Why do dogs have a tendency to steal socks or other personal items?

6 min readDec 16, 2023
Photo by Kobi Kadosh on Unsplash

One reason dogs steal socks could be because they have a natural instinct to carry things around in their mouths.

This behavior is often rooted in their ancestry, as dogs are descended from wolves who would carry prey or resources back to their dens.

The soft texture and smell of socks may attract dogs, making them irresistible targets for their thieving behavior.

Some dogs might steal socks as a way to seek attention from their owners or as a form of play.

For certain dogs, stealing socks can also be a result of boredom, as they may be trying to entertain themselves with an object that smells like their loved ones.

Dogs might steal socks because they have a high prey drive and the act of taking and guarding objects satisfies this drive.

In some cases, dogs may steal socks as a manifestation of anxiety or stress, using the act as a coping mechanism.

Certain dog breeds, such as Terriers, may have a higher tendency to steal socks due to their hunting instincts.

If your dog is stealing socks, it’s important to provide them with appropriate mental and physical stimulation to redirect their energy.

To prevent sock theft, make sure to keep personal items out of your dog’s reach and provide them with plenty of appropriate chew toys.

If your dog persistently steals socks, it may be beneficial to consult with a professional dog trainer or behaviorist for guidance.

Understanding why dogs steal socks can help us find solutions to encourage appropriate behavior and strengthen our bond with our furry friends.

Ah, the mystery of the sock thief! Many dog owners have grappled with their canine companions’ penchant for pilfering socks, underwear, and other seemingly mundane items. While it can be frustrating and even a little gross, there are actually several reasons why dogs might engage…




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