If your dog has been taking your socks, this post will show you likely reasons why and what you can do about them.

So, why does my dog take my socks? Likely reasons why your dog takes your socks are that it likes the taste or smell of your socks, your dog has learned that the behavior is rewarded or that your dog is bored.

There are actually a number of possible reasons why your dog takes your socks and it could be due to a combination of reasons. However, there are some things you can consider to help figure out the main cause and there are some things you can do about it.

Why does my dog take my socks?

Below are likely reasons why your dog takes your socks and what would make them more likely.

Your dog likes the taste of your socks

It is likely that your socks have a strong taste on them and it might be the case that your dog likes the taste of the socks. This would be more likely if your dog also chews on the socks. In this case, it could help to give your dog other things to chew such as bones and to hide your socks from it.

Your dog likes the smell of your socks

It is likely that your socks have a strong scent on them. The reason why your dog carries your socks around could be that it likes the smell. This would be more likely if it also takes other things with your scent on such as your clothes. This would also be more likely if it tends to do it more when it is likely to be anxious since the scent might calm it down.

Encouraging the behavior

It might also be the case that your dog has learned that the behavior is rewarded. If you tend to give your dog things such as toys, treats or extra attention, when your dog takes your socks, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.

Boredom

The reason why your dog has been doing it could also be that it is bored and looking for a way to stimulate itself. This would be more likely if your dog tends to do it more when it has not been getting much exercise and if it calms down after getting exercise. It would help to ensure that your dog is able to get the daily amount of recommended exercise for its age and breed.

Your dog likes the feeling in its mouth

The cause could also be that your dog likes the feeling of the socks in its mouth. This would be more likely if it is a puppy and it is teething. It would also be more likely if it has been putting other things in its mouth a lot as well. In this case, it would help to give it other things that you do not mind it chewing on.

Things to consider

Below are some things to consider to help figure out the main cause.

If your dog has always taken your socks

If your dog has not always taken your socks, it would help to consider what else happened when your dog first started taking them. If it started doing it suddenly, it could be due to things such as learning that the behavior is rewarded, you started leaving your socks out more or that your dog stopped getting as much exercise causing it to become bored.

The timing of when your dog takes your socks

If your dog does not always take your socks, it would also help to consider what is different when it does it. For example, if it does it when you arrive home, it could be due to excitement or separation anxiety. 

How to get my dog to stop stealing my socks?

Below are some options you have when dealing with the behavior.

Avoid encouraging the behavior

As mentioned above, it might be the case that your dog learned that the behavior gets rewarded. Instead, it would help to give it rewards when it behaves the way you want it to and to avoid giving it things such as extra attention when it does not.

Give your dog distractions

It could also help to give it other things to hold in its mouth. Things to give it would include toys or bones.

Hide your socks

In addition to the above, it would also help to limit its access to your socks. Perhaps, you could put the dirty socks into a basket that you keep out of reach. 

Why does my dog bring me socks?

It could be the case that your dog brings you the socks as a gift or that your dog simply likes the feeling of the socks in its mouth. It would be likely that your dog is giving them to you as a gift if your dog is excited when it does it.

Why does my dog take my socks when I leave?

The reason why your dog takes your socks when you leave could be that your socks have your scent on them and your scent calms your dog when you are not around.

Author

I created and currently manage Pet Dog Owner, the website you can go to when you have questions about your dog's behavior. It is my hope that you find Pet Dog Owner to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your dog. You can read more about me and my website here.