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Why Does My Dog Bring Me Socks – 10 Common Reasons


Why Does My Dog Bring Me Socks

You love your dog to the moon and back, and they love you back. Each moment you spend with them is special save for one small problem – they keep bringing socks to you.

What in the world does it mean when your dog brings you socks? Well, there is not always a simple answer to why dogs bring their owners weird things. Different dogs have different reasons for doing this. Here are 10 of the most common reasons.

Table of contents

10 Reasons Why Your Dog Brings You Your socks

They have picked up your scent on the socks

The thing is that dogs have an incredible sense of smell. In fact, it has been estimated that they can smell more than 1,000 times better than we do!

They can pick up scents that we humans can’t even detect. This is why they are so good at tracking down lost people and missing items.

In pretty much the same way, your dogs might pick up your scent on your socks. Thinking that you have misplaced them, they might then bring them to you for safekeeping.

They're stressed out

Stress/Separation Anxiety

Dogs too go through their own emotional journeys. In some cases, they may get stressed and, therefore, acquire habits to help them cope with whatever situation they might be going through.

It’s just the same way we humans do it. If you were stressed out and needed a hug, would you bring home something soft and cozy? Your answer is most probably a ‘yes’.

Dogs are no different — they need comfort too! So, if your pup brings home a sock or two, it’s probably just because they want to cuddle up with you on the couch as a way to relieve stress.

showing their affection

Sometimes, a dog that brings a sock to its owner is trying to communicate that they want to be petted. It’s a sign of affection and might suggest that your dog wants more attention.

If you have more than one dog and they both start bringing socks, it’s possible that they’re fighting over you. This can sometimes lead to one dog becoming aggressive toward the other.

It’s also possible that one of your dogs may be jealous of the other and is trying to get your attention by bringing something they know you’ll find interesting. If this is the case, then you need to spend more time with each dog individually.


They sense your pain

Dogs are highly intuitive animals, and they can sense when something is wrong with you. They may bring you the most comfortable item they can find to try to comfort you and a sock may be that item.

Of course, a sock may not seem like the most appropriate item to you, but it might be all your pooch can find for you.

According to research, dogs are connected to humans so much so that they can sense when things are different from the norm.

What’s more, this connection is not just because humans provide for and take care of these animals. Emily Sanford, a brain and psychology scientist in a study, reiterates that dogs can actually discern when humans are in emotional distress.

Dogs will naturally strive to help their owners or people they love so it shouldn’t come as a surprise when yours tries to help by bringing things like toys, pillows, or even socks—that’s probably the only way they know how to alleviate your pain or discomfort.


Your dog wants to play

Dogs are social animals. They love to be around us and play with us. Keeping your dog bored for a long time can lead to destructive behaviors, ranging from excessive barking and howling to chewing on everything within their reach.

It isn’t possible for every one of us to stay with our dogs as long as we want, but regular walks and adequate playtime at home can help with their boredom. 

Burn your dog’s energy at least once every day to keep it from becoming overly active and destructive around the house.

Your dog will surely love your consistency. But they also enjoy exploring and experiencing new things. Mix up the routine occasionally to kill your pup’s boredom. 

You can go to a different park, walk a new route, or try a new activity, like swimming.


They want something to chew on

Dogs have an innate need to chew and they are notorious for chewing on things they shouldn’t. You can’t blame them, though — it’s a natural behavior that helps relieve stress and boredom.

So if your dog is bringing you an old sock that they have been gnawing on, it may not be because they want to eat it, but rather, they feel the urge to chew on it.


Looking for Attention

Looking for Attention

If you have a dog that brings you socks, it’s probably because they have learned that socks are a great way to get your attention. Dogs can be extremely smart animals and they learn quickly. Your dog may have decided that socks are the quickest way to get your attention when they want something from you.

So, if they happen to bring you a sock, the best thing would be to ignore them. Better still you can distract them with another toy or task. The minute they move away from the sock, you can then take it and hide it in a place where they can’t find it.

The last thing you want to do is reward them for this behavior e.g., by engaging in any kind of play around the sock.


They're trying to tell you something is wrong

Your dog may have found an old pair of socks and is trying to alert you of something wrong going on. Dogs are known for their sense of smell, and yours may be able to smell things that you cannot.

Dogs can be excellent alarm systems for your home and property. They can alert you if anything seems suspicious or out of place. If your dog has a habit of bringing you items that they find outside, there could be a reason why they are doing so.


They need to go outside

They're trying to tell you that they need to go outside

Yup, you read that right. In some cases, dogs bring socks because they want to go outside. This might seem like a strange behavior, but there’s an explanation for it. Dogs tend to get restless when they want to go outside especially when they think that you are not cooperating with them in that.

As a result, they might turn their frustrations to your pair of socks – and this might include bringing them to you with the objective of capturing your attention.

Developing a routine for your dog can help eliminate this communication breakdown and ultimately bring their sock-collecting behavior to an end.

They want to sleep on them

Dogs also enjoy snuggling up with their owners in bed or on the couch, so they’ll use anything that’s soft as a pillow or blanket. Socks are perfect for this too since they’re thin enough for them to fit under their heads and still feel comfortable sleeping on.

The next time you come home and your dog is sleeping on your sock, don’t be alarmed. It’s not because they want to wear it as a hat — although that is a possibility. It’s because they think it’s comfortable and cozy.

What To Do When Your Dog Brings You Socks

What do you do when your pooch brings you socks? You may not know what to think. Is your dog trying to teach you something, or are they just being a dog? Maybe it’s a little of both.

Here are some of the things you can do when your pup brings you socks:

Be patient and kind with your dog – This is not a behavioral issue; it’s just how they show their love for you. Remember that they don’t understand why you wear clothes, so don’t punish them for trying to help.

Reward good behavior – Give them lots of praise when they bring you something other than a sock or even better — something they haven’t chewed up.

Your dog will quickly learn what behaviors get them attention from you, which will help them generalize what “good” means in a variety of situations.

Keep an eye on your pup – This is so that you can intervene if necessary. If your dog is chewing up socks or shoes, then you’ll need to remove these items from their environment until they learn not to chew them up.

What To Do When Your Dog Brings You Socks

Conclusion – Where are my socks?

Dogs like to bring things to their owners. Sometimes it’s a stick, sometimes it’s a ball and sometimes it’s a sock. And while you might not understand why they do it, dogs have their own reasons.

Luckily, in most cases, there’s no cause for alarm. But if you feel like this is getting out of hand it might be worth looking for ways to distract your pooch from this behavior.

This might mean finding new physical activities for them, spending more quality time with them, or better still keeping your socks out of their reach.

Written by

Tim Smith
With years of experience writing about dogs, this author is a go-to source for insights on the furry friends. A lover of all animals, this writer's work has been published in many respected publications.
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