How do I get my dog to stop stealing socks?

  • My dog greatly enjoys stealing socks and running around with them in his mouth any chance he gets. He doesn't destroy them; he just holds on to them. Eventually, he will get bored with this and just drop the socks. I know he does it just to get my attention, but I am not sure of a good way to stop this behavior.

    Obviously, I do my best to keep socks hidden from him at all times, so he doesn't have the opportunity, but every chance he gets, he will pick one up and run off with it.

    How do I stop him from stealing socks?

    when my brother would steal my socks, i would take another pair of socks, put one of the socks inside the other one, and then proceed to beat him with my new weapon... it wasn't the best behavior deterrent, but it sure was fun.

    Note that your socks carry a lit of your scent, even after washing. (My cats will sometimes respond almost as strongly to a sock as to catnip.) That msy make it hard to resist as a toy -- "This has lots of Eep's scent on it, it's obviously a much-loved item, that makes it a great candidate for keep-away games. Hey, look, I've got your thing! Chase me and maybe you can get it back!" I likebthe suggestion of giving him a few objects of his own that are suitable for chase and tug-of-war games, so he's less motivated to swipe yours.

  • Look who figured out how to get attention from you! And judging by him making you post here, he's done a fine job of it. Face it, your dog has outsmarted you. Happens to me almost daily. ;-)

    As you have already figured out, he's doing it to get your attention, and he's succeeding because you go chasing after him, right?

    Time to outsmart your dog! Find an old sock you don't care about and make it a toy for him. Tie a knot in it so you both know which one it is. When you have the time, let him grab that one and make it a game to get it back. This will be the game and the attention he craves. (Yes, dogs not only play games but invent them, and "keep away" is an ever popular one.) When he grabs a real sock, completely ignore him. Do not try to get it back, do not even acknowledge he has it. Really, you must completely ignore his stealing of a real sock no matter what.

    Pretty soon he'll learn that only The Sock gets attention. He'll learn to ignore the others, and now you have only one sock you need to control. It will take some time, probably weeks, but it will happen without undue stress to you or him and with no real major efforts.

    That's the way to do it. And yet, socks are cheap.. No matter if the dog starts chewing one of your better shoes, do nothing. If you jump up and reach for the shoe that dog will know a bulletproof way to get your attention and goodbye all the shoes you forget on the floor.

    Yah, I never chase him when he has one (though the very first time I did make that mistake, which I'm sure is where he learned this from)... I just wait till he drops it pick it up quietly and walk away. I didn't think of giving him a "toy sock" though, I'll give that a try!

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM