Why Do Golden Retrievers Like Socks?

Quick Answer

Golden Retrievers like socks because of their smell, taste, and texture, and can often chew on them as an attention seeking behavior.

why do golden retrievers like socks? a female golden retriever holding a pile of socks in her mouth.
Luna with a pile of clean socks (we took them away from her right after the pic!)

If you’re a Golden Retriever owner, you definitely know that your pup has a tendency to chew on things they’re not supposed to – like socks. At first, this behavior might seem harmless or even cute, but it’s important to understand why your Golden Retriever is doing it and how it can potentially harm them.

There are a number of reasons why your golden may love chowing down on a freshly-worn pair of socks, but at the end of the day it’s a dangerous behavior that you’ll want to train your golden to avoid.

Potential Reasons Why Your Golden Loves Socks


One possible reason why Golden Retrievers like socks is because of their texture. Socks are usually made of soft and stretchy materials, which can be satisfying for dogs to chew on. The texture of socks might also stimulate their gums and provide a sense of comfort, especially for puppies who are teething.


Another possible reason why Golden Retrievers might be attracted to socks is because of their smell. Dogs have a much stronger sense of smell than humans, and they are often drawn to things that have a strong scent (good or bad). Socks might have a distinct smell that is appealing to Golden Retrievers, especially if they’re recently-worn and sweaty.


Golden Retrievers are notorious for putting things in their mouths and chewing on them, and socks are no exception. While socks might not taste particularly good to humans, dogs have different taste preferences, and they might enjoy the taste of socks (especially if they have been soiled with food, sweat, or dirt).

Attention Seeking

Lastly, Golden Retrievers sometimes chew on socks as a way of seeking attention from their owners. Dogs are social animals and thrive on interaction with their human companions. If a Golden Retriever feels ignored or neglected, they might resort to chewing on socks or other objects as a way of getting their owner’s attention.

By understanding the reasons why Golden Retrievers might be attracted to socks, you can better prevent this behavior and train your furry friend to chew on appropriate objects. In the next section, we will discuss the potential dangers of sock-chewing and why it’s important to prevent your Golden Retriever from developing this habit.

The Dangers of Sock-Chewing

Chewing on socks might seem like a harmless behavior, but it can actually be quite dangerous for your Golden Retriever. Here are some of the potential risks of sock-chewing:

Choking Hazard

Socks are small and can easily become lodged in your Golden Retriever’s throat, leading to choking. This can be a life-threatening emergency, and it’s important to seek veterinary care immediately if you suspect that your furry friend has swallowed a sock.

Intestinal Blockages

If your Golden Retriever swallows a sock, it can become lodged in their intestines, leading to a blockage. This can cause severe pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and even death if left untreated. Surgery may be necessary to remove the sock and repair any damage to the intestinal tract.

Digestive Issues

Even if your Golden Retriever doesn’t swallow a sock, chewing on socks can still cause digestive issues. The fibers from the sock can irritate their stomach and intestines, leading to nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Additionally, if your Golden Retriever ingests even small pieces of the sock, it can still result in blockages in their digestive tract.

Allowing your Golden Retriever to chew on socks can lead to serious health issues. It’s better to prevent this behavior by training your furry friend to chew on appropriate objects.

Training Your Golden Retriever to Avoid Sock-Chewing

Training your Golden Retriever to avoid sock-chewing is more than doable if you follow some of these tips:

Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is one of the most effective training methods for dogs. Instead of punishing your Golden Retriever for chewing on socks, reward them for chewing on appropriate objects, such as chew toys. Offer plenty of praise and treats when they choose to chew on the right things.

Providing Chew Toys

Golden Retrievers have a natural urge to chew, so it’s important to provide them with appropriate chew toys. Look for toys that are durable and made specifically for dogs, and even more specifically for “heavy chewers.” You can also freeze certain toys or wet them with water to make them more appealing to your furry friend.


Consistency is key when it comes to training your Golden Retriever. Make sure everyone in the household is on the same page and enforces the same rules. Avoid giving your Golden Retriever socks or other inappropriate items to chew on, as this can confuse them and make them more likely to chew on things they’re not supposed to.


You should now have a decent understanding of why Golden Retrievers might like socks, the potential dangers of sock-chewing, and how to prevent your furry friend from developing this habit. Here are the key takeaways for easy reference:

  1. Golden Retrievers can be attracted to socks because of their texture, smell, taste, or as a way of seeking attention.
  2. Allowing your Golden Retriever to chew on socks can be dangerous and could even lead to choking hazards, intestinal blockages, and digestive issues.
  3. To prevent your Golden Retriever from chewing on socks, it’s important to train them to chew on appropriate objects, such as chew toys, and provide plenty of positive reinforcement. Consistency is key when it comes to training your furry friend, and it’s important to avoid giving them socks or other inappropriate items to chew on.
  4. By understanding your Golden Retriever’s behavior and training them to avoid harmful habits, you can ensure that they live a happy and healthy life. Remember to seek veterinary care immediately if you suspect that your Golden Retriever has swallowed a sock or is experiencing any health issues.

We hope you found this post informative and helpful in understanding your Golden Retriever’s behavior!

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roger stanley site owner and primary author
Meet The Author Roger Stanley

Co-owner of goldenretrievergoods.com. 15 years of experience living life with Golden Retrievers and 15 years of experience spending way too much money on them – I believe life’s not worth living without a Golden involved!

We want to remind our readers that the articles or content found on goldenretrievergoods.com do not constitute nor replace professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The information provided on our website is purely educational and informational, and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a licensed veterinarian.