Why Does My Dog Cuddle My Shoes?

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

So, your dog has an insatiable affection for your shoes, huh? Boy, do I know that feeling.

Just like you, I’ve spent countless evenings perplexed, watching my girl, Molly, treating my sneakers like her plush toys.

But why do they do it? Why does my dog cuddle my shoes?

Is it their keen sense of smell or a love for all things foot-related? Relax, I’m here to decode this footwear fetish that our furry friends seem to have.

Let’s dive right in.

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Why Do Dogs Cuddle Your Shoes?

Why Do Dogs Cuddle Your Shoes

You may have witnessed the “heart-melting” moment when your pet cozied up to your favorite pair of shoes. 

But why do they do it? While there could be many reasons why your furry companion treats your footwear like a pillow, the main one is likely due to comfort.

1. Comfort and familiarity

Dogs are creatures of habit.

Your shoes are likely to provide a sense of familiarity that could give them some stability and comfort. 

It can serve as a warm hug from a friend.

The familiar shape and texture of your shoes offer a snug spot for them to curl up and feel secure.

2. Your dog’s affinity for scents

Dogs have a keen sense of smell, and your shoes are a veritable buffet of odors.

The intriguing mixture of scents left on your shoes could be very interesting to your curious pet. Too much to resist really!

Plus, your footwear could have a smell that your furry pal enjoys, such as the lingering smell of the outdoors.

It might just be reminding your pet of an enjoyable trip to the park.

3. Your dog’s playful nature

We all know this: Dogs are born to be playful, and the world is filled with potential toys.

Your pet could be looking at your shoes as a plaything that they want to keep close.

The laces are something they can tug on.

And the texture, no matter if your shoes are made of rubber or leather, is something different that catches their attention too.

4. Cool and comfortable spot for your dog

Shoes often traps the residual coolness from the environment, making them a refreshing resting spot for your furry companion, particularly during warmer weather.

Some footwear, particularly those made of soft materials, can transform into a plush bed for your furry friend to catch some Zzzs.

They give them a cozier and comfier nap spot compared to the unforgiving hardness of the floor. 

5. Teething in puppies

Puppies go through the teething phase, and your shoes offer a delightful relief for their sore gums. 

The chewing sensation helps alleviate discomfort and satisfies their urge to gnaw, making your shoes the unfortunate casualties of their adorable but mischievous teething adventures.

6. The ‘hoarder’ behavior in dogs

​​The ‘hoarder‘ behavior refers to a dog’s instinctual tendency to collect and protect things they consider valuable. 

Dogs may see certain objects, like toys or shoes, as possessions worth safeguarding, particularly if they associate them with you, their pack leader. 

Hoarding becomes their way of preserving and guarding items they cherish. And what better way to protect precious things than by cuddling them?

7. Anxiety and stress

Dogs know the power of scents! 

Just like how a particular smell can instantly make you feel relaxed or bring back memories of safety and home, your shoes, with their familiar scent, become like a security blanket for your furry buddy. 

When they’re feeling anxious or stressed, snuggling up to your shoes offers them comfort and a sense of reassurance, as if they’ve found their own little sanctuary.

8. Seeking attention

Our pets enjoy basking in the limelight and could cuddle your shoes to grab your attention. 

Think about it – when you caught them in the act, did you scold, laugh, or go “aww”? Your reaction was like a signal to them that their shoe-cuddling adventure got you hooked. 

So, they keep doing it to ensure they have your undivided attention and affection. It’s their way of saying, “Hey, look at me!”

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Thank you. The rest of the article continues below.

Doggy says, consider reading this too: Why does my dog headbutt me?

How to Curb Your Dog’s ‘Shoe-Stealing’ Behavior

If you’re tired of hunting for your shoes and want to save your favorite pair from your pup’s sticky paws, then try out these clever strategies.

Let’s try to put an end to your pup’s sneaky stealing ways and keep your footwear collection intact.

1. Enriching your dog’s daily routine

Keep your furry friend entertained and away from your shoes by adding a dash of adventure to their day! 

Try interactive games like fetch or hide-and-seek, engaging puzzle toys that dispense treats, or even set up a fun obstacle course in your backyard. 

