[6 Reasons] Why Does My Dog STEAL My Socks!?

Among the most common problems faced by dog owners are stolen socks and shoes being chewed. If you are wondering, “why does my dog steal my socks” and what you can do about it, we will show you what you can do about various potential reasons in this guide. So, stay with us…

There’s nothing unusual about dogs stealing your socks or other personal items. The reason they do this is that they are naturally curious and playful, like your smell, like to chew things you have lying around, have fun and entertainment needs, or are perhaps suffering from separation anxiety.

why does my dog steal my socks
[6 Reasons] Why does my dog steal my socks!?

Why Does My Dog Steal My Socks? 6 Possible Reasons 

There are several reasons that could be the answer to your query, “why does my dog steal my socks,” and some of them require your attention. Here we are going to describe the causes behind a dog stealing socks, so let’s get started:

Separation Anxiety

The most common cause of dogs stealing away socks is separation anxiety. If your dog is stealing your socks, it might be an indication that your dog is suffering from separation anxiety. When you’re away, socks serve as a source of comfort and safety for your anxious dog because your socks have your peculiar scent.

Understand that canine anxiety is a painful experience for your pet. If you suspect your canine friend is experiencing this problematic behavior, then you should talk to your vet or a dog behaviorist.  

sad Shih-Tzu
A sad-looking Shih Tzu is on the couch.


A dog getting bored and stealing stuff is a weird yet common behavior you will witness. If your dog is bored and has enough energy, it will pick up the next thing and chew on it (let it be a sock or shoe).

Bored dogs can spend hours playing with stolen socks – they’re soft, easy to throw around, and highly entertaining to rip apart. Small dogs are more likely to show this behavior because they love chewing on socks, so if your puppy is exhibiting this behavior, you need to discourage it.

a sneaky pug sock thief
This sock thief is very happy with his haul

Texture of Socks 

Dogs, especially puppies, love biting or chewing on different things. The texture of the socks can sometimes be really fascinating for your dog. When dogs discover that socks are soft and mushy, they won’t leave the socks alone. 

To soothe their aching gums, puppies need chews that are soft; socks are the perfect choice for them. Adult dogs also enjoy chewing on the stretchy fabric of socks.

up close dog eating sock
Up close shot of a sock bandit. If your puppy ate a sock – what should you do next?

Seeking Attention

Lack of attention can cause your dog to behave weirdly. Running away with your socks is one such weird behavior. If your dog is picking up the socks in your presence, it clearly wants your attention.

If you run behind your dog to get your socks back, you are giving your dog what it wants. If given attention, your dog will repeat this behavior whenever it wants your attention. 

French Bulldog with her owner
A French Bulldog with her owner.

Smell of Socks

It could be that your dog loves the smell or taste of your socks which makes it carry them around. You might find it gross but yes, dogs like the smell of your socks because it possesses your scent. It gives your canine a sense of comfort and safety.

Your scent and the softy feel of the socks are what makes them want to steal them again.

dog trying to steal a sock
A not very subtle attempt from this dog to steal a sock

Scavenging Behavior

Dogs were domesticated around 15,000 years ago. Before that, they used to live in the wild and hunt other animals for a meal. Although our furry friends have been domesticated for a long time, their hunting capabilities are still there.

Dogs play with socks and steal them to fulfill their instinct of hunting and then hiding their prey. Dogs make cute thieves, whether it is a sock or a treat from the table.

black German Shepherd
Black German Shepherd running.

Why Do Dogs Like Socks?

There are many items that are lying around, available for your dog to play with, but one may think, “why are dogs attracted to stealing my socks particularly?”

Dogs love the scent of the socks we wear every day, as they’ve been soaked in our sweat all day. Moreover, the texture of socks is soft, and it really attracts young puppies who like to chew soft things. If they get socks for chewing, this can become a habit, and they may carry on doing so when they are grown up. 

Siberian Husky biting a sock
Siberian Husky puppy biting a sock from his owner.

Which Dog Breeds Are Most Likely To Steal Socks?

