Many dog owners have a sock thief on their hands. Although it may have been cute when your dog was still a puppy, an adult dog who enjoys stealing socks can lead to many trips to the store. Those who have a dog who likes to steal and hide their socks frequently have likely asked themselves: why does my dog hide my socks?
Dogs hide their owners’ socks because they like the smell of them. Socks are comforting to dogs because they smell like their owner. They also hide socks when they are possessive, bored, or want to use them as a toy. This behavior is often encouraged inadvertently and can be trained out of your dog.
In this article, we will be explaining all of the reasons why dogs hide socks. We will also be answering some other commonly asked questions about dogs’ love for their owners’ socks. There will be some additional things to consider when it comes to dogs hiding socks as well.
Reasons Dogs Hide Your Socks
There are five reasons why dogs like to hide your socks. Although all of these can lead to a pair of ruined socks, this behavior is typical in dogs. Here are the five reasons your dog is hiding your socks.
Your Scent Is Comforting
Many dogs find their owners’ scent comforting, which is why they commonly lie on our clothes and blankets. It is also a common reason why they are stealing your socks.
Your scent is the strongest on your socks and underwear, so it is only natural for your dog to want to hide these items. This is especially true for dogs who indulge in this habit when their owner is away.
It Tastes Good
Dirty socks can be very smelly, and this tastes good to dogs. Therefore, they may be stealing your socks simply because they enjoy the taste and texture of them. This is usually the cause for hiding socks in dogs who like to also chew on them.
Your Dog Enjoys Holding Things In Their Mouth
Some dogs enjoy holding things in their mouth more than others, and these dogs are likely hiding your socks because they like carrying them around. This is especially true for retriever breeds such as Golden Retrievers, Labs, and Spaniels because they were bred to carry things in their mouth.
Your Dog Needs More Toys
Your dog may be hiding your socks because he is bored and needs more toys to play with. Remedying this cause is extremely simple, get your dog some more chew toys to play with. Ensuring that your dog gets enough daily exercise and mental stimulation can significantly reduce this sock hiding habit as well.
Your Dog Is Hoarding Resources
Some dogs have the habit of gathering, hoarding, and protecting their resources, and this can be the cause of your dog hiding your socks. If your dog views your socks as their toys, then they could be hiding them simply because they do not want their toys taken away. They could also be doing this because they view items scented with your smell as a resource.
Why Does My Dog Want My Socks
Your dog wants your socks because they remind your dog of you, which is very comforting to them. In addition to this, your sweaty socks also taste very good to dogs. This combination leads to your socks being irresistible to your dog.
Is It Normal For Dogs To Hide Your Socks
Dogs hiding their owners’s socks is extremely common, especially for puppies and dogs who have not learned what toys are acceptable to play with yet. It is also common for dogs to chew on socks, quickly becoming bothersome to most dog owners.
How To Get Dog To Stop Stealing Socks
Having a dog who frequently steals your socks can quickly become a problem, especially if your dog also likes to chew on them. Luckily, there are some simple things that you can do to reduce and manage this bad habit. They include cleaning up your dog’s environment, teaching your dog what is ok for him to chew, and giving your dog plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. Here are some ways you can get your dog to stop stealing your socks.
The first thing you should do to stop your dog from hiding your socks is to keep your socks and other enticing items out of your dog’s reach. When these items are away from where your dog can get them, they will resort to playing with their toys. This can be a good rule to have in your home for other objects, especially food. This will not only prevent your objects from getting ruined, but it also keeps your dog out of harm’s way.
Teach Your Dog What Items Are Acceptable To Play With
The next thing that you can do to stop your dog from hiding your socks is to teach them what things are acceptable for them to play with. This is why it is essential to have a fair amount of toys around. Whenever you find your dog stealing your socks or any other item you do not want them playing with, swap it with one of their toys after giving a verbal correction.
Give Your Dog Plenty Of Daily Exercise And Mental Stimulation
A tired dog is a well-behaved dog, so ensuring that your dog gets enough daily exercise and mental stimulation will reduce his need to steal socks. The amount of exercise needed every day varies from dog to dog, but usually, large dogs need more daily exercise than small dogs.
Similarly, dogs need to be mentally stimulated every day. There are many ways that you can provide your dogs with mental stimulation, but playtime is possibly the most simple outlet for most dog owners. Playing games of fetch, tug of war, and hide and seek are all great options.
Things To Consider
There are some other things that you should consider when it comes to dogs hiding socks. These include preventing bad habits from developing and the benefits of teaching the give-it cue. Here are some things to consider about why your dog is hiding your socks.
Beware Of Encouraging Bad Habits
When it comes to stealing and playing with objects that are not toys, it is crucial to prevent your dog from developing bad habits. This is best done when your dog is still a puppy. However, those who have an adult dog can break bad habits. It will just take more time and effort from the owner. Although a puppy taking your socks may seem cute at the time, it is always better to nip this habit in the bud early to prevent your dog from stealing your socks as an adult.
Teach the Give it Cue
Teaching the give-it cue is highly beneficial to all dog owners. Not only can it prevent your dog from hiding your socks, but it could also potentially prevent your dog from eating something dangerous to them. We will break down how you can teach this cue into a few simple steps.
Teaching The Give It Cue
Step 1: Setting Up Get something that your dog often picks up in his mouth. For this example, we will be using a sock. Present the sock to your dog and have him pick it up.
Step 2: Trade for Something Better Once your dog has the sock in his mouth, trade him for something better. This could be a toy or treat. Once your dog drops the sock, give a cue such as “give it” or “drop it” and reward with the toy or treat.
Step 3: Practice All you need to do now is practice this. After a bit of time, you should give the” give it” cue without holding out a toy/treat and wait for him to respond.