause all kinds of havoc in addition to stealing, such as tearing up pillows, pestering the cat, or rearranging the couch with his teeth. 

Therefore, ensure that you provide your puppy with a lot of activities for the sake of both your dog's safety and your sanity.

4. The feeling of anxiety

Stealing can occasionally be a compulsive behavior, similar to excessive shaving, pacing, or looking at walls. And these actions frequently appear as a result of anxiousness. 

Your dog may use bathroom towels as a shield or your slipper as a sling when a guest is over as a means to self-soothe and reduce anxiety.

Just keep in mind that dog anxiety is not enjoyable for pets, so if you think your dog is a worrier, talk to your vet and a dog behaviorist about the problem.  

5 Methods To Discourage Attention-Seeking Behaviors Like Sock And Shoe Stealing

It takes a mix of teaching, redirection, and giving suitable solutions for their needs to stop dogs from engaging in attention-seeking activities like stealing socks and shoes. 

The following list of 5 techniques can assist you in discouraging attention-seeking behavior, such as show-stealing and socks:

1. Regular Training:

To refocus your dog's attention away from socks and shoes, teach them simple instructions like "leave it" and "drop it." When they comply, pamper them and give them praise.

2. Provide Mental Stimulation:

Give your dog mental stimulation by including them in games, puzzle feeders, and interactive toys. Boredom can be relieved, and the risk of attention-seeking activities is decreased by mental stimulation.

3. Exercise and Play: 

To help them burn off surplus energy, make sure your dog gets frequent physical activity. Daily walks and structured playtime serve to tire them out and satiate their natural instincts.

4. Offer Suitable Alternatives:

Offer your dog a selection of fun interactive toys and secure chew toys. They have a suitable place to play and chew, thanks to this.

5. Consistency and Supervision:

Be consistent in imposing restrictions and restricting the usage of socks and shoes. Exercise supervision. Keep these out of your dog's reach and set up a special area with your pet's toys and possessions.

What To Do To Help Curb Your Dog’s Stealing Socks And Shoe Habits For Play

Here are some tactics to use to stop your dog from playfully snatching your socks and shoes:

1. Take Temptation Away:

Keep your dog's footwear and socks out of his or her reach. To avoid unauthorized access, keep them in closed cabinets or drawers.

2. Set Up Clearly Defined Boundaries:

Teach your dog to recognize and abide by boundaries. Reward children for appropriate behavior using positive reinforcement tactics, and deter theft of socks and shoes.

3. Participate in Play:

Schedule time specifically for playing with your dog while utilizing games that are interactive, balls, or tug-of-war contests. This helps them fulfill their demand for play and lessens their need to steal shoes and socks.

4. If Needed, Seek Professional Assistance:

Consider seeking advice from a qualified dog trainer or behavioral theory if your dog's shoe- and sock-stealing tendencies don't change despite your best efforts. They can offer specific advice and extra tactics to deal with this tendency.

You may assist in refocusing your dog's attention and lessen their propensity for stealing socks and shoes for play by continuously putting these tactics into practice and offering substitute alternatives for play and mental stimulation.

Common Dog Breeds Known For Their Affinity For Sock Stealing

Check out some popular dog breeds which are known for their tendency to playfully snatch the socks and shoes of their owners:

1. Border Collie:

Despite being renowned for their sharp minds and herding propensities, Border Collies have the propensity to steal things, including socks.

2. Jack Russell Terrier:

These active, amusing dogs have a high prey drive, which might show itself as a fascination in stealing socks or other small items.

3. Dachshund:

Dachshunds are observant and tenacious canines. They are more likely to steal socks because of their small size and extended bodies, which make them easy targets for snatching.

4. Australian Shepherd:

Since they are highly intelligent and active herding dogs, Australian Shepherds can take socks out of boredom or to herd and gather stuff.

5. Poodle:

Due to their playful attitude and need for attention, poodles are clever and naughty canines who might have a propensity for stealing socks.

6. Beagle:

Beagles are curious dogs with a good sense of scent. This combination may prompt them to investigate and steal socks, especially if they pick up on intriguing scents.

7. Golden Retrievers:

Although they are not as well recognized as some other breeds for their propensity for sock stealing, some golden retrievers may engage in this conduct. They occasionally love to steal socks because of their curious nature, sociable character, and playful nature.

5 Potential Risks Or Issues Associated With Dogs Stealing Socks

While it may seem funny and innocuous for dogs to steal socks, there are concerns and issues that must be addressed. 

Here are 5 possible dangers linked to dogs taking socks:

1. Risks of Ingestion and Choking:

If a dog swallows a sock, it may cause gastrointestinal obstruction or choking. This could be a life-threatening medical issue requiring prompt veterinarian assistance.

2. Digestive Problems:

Dogs who swallow fabric fibers from socks may experience digestive disturbances such as feeling sick, throwing up, diarrhea, and pain. Socks are not digestible.

3. Damage to the Socks:

When dogs chew and shred socks, other apparel is also harmed or destroyed. For the owner, this may be both frustrating and expensive.

4. Reinforcement of Undesirable Behavior:

Allowing dogs to keep stealing socks without providing them with the proper correction or penalties may result in reinforcing the behavior. Ultimately, it will become hard to change or stop in the long run.

5. Potential Accidents:

Dogs carrying socks in their jaws when rushing around increase the chance of tripping or slipping, which could result in harm to themselves or others.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is stealing socks a frequent practice in dogs?

Dogs frequently steal socks because they may regard them as toys or chewable objects.

Is there a way to stop my dog from taking my socks?

Keep your dog away from them, give him appropriate chew toys, and give him plenty of mental and physical exercise to stop him from stealing your socks.

How do I stop my dog from stealing my socks?

In the event that your dog takes your socks, kindly divert their focus to an appropriate toy or object while rewarding appropriate behaviors.

Can my dog's tendency to steal socks be a sign of something more serious?

The behavior of stealing socks may be a sign of boredom, a lack of excitement, or separation anxiety. Any underlying difficulties with your dog can be addressed by speaking with a qualified trainer or behaviorist.


Natural impulses, a lack of interest, playfulness, or even the desire for attention can all have an impact on dogs stealing socks. You can prevent sock-stealing behaviors if you provide children with suitable play opportunities, encourage regular exercise, provide exciting toys, and establish clear boundaries. Along with regular training and positive reinforcement, making sure your dog is mentally and physically stimulated will help shift their attention and lessen the want to steal your socks. To resolve this peculiar but frequent conduct, keep in mind that patience, regularity, and a deeper comprehension of your dog's requirements are essential.

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