These activities satisfy their instincts, keep them mentally stimulated, and tire them out, reducing their interest in becoming shoe thieves. 

Here’s my personal favorite puzzle toy:

Outward Hound Nina Ottosson Puzzle Dog Toy

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Reduces anxious and destructive behavior
Includes additional obstacles and combinations of steps
Keeps dogs focused and mentally stimulated
Flip, lift, and slide to hide treats

2. Reducing anxiety in dogs

A stressed-out pet will have more reasons to use your shoes as their personal stress ball.

So, help your furry pal turn their anxiety levels down a notch and keep those shoes safe. Here are a few simple suggestions:

  • Create a relaxing atmosphere for your pup by setting up a cozy nook where they can retreat.
  • Choose a quiet corner of your home and provide a soft and comfortable bed or blanket where your pet can unwind and feel safe. 
  • Consider adding some plush toys or a favorite chew toy to keep them occupied and distracted from any shoe-stealing temptations.

Another way to help your dog relax is through gentle massages or soothing touch.

Take some time to give them a relaxing rubdown, focusing on areas they enjoy, such as behind the ears or along their back. 

3. Keeping the shoes stored properly

Prevention is the name of the game.

Safeguard your shoes by storing them securely in closed closets, shoe cabinets, or high shelves that are out of your dog’s reach. 

When the temptation is out of sight, their stealing tendencies will take a backseat.

Why Does My Dog Put My Shoes in Her Bed?

Why Does My Dog Put My Shoes in Her Bed?

If your pup is snuggling up with your shoes as they sleep, then they could be using them like a trusty comfort blanket. 

Similar to how we have that one go-to cozy item that instantly soothes us, your shoes carry your familiar scent, offering a sense of security and relaxation for your furry friend. 

It’s their way of bringing a piece of you into their bed, finding comfort in your presence even when you’re not physically there.

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Doggy says, you might be keen to read this too: Why does my dog lay his head over my neck?

Why Does My Dog Steal My Shoes?

Dogs have a natural curiosity and love to explore with their mouths.

So, when they grab your shoes, it’s their way of saying, “Look what I found! Let’s have some fun!” 

It’s all part of their mischievous nature and their cute attempt to catch your attention. 

But it could also be because they see your shoes as something special, like a valuable treasure to protect.

So, keep an eye on those sneakers, or you might end up with a furry footwear collection in no time!

Doggy says, consider reading this too: Dog won’t go into crate even with treats

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why is my dog obsessed with my shoes?

Dogs may be drawn to your shoes due to their scent. The smell could be reminding your pet of you. Your pet may also see your shoes as a plaything or a comforting object. It’s their way of exploring, finding comfort, or engaging in playful behavior.

Why does my dog put his head in my shoes?

Your dog may put their head in your shoes to immerse themselves in the comforting scent, find solace, or simply enjoy the experience. It’s their unique way of seeking comfort, and security, or even exhibiting hoarder behavior, as they perceive your shoes as something worth protecting.

Why does my dog sleep with my slippers?

Sleeping with your slippers provides your dog with your familiar scent, which offers comfort and a sense of security. They might see your slippers as a cozy spot to rest, just like we find comfort in our favorite pillow or blanket.

Should you give a dog an old shoe?

While it may seem like a fun toy, giving your dog an old shoe as a chew toy is not recommended. It can be confusing for them, as they may not understand the difference between an old shoe and a new one. Provide safe and appropriate chew toys instead.

In Conclusion: Why Does My Dog Cuddle My Shoes?

I hope you enjoyed unraveling the mysterious love story between dogs and shoes.

Remember, it’s all about understanding, patience, and maybe investing in a few chew toys.

Now, the next time you see Rover cuddling your shoe, you’ll know it’s just his way of saying, ‘I heart you!’

Learn about other dog behavior here too:

You’ve made it to the end, but I hope it’s not the end of our journey. We want to hear your voice! Share your thoughts, problems, suggestions, or anything related to your dog in the comments section. And don’t forget to join our newsletter today too.

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Daily Dog Drama!

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