The addiction to stealing socks: it happens more often than you may think. Despite the fact that most dogs like to steal toe-flavored items, there are some that don’t. The dog breeds that are more likely to be involved in stealing socks include Golden Retrievers, Terriers, Cockapoo, Corgis, and more…

Corgi dogs lying on the couch
Two Corgi dogs lying on the couch.

Should I Be Worried If My Dog Steals My Socks?

The sight of a puppy carrying a sock in its mouth might be cute, but if your dog is an object thief, you have a serious problem on your hands that needs to be corrected. Socks are generally quite fun for dogs to chew on and play with. Occasionally, a dog may try to eat socks.

This is where the danger begins…

A piece of socks can get stuck in your dog’s throat, which can lead to a choking hazard. If the piece of socks passes through the mouth, it cannot be digested and will block the intestines (or stomach in some cases).

You can determine the severity of the situation if your dog has eaten a sock by considering the following:

  • Size of your dog and the sock.
  • Socks material.
  • Your canine friend’s age and health status.

However, you should look for the symptoms of sock swallowing (like vomiting, loss of appetite, or abnormal pooping) and call your vet immediately as it can be hazardous for your dog’s health.

Chihuahua feeling sick in the car
Chihuahua is not feeling well inside the car. Heading to the vet clinic!

How Do I Get My Dog To Stop Stealing Socks?

There are lots of strategies that are helpful to make your furry mate stop stealing socks. Practicing them one by one with your four-footed can help you overcome the sock stealing habit. But remember to be patient with them; here are all the strategies you can try with your dog:

A physically and mentally active day.

You should take long walks with your doggo to spend a physically productive day for him. It will make your dog less active in your house because it will be tired, and it would want to rest up a bit before thinking of other mischiefs. Similarly, you should provide puzzle toys to your dog to prevent it from stealing socks off your laundry and bedroom.

These puzzle toys provide mental stimulation to your dog and keep it busy for hours. 

Dalmatian plays tug of war
A Dalmatian dog plays tug of war with a little girl.

Practice “drop it” or “leave it” commands.

Practicing commands helps in training dogs. But you should keep a serious attitude while practicing; “drop it” or “leave it” commands make them realize that stealing socks will only annoy their favorite person. Do not try to snatch the sock off your dog’s mouth; it can give it the feeling of a “sock snatching game,” so it may run away with it.

why does my dog freeze on walks
Why does my dog freeze on walks? [Explained]

Provide them with enough toys.

Give your pup enough toys so that it doesn’t get bored by playing with the same few toys again and again. In this regard, you can try putting away a few toys of best interest for a month or so and, in that period, give it some other toys. When your four-footed king starts to get bored of the toys it usually plays with, you can give the toys you put away and take and put away the toys it was getting bored of.

Repeat this cycle when your dog gets bored of its toys, and you won’t have to buy new toys again and again. 

Miniature Schnauzer toys
Miniature Schnauzer’s toys at the background.

Get them something to chew on.

Your canine friend likes to chew things. So, you should buy enough chewies for it. They steal socks because they are chewy and elastic.

So, when you get them their chewies, they’d stop stealing your socks.

Boston Terrier chewing
A female Boston Terrier chewing a toy stick.

Give them attention.

This is really important. Your fluff boy wants your attention, and if your dog gets your attention only when it steals your socks, it will do that again and again. Make time for your pup. Give proper attention and playtime.

It was found in research that dogs stole things, and their owner ran after them. That way, dogs realized that the only way to get owners’ attention was to rip off something from them. Remember that you may have people to spend time with, but your doggo has only you.

Rottweiler licks her owner
Rottweiler and her owner are playing at the park.

Put your socks away

If nothing works, just put your socks in the inaccessible areas. Do not put your laundry open, and be organized so that your paw friend does not get the chance to steal your socks again. 

Try to restrict the socks stealing habit of your dog at a young age. As the dogs grow, their habits are difficult to be dropped. Moreover, it has been proven that it is more difficult to eliminate undesired behaviors than to stop them from arising in the first place. 

dog bites sock
Dog bites a blue sock.

We hope the information from this article has answered your question, “why does my dog steal my socks?” We also hope the information will help you understand your dog’s behavior, and you’d be able to take care of it in a better way.