Last Updated on May 17, 2022 by Marco
Dogs have some weird habits we often have trouble understanding. For example, are you here cause your dachshund puppy steals socks – here’s why and 4 things you can do. We’ll examine why this seemingly peculiar behavior is so widespread, why it actually makes complete sense, and why the way to deal with it may not be what you think.
So, Your Dachshund Puppy Steals Socks – Why?
Because socks are the perfect dog toy to have ever existed. And that’s not even an exaggeration. Here’s what socks are from your dog’s point of view:
- Socks are a perfect size – big enough to be fun to play with but not too big to be unwieldy
- They are light enough to carry around, toss in the air, and “fight” with
- Their texture is weird, and different, but also fun from a dog’s perspective
- Socks smell like you which is a great plus new dog toys don’t have
- Other people’s socks may not smell like you but they also smell “funny”
- Most importantly – missing socks get your attention which is exactly what your puppy wants. Dogs are smart and they often quickly notice that stealing your socks causes you to immediately jump off your desk’s chair and chase them around the room. And, should your dog manage to sneak your sock while you’re not there and hide it, this means a great game of hide-and-seek later on.
- Dachshunds are scent hounds too, so – even more so than other breeds – they have the instinct to seek smelly “prey”, tackle it, and drag it back to the dachshund’s den.
So, we’re literally not joking when we say that socks are a fantastic dog toy. Still, your dog likely has many other dog toys too, including ones that have been in your home for a while and smell “nice” too. Additionally, you’ve probably shown your dog that you don’t want your socks stolen and dogs are generally smart enough to pick up their owners’ disapproval in such situations. With all that being the case, why does your dachshund puppy continue stealing your socks?
There are a few general issues that might be at play here:
- Boredom – dachshunds are playful dogs and they need quite a bit of fun, interaction, and playtime every day. If your Doxie isn’t getting that, boredom will set in pretty quickly. This means that your dog will start looking for new things to entertain itself with and your socks or your other clothes and possessions are great candidates for that.
- Seeking attention – dachshunds are also smart and quickly realize that stealing your stuff gets your attention. So, if you’ve ignored your dog’s cries for attention, you can expect your Doxie to get “creative”.
- Separation anxiety – social breeds like the dachshund don’t tolerate being left alone for too long. Such separation anxiety can lead to various behavioral quirks ranging from stealing socks to destroying your furniture and showing disobedience, all the way to severe depression.
Your Dachshund Puppy Steals Socks – What To Do?
Now that we know the problem, finding the right solution shouldn’t be all that complicated. To make it even simpler, let’s quickly go over the one thing you shouldn’t do – negative reinforcement.
We’re not saying that it can’t work – scolding, punishing, and even hurting your dog when it “misbehaves” can obviously have an effect, but it won’t be the effect you want. There really are two possible outcomes you can expect with the negative reinforcement approach:
- Your dog is so bored and starved for attention that it sees even the negative reinforcement as attention and continues stealing your socks to get it
- You go too far with scolding your pet and you ruin your relationship for a long time
So, neither of those is a good option, especially the latter. What should you do then? Here are the 4 things to consider:
- Give your dog plenty of playtime alternatives – lots of dog toys including new dog toys every once in a while
- Get your socks, clothes, and other such items away from your dog’s reach – fortunately, dachshunds aren’t exactly tall so this shouldn’t be difficult
- Give your dog plenty of exercise, playtime, and attention – make sure that it’s never bored or deprived of love
- Make sure separation anxiety is never a factor for your dog – dachshunds really don’t tolerate being left home alone
It’s as easy as that – just focus your dog’s attention away from your laundry and toward something more adequate and desirable as a dog toy. And, if it doesn’t work at first and your dachshund puppy steals socks regardless, consider shifting some things around the house too. Whatever you do, just don’t punish your dog for being a scenthound – it’s in your dachshund’s nature to be interested in your socks.
Read more about: How To Crate Train A Dachshund Puppy and Why That’s Important?
Why is my puppy obsessed with my socks?
Simple – because it’s obsessed with you too. When you look at socks from a puppy’s perspective, they are the best dog toy ever invented. Socks are the right size and weight, they are fun to chew, scratch, and carry around, and – best of all – they smell of your pup’s favorite human.
What’s even better from your pup’s point of view is that when it steals your socks, you always seem to react – either by chasing your pup immediately or by playing hide-and-seek with your socks later on. This literally makes your sock a “highly interactive dog toy”.
How do I get my puppy to stop stealing things?
Ideally, by distracting it with other stuff. Puppies steal things either out of boredom or because they want to get your attention. Separation anxiety can also be a factor. Whatever the case, the best way to deal with the problem is to give your puppy plenty of other things and activities to get its attention. This means not just new dog toys but also extra playtime, longer walks outside, and giving your pup more attention overall.
Why does my dog like my dirty laundry?
Because it smells like you – it’s as simple as that. With how strong dogs’ sense of smell is, you’d think they wouldn’t like the pungeoung stench of dirty laundry. Yet, the opposite is true – they love and appreciate certain strong smells that we often find repulsing. That’s just because your laundry smells of you, however.