Why Do Dogs Take Your Socks?

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When it comes to dogs, one of the most commonly stolen items around the house are socks.

Many owners find themselves perplexed as to why their pooch is so focused on swiping the smelly socks from the laundry, but the truth is, we can only speculate as to the reason.

There are several theories out there for this canine behavior, so if your pup loves to steal your socks, then keep reading to find out why!

By Allison Salonko.

Allison is a Veterinary Technician in the state of Indiana. She graduated from International Business College and Vet Tech Institute of Indianapolis with a degree in Animal Science and Technology in 2011.

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Why Do Dogs Steal Your Socks?

Dogs can be curious and mischievous creatures who have naturally playful personalities, so it’s no surprise that your dog may occasionally engage in some naughty behaviors like sock thieving.

But the question is why socks specifically?

It’s not possible to ask dogs why they enjoy stealing socks but we have several theories as to why this behavior manifests in our domestic canines.

  • They want to get a reaction from you
  • They’re bored
  • Socks are stinky and fun to chew on

They Want A Reaction From You

Dogs are an intelligent species that is much better at understanding human body language than we probably give them credit for.

When your dog wants you to notice them, doing certain behaviors will often reward them with some kind of attention, whether it is good or bad.

So, the next time that you have been focused on work or chores all day and have given little to no attention to your dog, don’t be surprised if you catch them swiping some socks off the top of the laundry basket.

They’re SO! Bored

Dogs, especially certain breeds, have a tendency to become easily bored, which will sometimes result in stealing and other unwanted behaviors.

When you’ve been gone or distracted all day, your dog will eventually grow bored and tired of napping or doing nothing and turn to naughty behaviors like tearing up your stuff, such as socks or other similar items.

A bored dog is never a good thing as these destructive actions can get out of hand and turn into a very bad habit over time.

It is important to provide your dog with mental stimulation and attention for some part of the day.

Socks Smell Great To Dogs

The canine desire to smell and chew on things is common, and the stinkier the better!

While the thought is pretty gross, it’s not unusual for dogs to enjoy rolling, eating or chewing on items that smell horrible.

That makes your teenagers’ gym socks a popular piece of clothing for dogs to steal and destroy.

In some cases dogs will even ingest a sock, requiring an expensive emergency surgery to have it removed safely.

Not allowing your dog to chew and eat items such as clothing and socks is very important.

Sadly, gastrointestinal foreign body surgeries are a lot more common in veterinary hospitals than some people think.

Dogs Steal More Socks Than Dryers

While they are certainly nothing special to us, socks are a fun, stinky and enjoyable item for dogs to pilfer from their owners’ laundry.

So try to remember to keep them put up to avoid any potential ingestions and foreign bodies in the future.

If you notice your dog likes to bring you socks, it is likely that they are simply trying to get your attention and play with you.

Photo by Andy.