5 Reasons why dogs steal socks and how you stop this thief-behaviour

12 January 2021

Hundreds of toys are lying around, and your dog still prefers your socks? It’s no wonder: there are many reasons why dogs steal socks: Discover them now.

Lost dog in London

Yes, dogs consume the strangest things. A nasty sock is a delicacy to your four-legged friend. While you may find it disgusting, it’s actually pretty natural, so you can’t blame him too much for stealing your knee-highs. But you might still wonder why dogs steal socks?

Socks are not that tasty, and they are definitely not part of a dog’s diet, so why are dogs so interested in stealing and eating socks? In order for you to understand a dog’s fetish for socks, you have to put yourself in the paws of a dog.

1. It feels good to steal socks

Your dog doesn’t steal or eat socks because of hunger, but because… it feels good. For puppies, chewing is part of the teething process, whereas for most grown-up dogs, the action of chewing on a sock is as irresistible as chewing gum is for humans.

2. Your dog may be bored

When your dog is bored he may tend to look for ways to unleash his energy. Out of boredom, he may:

  • start binge eating
  • chew furniture or clothes (e.g. socks)
  • feel the need to escape

To avoid these behaviors, which are triggered by boredom, always make sure that your dog is getting enough exercise. Giving your dog the right amount of attention and toys he likes is also helpful in fighting boredom. To prevent your dog from getting bored, make your own DIY dog toys!

How-to video: Making a DIY dog toy

Cute, interesting toys are always fun to play with! Check out this video that teaches you to do your own DIY toy for your dog buddy!

3. Dogs steal socks because they love you

We humans like clean socks. But that does not seem to apply to our furry companions. Believe it or not, your dog would much rather have the nastiest, dirtiest old gym sock than a clean one. Don’t judge him!

So how can you tell if a dog loves you? Count the holes in your socks! OK, maybe it’s not love, but it’s… your smell! So make sure to plan enough time for cuddling with your four-legged sweetheart, so that he feels you really care for him as well.

Good to know: In fact, dirty socks smell like you and chewing on them makes your dog feel closer to his or her owner.

When your dog chews on your socks, he feels like he is wrapped up in a security blanket. In other words, this is an affection sign, so always make sure you cuddle with your dog as often as possible. He needs that!

why do dogs steal socks and what can you do

4. Keep your room tidy, save a sock

If your room is untidy and laundry is in your dog’s reach, don’t blame him. How can he know that chewing on things which lay on the floor is bad behaviour?

You’re better off keeping your socks off the floor and out of reach. Only by doing so your dog will learn to distinguish what he should and should not have his paws on!

And it’s not just about socks. In fact all your laundry items are a possible target.

5.  Separation anxiety

Dogs are social animals and when you’re gone, they miss you badly. It’s not uncommon for a dog to experience social anxiety and seek some sort of comfort when left alone. Your socks, as said, can serve as a security blanket.

Because they smell like you, they can make your dog feel less anxious during your absence. This does not mean a sock could ever replace the love you can give your dog! The best in this case is to just forget doing your laundry for once and take your dog for a walk instead!

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