The truly evil sock

Sock:  A short stocking reaching a point between the ankle and the knee.

The sock, it keeps us warm, stops blisters from forming when we wear shoes with no socks and creates a fashion statement.  But what else can a sock do?  It can cause a great deal of damage and even kill.  The sock's ability to draw a puppy in is staggering; it may lay there looking very innocent on the floor but it is far from the pure item of clothing that you may think it is.   For some strange reason socks are a very hot item for most puppies and the desire alters with each individual.  Some just like to carry them around, others like a good chew leaving your socks with custom air conditioning and then others want to consume them.  Consuming is the massive danger with socks.

When a dog eats a sock it often does not pass through.  You may wait for weeks hoping to see it laying there in the backyard but it never comes.  Perhaps you forget about that sock until there is another.  Another sock is eaten and then you start to worry; and worry you should, socks can cause a huge blockage.  If a sock does not pass it can become a serious blockage in the stomach leading to the intestines, the small or large intestines themselves or the bowels.  You may not notice for a great long while as the build up slowly does it's damage.

Typically dogs start to seem "not themselves."  They may throw up and pooping may turn to diarrhea and then  stop completely.  Eating socks is far more serious than most people think; with a puppy of my own it has been a constant worry.  Elsa happens to love socks, she has and will go to great lengths to find them.  Luckily she most reliably does a happy dance when she has found one cluing me in immediately.

NEVER CHASE; chasing makes finding socks even better and if your dog is worried about losing a sock during the chase they may swallow it.

Teach the drop command as soon as you can.  Instill a great reward system for dropping anything.

Build a positive out of a negative.  Tilley was and Elsa is a huge retriever; with a high drive they thrive of chase, finding and retrieving.   So as I did with Tilley I am teaching Elsa to bring me socks.  When I see her with one I praise her and ask her to bring it to me; she is then asked to drop and rewarded.  I stay very calm and remove the sock like it is nothing, no big deal.  The more "big deal" you make it the more mystical power that you give the sock.  Your goal needs to be to extinguish any power that the evil sock holds.

Of course other things can be just as dangerous but socks seem to be a common desire among many of our canines.  So keep them out of reach and teach your dog to retrieve and drop, eliminating the swallow reaction.


  1. LOL!! we are fortunate tha James does not view socks as evil nor does he view any stuffed animals as his........his Kong toys however need to be conquered and

  2. Great advice. I wish I had known about this when I was raising my one and only puppy. He was such a little hellion that I am now only adopting adult dogs. But they like socks, too. Retrieve, drop and reward is a valuable skill. I intend to reinforce it to perfection in both of my spoos. Thanks.


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