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Why Does My Dog Steal My Shoes? 6 Likely Reasons & Tips

Written by: Jessica Rossetti

Last Updated on April 30, 2024 by Dogster Team

Brown dog biting brown leather shoes

Why Does My Dog Steal My Shoes? 6 Likely Reasons & Tips

You go to grab your favorite sneakers and find that one is missing. You eventually find it in your dog’s bed. Or maybe you’ve discovered that your shoes are destroyed or hidden somewhere in the house. Why is your dog a shoe thief? If you’ve had to chase your dog down to get your shoe out of their mouth, you may be wondering what’s going on.

In this article, we look at six likely reasons that your dog is stealing your shoes and what you can do about it so your shoes stay where you put them.


The 6 Reasons Why Your Dog Steals Shoes

1. Your Dog Wants Attention

woman holding shoes talking to her dog
Image By: Momentum studio, Shutterstock

If you haven’t been able to play with your dog or go out for as many walks as usual lately, they may just be looking for a way to get your attention. Your dog may know that you put your shoes on before you leave the house, and stealing a shoe can stop you from leaving.

If your dog knows that once they grab the shoe and run away, you’ll stop what you’re doing and chase them. They may view this as a game and consider their behavior successful since they got what they wanted.

How to Stop It

If you think that your dog is stealing shoes because they want attention, try to schedule more time throughout your day to focus on your pup. Even if it’s just for a few minutes, give your dog pets, playtime, and walks. If your dog still tries to steal your shoe, don’t react. Ignoring the behavior will not give them the attention that they want, making them less likely to repeat the act.

2. Your Dog Is Playing

Your shoes may look like toys to dogs, so they may steal your shoe because they like to play with it. If you see your dog take your shoe, try to see what they’re doing with it. Are they looking at you expectedly, waiting for you to start playing too? Are they tossing it up in the air and catching it? Your dog may think that your shoe is their new favorite toy.

How to Stop It

Let your dog play with the shoe until they lose interest in it. Don’t chase them or try to get it back. Eventually, they will walk away from the shoe, and you can pick it up and put your shoes out of their reach.

3. Your Dog Needs Exercise

siberian husky puppy chewing shoes
Image Credit: Raevskaya, Shutterstock

If your dog is not getting enough exercise, they have the energy to direct to other things, like stealing shoes. If your dog is a highly active breed, like a Husky, Shepherd, Retriever, Cattle Dog, etc., they will need daily exercise to keep them from becoming destructive.

How to Stop It

Plan to spend certain hours of your day exercising your dog. If you have a fenced-in, safe area for them to run, let them get out their energy by chasing a ball or toy. Take them on long hikes and let them sniff as much as they want to. Dogs that don’t have the energy to spare are relaxed and happy at home. This makes them much less likely to steal things.

4. Your Dog Likes the Smell of the Shoes

Dogs have a strong sense of smell and like to be around items that smell good to them. If your dog likes the smell of your shoes, they might want to steal them to sleep next to them. Shoes and socks have our sweat on them, making them attractive items for dogs to steal. In some cases, your dog might be comforted by having your scent near them when you’re not home.

How to Stop It

You can try to keep your shoes in an area of the home that your dog can’t access. If this isn’t possible, you can spray your shoes with an anti-chew spray to make them less desirable to your dog. If your dog is stealing leather shoes because they like the smell of leather, try giving them a leather dog toy that they can chew and play with, making them forget about your shoes.

5. Your Dog Is Teething

golden retriever dog biting shoes
Image Credit: Wirestock Creators Shutterstock

If you have a teething puppy, they could be looking for things to chew on. Your shoes are easy targets. Teething is uncomfortable for puppies as their adult teeth are growing in, and chewing can soothe this pain. This is a temporary situation, but it can cause a great deal of frustration — and teeth marks on your sneakers.

How to Stop It

Invest in more chew toys for your dog so they have plenty of options to choose from. You can leave the toys strewn around the house so they are never far from one. By giving them more chewing options, they’re more likely to leave your things alone.

6. Your Dog Is Bored

Your dog may be stealing shoes because they have nothing else to do. Boredom can make dogs resort to making up their own things to do for entertainment. It can be fun for your dog to steal your shoe and run off with it or hide it somewhere.

How to Stop It

Give your dog more toy options to play with throughout the day. Interactive toys are ideal because they can keep your dog occupied when you’re not home.



There are various reasons that your dog is stealing your shoes. The good news is that once you’ve figured out why it’s happening, you can try to stop the behavior. That said, if they aren’t damaging your shoes, you may not mind them swiping a shoe every once in a while. It could simply be a sign that they want to be close to you.

Featured Image Credit: CHNBro3rD, Pixabay

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