3 Reasons Why Your Dog Likes to Sleep on Your Clothes

Dog Sleeping

If you have noticed that your dog has been sleeping on your clothes, you may want to try to fix the situation so that your clothes are not full of dog hair all the time. There are many reasons why your dog might like to sleep on your clothes and most of the time it just has to do with you as the owner. Here are some reasons why your dog likes to sleep on your clothes and what you can do about this behavior.

1. Your Clothes are Warm and Comfortable

Sometimes your dog might just want to sleep on your clothing or shoes because it’s comfortable and warm. If you have fleece pants or a nice sweater, your dog might just feel that this is the most comfortable bedding available to sleep. Clothes are often times soft and provide a good cushion for sleeping, which is what your dog is after. Softness is reassuring to your dog and makes him feel safe and secure, so you might notice this behavior happens more when you are not home.

2. Your Clothes Have Your Scent

It doesn’t matter if it’s a pile of dirty clothes or clean clothes, your clothing items contain your scent. Smell is one of the most prominent senses in dogs, so they are attracted to items that smell like you. You are the pack leader according to your dog, so your dog will want to cuddle or sleep on items that have your smell on them.

The scent of you on your clothes is also very comforting to your dog, so he will want to embrace that smell for security reasons. If you notice your dog is attracted to your clothing items due to scent, you can try to redirect that with other items that have your scent. You might want to leave a pillow or blanket out with your scent on it instead to encourage your dog to sleep elsewhere.

3. Your Dog Suffers from Separation Anxiety

Dogs that have separation anxiety are going to be more likely to sleep on your clothes. You might even notice your dog has moved some of your clothing items to another location to sleep. Your dog simply just misses you and wants your scent around as comfort and protection.

Dogs with separation anxiety are more tied into scent and will use anything with your smell as a security blanket. Separation anxiety situations are more tricky to figure out and might require crate training or simply training in general to stop the behavior. You also could try small routine changes to help lessen the anxiety.

How to Get Your Dog to Sleep on His Bed Instead

You should get your dog his own blanket and teach him to use his own blanket in his bed instead of just sleeping on your pile of clothes. Your dog likely will want a dog bed that is round with raised edges because your dog will want to burrow and will feel safer in a deeper bed. Put the blanket you bought for your dog in that bed so he will realize that blanket is his and will keep him safe.

If your dog knows commands, you might have to tell him to “leave it” when it comes to your clothes. The best method is to put all of your clean clothes away immediately and use a hamper with a lid for all of your dirty clothes to prevent him from sleeping on them. If your dog is a puppy, you can put an item with the scent of his mother in the bed, which will provide him with that same comfort.

Disclaimer: The content on MyPetChild.com is for informational purpose only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian when in doubt.

2 Comments

  1. Daphne November 2, 2020 at 5:33 pm

    Hi I have a 3yr old Yorkie female..I’ve had her since age 5mths..Never been apart overnight, went away Sunday morning and came back Monday afternoon..I found her sleeping inside my laundry basket with my ‘clean’ clothing inside. Is this normal ?

    1. James Walsh September 6, 2021 at 12:50 pm

      Yes, even though your clothes have been washed, a dog will still be able to smell your scent on them.

      2 reasons she would sleep on your clothes.
      The first one is because your scent will give comfort.
      The second reason is she may think you will come back for your clothes. And she wants to make sure she doesn’t miss you when you do.

      When my dog spent a couple of days at the vets following an op for bladder stones, l took the blanket off my bed for her to sleep on in her “cage”. I knew my smell would give her some comfort.
      Sadly she died. That was 3yrs ago & l am still not over her loss.

      No person or animal on this earth will love you as much as your dog. That love is unconditional, & unlike the love from some humans which may “expire”, your dog will never stop loving you as long as she lives.

      I have another dog now. He steals my socks & when l go out he retreats to my room & refuses to come out or eat (even his fav treats) until l come back.

      Separation anxiety is very real for a dog. It makes them physically ill.

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