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Why Does My Dog Steal My Shoes But Not Chew Them?

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Why Does My Dog Steal My Shoes But Not Chew Them?

If you find that the adorable puppy you brought home has turned out to be a shoe thief, you may be wondering why! Maybe your dog broke some of your shoes, or you find it hard to find your shoes when you need to put them on.

This article is all about why dogs like to steal shoes and some solutions so you can stop your dog from stealing your shoes.


1. They are seeking attention

What do you do when your dog bounces by dragging your shoes? You look at them, maybe call their name, maybe chase them, etc.

In other words, you give them attention.

Many times, dogs are smarter than we give them credit for, so they know that if they do something unpopular, they will get attention for it. Especially if this has been a successful strategy for them in the past.

How to Stop Stealing Socks and Shoes to Get Attention

When dogs seek attention, it usually means they're not getting enough satisfaction that day, whether it's through connection with you or mental engagement. If you can, spend some time each day playing, petting, walking, or otherwise interacting with your dog. If you can't spend a lot of time with them on a given day because of work or school, schedule some mentally enriching games for them to keep them busy and engaged until you can give them your attention.

2. It’s a form of gaming

Your dog may mistake your shoes and slippers for toys. The texture, material, color, size, etc. may all be similar to those cuddly toys you spent (perhaps too much) money on.

How to stop stealing socks and shoes at play

First, you wait until your dog loses interest in the shoe, then move it somewhere they can no longer reach it. Controlling their environment is very important here.

Alternatively, you can redirect them to the toy you want them to play with and reinforce them with treats and attention when they switch gears.


3. Socks and shoes smell like you, which is probably why dogs like socks

Your dog's sense of smell is absolutely incredible. Since socks, slippers, and shoes are in contact with your body for a long time, their smell is strong. Some dogs find familiar smells comforting, especially when you're not around. Others believe that stealing your scent is a way of trying to connect with you.

How to Stop Stealing Socks and Shoes Just for the Smell

First, you need to make sure your belongings are kept away from your dog. Then, you can transfer your scent to other items if you think they need comfort.

4.They are teething

If you have a teething puppy, you know that nothing is off limits for these little guys. Chewing is a natural part of teething for dogs, and sometimes they just chew the closest thing they can find.

How to Stop Sneaking Teething Socks and Shoes

Stock up on dog chews that are tough enough for teething but safe and enjoyable to give them plenty of opportunities to chew safely and efficiently


5. Dogs often steal shoes and socks and take them with them when they are bored

When dogs are bored, they tend to get into all kinds of trouble - digging, chewing, barking, shredding, you name it!

How to Stop Stealing Socks and Shoes Out of Boredom

With dogs, you'll want to prevent boredom rather than react to it to avoid destructive behavior.

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