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Discussion Starter #1
I was wondering if this is a good idea or not. So since our puppy was 8 weeks old he has always stole our socks, or sometimes not often anymore if he he can't find a sock he'll take something else but that seems to be way less now. Anyways he will always hunt down socks. Yes I"m pretty sure the first time he took a sock we made some hype about it but we no longer do because most of the time he doesn't chew them he just holds them in his mouth, however with the rare occassion he will pull on it. So here is what I heard you can do. Tie a couple of old socks in a knot, when he finds this "sock" we pull it and tug it like make a game with "his" sock, then when he takes a sock we do not want him to have we completely ignore him and if "His" sock is around give him that one that way he will start to associate that 'his" sock gets him attention and other socks don't, is this a good idea or not? it sounds good.
 

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The day your puppy swallows a sock and has to have surgery will not be a good day.

How is he getting socks in the first place? Pick up your clothes including socks and put them away in drawers and closets. Have a dog proof hamper for dirty clothes. Keep things you don't want him away so he cannot get them.

Get him an appropriate toy such as a large rope knot or other toy. Keep your eye on these toys and toss them out when they start to break up.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Wow yea we just throw our socks all over the house and just leave them everywhere for him to get. No we don't buy any toys for him, we prefer for him to chew on our stuff. Yes we keep the socks away from him, however when gathering clothes from the hamper he will quickly pick one up that has dropped, or when putting them away he quickly will snatch one, or our kids will leave their door open and he will swipe a sock they have left on the floor. He does have appropriate chew toys, lots.
 

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I am sorry you were offended. I just know that puppies can get socks, swallow them and end up with bloat or dead. Some puppies LOVE socks. It is hard work to manage kids, socks, and a dog that likes to take them. My point is this is all about you being more vigilant and it is a pain!

I am sure you have toys. I was thinking a rope knot might be as attractive as a sock (maybe not).

I think using a sock for a toy and trying to get him to distinguish between "his sock" and "your sock" is a lot to ask. NO SOCKS is the answer.
 

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I wouldn't ignore a dog stealing sock because it's usually pretty reinforcing for them to rip the sock up, and then you have no sock and possibly the puppy has eaten the sock.

I don't encourage playing with laundry, but I do call the dog to me and make a big deal of them returning the item to me and reward with an appropriate toy or a treat. They grow out of it with age, but now if my dogs do steal laundry they usually bring it right to me and let me have it, super proud of their laundry retrieval skills.
 

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No worries! I understand what you are saying. We do hae a rope knot but he doesn't seem to really like that toy particularly. He is just really into balls and frisbees. We really do the best we can with socks and other items of clothing but it just happens. Does that really "teach" him to not take it. I mean what happens in a year and he see's a sock again for the first time, will he just not "remember" he liked them earlier and leave it alone?
 

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Puppies are interested in tons of things that they aren't interested in as adults. If you keep socks put away, or keep gently taking them away when he steals them and rewarding with something else, he'll find them less and less fun over time. At 1 or 2 years old my dogs were still stealing laundry occasionally if they could get it, but by 3 years old they pretty much leave it alone. It's just a natural part of growing up and being less curious about putting absolutely everything in their mouths.
 

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If he likes socks, maybe he would like a floppy stuffed type toy? I have no problems with the sock as a play item, I just don't want holes in my socks, or a dog who is stealing stuff as I'm trying to fold it and put it away. Your best bet is probably to find something similar that he is allowed to play with.
 

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First teach him a solid "drop it" command so when he does get a sock, you can get it away from him. Then teach a solid "leave it" command so if you see him going for a sock you can stop him before he grabs it.

I had a similar issue with Pepper, but instead of socks it was dish towels from the kitchen. I quickly discovered that her stealing the towel was a way of getting my attention and having me chase her around to get the towel back was great fun for her!

Pepper wasn't really interested in chewing on the towel so I just started ignoring her when she would grab it. She would come around and stand in plain sight to try to get me to notice. Eventually she'd get bored and lie down. Then when I would reach for the towel she would quickly snatch it up again. So I would just ignore her completely and eventually when she left the area I could pick up the towel without her noticing. Of course she got better as she grew up and matured, but even now every once in a while when she's bored or restless she will steal a towel.

Of course 3GSD4IPO's suggestion of NO SOCKS is the best/easiest solution in the short term anyway. You can break the habit, but the dog has to get no socks ever for a while. Eventually he will forget how much fun they were and move on to other things. How old is he now?
 

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I would try to keep the pup as disinterested in socks and laundry in general as possible. At 8 weeks old it's pretty cute, but that pup is going to get bigger and possibly eat socks and really become irritating or cost you a lot of money to remove a blockage...or having to keep buying socks lol.

Instead, get some of that fleece for blankets, cut it in strips, and braid it into a rope. Use that as a tug toy. Probably has much the same texture as a sock, but much safer and much less irritating for you. Wiggling that in front of the pup if he gets ahold of a sock might entice him to drop the sock and play with the right toy. If you use a sock to teach him not to play with only certain socks, I think that will probably not work. Dogs don't always understand "not my sock" and "my sock." All socks are not his socks.

Also, half of teaching appropriate behavior is preventing the undesirable behavior! Every time he manages to get a sock, he is reinforcing that behavior. I know it is hard and most people really do try their best, but it's important that you keep socks (and any other inappropriate items) out of his reach. Your pup is going to start teething soon, and I imagine the level of destructiveness may increase. When you can't 100% have eyes on your pup, he should be crated or in a pen or someplace where he cannot get into anything inappropriate. He cannot have the chance to sneak away and get into stuff. It will help a lot later in your pup's life when he is completely disinterested in any object that is not his toys!
 
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