You might have noticed that your dog likes to sleep on your clothes more than he used to. It might even get stressful at some point and you might want to discourage this behavior so you don’t have to clean your clothes from dog hair all the time. There are several different reasons why a dog would want to sleep on your clothes and believe it or not, most of them will have to do with you, the dog parent. Here are the most common reasons why dogs like to sleep on the clothes of their owners and what you can actually do about it.
It might happen that the dog just wants a warm and comfortable place to rest and your clothes or shoes are perfect for that. Your dog might feel a lot better on a soft sweater and a pair of fleece pants than he would feel in the best dog bedding available on the market.
You might even be the type of person that chooses clothes based on how soft and comfortable they are and your dog might just take advantage of this. Also, softness and warmth might bring some reassurance to your dog, giving him a feeling of security and safety, which is why he might choose to sleep on your clothes when you are at work.
Regardless of whether the clothes are clean or dirty, as long as you wore them at some point, they might still have your scent. As you know, the sense of smell is among the most prominent in a dog, which is why he will notice your smell even on recently washed clothes. For him, you are the master, the pack leader. This is why he will feel the need to sleep on and even cuddle with items that have your smell on them.
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You surely understand that your scent is very comforting for your dog so whenever he would feel the need for safety and you’re not around he might look for the smell on your clothes. If you notice your dog keeps looking for your clothes and you don’t like this, you can always redirect him towards other items that smell like you. In the hope that your dog will choose another place to sleep you can leave a blanket or a pillow that smells like you somewhere around the house.
This also works if the dog gets lost from you. Try placing some clothes close to the place where he was last seen. Your furry pet might pick up the smell and follow it to you.
A lot of dogs that suffer from separation anxiety will feel the need to sleep on your clothes and other things that belong to you. Some people also notice that the animal will also try to move different clothes to his bed or sleeping area. Your dog does this because he misses you and uses your scent as a replacement for you, to feel safe.
Separation anxiety makes dogs a lot needier and tied to your scent and they will try to use anything that smells like you. Separation anxiety is quite a delicate issue and getting your dog to stop will take some patience and some training sessions. You will want the dog to either get crate trained or simply get trained to avoid this type of behavior. You can also go for some smaller changes to make the anxiety go away.
I’m sure it would be better for everyone if you get your dog to either sleep on his blanket or rest in his own bed than use your clothes as bedding. Your dog will surely like a dog bed with a round shape and with raised edges because he will try to feel safer while resting by burrowing in it. If you get a blanket with your smell and put it in his bed, then he will associate the smell with his bed and will have an easier time sleeping there.
As long as your dog is properly trained, you can always use a command like “leave it” whenever he gets close to a piece of clothing of yours. A short-term solution would be to get a hamper with a lid for all of the dirty clothes and put away any clean clothes so that you are sure they are out of your dog’s reach. If you have a pup that needs to feel loved and safe, try putting an item with the scent of his mother in his dog bed to give him the comfort he needs.