A few weeks ago we adopted a beautiful 2-3 year old puppy: an equal mix-breed of collie and Shepherd, named Wishbone. The shelter said they got him from another shelter out of state. All they knew was he was a stray living on the streets.

He is a huge cuddle bug and we adore him so much. When he thinks he is in trouble he rolls over on his back for belly rubs. Just a gentle giant.

Well, for the recent two weeks, Wishbone steals my husband’s and my shoes. He never chews on them, just moves them. We have 3 kids that interact with him daily and they don’t have their shoes stolen.

My husband and I work opposite schedules and long hours but someone is always home with him, always.

Why does he do this?

  • Welcome to StackExchange Pets. Please take the tour and have a look at the help center. This is not a general discussion forum, but a Q&A site, therefore we require every post to contain a practical, answerable and reasonably scoped question. Please edit your post to include your actual question. Do you just want to understand why your dog steals your shoes or do you want to stop this behavior? Or maybe something else entirely? – Elmy Nov 22 '19 at 10:15

My dog used to steal my socks. He didn't steal anybody else's socks. And I encouraged it by chasing after him and then playing tug-of-war to get the socks back. After a few months, I grew tired of that game, and I discouraged the behavior by ignoring it. He would steal my socks, dash out the door, and then look back to see whether I would get up and chase him. I tried to not even make eye contact when he did that. I'd go find my socks later after he'd forgotten about it.

It took a couple of weeks before he completely gave up trying.

We have new games that we play now using his toys, not mine.

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