3 Reasons Why Your Dog Likes to Sleep on Your Clothes
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.
If you ever find yourself in an unfortunate situation when your dog gets lost, make sure to place a few of your worn clothes at the last place your dog was seen. The dog will detect the scent and come back!
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.
Stories from pet owners
Here are some stories you might be able to relate to from other pet owners who experienced similar behaviors with their dogs.
#Story #1 – Sleep on dirty shirts
We recently rescued a Labrador max a few weeks ago and she has settled into our home quite nicely. The only concerning behavior is when it’s bedtime. She has started to whine and pace around unless we put a dirty undershirt on her dog bed. We get that dogs might feel comforted by scent but she only does this with our dirty shirts. She will sleep on top of it.
#Story #2 – Prefers Dirty Laundry
Not so much a complaint but I do find it a bit hilarious whenever my dog wants to lie down on a pile of dirty laundry. We got her one of the best dog beds we could find. She would still prefer sleeping on top of the pile of dirty laundry. Is there anything I can do to coax her to nap on the bed instead?
#Story #3 – Sleeping in Laundry Basket
I woke up this morning to my dog sleeping in the laundry basket. The basket is full of clothes and used towels. Is this something I should be concerned by? I don’t mind it too much since the clothes have to be washed anyways.