Why does my dog lay on my clothes? Whether it’s clean or not, your pet will love lounging on your clothes because it likes the scent. Also, a pile of clothes is warm and comfortable. However, it could also be a sign that your dog is suffering from separation anxiety.
Whatever the cause is, there’s always a way to stop your dog from laying on your clothes all the time. Below, I discuss the reasons why and what you can do about it.
Why dogs like laying on their owners’ clothes
1. Your dog likes the scent.
Dogs have a strong sense of smell so they can easily pick up your scent from your clothes. Even if you already washed it, your smell will still cling to the fabric.
Your dog lays on top of your clothes because the scent gives them comfort. Even if you’re away, the scent calms them since they associated your scent with love and affection.
Most of the time, this is normal and harmless. However, you should watch out as it can border into the next answer on this list.
2. Your dog has separation anxiety.
Dogs with separation anxiety often seek comfort in the belongings of their owners. From your clothes, bed, shoes, and whatnots, the doggo will sniff it to try to calm itself down.
Sometimes, dogs with a bad case of separation anxiety will rip the clothes to pieces. This is due to the extreme stress and boredom that they are feeling while alone.
You should never punish your dog for doing this because it will only make matters worse. Instead, you should tackle separation anxiety through proper training and diversion.
3. Your clothes are warm and cozy.
Another possible reason here is that your pile of clothes are warm and cozy. A basket full of laundry is a perfect spot for dogs to sleep and relax. This happens a lot with our dog Watson during the winter season when he can make use of more warmth. We just let him since he gets up whenever we call him.
However, you should discourage this behavior if your dog just played outdoors. You wouldn’t want all the dirt to get into your clothes, especially newly washed ones.
4. Your dog is redistributing its scent.
Dogs mark their territories and pack members through their scent. In a domesticated setting, dogs do this by lying down on your clothes. This is a way for your pet to redistribute its scent, especially if the clothes are new, if you washed them, or if there’s a new pet around.
Your dog does this to take ownership of your clothes. It recognizes you as a member of its pack so it’s important for your pet that it can trace its scent on you.
5. It gets your attention.
Lastly, it’s possible that lying down on your clothes is an attention-seeking behavior. Your dog knows that doing so will solicit a reaction, regardless if it’s positive or negative. It’s important to correct this behavior since it can be a precursor to other problems.
How to stop your dog from laying on your clothes
If you don’t want your dog lying down on your clothes, the following tips may help:
Give your dog its own blankie
Dogs love burrowing on fabric since it mimics their natural behavior in the wild. It’s also the same reason why your dog likes sharing your bed and sliding under your sheets.
You can use your old sheets and pile them up on top of your dog’s bed. If your dog lies down on top of it, give it a reward. If your pooch keeps coming back to your clothes, lure it to its blankie. Over time, your dog will learn that leaving your clothes alone is a good thing.
Give it your old shirt
If your dog has separation anxiety, it will help to give it one of your old shirts. A used one will work since it has your scent. This will help calm down your dog while you’re away.
For the best results, I suggest crate training the dog. The small space inside the crate will give the dog a calming feeling. Aside from that, you should line the crate with your old shirt so your dog will sniff your scent and feel like you’re around.
Hide your clothes
Another guaranteed way to stop your dog from lying down on your clothes is hiding it. Keep the clean clothes locked inside your closet and get a covered laundry bin. This will help if you have small to medium-sized dogs. But if you have a large chewer, hiding it may just lead to destructive behavior.
Redirect your dog’s behavior
Dogs that suffer from separation anxiety often feel lonely and anxious. You can keep them occupied with interactive toys. Getting another dog might also help as long as you’re prepared for it.
It will also help to take the dog for a long walk so it won’t have the energy to target your clothes. You can also hire dog walkers to take your pet out for a short walk around the neighborhood if you’re busy.
Why does my dog keep stealing my clothes?
Your dog is stealing your clothes because it likes the smell. Sometimes, this happens right after you wash the clothes since the doggo likes the scent of your detergent. Your scent might also be the reason why your pet becomes a clothes thief.
Also, you probably left your clothes in the open. Your dog will then think that you’re giving it to him so he will take it.
However, you should also consider that your dog is just bored. It’s important to keep the pooch busy so it won’t think of stealing your clothes.
Lastly, some dogs are fond of retrieving things, like our Golden Retriever Sherlock. He always has something in his mouth: from the TV remote controls, toys, my kid’s socks, or my dirty shirt. Anything that’s left on the floor will be retrieved by our dog. It’s in his genes since Goldies are bred to retrieve fowl for hunters.
You can always train your dog out of stealing your clothes and other things. Positive reinforcement is always the best method here to teach your dog that he will be rewarded if he stops taking your clothes.
Why does my dog lay on my clothes? This is mainly due to the scent of your clothes as well as the comfort they find in them. However, separation anxiety can also be a potential culprit. It’s important to deal with this behavior so your doggo won’t get used to it. Also, separation anxiety requires a proper approach to curb your dog’s destructive and anxious tendencies.